FPL

The best FPL defenders for a Gameweek 8 Wildcard

Having looked at the stand-out Fantasy Premier League (FPL) goalkeepers, midfielders and forwards for Gameweek 8 and beyond, we now switch focus to the pick of the defenders.

This is an update of the series we did for Gameweek 7 Wildcarders, with fresh data and a couple of new targets for those deploying their chip this week.

However, it will also be of interest for those using ‘free’ transfers ahead of Gameweek 8.

All stats and graphics included in this piece are taken from our Premium Members Area.

CHELSEA DEFENDERS

Fit-again Watkins can return to 2020/21 form in Villa's new-look 3-5-2 formation 3

If you’re playing a Wildcard right now, the chances are that you’re structuring your defence around at least one Chelsea asset.

The Blues have a very favourable fixture schedule ahead, with three of their next four opponents – plus Watford in Gameweek 14 – among the worst teams for goals scored in 2021/22.

And Thomas Tuchel’s troops are (usually) solid at the back, with their league record under their current boss excellent:

Played26
Goals conceded16
Clean sheets17

So which defender(s) to pick? That will probably boil down to what brand of Fantasy manager you are.

For the safety-first FPL bosses, there aren’t any Chelsea defenders who have escaped a benching under Tuchel to date and there will be more rotation further down the line for all of them. However, Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.0m) has started a lot more league matches than not when available under Tuchel (circa 90% when available), with his versatility in playing at either wing-back or as a right-sided centre-half giving him two bites of the cherry at a first-team start.

Marcos Alonso’s (£6.0m) ownership now sits at 25.4%, but the previously peripheral Ben Chilwell (£5.6m) is getting more and more minutes as 2021/22 goes on, which does create uncertainty in the left wing-back role.

CHELSEA DEFENDERS UNDER TUCHEL

PlayerStartsSub AppsGoals AssistsClean SheetsBonusPoints per match
Rudiger220201395.09
Azpilicueta2311412134.92
Christensen1520011104.76
Silva12210694.07
Chilwell12022645.58
Alonso14232995.88
James15713693.50

Reece James (£5.5m) is also a major source of discussion. Up there with Alonso as Chelsea’s most attacking defender, James has created more chances (27) than any other member of the Blues’ backline under Tuchel. But he has also been thrown on as a substitute on seven occasions, as many times as the other six players in the above table combined. The raft of cameos reduces his points-per-match average to a fairly poor 3.50, along with his early exits in Gameweeks 4 and 6 of the current campaign.

If FPL managers are going for a Chelsea defender double-up, then Azpilicueta and a riskier punt on James or Chilwell would seem to be the way to go – but beware the one-pointers and have a strong bench in readiness for no-shows.

RUBEN DIAS/JOAO CANCELO

Gameweek 8 marks the start of a favourable, three-match fixture run for Manchester City and if you’re deploying your Wildcard this week, you’ll likely want a defender or two from Pep Guardiola’s rearguard.

Top for clean sheets in the previous two seasons and averaging 18.5 shut-outs per year in the last four campaigns, this is a proven backline.

Following his assist at Stamford Bridge in Gameweek 6, Joao Cancelo (£6.2m) is now top among FPL defenders for points this season. Ruben Dias (£6.2m), who like Cancelo is an ever-present starter in 2021/22 and who was the defender least at risk of rotation last year, is joint-second.

These two are probably the stand-out picks from the City defence.

Dias was benched in only one league match from his Gameweek 4 debut to Gameweek 30 (the point at which Guardiola started focusing on the Champions League and FA Cup, with the domestic title sewn up) last season, and even that was because he had just recovered from illness.

Over the same period, Cancelo tasted substitute duty on six occasions. He’s a less secure starter but does have the advantage of playing at both right and left-back, and he’s a darn sight more attacking that Dias.

Since the league debut of Dias, Cancelo narrowly outscores his fellow premium defender by 182-181 despite the extra no-shows.

A word on Aymeric Laporte (£5.5m): he has 10 shots in the box this season and is a real threat from set plays.

But while Laporte seems settled as Dias’ partner-in-crime for now, Guardiola has historically only built his defence around one centre-half mainstay. John Stones (£5.3m) ultimately represents a threat to Laporte’s place, so the same ‘have a substitute ready’ caveat applies to the Spaniard as it does to Cancelo.

TINO LIVRAMENTO

Jimenez ends goal drought as Arsenal claim convincing north London derby win 7

We’ve been treated to a whole host of starting £4.0m-ish defenders in 2021/22 so far but the cream of the crop is starting to rise, seven Gameweeks in.

The likes of Kostas Tsimikas (£4.0m) and Daniel Amartey (£4.0m) are no longer getting regular game-time, while Javier Manquillo (£4.0m) and Brandon Williams (£4.0m) are playing for two of the worst backlines in the division.

Shane Duffy (£4.4m), who has registered more shots in the box than any other defender this season, is deserving of a mention. His form has been generally superb since his return to the Brighton XI and it’s perhaps his shirt to lose now but the return from injury of Tariq Lamptey, Joel Veltman and, soon, Adam Webster (all £4.4m) will swell the defensive options available to Graham Potter.

Enter Valentino Livramento (£4.2m).

The teenage right-back is an ever-present starter this season and has been part of a Saints backline that has shut out Manchester City and West Ham United in the last four Gameweeks.

Encouragingly, Southampton rise to second in our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 8-18.

Livramento doesn’t just offer clean sheet potential but a bit of attacking threat, too: he’s sits second among £4.5m-and-under defenders for final-third touches this season (see below).

Ralph Hasenhuttl will be wary of overloading the 18-year-old and the odd benching may be a concern from Gameweek 13 onwards, when Saints face nine league matches in the space of five weeks.

For now, though, fixtures and form seem to be uniting at an opportune time.

KIERAN TIERNEY

Is this to be Kieran Tierney‘s (£4.9m) year? After delivering 45 attacking returns in 170 appearances for Celtic, many of us have been waiting (and waiting and waiting…) for the current Arsenal left-back to recapture that form in FPL.

A strong chance of a clean sheet is a good base to start for any defender, and Tierney has three in the last four Gameweeks as Arsenal’s backline begins to look solid with first-choice personnel available again after an August decimated by injury and illness.

No team has conceded fewer goals and big chances than the Gunners over the last four Gameweeks, and while the calibre of opposition has to be factored in, Mikel Arteta’s side face more of the same sorts of teams between now and the November international break.

And as Lateriser pointed out in his recent Arsenal analysis, the Gunners have been solid dating back to last season; this isn’t just a kneejerk reaction to the last four games.

Why Tierney over his peers? If you can afford it, simply because he’ll offer the best chance of delivering attacking returns.

Tierney has received the ball twice as often as opposite full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu (£4.6m) in the final third since the latter’s debut, with the Japan international more of a ‘stay at home’ brand of full-back – even if he has had the same number of shots as Tierney.

Tomiyasu and Ben White (£4.4m) are very decent cheaper alternatives to the Scot, who look like week-in, week-out starters especially as the Gunners don’t have the sideshow distraction of the Europa League.

For those who love their budget defender rotation, pairing White with Matthew Lowton (£4.4m) gives the following run of favourable fixtures right the way through to the end of the calendar year: CRY, sou, BRE, WAT, CRY, NEW, wol, new, SOU, WAT, lee, nor, WOL.

Burnley’s defence is some way short of being solid (just one clean sheet this season) but they have had a tricky start, fixture-wise, and Lowton is joint-third among his teammates for chances created in 2021/22.

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD

Salah on target as Liverpool assets prosper at Leeds 1

Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) is available for Gameweek 8, when the Reds face Watford.

The England right-back has averaged a whopping 7.33 points per match over his last 15 Premier League matches, delivering eight attacking returns, four double-digit hauls and only two blanks.

While Chelsea and City may boast better short-term fixtures, Alexander-Arnold produced a combined 21 points against two of Liverpool’s less-favourable upcoming opponents, Arsenal and Manchester United, in Gameweeks 30 and 35 of 2020/21.

Joint-top and second among defenders for both chances created and shots attempted, Alexander-Arnold has been one of the very best, if not the best, defensive options in the game for quite some time.

ALSO CONSIDER

If we knew for sure that Aston Villa will persist with a wing-back system, Matthew Cash (£5.1m) would be a name to consider.

Since Cash took up that role in Gameweek 4, only one FPL defender has registered more penalty box touches.

The formation switch has served to make the Villa defence more robust, too, with two clean sheets arriving in their last three fixtures.

Whether Smith sticks with a 3-5-2 in the easier fixtures ahead is another question – particularly with the likes of Emiliano Buendia (£6.4m) and especially Leon Bailey (£6.4m) to crowbar into the team. It goes without saying that Villa had looked more suspect at the back without a third centre-half and three across the midfield, so that has to be a consideration.

If you have the luxury of benching a budget defender until Gameweek 10 or so, then a Brentford asset is worthy of consideration.

One of the better-performing backlines until the six-goal thriller against Liverpool, the Bees sit top of our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 10-19.

Pontus Jansson (£4.6m) and Ethan Pinnock (£4.6m) will supplement their clean sheets with the additional goal or assist and indeed already have four attacking returns between them.

Marcal‘s (£4.6m) grip on a first-team spot looks to be weakening by the week, so Nelson Semedo (£4.9m) is our Wolves asset of choice for their ongoing favourable run. Only a few defenders have had more penalty box touches than the gung-ho wing-back, who continues to be presented with – and spurn – some excellent goalscoring chances.

avfc82 https://fantasy.premierleague.com/entry/818/history”

1,021 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Ógie
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Is it just me or is the menu bar at the top of the page expanded for everyone?

    I've tried it on two different browsers and i am still getting the same bug which is quite annoying.

    1. Maarrrr17
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Yeah same for me, triggering

    2. Van der Faart
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Yeah site is all over the place this morning

    3. rainy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Yeah, known issue. Repairs underway

    4. Ógie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Cheers guys

      1. Big_Andy_GAWA
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Was happening me late last night...

  2. Maarrrr17
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Keep Ronaldo on WC for one more week?

    1. 11SPECIALONE11
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Keep

    2. Arteta
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Of course.

  3. Zero
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    I'm getting FOMO with my WC defense.

    TAA - Cancelo - Laporte - James - Livra

    I'd like Duffy, Cash, Tierney, White.

    I guess Duffy has two awful games after Norwich and I need strong backups with my risky defense.

    Anyone high on Tierney and White? Especially over any of my current defense? Ta in advance.

  4. CroatianHammer
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Was there any comments on recent instances where the site wasn't reachable?

    Anyway, 0FTs, all set, had 4 yellows yesterday, just 1 today (Rapha). Starting him because he won't be a cameo sub if this risk of injury is real.
    3-4-3 with defender, midfielder, defender the bench order.

    Also, has anyone the LMS cutoffs listed somewhere? I've neglected to check that in weeks.

    1. Rotation's Alter Ego
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      LMS Safety Scores are here - https://torresmagic.webs.com/lmsupdate.htm

      1. CroatianHammer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Would uptick, but that option apparently gone for now. Merci.

  5. Malcolm Tucker for England …
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    anyone else having major site issues?

    1. computer
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      yep, firefox, chrome, safari, android all the same

    1. Konstaapeli
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Hypes them up and benches them down.

    2. Maarrrr17
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      oh brother, im second guessing the mahrez punt as it is...

    3. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Sign here please Phil and I'll rest you for the Champions League match?

  6. Balls of Steel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Can I get away with saving a transfer this week guys?

    Ramsdale
    White Duffy Cancelo Livra
    Salah(V) Mbeumo Benrahma
    Lukaku(C) Antonio CR7

    Foster, Raphina, Rudiger, Brownhill

    1. CroatianHammer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Definitely. Though not so sure on the armband.

      1. Balls of Steel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        I got stung last week with early kick off with Ronaldo albeit he was unexpectedly benched. I feel Ranieri could make it very difficult for Liverpool this weekend with his opening fixture! Salah due a blank... Lukaku due a haul!

  7. dshv
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    WC HELP

    Ramsdale Foster
    Taa Cancelo James Duffy Livra
    Salah Foden Saka Raphinha Mbeumo
    Antonio Lukaku Hwang

    0.8 itb

    Azpi or James

    1. ‘Tis the Season
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Saka to ESR use the spare cash to upgrade to Jimmy

  8. Van der Faart
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Repost. Any thoughts appreciated

    Do I need to hit the WC button or not here? Been playing around all week but Thought a hit would cover it but with Son likely out probably not.

    Sanchez (Foster)
    Reguilon Christensen Shaw White (Coufal)
    Salah Gray Son Raph (Bissouma)
    Ronaldo Antonio (Toney

    1. ‘Tis the Season
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Nice team! G2g

      1. Van der Faart
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Really? I hate it haha

        1. ‘Tis the Season
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Shaw and Reg out for TAA and Dias If anything

  9. FOO FIGHTER
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Feck that, I am not removing Son. Without any confirmation these rumours could backfire.

    I will take whatever points from Livra as autosub if so.

    1. Van der Faart
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Probably holding even if I do hit WC button too

  10. FPL ElasticO
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Which Man City combo to get on WC?

    A. Dias & Cancelo
    B. Foden & Cancelo
    C. Mahrez & Cancelo

    1. wulfrunian
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      C

    2. Konstaapeli
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      B

    3. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      A

    4. ‘Tis the Season
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      B sue to Torres injury

      1. ‘Tis the Season
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        *due

  11. wulfrunian
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Morning all.Which one?
    A)Shaw->Cancelo
    B)Tsimikas->Walker
    C)Coady->Alonso

    1. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      B

    2. Arteta
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Probably the second one with Walker because you're selling a player who is unlikely to start. Shaw and Coady are at least nailed.

    3. Thejimbola
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      B

    4. I Must Break You
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      All are start risks for this week. Cancelo absolutely best one to own today or long term

    5. wulfrunian
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Cheers all

  12. Big Al Stankovic
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Final tinkering on wc.
    Cancelo, TAA, Livra are mainstays.
    Which duo besides then?

    A) Tierney and Dias
    B) R. James and Christensen (+0.5)
    C) R. James and Laporte

  13. tinear
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Start Livra or Benrahma?

    1. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Benny

  14. Hryszko
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Any more updates on son? Heard all sorts of rumours but nothing definitive & he’s not flagged?

    1. rainy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      That’s the state of things as you wrote it

      1. Hryszko
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Okay no worries thanks man

  15. Grounderz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Slightly worrying that Zinc's returning. Have a sneaky feeling that Pep might start with Zinc ahead of Cancelo. He's played 90 minutes on Wednesday, the same as Walker for England as well. We don't really know whether Walker will make space for Cancelo at RB. But I'm already seeing lots on here decided to play the Pep roulette.

    1. ‘Tis the Season
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Won’t risk him besides Wed is enough time for recovery

    2. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Tuesday

  16. Ohh1454
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Is preference for City or Chelsea double defence ?

    1. I Must Break You
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Yes

    2. Arteta
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      City for me.

  17. ‘Tis the Season
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Start Ralph or white? Hope for Arsenal clean sheet or goal in 10 minute cameo. Odds on white clean sheet surely ❗

  18. Tronity
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Hwang and money itb or Jimenez?

  19. Zero
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Opinion:

    White is a better choice than Livramento for essentially the same price.

    Yay or nay?

    1. Ady87
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Yay

    2. TheBiffas
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Ramsdale + Livramento makes sense. If youve got Raya then sure

  20. Henning
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Took a hit to get Son in.
    What should i do?
    Keep him ?
    Sanchez
    Cancelo Christensen Coady
    Sarr Son Salah Raphinha
    ASM Ronaldo Antonio

    Steele Duffy Gray Livramento

    1. Scotty84
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Keep

  21. Mr_Barbs
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    A) Rudiger > James (-4)
    B) Traore > Mbuemo (-4)
    C) Marcal > Livramento/White (-4)
    D) Save.

    Sanchez
    TAA, Cancelo, Marcal
    Salah, Sarr, Benrahma, Raphina*
    Antonio, Lukaku, ASM

    Foster, Traore, Tsimikas, Rudiger

  22. FantasyTony
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Need to move Greenwood to someone as I think Rashford will eat his minutes.

    Who's the best under 7.5 mid? Would like Raph but this isn't the week for him.

  23. TSILIKAFENEIAKOS
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    Any leaks around Liverpool starting 11!? Wondering if I should do Jota to Foden for a hit. Bench already has Raphinia and Rudiger so no one to come in (assuming Raphinia doesn't play)

  24. Pep bites Kun
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 20 days ago

    How reliable are the rumours that Son is one of the 2 Spurs players effected by Covid? I've been scouring sites. Anyone seen anything more concrete?

      1. Pep bites Kun
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Thanks AC. On wc, so I'll rejig

    1. FOO FIGHTER
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      I have seen nothing. Surely Son would have had a test before yesterday as South Korea's match was on the 12th.

      1. Pep bites Kun
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        See link above from AC/DC - What do you think? Looks reputable

        https://twitter.com/LetsTalk_FPL/status/1449094072501669900?t=sIcGbZSNrnWE0DbNlbxsmg&s=19

    2. Rassi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 20 days ago

      I think they are quite reliable.

      1. Pep bites Kun
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Thanks for the feedback

  25. DropkickMurphys
      1 month, 20 days ago

      Start with:
      Duffy v Norwich (away) or
      Marçal v Aston Villa (away)

      Also have Sanchez from Brighton as a goalie.

      1. I Must Break You
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Duffy surely

        1. DropkickMurphys
            1 month, 20 days ago

            Thank you

        2. Indio
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 20 days ago

          Duffy

      2. Scotty84
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Already have Sanchez would you start Duffy over Raphina?

      3. Ady87
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Start
        1) Raph
        2) Marcal

      4. Lecky Legs FC
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Who to captain for this GW?

        A) Salah
        B) Vardy
        C) Lukaku

      5. Rochdale_Cowboy
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 20 days ago

        Ideal game for Klopp to rest Salah.