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FPL managers must focus on full-back potential

The Scout 17 Feb 2018
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Victor Moses and Ben Davies

The Scout on why three-man defences make players such as Ben Davies and Victor Moses a must in Fantasy

The Scout is giving a position-by-position guide of Fantasy Premier League players ahead of the final 11 Gameweeks of the season.

Defenders

FPL managers should be targeting attacking full-backs until the end of the season.

Analysis of the top-performing defenders based on points per 90 minutes shows that nine of the top 10 can be considered as full-backs.

Eric Bailly (£6.0m) is the only recognised central defender among those listed.

Top points per 90 (Min. 500 mins)
 Defender Price Pts per 90
Danilo £5.0m 6.84
Davies £5.6m 5.95
Alonso £7.2m 5.80
Moses £6.4m 5.76
Bailly £6.0m 5.75
Valencia £6.9m 5.37
Zappacosta £5.9m 5.34
Trippier £5.2m 5.30
Shaw £4.9m 5.24
Monreal £5.7m 5.24
The full-back phenomenon 

The popularity of the three-man defence, with full-backs shifted into attacking wing-back roles, has undoubtedly been an influence.

Six of the top 10 have, at one time or another this season, been used in an advanced wing-back position.

That has allowed those defenders to contribute to the attack and produce extra points on top of clean-sheet returns.

All six have registered at least one assist, with five also scoring at least one goal.

The one risk

But, unfortunately for FPL managers, rotation is a factor that accompanies the wing-back role.

Indeed, it could be argued that of those in the top 10, only Marcos Alonso (£7.2m), Antonio Valencia (£6.9m) and Nacho Monreal (£5.7m) have been largely safe from rotation.

Danilo deterrent

Danilo (£5.0m) ranks top for points per 90 minutes. The Manchester City defender would figure prominently in FPL managers' plans should he cement a starting role.

But despite a long-term injury to Benjamin Mendy (£6.3m), Pep Guardiola has often switched between Danilo and FPL midfielders Fabian Delph (£4.5m) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.0m) at left-back.

Davies popularity

FPL interest in Ben Davies (£5.6m) looks more justified.

The Tottenham Hotspur full-back has been the most popular signing ahead of Gameweek 28, brought in by 133,000+ managers.

But while Davies has started the last seven Gameweeks, a fit-again Danny Rose (£6.4m) remains an option for Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino.

That could mean Davies being rested for the Gameweek 29 home meeting with Huddersfield Town, which is four days before the UEFA Champions League second leg against Juventus.

Move for Moses?

FPL managers have been cautious on Victor Moses (£6.4m), with just two per cent of managers owning him.

The Chelsea player has enjoyed an exceptional season in FPL, recording 5.76 points per 90 minutes, narrowly trailing team-mate Alonso, the top-scoring defender on 138 points.

Moses' questionable pitch time is a factor, with Davide Zappacosta (£5.9m) used in rotation at right wing-back.

Even so, Moses has failed to start in only one of the last 11 Premier League matches, sitting out Gameweek 25 at AFC Bournemouth through injury.

The Alonso dilemma

The Nigerian could provide an alternative for managers considering cashing in on Alonso’s £7.2m price tag.

The Spaniard has missed the last two Gameweeks through injury and 105,000+ managers have sold him on, more than any player.

But should Alonso return for the Gameweek 28 match at Manchester United, his 5.80 points per 90 minutes, plus a secure starting role for the champions, continue to make him arguably the best defensive option on offer.

Also in this series

Part 1: Karius emerges as player who can save FPL seasons
Part 3: Freescoring Salah the essential FPL midfielder
Part 4: Will return of Jesus slow Aguero's surge?

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