The Scout assesses the transfer trends of Fantasy Premier League managers since the game launched this week.
Managers are sparing no expense when it comes to investing in their backlines for 2022/23.
Four of the seven most-owned players overall are all premium-priced defenders, with Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) the most popular in his position.
The right-back can be found in over 56 per cent of squads thanks to his multiple routes to returns.
He totalled 208 points to finish third in the overall player standings last term, combining two goals and 12 assists with 18 clean sheets and 32 bonus points.
Ivan Perisic’s (£5.5m) move to Tottenham Hotspur has played a major part in managers’ plans.
The Croat produced eight goals and seven assists while playing as a wing-back in Serie A in 2021/22.
Joao Cancelo (£7.0m) and Reece James (£6.0m) have also been picked by more than 40 per cent of managers.
Both have strong schedules to reward their backers.
Manchester City’s Cancelo avoids all of last term’s top six in the first six Gameweeks.
Chelsea’s James, meanwhile, faces only two of last season’s top six in the first 12 fixtures.
His fellow wing-back Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) could emerge as a major differential over that run. Just over 12 per cent currently own Chilwell, who recorded 54 points in his six starts in 2021/22 before being sidelined due to injury.
Arsenal pair Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White (both £4.5m) are also proving popular thanks to a favourable early run of opponents.
The Gunners face only one of last season's top six in the first eight Gameweeks, raising the appeal of their cut-price defenders as a cheap source of clean sheets.
Right-back Tomiyasu is the most-popular defender in the sub-£5.0m bracket, found in almost 19 per cent of squads.