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The best FPL defenders and goalkeepers to buy or include on a BGW29 Free Hit

Defenders and goalkeepers come under the spotlight as we assess the best players to bring in for Blank Gameweek 29.

With only four fixtures and a tricky set of match-ups to navigate, we have picked out the top options for all Fantasy Premier League budgets, highlighting options for Free Hit inclusion or free-transfer targets.

Can Brighton’s defence finally deliver on its expected goals conceded (xGC) rating? Is Emiliano Martinez (£5.4m) still the best goalkeeper in FPL? We assess all options in the article below…

As this uses extensive data from the Fantasy Football Scout Premium Members Area, only those with a valid subscription can access it in full.

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428 Comments Post a Comment
  1. SouperstarsXI
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 7 days ago

    Hi folks,

    Which is the best combination here?:

    1. Cresswell + Raphinha
    2. Dallas + Lingard

    The first is geared towards set piece takers, the second more to the fact that West Ham likely to concede while Leeds could keep a clean sheet vs Fulham. Thoughts much appreciated!

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      If its only for 1-2 weeks, 2nd. Long term, I would prefer A

    2. Phil's Stamps
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      1 because of Cresswell, he's a great pick until the end of the season, nailed in a team with everything to play for.

    3. Bushwhacker
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 7 days ago

      1. Can’t see Leeds getting a clean sheet against even Fulham. (Yes I know they fluked one last week)

    4. Steiger
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 7 days ago

      I have all 4, but if I had to choose then i'd pick 1.

  2. Holmes
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 7 days ago

    Do you think Bale will start games vs Villa and Newcastle?

    1. Bushwhacker
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 7 days ago

      Villa yes ; Newcastle less need

      1. Bushwhacker
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 7 days ago

        But weeks later so why not

        1. Holmes
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Because he will might play 2 full games in international break?

          1. Holmes
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            will might, grrr

            1. Bushwhacker
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Ah true. Has a five day break prior to Newcastle, six days between WC games ... I assume he’ll skip the friendly. Should be OK.

              1. Karan14
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 7 days ago

                It's actually a 5 and 4 day gap with the friendly sandwiched between the qualifiers. Has every chance of getting injured imo.

                1. FantasyClub
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    Everyone has a chance of getting injured

      2. Weeb Kakashi
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        I need a Spurs mid for only 2 weeks and i am going with Lucas.

        1. Holmes
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Cheers, probably going to double up if Son is ruled out

          1. FantasyClub
              3 months, 7 days ago

              I don’t think you’re gonna know before deadline

              1. Ruth_NZ
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 7 days ago

                I think it's clear now. 🙂

                1. St Pauli Walnuts
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 7 days ago

                  It was clear last time he done his hamstring ... until he was in the next starting lineup and it wasn't.

      3. Lucky Z
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 7 days ago

        Which option?

        A. Sterling + Gundo + Dias => Auba + Bale + Veltman -4
        B. Sterling + Mee => Auba + Reguilon (or any other defender)

        Martinez
        Targett • Dallas • Struijk
        Son • Lingard
        Kane • Bamford

        1. Holmes
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          B with Dunk

        2. FantasyClub
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Son ain’t gonna play. Unless he’s 100% fit it would be silly to risk aggravating his muscle.

        3. Ruinenlust
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Spurs or Fulham defender?

          1. Holmes
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Easy to pick a nailed FUL defender over Spurs.

            1. Mreidfelt
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Why pick a FUL defender when they will end up getting 1 point tops unless offensive gains???

              FUL defenders this week is not bad...it is somewhere between jumping of the balcony and giving your credit card to your neighbor to get gas

        4. Ronnies
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 7 days ago

          Worth a minus 4 ?

          Son, Mitchell > Lingard, Veltman.

          No chips left.

          Cheers.

          1. FantasyClub
              3 months, 7 days ago

              I’d say yes

            • pingissimus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 7 days ago

              Not for me unless it leaves change to get Son back immediately in 30 and Veltman is 3rd bench fodder and only needed for 33

          2. Slitherene
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 7 days ago

            Martinez | Forster
            Reguilon Veltman Coufal
            Son* Auba Saka* Lingard
            Kane Bamford* Antonio
            ¦ Holding Cancelo Bruno

            Saka -> Raphinha, for a hit?

          3. FantasyClub
              3 months, 7 days ago

              It’s gonna be interesting to see if Mourinho pushes Bales limits with Son and Lamela out. He’ll probably come off the bench again in Europa too.

              1. Weeb Kakashi
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 7 days ago

                Could easily be Lucas Dele Bergwyn behind Kane in one of the games.

                1. FantasyClub
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    That’s more likely in the Europa game

              2. Phil's Stamps
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                3 months, 7 days ago

                I know it's a bit early but I'm really struggling with that 7th attacker position on WC31 (Brewster the 8th). I only want nailed players with good fixtures (and ideally something to play for -City probably the exception to that).

                So far I have narrowed my 6 -semi-definite- attackers down to Kane, Vardy, KDB, Bruno, Jota & Neto. But who for the 7th starting attacker?

                (Roughly 7.5 to spend)

                Mount - I expect lots of clean sheets in those remaining fixtures but not so many goals, and he is subject to rotation.
                Antonio - Hasn't looked himself of late and injury-prone anyway.
                Maddison - injuries (but of this list he's the one I prefer due to those GW32-35 fixtures).
                Saka - Arsenal not much to play for and subject to rotation.
                Iheanacho - Will he lose his place when Maddy comes back?

                Not interested in any of the other City or Chelsea mids due to rotation.

                I can't see how you can avoid playing 4 (or more) at the back on a WC with those options.

                Thoughts?

                1. Weeb Kakashi
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 7 days ago

                  Sanchez Forster
                  Semedo Tierney Coufal Rudiger Philips
                  Salah KDB Barnes/Mount Jota Neto
                  Kane Vardy 4.4

                  This is what i am on atm for WC31. Things could change as we move towards 31. KDB as a placeholder for Bruno(GW32). Defence is a bit light maybe... But it allows 4 premiums upfront. Can get Coady instead of Semedo and upgrade Sanchez.

                  Going 4 at the back is also an option at the expense of the 7.5 mid you talked about... But if Barnes is fit i cannot look past him especially due to the gw31-35 fixtures. Just too good to ignore and Leicester will give their all for the top4 place.

                  1. Phil's Stamps
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 10 Years
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    I hadn't considered Barnes, I thought he was out for the season, I would choose him over that lot above. Do you trust Salah? And no love for Coady? Those fixture are incredible and he's looking very attacking.

                    I was initially on this:

                    Mendy
                    Azpi Cresswell Stones Rudiger Coady
                    Salah KDB Bruno
                    Kane Vardy

                    (Rice, ESR, Brewster)

                    But after Salah's performances, on this at the mo:

                    Mendy
                    Azpi Dias Cresswell
                    KDB Bruno Barnes? Jota Neto
                    Kane Vardy

                    (Coady, Soy/Rudiger/Kabak?, Brewster)

                    1. pingissimus
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      Not trying to spam you here but really think space needs to be made for Shaw at the back

                      There are some red ones coming but if you look at United defence they have been brilliant in those sorts of fixtures. They have arguably been better there than in green ones. 6 0-0s so far and mostly in big matches. Much higher chance of attacking returns than either of the Chelsea pair.

                      1. Phil's Stamps
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 10 Years
                        3 months, 7 days ago

                        Cheers, I've had Shaw for a while but never thought of keeping him. I'm being sucked into the Chelsea double up at the back but we remember what happened the last time we thought Chelsea defenders were must-haves around GW15.

                        1. rjcv177
                          • 5 Years
                          3 months, 7 days ago

                          If u move to another gk u could go rudiger+Alonso+shaw

                    2. Weeb Kakashi
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      Salah has some great fixtures and the best captaincy option in 33. I think i am now leaning towards double Chelsea defence as well.
                      Have had 2 changes sinces previous draft.

                      Mendy Forster
                      Tierney Semedo Coufal Rudiger Philips
                      Salah Bruno Barnes Jota Neto
                      Kane Vardy Brewster

                      More or less similar to what it'l be in the end. Doubts over Barnes though. Can do Semedo to Coady to improve elsewhere.

                      Cheers

                2. Weeb Kakashi
                  • 5 Years
                  3 months, 7 days ago

                  Can get Raphinha as well instead of 7.5 and beef up the defence. Raphinha does have great fixtures at the season end.

                  1. Phil's Stamps
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 10 Years
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    I have Raphinha at the mo, I was getting rid on a WC because of mci LIV & MUN on the horizon but I suppose the latter two are not the scary opponents they once were. And the fixtures as you say are great after that. Could easy bench him in 32 (and possibly 31) with that squad. Just worried about Leeds running out of steam in the latter stages with the way they've attacked all season and nothing much to play for.

                    Very useful advice though, cheers!

                    1. pingissimus
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      Think Raph is better in 31 against City than United in 33.

                      Leeds have already run out of steam if you look at blanking pattern. They blanked 2 of the first 16 and then 7 of the next 12.

                      1. Phil's Stamps
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 10 Years
                        3 months, 7 days ago

                        Yeah I'm thinking Leeds are done.

                3. pingissimus
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  3 months, 7 days ago

                  8th attacker spot?

                  I'd have Adams. Think there'll be goals in that Southampton team and no Ings makes him the spearhead and some very decent fixtures for first bench anyway. No 33 of course and "spotty" record but much prefer him to a Diagne Maja.

                  If you're possibly on Iheanacho and also looking at Vardy that's the way I might go. It allows you more in midfield and defence

                  1. Phil's Stamps
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 10 Years
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    It's the 7th (starting) slot I'm struggling with (8th is Brewster).

                4. Mreidfelt
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 7 days ago

                  Phil it is all valid comments...

                  Jota will be the player to go to...

              3. akhilrajau
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 7 days ago

                I am not selling son. But dont know the exact position now. If i include third spurs who you prefer

                A. Lucas mora
                B. Bale

                I think lucas will play full minutes for 29 and 30

                1. Van der Faart
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 7 days ago

                  Bale still. Far more likely to get points

              4. h3nh3n
                  3 months, 7 days ago

                  I have 3 midfielders and 3 defenders who blank this week. I'm getting rid of sterling for sure. Who would be the best players to get in ahead of the next five fixtures? thanks

                  1. h3nh3n
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      I'm thinking Shaw --> Cresswell & Sterling --> Trossard?

                  2. Pukki Blinders
                    • 1 Year
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    Fred
                    Kouyate
                    Amartey
                    Lemina
                    Ward
                    Ramsdale
                    Ndidi
                    Krafth
                    Godfrey
                    Struijk

                    Just a list of players who have more points than Salah since GW25...

                    Salah is a pathetic troll and is barred from my team for the rest of his career

                    1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      Stays in mine till 38!

                  3. Taegugk Warrior
                    • 3 Years
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    chance of starting
                    A. Son
                    B. Bamford

                    1. Konstaapeli
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      A 4 %
                      B 63 %

                  4. HollywoodXI
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    Team for GW29 GTG? Appreciate Son unlikely to play but I don’t want to take a hit (and want to keep him past 29).

                    Areola
                    Dunk Dallas Cresswell Dawson Konsa
                    Son Raphina
                    Kane Antonio Watkins

                    Martinez Salah KDB Gundo

                    1. Konstaapeli
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      Great setup for this week.

                      1. HollywoodXI
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 6 Years
                        3 months, 7 days ago

                        Cheers. Worked towards this with free transfers over the last few weeks.

                        1. Konstaapeli
                          • 4 Years
                          3 months, 7 days ago

                          Nicely done. I'll have to waste my FH for something similar. Son & Bam injuries and Elmo likely to lose his spot has left me with only 4 players.

                          1. HollywoodXI
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 6 Years
                            3 months, 7 days ago

                            The Son injury is annoying but I guess it was inevitable given how Mourinho just relentlessly plays him.

                    2. Ëð
                      • 5 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      G2G

                    3. pingissimus
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      Wow 5 at the back - well done.

                  5. Azathoth
                    • 6 Years
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    Play Martinez or Meslier?

                  6. Ëð
                    • 5 Years
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    A) Salah -> Auba
                    B) DCL -> Antonio/Watkins
                    C) Both (-4)

                    Current team:
                    Martinez, McCarthy
                    Stones, Coufal, Burn, Targett, Dallas
                    Salah, Bruno, Son, Gundo, Raphinha
                    Kane, Bamford, DCL

                    1. Konstaapeli
                      • 4 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      A for me

                    2. pingissimus
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      A

                      Theoretically DCL is the one with the fixture in 30 and Ancelotti says James will be back by then and that improves DCL.

                      Add in DGW and he matches Antonio for number of fixtures.

                      1. Ëð
                        • 5 Years
                        3 months, 7 days ago

                        Thanks, I think the latest news on the Everton DGW is that it's looking unlikely to be in 30?

                        1. pingissimus
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 2 Years
                          3 months, 7 days ago

                          True but Palace is still a handy fixture and the DGW could fall in 31.

                          Swayed here by principle that swapping budget attackers isn’t great use of FT - they’re all unreliable at heart!

                  7. Konstaapeli
                    • 4 Years
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    What is this chatter about Barnes returning? I thought he would be out for the season.

                    1. pingissimus
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      It was 6 weeks - not sure if that was time out or time back to training

                  8. RamaJama
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 8 Years
                    3 months, 7 days ago

                    Who to sell for Cresswell?

                    A) Digne
                    B) Dias
                    C) Stones

                    1. vova
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      3 months, 7 days ago

                      A I think, that's what I will do