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GW7 Lessons learned: Davies and defenders on top

The Scout 2 Oct 2017
Ben Davies, Spurs

As managers continue to focus on pricey strikers, The Scout explains why now more than ever before we should pay attention to the back

Defences continue to be overlooked as managers try to fit three big-name strikers into their squads. But one player is showing there are big points to be found at the back, if you know where to look.

That player is Ben Davies (£5.8m), who is top of the defender standings after Gameweek 7. 

The Tottenham Hotspur wing-back produced a Gameweek-high 16 points at Huddersfield Town. It was his third double-figure return of the season.

Amazingly, Davies has already scored more goals this season (two) than in the previous three combined (one). 

And with three assists already, he has also matched last season's tally from 17 fewer appearances.

But why is he being so productive? 

Playing at left wing-back has given Davies a more advanced starting position and increased his influence in the final third.

His average touches in the penalty area are up to 2.3 per appearance this season, compared to 1.0 last.

He is also creating a chance on average every 33 minutes, compared with 61.3 minutes last term.

Davies is also taking charge of set-pieces, already taking 17 corner kicks this season, compared with just 14 in 2016/17.

Davies improvements
  2016/17 2017/18
Appearances 23 6
Goals 1 2
Assists 3 3
Penalty-area touches per match 1.0 2.3
Corner kicks taken 14 17

Despite all the talk being about star striker Harry Kane (£12.7m), Davies has scored or assisted 38.5% of Spurs’ goals when playing. That figure was just 8.5% last term.

Davies is second only to Kane for transfers in following Saturday’s haul, claiming 83,000+ new owners.

But managers should beware. A tough schedule awaits.

Spurs soon face back-to-back UEFA Champions League ties with Real Madrid. They are followed by fixtures with Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal in their next five Gameweeks. 

While Davies may miss matches due to rotation over that spell, he is just one of many defenders, such as Nacho Monreal (£5.4m) and Nicolas Otamendi £5.7m, offering outstanding value in Fantasy Premier League.

Managers should note that defences are currently on top. 

After seven Gameweeks there have been 55 clean sheets. This is 25 more than at this stage in 2016/17.

If they can keep it up, defences could be where mini-leagues are won. 

Clean sheets by Gameweek 7
Season Clean sheets
2017/18 55
2016/17 30
2015/16 41
2014/15 40
2013/14 46

 

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