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Best fantasy football defenders in the Premier League 2017-18 season

Jan 12, 2018 5:45:00 AMEngland
With the season in full swing, Goal takes a look at the best defenders available to virtual coaches, including some bargain buys

The 2017-18 Premier League season has put a hectic Christmas period behind it, but there is no let-up for fantasy football bosses.

Our very own  Goal Fantasy Football is also up and running — and it's free to play. The mobile app can be downloaded through this link  so that you can create and update your squad wherever you are.

The Fantasy Premier League game on the Premier League's official website is also a popular choice for fantasy managers, but whatever game you use, we've taken a look at some of the best fantasy football defenders, including a few bargains to consider!


BEST FANTASY FOOTBALL DEFENDERS


Antonio Valencia Manchester United

Though they came second to Tottenham in the goals-against column, Chelsea's backline dominated the top five top-scoring defenders in last season's fantasy Premier League.

Gary Cahill scored the highest with 178 points, with Marcos Alonso following close behind on 177, while Cesar Azpilicueta accumulated 170 points. Kyle Walker, who recently joined Manchester City from Tottenham, was the next highest with 142 points, while Liverpool's makeshift left-back James Milner scored 139.

When considering defenders in fantasy football it is important to look not only at the player's defensive attributes, such as keeping clean sheets, but also the amount of goals and assists they pick up throughout the season. For this reason, full-backs are usually the best choice, with top-scoring Gary Cahill representing an anomaly in last year's top five as the only out and out centre back.

Top five fantasy football defenders:

PosPlayerClubPrice
1Marcos AlonsoChelsea£7.3m
2Cesar AzpilicuetaChelsea£7m
3Nicolas OtamendiMan City£6.5m
4Antonio ValenciaMan United£6.7m
5Kyle WalkerMan City£6.6m

*As of January 11

Marcos Alonso (Chelsea - £7.3m)

Antonio Conte's Chelsea comfortably cruised to Premier League glory last season and they did so using a fresh 3-4-3 formation, with wing-backs. Marcos Alonso was one of those wing-backs and the former Fiorentina man did a tremendous job, scoring six goals and laying on three more. The Spaniard has begun the new season just as he finished the last and he already has six goals under his belt, a fact that has helped his value increase.

Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea - £7m)

Usually a full-back, Cesar Azpilicueta was deployed mainly as part of a back three at Chelsea last season, meaning he did not have as much of an opportunity to get forward as he would have in previous seasons, but he still managed to chip in with more assists than wing-back Marcos Alonso (4) and a goal in the Blues' successful Premier League campaign. Like his compatriot Alonso, the Spain international has hit the ground running this term and one of the highest-scoring defenders thus far.

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United - £6.7m)

Having started out as a winger at Old Trafford, Antonio Valencia has evolved into Manchester United's first-choice right-back as well as one of their most important players in recent seasons. The Ecuador international still possesses explosive pace and his attacking nous means that he is always going to be a threat going forward. He finished last term with just one goal and three assists, has been given more licence as Jose Mourinho seeks to improve the team's win-count.

Nicolas Otamendi Manchester City

Nicolas Otamendi (Man City - £6.5m)

Manchester City's rampant attack has been grabbing the headlines this season, but their defence is often overlooked, despite managing to keep its fair share of clean sheets. Nicolas Otamendi, in particular, is City's highest scoring defender this season and will surely rack the points up if Guardiola's men can carry on winning.

Kyle Walker (Man City - £6.6m)

Manchester City paid big money to Tottenham for Kyle Walker and Pep Guardiola has already received plenty of returns from the 27-year-old. The England international endured a stop-start beginning this year and lost himself points when he was sent off against Everton, but he is a certain starter, who will pick up plenty of points during the course of the season.

Ben Davies (Tottenham - £5.5m)

Tottenham full-back Ben Davies took full advantage of Danny Rose's injury absence to cement his place in Mauricio Pochettino's team at the beginning of the season and he has repayed the Argentine coach's faith in abundance. He has been in and out the team in recent weeks as Pochettino rotates players, but when he is playing he gathers points.


BEST BARGAIN DEFENDERS


Harry Maguire Leicester City

If careful enough, fantasy football players can cobble together a good defence without spending too much of their budget, freeing up money to be devoted elsewhere in the squad.

Sometimes consistent performers do not see their pricetag increased to reflect their actual worth, while other players can have their value decreased after a single disappointing campaign.

So, if you don't want to waste funds on the big-name players, we've taken a look at some of the better fantasy football defenders that can be picked up for relative bargain fees.

Harry Maguire (Leicester - £5.4m)

A new signing at Leicester, Harry Maguire's form for the Foxes has seen him evolve into an England international and his value has risen to reflect his new-found status. The former Hull City centre-back gets in the way of shots and is a dangerous presence in set-pieces.

Shane Duffy (Brighton - £4.6m)

Chris Hughton's Brighton have begun life in the Premier League in respectable fashion and the foundation for that lies in their defence. Republic of Ireland international Shane Duffy, in particular, is one of the most impressive stoppers in the division this season. Indeed, the former Everton youth tops the clearances charts and is the most dominant aerial presence in the division, meaning there is a good chance of earning bonus points. While he has yet to get off the mark, the 26-year-old also poses a serious threat from set-pieces.

Phil Jones (Man United £5.7m)

Phil Jones has shown tremendous maturity at the heart of the Man United defence this season and his performances have seen him pick up his fair share of points. However, he remains one of the cheaper defenders in fantasy football at just £5.7m

Ben Mee (Burnley - £4.9m)

Burnley are flying high in the division and they have a formidable back-line to thank for their lofty position. Behind injured full-back Stephen Ward, Ben Mee is the next highest-scoring Burnley defender.


Next Article

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