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FPL positions: Full-backs dominant in defence

The Scout 3 Jun 2021
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool

The Scout on why managers should focus on attack-minded players when building their backline

With 2020/21 Fantasy Premier League now over, The Scout reviews each position to highlight lessons from the season and players to consider next term.


Attacking full-backs with the potential for goals, assists and clean sheets were the dominant force in 2020/21.

Eight of the nine top-scoring defenders started the season at full-back.

Top-scoring defenders in Fantasy
2020/21 Pts G A CS Total returns
Dallas 171 8 3 12 23
Robertson 161 1 8 12 21
Alexander-Arnold 160 2 8 10 20
Cresswell 153 0 11 11 22
Wan-Bissaka 144 2 5 13 20
Dias 142 1 1 17 19
Chilwell 139 3 6 12 21
Targett 138 0 4 16 20
Cancelo 138 2 4 14 20

Leeds United’s Stuart Dallas led the way on 171 points, combining eight goals and three assists with 12 clean sheets. 

However, the Northern Ireland international is likely to have his position reclassified in Fantasy next term after playing as a midfielder for much of the campaign.

Dallas scores v Spurs

Liverpool pair Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold also finished among the three top-scoring defenders.

However, the premium-priced pair posted their lowest scores since 2017/18, with the Reds’ defence suffering from the absence of Virgil van Dijk through injury.

The Dutchman’s return to action next season can further raise the potential of the Liverpool backline, with the underlying numbers pointing to Alexander-Arnold as their go-to pick.

His 55 shots and 77 chances created both ranked top among defenders this season. 

Set-pieces benefit Cresswell

West Ham United left-back Aaron Cresswell enjoyed his best ever Fantasy season, totalling 153 points thanks to 11 assists and 11 clean sheets.

Indeed, his combined total of 22 attacking and defensive returns was second only to the 23 of Dallas.

Cresswell’s set-piece deliveries can continue to prove a major weapon in Fantasy next term.

The Hammers scored 17 goals from set-plays in 2020/21, more than any other side.

Also in this series

Part 1: FPL positions: Martinez shows the many routes to points
Part 2: FPL positions: Promoted goalkeepers among best for value
Part 4: FPL positions: Tuchel’s Chelsea the best defence
Part 5: FPL positions: Midfielders merit more attention
Part 6: FPL positions: Lingard shows promise with league's top form
Part 7: FPL positions: Rely on Kane against lower-ranked sides
Part 8: FPL positions: Iheanacho and Watkins can push on

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