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FPL winter watchlist: Stock up on premium defenders

The Scout 10 Nov 2021
Trent Alexander-Arnold

With three of the four top-scoring players being full-backs, The Scout looks at the best options

The Scout looks at the best players to target, per position and price, ahead of the busy festive period in Fantasy Premier League.

Premium defenders
Trent Alexander-Arnold (LIV) £7.7m

The Liverpool right-back has been the most explosive defender in Fantasy in the first 11 Gameweeks.

Alexander-Arnold has produced four double-figure hauls, more than any other player in his position, and bettered only by the six of his team-mate Mohamed Salah (£13.0m).

The England star has combined a goal and four assists with five clean sheets in nine appearances.

Indeed, his average of 7.1 points per match (ppm) surpasses the 6.1ppm of Joao Cancelo (£6.5m), who is the top-scoring defender in Fantasy.

The underlying numbers highlight Alexander-Arnold’s huge potential for attacking returns. 

His totals of 30 key passes and six big chances created both place second among all players in 2021/22.

Ben Chilwell (CHE) £6.0m

Chelsea’s left wing-back has proved a huge success since securing his first start of the season in Gameweek 7.

Chilwell has scored three goals and also returned three clean sheets in his five appearances this term.

Chilwell goal v Brentford

As a result, he has averaged 9.0ppm, second only to the 10.6ppm of Liverpool’s Salah among all players.

Chilwell’s eight shots in the box are more than any other defender in Fantasy.

Reece James (CHE) £5.9m

Hauls of 18, 13 and 21 points showcase the right wing-back's potential for huge scores. 

When selected, James has been involved in a team-leading 50 per cent of Chelsea’s goals this season, compared with the 20 per cent of Chilwell.

James has scored four goals and assisted a further three in eight outings.

Indeed, with seven goal involvements he has already surpassed his combined total from the previous two campaigns, when he produced one goal and five assists. 

James' goal v Newcastle

 

While James boasts the greater attacking potential of the Blues wing-backs, he is more liable to appear as a substitute.

Two of his appearances have come off the bench, earning his owners one-point returns on both occasions. 

Nonetheless, James’s average of 7.9ppm betters every midfielder apart from Salah, showing he is more than worth the occasional benching.  

Joao Cancelo (MCI) £6.5m

The top-scoring defender in Fantasy, Manchester City’s Portuguese sits second-top overall on 67 points.

Cancelo’s prospects have been lifted this season by his regular role. 

Indeed, he is the only player to start all 11 Gameweeks for Pep Guardiola’s side, helping them to a joint-high seven clean sheets.

Thanks to his improved pitch time, Cancelo has already matched his total of four assists from last season.

Cancelo's assists v Man Utd

The left-back has also boasted a considerable goal threat, despite failing to score.

His 26 shots are more than any defender in Fantasy and also place top among all players for Man City.

Also in this series

Part 1: Ramsdale among best goalkeepers
Part 2: Johnson can be cut-price gem
Part 4: Experts pick out the best defenders
Part 5: Gallagher leads best budget midfielders
Part 6: Son one of premium midfielders set to thrive
Part 7: Experts pick out the best midfielders
Part 8: Wilson can shine under Howe
Part 9: Antonio can keep rivalling premiums
Part 10: Experts pick out the best forwards

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