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Injuries

The best defenders for FanTeam’s free-to-play £100k half-season game

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FanTeam‘s ‘Second Chance’ Premier League Fantasy game gets underway tonight!

For those who haven’t heard already, it’s an FPL-style Fantasy game that starts in Double Gameweek 22 and runs through to the end of the season.

There is a prize pool of £100,000 up for grabs and, best of all, it’s free to enter! So if you’ve been hesitant to try a paid FanTeam tournament before, this is your opportunity to get involved at no cost.

We’ve already outlined the rules and run down a basic strategy guide, while last season’s winner of FanTeam’s £200k tournament, Josh Wooldridge, has given us his tips ahead of Friday’s deadline.

Now we turn our attention to the player list and a position-by-position guide to the best options on offer, continuing with the defenders.

READ MORE: The best goalkeepers for FanTeam’s Second Chance game

SIGN UP TO THE FREE-TO-PLAY SECOND CHANCE GAME HERE

The best goalkeepers for FanTeam's free-to-play £100k half-season game 2

DEFENDERS

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (£7.9M)/JOAO CANCELO (£6.7M)

Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way first.

Defenders in FanTeam might lose out when it comes to a lack of bonus points but Alexander-Arnold and Cancelo are still among the top seven highest-scorers in the season-long game, are cheaper than they are in FPL and are, at least, partly compensated by winning bonus and points for shots on target. Cancelo, for example, has a combined 12.6 points for those aforementioned scoring actions compared to 17 FPL bonus points, so there’s not a huge disparity.

The Safety Net feature in the Second Chance game also means that you don’t even have to fret about the occasional benching, with the next starting highest-priced defensive teammate off the rank ready to deputise when that does happen.

The attack-minded duo might not quite be set-and-forget options for the rest of the campaign (they may temporarily drop out when blanks occur, for instance) but they’re not far off it.

LUCAS DIGNE (£5.3m)

Aston Villa’s new £25m signing might not go straight into the starting XI this weekend but the Safety Net feature is ready to compensate if that does happen and Villa’s fixtures are excellent thereafter.

There is even the possibility of a Double Gameweek 23, with Steven Gerrard’s troops eliminated from the FA Cup and having some outstanding postponed fixtures still to be accommodated.

Digne’s time at Everton ended in ignominy but it’s easy to forget that he banked eight or nine attacking returns in each of the last three seasons, ranking joint-fourth or better among defenders for ‘big chances’ created in every one of them.

Steven Gerrard has got Villa looking more secure at the back since his arrival and while the clean sheets haven’t flowed, the Villans are at the back-end of a fiendish run of fixtures and have given the likes of Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd tough tests in league and cup.

The best goalkeepers for FanTeam's free-to-play £100k half-season game 3

EMERSON ROYAL (£5.0m)

There aren’t too many stand-out defenders who play twice in Double Gameweek 22, with Emerson Royal (£5.0m) among the pick of them.

At the back, Spurs have kept five clean sheets in the eight matches that Antonio Conte has overseen and have conceded considerably fewer big chances (three) than any other team in that time.

Doubts about Sergio Reguilon‘s (£5.2m) fitness linger at the time of writing and while the Safety Net is always good for catching those no-shows, you don’t want to get 59 minutes through a Double Gameweek and see your player subbed off.

Emerson Royal (£5.0m), then, is perhaps the next best option: he is fifth for chances created among defenders since Conte took charge and joint-sixth for penalty box touches.

OTHERS TO CONSIDER… AND AVOID

With the FanTeam game being a starting XI affair only, there is no room for ‘benching’ a player when their team blanks.

So given that Chelsea, Arsenal and Brighton defenders will be without a fixture in at least one of the next four Gameweeks (the Blues blank in Gameweeks 24, 25 and 27, indeed), it might pay even to overlook the upcoming ‘doubles’ for Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter’s sides.

Kieran Trippier (£4.5m) is attractively priced for Newcastle’s kind run of upcoming games, even if doubts do exist about the Magpies’ capacity to keep clean sheets, while the same pros and cons apply to fellow January arrival and Digne replacement Vitaliy Mykolenko (£4.5m) at Everton.

Manchester United have a decent double and some appealing games beyond that but with uncertainty raging at right-back, Luke Shaw (£5.4m) suspended for the first half of Double Gameweek 22, and injuries at centre-half, it’s difficult to recommend anyone other than David de Gea (£5.2m).

Wolves are one of the Premier League’s form defences

SIGN UP TO THE FREE-TO-PLAY SECOND CHANCE GAME HERE

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