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FPL winter watchlist: Experts pick out the best defenders

The Scout 10 Nov 2021
Reece James

Top Fantasy managers say the wealth of attacking wing-backs lifts the appeal of a four-man defence

The Scout’s panel of experts reveal their favourite players to target over the busy winter schedule in Fantasy Premier League, per position.

Ben Crabtree (@FC_CrabDogg)

My pick for a defender is Joao Cancelo (£6.5m). Manchester City can keep clean sheets against anyone, and his attacking potential even makes him a captain option on the odd occasion.

Holly Shand (@FFCommunity_)

Reece James (£5.9m) has to be top of the shopping list right now, and he still remains excellent value compared to other premium defenders.

He's averaging an attacking return every 66 minutes and is playing for a Chelsea side with the joint-most clean sheets this season. 

Tom Cantle (@WGTA_FPL)

Finding a way to the wing-back triumvirate of James, Cancelo and Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.7m) feels prudent. Their mix of attacking output plus clean sheets makes them hugely valuable to own.

Pranil Sheth (@Lateriser12)

The attacking wing-backs from premium teams like Cancelo, Alexander-Arnold and James are bringing in a lot of points.

In the budget bracket, I have my eye on the returning Tariq Lamptey (£4.4m) of Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace's Tyrick Mitchell (£4.5m), who are both playing in good defences.

Sam Bonfield (@FPLFamily)

There are three easy picks when it comes to defenders this season: Alexander-Arnold, Cancelo and Southampton's Tino Livramento (£4.5m). The other two defensive slots are more open for debate.

Right now, wing-backs are on my watchlist. Chelsea pair Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) and James are excellent options, while the appointment of Antonio Conte as head coach of Tottenham Hotspur means Sergio Reguilon (£5.0m) and especially Emerson Royal (£4.9m) are top targets.

Managers should also look to invest in the Arsenal defence, be it cheaply through Ben White (£4.4m) or by spending slightly more on Kieran Tierney (£4.8m) now he is back from injury.

Paul Gee (@FPLPaulGee)

Obviously wing-backs are scoring a lot of points at really good value. The likes of James, Alexander-Arnold, Cancelo, Reguilon and Chilwell lift the appeal of moving to four at the back. 

Utkarsh Dalmia (@zophar666)

Wing-backs are all the rage this season and managers have plenty of options who can deliver big at both ends of the pitch.

Cancelo, Reguilon, Chilwell, Alexander-Arnold and James are all capable of massive returns on their day, as we have seen already.

Lee Bonfield (@FPLFamily)

In previous seasons, we loved that one defender who could couple clean sheets with the odd assist. This season we are absolutely spoilt for choice, with a wealth of creative wing-backs who also carry goal threat.

James, Chilwell, Alexander-Arnold and Cancelo should all be on your shopping list, as well as Livramento.

Geoff Dance (@GeoffreyDance)

Moving to add premium defenders is a very strong tactic right now, with Cancelo, Alexander-Arnold and James all among the four top-scoring players in Fantasy. Playing with four attacking defenders looks to be a key differential over the holiday period.

Also in this series

Part 1: Ramsdale among best goalkeepers
Part 2: Johnson can be cut-price gem
Part 3: Stock up on premium 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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