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The best goalkeepers and defenders for Sky Fantasy Football before Overhaul

Our Sky Fantasy Football coverage continues as we assess the best defenders for the start of the season.

We’re only concerned about the first three rounds of matches of 2021/22 here, as the Overhaul kicks in after Gameweek 3.

And if you missed it, check our expert strategy guide with Niall and Luke – who can boast third and fourth-place overall finishes between them – in the video below.

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Goalkeepers

Emiliano Martinez, last season’s top-scoring keeper, comes in at £7.2m. Aston Villa sit top of the Season Ticker for the opening three Gameweeks when sorted by defence. The Argentine’s popularity will only increase ahead of the new season kicking off.

Martinez comes with the added bonus of having made 143 saves last season, the most of any goalkeeper not relegated in the last campaign. That will stand him in good stead for the tier points for saves.

In third on the ticker are Brighton, which puts Robert Sanchez (£6.5m) in the Sky spotlight. Offering a decent saving on Martinez, the Seagulls netminder will appeal to those wanting to use budget elsewhere – but he does come with the downside of not making too many saves, averaging only 2.34 stops per 90 minutes.

Illan Meslier (£6.9m), meanwhile, was far busier: he was just two saves behind Martinez overall. Leeds are low down on the defensive ticker, though that should afford their keeper the chance to make plenty of stops.

While Alisson (£7.8m) has great fixtures, the appeal of his defensive colleagues and the lack of save bonus means the Liverpool keeper is set to be overlooked.

At the other end of the market, Daniel Bachmann (£6.3m) will be one of the cheapest starting goalkeepers in Sky Fantasy this season.

Watford kept a total of 23 clean sheets in the Championship in 2020/21, with their defence even more watertight after Xisco Munoz was appointed as head coach.

Defenders

The best mid-price and premium FPL defenders for 2021/22 1

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£10.5m) is the prime Reds candidate at the back given a potent mix of clean sheet potential, attacking returns and ability to garner tier points for shots and especially passes. The only slight issue is that Liverpool host Chelsea in Gameweek 3, though that is unlikely to put many off the right-back given his attacking prowess and opening two games against Norwich (a) and Burnley (H).

Andrew Robertson (£10.1m) marginally outscored Alexander-Arnold last season, in four more starts, by 201 to 196. The Scotsman is also a big tier-points threat in terms of passes and tackles, though shoots far less often than his full-back colleague. Robertson managed 19 goal attempts last season, compared to 55 for his teammate on the opposite wing. However, the former (57) did beat the latter (44) for total Sky bonus points in 2020/21.

Ibrahima Konate (£8.8m), incidentally, looks set to start the season at the back so offers a cut-price alternative to those flying full-backs.

While Manchester City’s first three games are not overly appealing, Ruben Dias (£10.6m) could offer an enticing captaincy option on the Saturday of Gameweek 3. The Citizens face Arsenal at home in the day’s early kick-off, meaning Sky players can see those two teamsheets before the day’s deadline.

Dias finished as the top-scoring defender in Sky in 2021/22 and was streets ahead of the competition for tier 2 passing bonus, so even when clean sheets are lacking, can more than compensate in other areas.

On the flip side, Vladimir Coufal (£8.1m) and Aaron Cresswell (£8.3m) were seldom in the mix for passing bonus – although the former was fond of a tackle or two.

Rather, their appeal came from attacking returns with eight assists apiece.

While they’re not great long-term holds in Sky because of the lack of bonus, a decent opening run of matches and the fact that they play on a Sunday/Monday in the first two Gameweeks makes them a consideration as captaincy contenders.

The Aston Villa back four all present alternatives to Martinez or potential complements for those brave enough to double up. Ezri Konsa (£7.5m) could offer great value, having been on the end of more big chances (seven) than any other defender last season.

But like Coufal and Cresswell, the lack of bonus point accumulation means that they are simply fixture-led short-term plays until the first Overhaul.

With uncertainty around the fitness of several Brighton defenders at the time of writing, Joel Veltman (£7.2m) is a cheap route into the Seagulls’ backline. The versatile Dutchman made 25 starts in 2020/21 and should garner extra game time considering the imminent departure of Ben White (£7.8m) and injury doubt surrounding Tariq Lamptey (£7.2m).

Graham Potter’s love of playing out from the back means that Albion are one of the few clubs outside the usual ‘elite’ who can offer defenders that pick up passing bonus, too.

For just that bit extra, Lewis Dunk (£8.2m) gives you an added goal threat and indeed finished seventh among Sky defenders for points last season.

If you are seeking Leicester captaincy coverage for the Monday of Gameweek 2, Wesley Fofana (£7.9m) is the cheapest option in the Foxes’ defence. However, he may have to compete with Jonny Evans (£8.3m) and Caglar Soyuncu (£8.2m) for pitch time if Brendan Rodgers uses a back four.

Soyuncu had an injury-affected season but is one to watch, having gained bonus points in more than half of his appearances in 2020/21.

Lucas Digne (£8.5m), with 121 points, was well behind Everton’s top-scoring defender Michael Keane (£8.3m) last season. He’s very much in the same boat as Cresswell and Coufal: capable of racking up attacking and defensive returns in the first three Gameweeks but having limited long-term appeal because of his bonus aversion.

Ben Chilwell (£9.6m) may prove a tad expensive before the Overhaul considering Chelsea’s opening run. However, the Blues do face Crystal Palace at home in Gameweek 1 and were the league’s meanest defence over the second half of the season.

Slightly cheaper but just as appealing is Antonio Rudiger (£9.0m), who was a regular accumulator of tier 2 passing bonus upon Thomas Tuchel’s appointment.

Liam Cooper (£6.9m) had a similar magnetism to Sky bonus as Rudiger, although in both Leeds and Chelsea’s cases, there is a little uncertainty over who gets the nod at centre-half.

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614 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Deulofail
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    All righty then. Gonna cook some risotto.
    Let me know what you think of my team. Is it cookin?

    Sanchez
    Shaw Digne Tierney
    Mahrez Grealish Foden Torres ESR
    Cavani Nacho

    Steele | Kane, Coufal, Ayling

    Could downgrade Coufal (to Veltman?) to upgrade Nacho to DCL.
    Otherwise, Cavani to DCL. I like Cavani though...

    In general, I need to minimize the chance of early transfers
    (while maximizing points OBVIOUSLY).
    This is so I'm not forced to sell City players for a while.
    This is why I avoided Watkins (really admire) and Antonio (c/g-lass).

    Strong bench to rotate and cover for:
    - City absences
    - General injury/rotation/droppages
    - Potential covid postponements (hopefully not a City game!)
    - Early gameweek bedding in (returning from Euros; Shaw injury)

    1. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Shame there’s no Rice.

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        😀
        No but I'm foden in the sugar kane now

        1. Rupert The Horse
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Haha.
          What you putting in to it?

          1. Deulofail
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            Daka Blu cheese
            Firmino Grigiot

            Come on, I'm cooking. Too much pressure!

            1. Rupert The Horse
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              So don’t use a pressure cooker.

    2. 824545201
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      You don't really have an easy way to upgrade to Salah/Bruno withgout selling Kane, in case they become too big of an issue.

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        And if 4-5 City players are becoming a big issue for everyone else, they have no way of downgrading to them all 😉

    3. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      I just did something (almost) similar by selling Bruno and Brownhill to Mahrez and Gundogan:

      Henderson / Foster
      TAA, Shaw, Digne / Coufal, White
      Salah, Mahrez, Gundo, Jota, Buendia
      DCL, Watkins / Obafemi

      I somehow feel that even though this might be genious, it's going to end in tears (gw4 disaster with 3x1 cameo pt from mids) and early WC with bad timing.

    4. LangerznMash
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      My 1st comment on this team is: If/when Grealish/Kane go to City then you will have 4/5 of them and will be forced to transfer them out (i'm sure you are already award).

      My 2nd comment on this team is: if you were to put a poll on here for the %chance of Shaw, Grealish, Mahrez, Foden, Torres, ESR, Cavani, 'Nacho, Kane starting GW1, I highly doubt a single player would get a 100% nailed vote. A fair few of them would only get 50% at best. I think it is simply too many players that aren't likely to start.

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        No but having 4-5 of those players from one team means that It's more likely that I'll get starters/minutes each week than if those unnailed players were from different teams. There's only so many good players per squad. 🙂

        1. LangerznMash
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          What would you do if one of your non-city players got a long term injury? You'd have to make 3 subs and would be down to just 3 City players lol.

          1. Deulofail
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            Long term injury would mean holding the player until I want to sell 2 city players. That might be immediately, or might be long-term. Again, it makes the others better value, and their fixtures are going to get better before they get worse. Otherwise, I have a WC available. Selling 2 City players isn't going to be a big issue. I might use 2 transfers to do it or 3. Other people take hits too..

          2. LangerznMash
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            I'll be honest I didn't properly read your post. I have now and realise you had already addressed the two points I raised.

    5. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      So the idea is to have dead team with possibly 5 MCI players 😉 If they had better fixtures to start with it might nice cheeky strategy.

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Yeah basically 😀
        If it's a dead team, they will see the good fixtures at some point too 😉
        We'll see if I make it to GW1 like this, and then how far it goes.

  2. Sleepless in Settle FPL
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    SSN West Ham are prepared to pay around £20m for Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma

    Looks like it's happening

    1. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      God he’s awful.

        1. Rupert The Horse
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 22 days ago

          I prefer to watch the players.

    2. RogDog_jimmy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 23 days ago

      I got the feeling that this was all leverage with Sevilla - and that' he'll end up there in the swap for Kounde.

      I have no strong feelings either way - we need a defender and Zouma is at lest on par with our CBs.
      If we add a GK (Areola), a CB (Zouma) and then a forward we've almost done the bare minimum to have a deep enough squad for Europe. Need another CM too...

        1. RogDog_jimmy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 23 days ago

          yep - knew that (probs confusing writing "if")
          i think it's a great signing - he's a really good shot stopper, and I think he'll win the number 1 spot from Fab before the end of the season.

      1. Sleepless in Settle FPL
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Patrick Schick suit them, dont know why they dont follow him

        1. RogDog_jimmy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 23 days ago

          probably are - I'm guessing also trying for Tammy.

          hasn't been a lot of noise yet though...getting a little late but i expect a couple of more signings at least.

    3. I Member
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Thought they were offering him to Sevilla as part of the Kounde deal.

      1. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Sevilla probably told them to sell him for 20 million and told that they prefer 15-17 million more than Zouma 😉 So it's a win/win?

  3. Stupendous
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    How's this looking you lot?

    Sanchez
    Coufal TAA Dier Shaw
    Salah Sancho Son Mahrez
    Watkins Antonio

    Steele Brownhill Omobamidele Obafemi

    1. LangerznMash
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Very good, but I'd pick an alternative to Dier.

      1. Stupendous
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Anderson springs to mind!

      2. Brosef Stalin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Dier is a good punt if you have the cover, which this team doesn't have. He's not in my squad currently, but will be keeping an eye on him.

  4. Sleepless in Settle FPL
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Just 1 hour ago
    @FabrizioRomano
    Manchester City are now in direct contact with Aston Villa for Jack Grealish. Negotiations ongoing to reach an agreement - not gonna take long, decision to be made in the next days. Blue circle #MCFC

    Aston Villa have already offered Grealish a new contract. They hope to keep him.

    1. PartyTime
      1 month, 23 days ago

      They signed him already. 4/5 days ago I told some blokes I saw him in the starting xi when I went to the future

    2. Sleepless in Settle FPL
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      See Andy and Sam Lee reply to that tweet lol justice for Sam Lee

    3. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      I don't think it's a good move for Grealish tbh. He needs to be the main man not being rotated all the time and playing all sorts of positions in the pitch.

      1. Sleepless in Settle FPL
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        I'm not sure if his style suits City. At Villa he often keeps the ball too long and do whatever he wants

        1. I Member
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Pep would coach that out of him like he did with Mahrez.

        2. El Presidente
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Yeah, I think he will struggle to adapt. He's not gonna play KDB's role, from the left (his strongest position IMO) he has heavy competition - Foden, Sterling, Torres all of them their preferred position as well. There's Mahrez, Bilva, Gundo... idk.

          1. El Presidente
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            I think City needs to sign a striker not Grealish. Of they can't get Kane, surely they can get Haaland.

            1. Sleepless in Settle FPL
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              Why did they not just get Son, cheaper great finisher. Even at City you dont need to be a so good striker, just not awful then you still can score tons of goals

              1. Baps hunter
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 23 days ago

                Son is simply not tall enough to make headed goals. And City doesn't need his pace.

              2. El Presidente
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 23 days ago

                Son would be amazing, but idk if he'd be cheaper though. Certainly not now that he has signed a new Spurs contract...

            2. Baps hunter
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              They'll get Kane imo. He is not going to stay in Spurs and Spurs need that money.

              1. El Presidente
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 23 days ago

                I was a lot more confident about that a few weeks ago than I am now.. its not going to be easy unless Harry really wants and forces it.

    4. RogDog_jimmy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 23 days ago

      This makes Grealish harder to get for me. And also harder to know Pep roulette.

      Seems certain that if no Kane that they'll be playing with a false 9 though...KDB, Grealish, Foden, Mahrez, Sterling...Gundo, Silva behind them...Torres & Jesus won't get a shout in.

      What a squad.

      1. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Well, actually this is good news. Avoiding MCI mids becomes much easier. Not tempted to get burned with that minefield. Kane will be essential (if anyone is essential) if he moves.

        1. Brosef Stalin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Yeah, MCI mids are a trap for me. The temptation is that you MUST have MCI players in your squad as they won the league, but I don't feel comfortable having any of them in my squad. Might put Dias in my team later.

          1. Baps hunter
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 23 days ago

            I prefer Stones over him if he gets enough starts. Someone like White is needed to cover the rotation over festive period anyway. Stones is cheaper and has more goal threat. And with Stones his underlying numbers lie, he is a good finisher. Cancelo on the other hand is the opposite, his shots are too soft and he has no end product.

            1. Brosef Stalin
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 23 days ago

              I'm liking the idea of Stones too, if you have the bench cover. If he doesn't start then it's highly unlikely that he gets subbed on for the dreaded 1pt appearance bonus and your decent alternative can come in.

      2. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        They need a striker though.

  5. El Presidente
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    What do you guys prefer;

    A. TAA + Dunk (Dunk can be Coufal later on)

    B. Robbo + Digne (Digne can be Shaw later on)

    1. LangerznMash
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      B

    2. Champions League Varane
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Easily A

    3. Brosef Stalin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Really not much in it IMO, B shades it for me.

  6. Champions League Varane
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Thoughts all

    1. Sleepless in Settle FPL
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Template

    2. LangerznMash
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Like just our thoughts in general? Right now i'm thinking about how weird platypus are.

    3. Art Vandelay
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      BGW1?

    4. Thinkering like a Boss
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      I like it a lot! The best one I see today. Surely go big or go home. I say go home PP6. You are drunk!

    5. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Like... all.... together?

      okay everybody ready
      3
      2
      1

      "Thoughts"

  7. Champions League Varane
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Thoughts all ? Trying to find someone who rotates well with Dunk and Ayling. Sorry fail above

    Sanchez
    Shaw Dunk Taa
    Salah Bruno Mahrez Buendia ESR
    Antonio Watkins

    Foster Ayling Obafemi 4.0

    1. Meechoo115
      1 month, 23 days ago

      Surely Ben White?

      1. Brosef Stalin
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Not before GW4.

        1. Meechoo115
          1 month, 22 days ago

          For a 4.5 defender. Ignore fixtures if they are nailed. Don’t want to be wasting transfers on that

  8. Carlton P
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 23 days ago

    Ripped up my template team and currently on this. Sooo risky but could absolute smash it
    Sanchez l 4.0
    TAA l Keane/5.0 l Ayling l White l 4.0
    Salah l Jota l Mahrez l Greenwood l Son
    Watkins l Nacho
    Too risky?

    1. Brosef Stalin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 23 days ago

      A good team for the first few weeks, with the exception of White. I was rightly admonished earlier for suggesting Keane as a 5.0, Dunk looks better. Who is your third striker?

      1. Carlton P
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 23 days ago

        Obafemi. Weak bench too. Would lose Jota is anyone. I think Keane is a decent shout

        1. Carlton P
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 23 days ago

          Or nacho/Watkins > Toney, Keane > Tierney, White > Digne

  9. Sleepless in Settle FPL
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 22 days ago

    Man Utd game at Preston called off on Saturday due to a ‘small number of suspected positive cases’ at United.