fantasy premier league GW18 – “ones to watch” best defenders/GKs


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Here’s my gameweek 18 “ones to watch” article ranking the best defenders. It also gives a table of stats for you to make your own decision.  There’s also some narrative on each player and the next 6 fixtures 

fantasy premier league GW18  – “ones to watch” best defenders/GKs

I’ve tried to balance out attacking potential vs the premium price you pay for that player rather than just going for the attacking player automatically.  The attack vs value decision is really a matter of personal choice so in the narrative I talk about both options.   I’ve put together a table of stats with a key below it to rank the 10 best defenders.  Below that I’ve put some narrative on each player plus their next 6 fixtures.  That takes you to the end of the January wildcard option.  I’ll also try and talk about the GK option and other players whether value or attacking defenders where relevant

RankNamevalueTeam ownershipMins per FPL point Goals/AsstsCS – H/APred CS top 10 FPL managers own
 1. Zabaleta £6.5m % 19.9  mins 1/3 3/4 2 1
 2. Cahill £6.4m % 23.2  mins 1/0 6/2 2 0
 3. Debuchy £5.2m % 29.4  mins 1/1 2/3 2 0
 4. Baines £7.3m % 19.2  mins 2/6 2/1 1 4
 5. Toure £4.7m % 20.8  mins 0/0 3/1 2 0
 6. Vergini £4.5m % 29.8 mins 0/0 2/4 2 0
 7. Evans £5.2m % 19.3 mins 0/0 4/1 1 0
 8. N Taylor £4.8m % 27.0 mins 0/1 4/3 1 4
 9. B Davies £4.4m % 29.4 mins 0/1 3/1 1 0
 10. Hutton £4.3m % 27.8 mins 1/0 1/4 1 5

Key:

Team ownership:  The total defence and GK ownership to give you an idea of how many FPL teams have a GK or Def from that team

Mins per FPL point:  How long it takes a player to earn an FPL point.  The lower the better obviously

Goals/Assist;  Goals/Assists so far in the season

CS – H/A:  The clean sheets so far this season.  Home/Away

Pred CS:  Predicted clean sheets in the next 8 games

Top 10 FPL managers own:  How many of the 10 top FPL managers I follow have the player in the team

Zabaleta

A goal and an assist gave an 11 point haul against Palace.  4 clean sheets in the last 5 have shown that City have finally found their clean defensive mettle.  The issue is rotation as City have 2 players for each position.  There’s no real cheap option that gives certainty of selection.  GK Hart is a safer option rotation wise than the rest of the defence but an expensive GK option at £6.1m.  Next 3 fixtures are very good.

West Brom (A)
Burnley (H)
Sunderland (H)
Everton (A)
Arsenal (H)
Chelsea (A)

Cahill

With the price of Terry, Azpilicueta and Cahill all within £0.2m of each other there’s no real price advantage in buying Azpilicueta anymore. Ivanovic is the attacking threat but they are theoretical with no returns since GW3 and he’s far more expensive at £7.2m.  GK Courtois at £5.9m is similar to Hart although more rotatable with Cech as his deputy.  So I’ve chosen Cahill as the best choice as the CB’s are the less replaceable and Terry as the elder statesman more rotatable. Fixtures aren’t easy though but they are definitely the best overall defence in the division with 5 clean sheets in their last 6.

West Ham (H)
Southampton (A)
Spurs (A)
Newcastle (H)
Swansea (A)
Man City (H)

Debuchy

Chambers has been the Arsenal defensive option of choice but with Debuchy fit it is likely he will be on the bench once Koscielny is fit.  Debuchy is slightly cheaper than Gibbs and both are good options.  There’s no definite attacking option and there’s no price advantage in the GK Szczesny.  Mixed fixtures but despite the defensive stick they get from the pundits they have good stats especially at home although they are much better with Koscielny in the team.  Good time to buy though home to QPR next but 2 tricky away games after that.

QPR (H)
West Ham (A)
Southampton (A)
Stoke (H)
Man City (A)
Aston Villa (H)

Baines

Undoubtedly the best attacking defensive player in the league courtesy of penalties and direct free kicks.  Unfortunately he’s the most expensive although as FPL managers will know with either loads of cash in the bank or 8 attacking playerts who will rotate that this is less of an option at the moment.  However it’s no attacking returns in the last 5 games and Everton haven’t got a clean sheet in the last 7.  So even the most cash flush managers must be getting a little impatient.  Mirallas hasn’t helped in the advanced left position and taking free kicks such as the one he scored against QPR.  However Mirallas is now injured so it will be interesting to see how that changes things.  Fixtures are ok.  Distin is the cheap option at £5.3m but he has no guarantee over his place.  It’s questionable whether the GK Howard is worth the same price

Stoke (H)
Newcastle (A)
Hull (A)
Man City (H)
West Brom (H)
Crystal Palace (A)

Toure

Good fixtures and a good price are the reason to take a risk on the Liverpool CB.  Gametime isn’t secure and neither is the 3-4-3 which gives him a place but if you feel secure in your squad in the short term then he maybe a gamble worth taking.  £4.9m Jones is a relatively cheap GK option with Mignolet benched indefinitely and £5.8m Skrtel is the attacking option at a pretty rich price.

Burnley (A)
Swansea (H)
Leicester (H)
Sunderland (A)
Aston Villa (A)
West Ham (H)

Vergini

The 8-0 loss to Sunderland was not the beginning of the end that some FPL managers thought.  In fact the last 6 games have seen 4 clean sheets.  £4.5m GK Pantilimon with 10 points against Newcastle is probably the best choice at the moment home and away.  I’ve chosen Vergini but O’Shea is a similar price and there’s no attacking premium anywhere.  Home to Hull is a good time to invest

Hull (H)
Aston Villa (A)
Man City (A)
Liverpool (H)
Spurs (A)
Burnley (H)

Evans

Man Utd at least at home are showing themselves as on ok defensive option. 3 clean sheets in 7 games isn’t a bad return. Newcastle at home is a good time to invest.  There’s no standout attacking option.  GK De Gea is in great form even if he’s yet to get a single bonus point but £5.6m is a hefty price for a GK.

Newcastle (H)
Spurs (A)
Stoke (A)
Southampton (H)
QPR (A)
Leicester (H)

N Taylor

Swansea don’t exactly have the greatest underlying stats for defense but what they have is the ability to grind out clean sheets as 2 clean sheets in the last 4 show.  They have had the odd cheaper player than £4.8m Taylor but he’s probably the cheapest safe gametime selection.  No real attacking player worth paying more for. GK Fabianski at £5.2m seems a little expensive to me.  Good fixture next to buy on.

Aston Villa (H)
Liverpool (A)
QPR (A)
West Ham (H)
Chelsea (H)
Southampton (A)

Ben Davies

The cheapie FB seems to have displaced Danny Rose and provides real value with Leicester away next.  The drawbacks though are that Man Utd and Chelsea follow Leicester and there’s only been 1 clean sheet since GW8.  Vertonghen as the attacking player and Lloris as the GK aren’t exactly the best value in comparison

Leicester (A)
Man Utd (H)
Chelsea (H)
Crystal Palace (A)
Sunderland (H)
West Brom (A)

Hutton

2 clean sheets since gameweek 5 for Villa have been disappointing after 2 clean sheets in their first 4 games.  Hutton is quite a popular cheapie rotation option and the fixtures aren’t too bad.  Guzan is probably one of the better cheapie GK options.  No reliable gametime attacking option.

Swansea (A)
Sunderland (H)
Crystal Palace (H)
Leicester (A)
Liverpool (H)
Arsenal (A)

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fantasy premier league GW18

fantasy premier league GW18