Sky Sports

Who are the best Virgil van Dijk replacements in Sky Sports Fantasy Football?

The news that Virgil van Dijk (£10.9m) will be out for a considerable period of time not only threatens to harm Liverpool’s title defence but it also presents a problem for legions of Sky Sports Fantasy Football managers.

Over one in five Sky bosses own the Dutchman, making him the second-most popular defender in the game.

With van Dijk’s injury frustratingly coming one week after the Overhaul, owners will be forced to dip into their transfer allocation to replace the sidelined stopper.

In this article, we run down the runners and riders as we consider who could replace the Netherlands international.

ANDREW ROBERTSON (£10.2m)

Fabinho bolsters Liverpool defence as Werner shows promise ahead of West Brom

Cheaper than not only van Dijk but also Trent Alexander-Arnold (£10.6m), Andrew Robertson (£10.2m) is perhaps the obvious sideways move for those ditching the Dutchman.

Robertson has outscored both of his teammates this season and it’s not just the attacking returns (the Scot has three to van Dijk and Alexander-Arnold’s one) that has brought about that dominance.

The left-back has already accumulated eight points’ worth of passing bonus this season, only one shy of van Dijk’s tally. Alexander-Arnold, by contrast, has yet to get off the mark.

An increased role at set plays is aiding Robertson’s assist potential and the Scotland international has now taken ten more corners than his opposite full-back in 2020/21.

Robertson has almost four times as many penalty box touches as Alexander-Arnold, meanwhile, and is posing more of a goal threat from open play at present.

The loss of van Dijk and Alisson (£8.0m) obviously weakens the Reds from a defensive perspective but in this season where clean sheets are relatively hard to come by across the Premier League, perhaps it’s worth paying more attention to those defenders who can do the business at the other end of the field.

RUBEN DIAS (£9.1m)

It’s still early days for Ruben Dias (£9.1m) but the initial signs are promising.

Manchester City defenders are traditionally good buys for their passing bonus in Sky and Dias duly delivered on his first start at the Etihad, with three points added to his clean sheet return thanks to City’s customary retention of the ball.

Pep Guardiola’s defence is maligned in some quarters but they kept more clean sheets than anyone else last season and were second only to Liverpool in 2018/19.

Guardiola has typically built his backline around one almost-nailed centre-half in the past – Fernandinho (£8.3m) in 2019/20, Aymeric Laporte (£10.3m) in 2018/19, Nicolas Otamendi in 2017/18 – and Dias could well be that man this season, with his manager hailing his leadership qualities after last weekend’s win over Arsenal.

A saving of £1.0m+ on the somewhat injury-prone Laporte is significant, too.

The Citizens’ fixtures get really good from Gameweek 12 in Sky onwards but a double-header against West Ham United and Sheffield United next up is far from daunting, for those who have had their hands forced by van Dijk’s injury.

GABRIEL MAGALHAES (£8.0m)

Tipping up the highest-scoring defender in Sky is uninspired in the extreme but there is justification in highlighting the credentials of Gabriel (£8.0m).

It’s the passing bonus that sets the Brazilian apart, with 11 points-worth arriving in his four appearances for the Gunners.

Mikel Arteta’s insistence on playing out from the back is aiding Gabriel’s cause on that front and no Premier League defender has made more passes than the Arsenal centre-half this season, despite the fact that he missed out in Gameweek 3.

Therein lies the slight worry with Gabriel given Arteta’s plethora of options at centre-back but he has looked the pick of the bunch so far and, with Rob Holding (£6.4m) ruled out for the next three weeks or so, there should be few short-term concerns.

STUART DALLAS (£6.4M)

Stuart Dallas’ (£6.4m) performances haven’t gone unnoticed by the top 1k and he currently sits in 20.6% of those squads, despite his overall ownership being down at 3.6%.

The versatile defender has delivered bonus points in all five of his matches so far this season, with four of them owing to his tackling and the other one a tier 2 shot bonus against Sheffield United – which rather neatly encapsulates what the all-action Northern Irishman is all about.

Granted, the fixtures aren’t great: Leeds sit near the wrong end of our Season Ticker over the next half-dozen Gameweeks, with the likes of Leicester, Everton and Chelsea to come.

Injuries at centre-half and in defensive midfield also shake faith in a Leeds backline that has tightened considerably since their early-season goalfests.

But his total of 23 points is one of the best among sub-£6.5m defenders this season and the freeing up of £4.5m – should funds be required elsewhere – is something to consider.

ASTON VILLA DEFENDER

It’s not just form that Aston Villa have on their side but fixtures too, with the unbeaten Villans sitting near the top of our Season Ticker for the foreseeable future.

Emi Martinez (£6.3m) is the obvious route into this improving backline but for those without him who don’t want to waste a transfer on a goalkeeper, then their first-choice back four are all available for £7.5m or under.

Ezri Konsa (£6.1m) is the cheapest and sits just a point behind Tyrone Mings (£7.5m) but Matthew Cash (£6.5m) warrants a mention, given that he has already racked up tier 1 and tier 2 tackling bonus this season.

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396 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Caleb's Kitties
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Save FT right? Nothing ITB

    Martinez
    Robbo reguilon chilwell
    Salah(C) son havertz grealish
    Kane dcl maupay
    Forster dallas mitchell stephens

    1. Fulchester's New Centr…
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Save. Can't see anything worth doing.

    2. D-Fens
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Definite save for me

    3. COK3Y5MURF
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      A) Mane + Chilwell
      B) Salah + Villa defender

      Has to be A, right?

      1. COK3Y5MURF
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        For the next 3-4 weeks

        1. The Mandalorian
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Salah is the captain choice who should get you more points than Mane over the next 3 home games

    4. Iceball
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Sterling captain anyone? I guess enough to have him and just go Salah.

      1. Fulchester's New Centr…
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Good diff if it works

      2. Nice to Finally Michu
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        I have Sterling but i'm planning on bringing in Mo to captain him

    5. gomez123
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Exact funds to do either
      A) Barnes to Grealish
      Or
      B) Wood to Maupey??

      1. Fulchester's New Centr…
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Greal

      2. Nice to Finally Michu
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        A

      3. Zrinkec
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Maupay

      4. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Dangers of early transfers -

        Last week made moves for Son for hit so could keep KDB!
        This week made early move for Kane which meant hit taken elsewhere and brought in Rodriguez!

        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          And the moral of the story is?

          1. villa_til_i_die
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Don’t make early transfers. Like he said!

          2. Bushwhacker
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Wait for pressers . . .

      5. The Mandalorian
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Wolves defence

        Kilman replaces Saiss as CB
        Saiss replaces Marcal as Wing back

        Kilman is the position most under threat.

        1. Nice to Finally Michu
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          definitely so but at 4.1 (or 4.0 if you got him early) its a risk many will stomach

        2. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          More than worth it at 4.1

        3. Karan14
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Having him and Saiss could be a decent strategy. You'll definitely have one starter and sometimes two.

          1. Pieterke30
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Im punting on both starting this weekend and crossing fingers for a CS. If Saiss loses his spot, easy sell - and I will already have Kilman who would then probably start.

            If Kilman is on the bench for Wolves, I guess Saiss is starting... and doesnt really matter if my 4.1 def is not a regular starter

            1. Karan14
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Yes its sensible play. If they both start this week I'll probably get Kilman in next week.

              4.1m starting defender at Wolves is great value!

        4. Pieterke30
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          He has been their best defender for the last two games. Maybe he will always be one bad game away from the bench but I really dont see Nuno benching him this weekend. I think itd be a mistake

        5. Bushwhacker
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Signed a new contract for a reason though.

        6. The Mandalorian
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Alt Nouri has just been brought in to play left wing back so they have 2 players for that position.
          Once he is up and running then Saiss will be confined to CB basically blocking Kilman.
          Saiss played most of last season.

        7. The Mandalorian
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          I've gone Semado for Wolves next 4 fixtures he looks to be their best attacking defender stats wise but no real stand out options like former Doherty.

      6. Nice to Finally Michu
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Hm
        Salah on Pens but Mane on Covid Antibodies

        1. Fulchester's New Centr…
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          So Mane safer long term?

          1. Nice to Finally Michu
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Lol probably just means its safer to transfer Mane in early in the week than Salah

        2. Urchin
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Antibodies not guaranteed in everyone. Less so in those with non serious illness

          1. El Presidente
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Rubbish. It would be the first time in human history if that was right. And it's not.

      7. mdm
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Which option:

        A. Werner -> Kane
        B. Jimi -> Kane
        C. Save FT

        Thanks.

        1. lindeg
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Personally think Werner will outscore Kane in next 3

          1. Pieterke30
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            I sincerely hope you are wrong

        2. Nice to Finally Michu
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          not A

        3. Zrinkec
            1 month, 8 days ago

            B

        4. villa_til_i_die
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Can people stop bringing in Villa defenders, it’s just cursing it!

          1. Nice to Finally Michu
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Raphinha bandwagon incoming

          2. cutch
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Lol

        5. cutch
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Martínez - Steer
          Saïss, Lamptey, Castagne - Chilwell, Mitchell
          Salah (C), Sterling, Grealish, Rodríguez* - Anguissa
          Ings, Jim, DCL
          1 FT, 0.4 ITB

          A) Save FT and play one of my subs (likely Chilwell)
          B) Rodríguez > Barkley (triple Villa)
          C) Anguissa > Soucek (and play him)

          1. Nice to Finally Michu
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Chilwell, A

            1. cutch
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Cheers. Yes, that was my first thought. No need of kneejerking.

          2. Zrinkec
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Chilwell easy

          3. Karan14
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            A bit early but thoughts on these moves with 2 FTs for next week (GW7):

            Out: TAA, Reece & Jimenez
            In: Chilwell, Kilman & Kane

            1. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Fortune favours the brave (sometimes anyway)

              1. Karan14
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Haha I'm not sure if it's brave or just scared of selling TAA 😛

            2. Holmes
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Could be too late for Kane. Targeting a Man City/United might be better play.

          4. The Mandalorian
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            4m Struijk Leeds defender should play as cover for the next 5 to 6 weeks.

            I don't see another defender at that price being able to offer that gametime.

            1. Klaren
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Other than Palace away, I don't think think you'd want to play a Leeds defender in the next 5 though.

            2. Karan14
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              2 weeks are IB so maybe he gets only 3-4 games max. Also not expecting much from Leeds defence without Phillips.

            3. Fulchester's New Centr…
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Bilelsa: 'I understand that the information is incorrect. It's not defined how long he [Phillips] will be out for. It could be more or it could be less.'

              But yes, Struijk could still be gold.

              1. Bushwhacker
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Golden 2 pts per week.

            4. The Mandalorian
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              He's being trusted to play out of position, so we have a 4m defender who can play 2 positions over the season. Sounds good.

          5. Rover
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Ryan (McCarthy)
            Robbo Chilwell Lamptey (Taylor Egan)
            Mane Son Havertz James (Burke)
            Jimenez DCL Maupay

            Given the James injury news and a likely GW9/10 wildcard, would you do:

            A) Egan > Semedo or Konsa
            B) James > Mahrez or Grealish
            C) Burke > Lookman or Soucek

            1. Holmes
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              A Konsa

          6. Jdpz
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Hello, who play?
              McCarthy
              TAA, Tierney, Dier
              Bruno(c), Son, Bissouma, Podence
              Kane, Ings, DCL
              bench: Nyland, JRod, Taylor, Justin
              1 ft., 1.2M in the bank

              Sold JRod?

            • Jdpz
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Dier to Mings?