Fantasy Premier League

FPL experts: Who are the best defenders to target?

14 Aug 2023
Destiny Udogie

See who top Fantasy managers are choosing at the back for their squads

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The Scout's panel of Fantasy Premier League experts discuss their issues in defence and the top players to target in the backline.

Lee Bonfield (@FPLFamily)

We saw some real value emerge in Gameweek 1, not least Pervis Estupinan (£5.0m) at Brighton & Hove Albion, Destiny Udogie (£4.5m) at Spurs and Rico Henry (£4.5m) at Brentford - all FPL defenders who regularly found themselves in the final third.

Any of those would be good replacements for the injured Tyrone Mings (£4.5m) or Gabriel (£5.0m) if you feel you want to move away from the Arsenal defender.

Holly Shand (@HollyShand)

I currently have Gabriel in my team and am hoping he comes good in the short term. Mikel Arteta's tactics should be different for the upcoming matches and with Jurrien Timber (£5.0m) added to the injury list, Gabriel should start. I'll be replacing him in the long term though since his consistency was part of his appeal.

Ali Jahangirov (@FPLGunz)

Out of all defenders, Ben Chilwell (£5.5m) impressed the most in Gameweek 1. He has plenty of attacking potential and Chelsea looked good against a strong Liverpool attacking force. I don't have any issues in defence, but for those who have Gabriel, I would suggest sticking for a Gameweek or two to see if he comes back into a starting line-up.

See: Chilwell can fix FPL managers' defensive issues

Harry Daniels (@FPL_Harry)

Luckily I do not have a defender issue, but if I was looking to purchase ahead of Gameweek 2, Chilwell would be my No 1, followed by Estupinan. A few others to mention, I think, are Reece James (£5.5m), Levi Colwill (£4.5m) and Udogie for cheaper options.

Utkarsh Dalmia (@zophar666)

Chelsea have a great fixture run over the next six Gameweeks and have several great options. Colwill is a steal at £4.5m but I would rather go with the wing-backs Chilwell and James for just £1.0m more. If you have a Gabriel or John Stones (£5.5m) problem, they're perfect replacements.

Ben Crabtree (@FC_CrabDogg)

Gabriel may have to move on but I'll probably wait one more week to gauge this. If he doesn't start again in Gameweek 2 then I will either switch to another Arsenal defender or take a chance on a Manchester City defender or a Spurs full-back.

Pras (@Pras_FPL)

With the injury to Timber, managers can keep faith in Gabriel. However, in a special case where one doesn't own Chilwell, then a move to the left-back could be viable given how forward he looks in Mauricio Pochettino's system.

Nick (@WGTA_Nick)

Man City's defence feels like a little bit of a minefield. I started with Manuel Akanji (£5.0m) but I am not confident that he will play week in, week out consistently. Chilwell showed plenty of attacking threat this weekend and Chelsea's fixture run is excellent, so I am looking to find a way to bring him in.

Sam Bonfield (@FPLFamily)

I am never a fan of the defensive double-ups and this is especially true in the opening weeks of the season, where clean sheets can be at a premium - as we've seen. I started 2023/24 with Chilwell, William Saliba (£5.0m) and Estupinan. I'll be looking to hold these three until the Brighton fixtures change in Gameweek 4.

At that point, the likes of Sven Botman (£4.5m) and Pedro Porro (£5.0m) or Emerson Royal (£4.5m) will be on my radar, depending on who nails down that spot as Spurs' right-back. 

Also in this series

Part 1: FPL bonus points: Haaland secures maximum
Part 2: Gameweek 1 FPL stats: Haaland justifies record backing as captain
Part 3: FPL Saturday review: Budget forwards prove their worth
Part 4: FPL GW1 Lessons: Chilwell can fix managers' defensive issues

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