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Fantasy Premier League Tips: 11 Budget Friendly Defenders To Sign

Ben Willcocks

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Fantasy Premier League Tips: 11 Budget Friendly Defenders To Sign

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Value is crucial in FPL. It is impossible to choose every premium attacker, such as the likes of Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-Min, Erling Haaland and Harry Kane.

A handy way of finding extra funds to splash on premiums is finding value in defence, of which there is plenty this season at every price point.

Even FPL’s most expensive defender – Trent Alexander-Arnold – was arguably the best value pick in the game last season, returning 208 points at just £7.5m. And it’s hard to imagine any £6.0m midfielder scoring more points than Chelsea full-back duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell.

Nevertheless, like with every season, a glut of talent has emerged between £4.0m and £4.5m amongst defenders, giving FPL managers a headache as to which five defenders to choose in their squads.

For those in need of a little extra guidance, we have compiled a list of the 10 best budget defender picks ahead of the new FPL season.

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Lewis Dunk, Brighton (£4.5m)

  • Regular starter
  • Set-piece threat
  • Solid fixtures
Dunk is an aerial threat
Dunk is an aerial threat

The Seagulls captain has always been a solid pick in FPL and will re-enter managers thoughts thanks to his £0.5m price decrease from last season.

A regular starter with goal threat from set-pieces, Dunk is a reliable option capable of returning a double-digit haul from time to time thanks to Brighton’s well-organised defence.

Graham Potter’s men face Man United on the opening weekend, followed by Newcastle, West Ham, Leeds and Fulham in their next four fixtures.

Joachim Andersen, Crystal Palace (£4.5m)

  • Regular starter
  • Good clean sheet potential
  • Tricky fixtures?
Andersen had a solid first season at Palace
Andersen had a solid first season at Palace

Crystal Palace’s xGC (expected goals conceded) per 90 minutes last season was 1.00, just a touch worse than the joint-best defence Liverpool, who managed 0.90.

The statistics suggest that Patrick Vieira’s side could be due a few extra clean sheets this season, spelling good news for Anderson.

The Palace centre-back was the highest scoring defender last season amongst players currently priced at £4.5m, scoring 124 points.

Pontus Jansson, Brentford (£4.5m)

  • Regular starter
  • Solid fixtures
  • Set-piece threat
Jansson certainly contributed in attack last season
Jansson certainly contributed in attack last season

During Brentford’s debut Premier League campaign, Jansson impressed with three goals and four assists from centre-back.

The Bees have been gifted favourable fixtures to start the season, facing newly-promoted Fulham as well as relegation-scrappers Leeds and Everton in their first six matches.

James Tarkowski, Everton (£4.5m)

  • Proven track record
  • Good fixtures until GW6
  • Set-piece threat
Tarkowski could prove a stellar signing for Everton
Tarkowski could prove a stellar signing for Everton

Despite enduring a turbulent season at Turf Moor, Tarkowski has proven in the past that he is capable of FPL returns.

In 2019-20, the ex-Burnley defender kept 15 clean sheets on the way to racking up 143 points and last season scored once and assisted twice from defence.

Now at Goodison Park, the centre-back is certain to step into Everton’s back line in a bid to shore up their defence, as they face Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Brentford and Leeds after Chelsea in GW1.

Takehiro Tomiyasu, Arsenal (£4.5m)

  • Cheap route to a top six defence
  • Arsenal excellent in pre-season
  • Defensive-minded full-back?
Tomiyasu suffered a number of injury problems last season
Tomiyasu suffered a number of injury problems last season

Although Ben White is also worth consideration, Tomiyasu is likely to attract plenty of attention ahead of GW1, thanks to his inexpensive price tag.

Whilst not the most attacking of full-backs, the Japanese international offers a cheap route into the Arsenal defence, which managed a respectable 12 clean sheets last campaign.

The Gunners kick off the season with favourable fixtures, facing Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Fulham in their first four matches.

Djed Spence, Spurs (£4.5m)

  • Cheap route to a top six defence
  • Conte wing-backs score highly
  • High rotation risk?
Spence could prove a popular option this season
Spence could prove a popular option this season

It may be too early to tell, but the new Spurs signing has the potential to be the best £4.5m player in FPL this season.

As Antonio Conte continues to impress his unique system on the squad, wing-backs at Tottenham are flourishing – Doherty was joint third behind Chilwell and Alexander-Arnold for points per start last season (6.4).

Keep an eye on pre-season. For the bold FPL managers out there, Spence could be a diamond in the rough if wins Conte’s favour on the right flank.

James Justin, Leicester (£4.5m)

  • Exceptional in 2020-21
  • Attacking full-back
  • Slight rotation risk?
James Justin will be eager to get back to his form of the 2020/21 season
James Justin will be eager to get back to his form of the 2020/21 season

After suffering a series of injuries at centre-half and full-back, Leicester endured a disappointing season in defence last campaign.

With most of their key defenders fit again ahead of next season, the Foxes will be eager to break into the top six as they did in 2020-21.

Justin returned in January from his cruciate ligament rupture and played 14 of the remaining 20 league games as Brendan Rodgers worked him back to full fitness. The defender scored 101 FPL points between August and February before suffering his long-term injury.

Jonny Otto, Wolves (£4.5m)

  • First choice with Semedo injured
  • Attacking full-back
  • Great fixtures
Jonny provides a solid option at wing back
Jonny provides a solid option at wing back

Although wing-backs are often prone to rotation at Molineux, Jonny is expected to start the season as Nelson Semedo continues to recover from an injury he sustained against Brighton in April.

Wolves started last campaign brilliantly at the back, boasting the fourth best defence between GW1 and GW29.

Despite struggling to pick up regular minutes under Bruno Lage, Jonny excelled when called upon, finishing the season with the most amount of shots and most chances created amongst Wolves defenders.

Diogo Dalot, Manchester United (£4.5m)

  • Regular starter
  • Impressed in pre-season
  • United poor last campaign?
Dalot could be ahead of the out of favour Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Dalot could be ahead of the out of favour Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Only four teams kept fewer clean sheets than Man United last season, so Dalot’s inclusion on the shortlist may come as a surprise.

However, with Erik ten Hag now in the hotseat, the Red Devils could enjoy a ‘new manager bounce’ at the start of the season, with defence being cited as one of the top priorities in pre-season.

Although it is unclear how Lisandro Martinez will slot into Ten Hag’s starting line-up, Dalot cemented himself as the right-back of choice at Old Trafford last season and could offer excellent value at £4.5m.

Neco Williams, Nottingham Forest (£4.0m)

  • Expected regular starter
  • Attacking full-back
  • Perfect for the bench
Neco Williams impressed on loan at Fulham last season and now has his Premier League move
Neco Williams impressed on loan at Fulham last season and now has his Premier League move

Finding a playing £4.0m is often tricky business at the start of an FPL season but look no further than Williams in 2022-23.

The new Forest recruit joined from Liverpool for £18m this summer and is set to take on the role Spence did at the club whilst on loan from Middlesbrough last campaign.

As Steve Cooper tactically favours a back five with flying wing-backs, Williams will be given licence to maraud forwards in support of the attack, providing plenty of opportunity for FPL points.

William Saliba, Arsenal (£4.5m)

  • Expected regular starter
  • Ligue 1 Young Player of the Season
  • Defensive stalwart
William Saliba
William Saliba

If you've not seen Saliba play before, trust us on this one.

The Frenchman is only 21-years-old but has been so, so impressive for Arsenal in pre-season. He has had his fair share of loan spells away from the club, winning Ligue 1 Young Player of the Season last year and has already established a fine relationship with centre back partner Gabriel.

He will rack up the bonus points this season.

Topics: Fantasy Football, Fantasy Premier League, Diogo Dalot, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea

Ben Willcocks
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