FPL Preseason defender player rankings – revised with additional stats


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Here’s our updated FPL preseason defender player rankings with the new price information and additional stats.  We also rank the defensive teams.  Hopefully it will help with your team building plans.

FPL Preseason defender player rankings – revised with additional stats

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Methodology

I’ve ranked the players on their Points per Match from last season but limited it to 20.  As pre-season goes on I will subjectively adjust them.  So for example if Man Utd sign a CB and a CDM to the already stronger defensive RB in Wan Bissaka then their defence will surely perform better.  The reverse could be said for Palace who have lost Wan Bissaka and have injury doubts around Tomkins and Sakho.

The PPMs are adjusted for their fixture difficulty over 6 gameweeks.  You can see this in my fixture ease article for defenders and Gks. That converts them to projected points which is then compared to price to give a vaue for money ranking (VFM).

There’s also a consistency %.  That’s the percentage of games over 45 mins played where the player gets a goal, assist or clean sheet



Here’s the schedule which is ranked by projected points over the first 6 gameweeks.

Overall thoughts

You’ll notice the lack of £4.5m defenders which is no coincidence.  The 5.0’s are all at the bottom of the table as well.  It seems you get what you pay for.  Realistically though the £4.5m defenders are there for your FPL team’s bench or as part of a rotation to maximise the good fixtures.  You need luck to pick the right player and team if you are hoping a £4.5m will return consistently.  The top £4.5m PPM who I think will start is Lascelles at a PPM of 3.0.  I have done an article on cheap £4.5m defensive rotation if you’re looking in that direction

Liverpool

It’s worth noting that Liverpool out performed their expected goals against by 22 goals vs the xGA of 29.  How much was down to the brilliance of Alisson who was top of the % save charts and how much was unsustainable good fortune remains to be seen but it does provide a risk element.  However the 2 FBs are key to the creativity of the side as you can see from their assist numbers.  How much is deliberate tactics by Klopp and how much is forced due to the rather functional midfield 3 is the question.  Keita was supposed to be the creative force but it never really happened.  If Klopp does add a creator to the midfield 3 will that blunt the FBs?.  It remains to be seen.

The rotation risk is minimised through 2 things.  Firstly Gomez doesn’t not provide the creativity that Alexander Arnold does so if the reliance on the fullbacks continues then TAA will need to play as much as possible.  Similar for Robertson.  Even his proposed understudy of Junior Firpo doesn’t have anything like the xA of Robertson.

My second theory is that Klopp will play a very second string team in the domestic cups so as to enable as much gametime for the fullbacks in the PL and the UCL.

Lastly it’s worth remembering also that both Robertson and TAA significantly outperformed their expected assists by around 4-5.  Now some maybe down to the different interpretation of assists by FPL vs Opta but still that and the outperformance of the defence are the reasons for some caution.

Man City

There’s no question in my mind that Man City are the best defensive team in the league despite being behind Liverpool in goals against and clean sheets.  Thier xGA and shots against are way better.  Is Allison the equalizer of the 2 clubs is the only thing which comes close to a question.

Unfortunately Man City don’t have the attacking monsters or gametime security that Liverpool have.  Mendy is the only one who comes close in an attacking perspective but injury risk , a back up of Zinchenko and Angelino and Pep’s desire to win everything puts clouds over Mendy’s and everyone else’s gametime.

Everton

Great fixtures and a defence that finished the season with 6 clean sheets in their last 8 games.  However that defence included Kurt Zouma and his future could be crucial to the clean sheet prospects as Mina has looked anything but convincing.

Lucas Digne quite rightly has been the beneficiary of this but he weaves a rather interesting tale.  Firstly there is no way he should have scored 4 goals.  His xG was 1.2 vs 4 goals scored.  Conversely he had no good fortune on the assist front with an xA of nearly 8 vs his 5.  In xA 90 terms he wasn’t a million miles away from TAA and was slightly better than Robertson.  The nightmare scenario is that he doesn’t score the goals this season and his team mates finishing doesn’t improve.

Digne’s underlying attacking numbers also weren’t that great in the last 10 games where Coleman was producing better underlying stats.  However overall Digne is miles ahead.

Other points of interest

Spurs adding N’Dombele as a CDM is a great boost to the defence.  If they can hold onto Alderweireld we have a real value defence at £5.5m.  However the conundrum of good attacking fullbacks who rotate and CBs who barely scraped together 1 goal each in xG terms is the issue.  Lloris is the answer unless you think you can deal with the FB’s rotation.  Again Spurs massively outperformed their XGA but again that could be due to the brilliance and high save % of Lloris rather than unsustainable good fortune

As I said above, Palace have lost Wan Bissaka and have injury doubts to Tomkins and Sakho.  That is a huge problem for them

Man Utd don’t feature at all with the top PPM from last season being Shaw at 3.1 which is lower than Wan Bissaka’s PPM from Palace.  7 clean sheets is laughable for a supposed top 4 challenging team.  However a CB and a mobile CDM to replace Matic plus De Gea staying would go along way to improving them.

Leicester’s defence would be worsened by the loss of Maguire especially given the back ups but surely they will buy to improve if they sell.



Team defence stats

Here’s some teams defensive stats on an overall basis ranked by xGagainst.

It’s interesting that 4 teams outperformed their xGA significantly.  Those being Liverpool, Spurs, West Ham and Newcastle.  The first of those 3 teams have GKs with the highest save % which kind of makes sense.  The teams that underperformed significantly is pretty much limited to Bournemouth and Southampton who in Begovic and McCarthy for a long spell had 2 of the GKs with the worst save %.

If you believe there should be any correlation between xGA and clean sheets then you’d think that Wolves ,Leicester and Man Utd should perform better next season.

The top 8 teams in this barely have a defensive player who’s likely to start under £5.5m so again it appears you get what you pay for

Defender fixture schedule

Here’s a colour coded schedule showing the upcoming fixtures of each team.

FPL Preseason defender player rankings

Hope you found it interesting

Get additional content in the form of Podcasts, an interactive transfer and points prediction tool, 4 £50 prize leagues for the first 160 joiners and a Slack channel for discussion with members and contributors in our Patreon site.  The first $3 monthly payment gets you in the prize leagues and Slack channel for the season.

Relevant other articles

My fixture ease article for defenders and GKs

An article on cheap £4.5m defensive rotation

End of season form tables

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Here’s our FPL league code:

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2 thoughts on “FPL Preseason defender player rankings – revised with additional stats”

  1. Nothing on Laporte vs Van Dijk? Laporte is as nailed on as he can be and with Kompany gone and Otamendi pretty awful he has the LCB spot in the back I’d say.

    Also thanks for clearing up the Coleman vs Digne dilemma. Not as clear cut as I thought it was.

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