The right-back is the second most-popular defender in Fantasy, found in over 33 per cent of squads. He has amassed 45 points in the opening 12 Gameweeks, thanks to two goals, an assist and three clean sheets.
Cash's first goal v Burnley
However, Cash’s potential for returns at both ends of the pitch now looks set to be severely tested.
Cash already heads into this period on the back of frustrating form, claiming no more than two points in four of the last five Gameweeks.
Having started the season with 28 points in his first six outings, the Poland international has only added 17 points in the subsequent six matches.
Cash's Fantasy output comparison
An assessment of his displays over those two periods highlights a big downturn in Cash’s goal threat.
He was the leading defender in Fantasy for shots, shots in the box and shots in target in the first six Gameweeks.
In Villa’s last six matches, however, his number of shots has dropped from 14 to five, with his shots in the box also more than halving, from 11 to five.
Compared with other defenders, though, Cash still fares well in spite of those significant drops. Indeed, he ranks among the top three defenders for both shots in the box and shots on target from Gameweek 7 onwards.
Cash's attacking stats
|GW||Shots||Shots in box||Big chances||Shots on target||Key passes|
While that does strengthen the argument for holding, the schedules of a number of clubs offer strong alternatives.
If money is no object, Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier (£7.0m) is the best, fixture-proof option.
The right-back has created a league-high 33 chances and his average of 5.8 points per match (ppm) is bettering his 5.2ppm from 2022/23, when he was the top-scoring defender in Fantasy.
Saliba the standout
Arsenal’s William Saliba (£5.4m) looks the standout pick in the same price bracket as Cash.
The Frenchman has climbed to third in the defender standings on the back of a goal, an assist and five clean sheets.
Arsenal’s schedule shows why Saliba can be a key figure for Fantasy managers for many Gameweeks to come.
According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), just one of the Gunners’ next 10 matches scores more than three.
Andersen’s total of nine shots in the box ranks among the top five defenders, while he leads Cash by 10 key passes to five.
Mee produced three goals, two assists and 12 clean sheets last season and has just returned from injury. From Gameweek 14 onwards, five of Brentford’s subsequent seven matches score only two in the FDR.
Managers should be aware, though, that they do have a Blank Gameweek 18, along with Manchester City.
|GW13||TOT (A)||CHE (H)||BRE (A)||LUT (A)||ARS (H)||BHA (H)|
|GW14||BOU (A)||MUN (H)||WOL (A)||WHU (A)||LUT (H)||EVE (H)|
|GW15||MCI (H)||EVE (A)||LUT (A)||BOU (H)||BHA (A)||FUL (A)|
|GW16||ARS (H)||TOT (A)||AVL (A)||LIV (H)||SHU (A)||WOL (A)|
Rotate your mobile device to see full table
*Fixture Difficulty Ratings (1= easiest, 5 = hardest)
Chelsea's turn in schedule from Gameweek 16 could also bring their key defenders into contention.
While Reece James (£5.3m) offers the most upside, his minutes are likely to be managed over the busy festive period, lifting the appeal of centre-back Thiago Silva (£5.0m) as a more secure pick.
View all the latest FPL tips ahead of Gameweek 13 in Fantasy Premier League