Hey lads Matt again, this time I will be hunting down some bargains which could make the difference come the end of the season. It is these calls that will separate you from the bunch and that’s where I’m here to help! Following up from Adzman’s earlier article on the keepers, today I will be assessing value for money amongst the defenders, where a lot will be looking at budget options. Let’s have a look:
In this series I will focus on the players I predict will hold the most value, there are some cheap picks at 4.0 (McCartney, Demel, Clyne) which could warm your bench but in newly promoted sides it is hard to see any of them bringing home acceptable returns to start on your field, so I will look elsewhere to find those players I feel can nail a spot in your first 11 for most of the season, especially if selecting a solid budget defence.
Williams – In my opinion the perfect option to start the season in defence. Priced at just 5.0 Swansea’s first 8 fixtures are gold, interestingly they match up perfectly with Stoke so a straight swap could be on the cards by the time GW8 rolls around, but more on that later. Along with Swansea’s incredible clean sheet record, Williams also showed his attacking talents by snaring a goal and 2 assists, also picking up 10 bp’s. I am not totally convinced how Swansea’s defence will fair under their new manager but with such an easy run to start their campaign with 5 games at the Liberty Stadium, of which they made a fortress last year, it seems too good to pass up. Great budget option to start the season, he’s locked in my team to begin with.
Shawcross – Another proven option as a budget defender, coming in at 5.0 which seems to be where most of the talent lies. Stoke are usually considered resolute, but after a poor season last year there are some doubts as to whether they can re-produce their rock solid back 4 of 2 seasons ago. Taking into account the fact that European football was a massive step for them, it may have been too much. They seemed to struggle almost every game following up from the Europa league, which makes me think they will improve this season. He has also proved without a doubt he is a threat of corners with 2 goals and 2 assists last campaign. Now I have mentioned Swansea’s fixtures align perfectly with Stoke’s, so a possible switch of defensive assets at this point may be the way to go. Dangerous with their tough first up run of fixtures but they seem to clear up around GW8, watchlist for now.
Hangeland – Perfect example of a budget defender. Priced at 5.0 in a solid defence with a known capability to score he is all you could want at this price range. Expect a very decent return, hopefully he can return to the form that scored him 6 goals 2 seasons ago. Fulham have a handy first up run so expect them to get off to a fast start. Hangeland will be vital to their defence, he is a lock. We have seen his scoring capabilities with totals of 154 and 147 points in the last few seasons. Great option as a budget defender gets the nod over Shawcross to start the season for mine.
Fabio – Our first option at 4.5, Fabio has the attacking flair that catches the eyes of not only football fans but us FPL managers around the world. His attacking exploits have been witnessed throughout the pre-season and with him almost definitely being a nailed on starter he should provide great returns. QPR’s defensive and clean sheet capabilities must be questioned but with his attacking threat he is probably your best bet at 4.5. There is one other man who could surpass him if he can nail down a starting spot though.
Clark – He got a mention in my players we have missed article last week but he must be mentioned here once again. Villa has the perfect run of fixtures for the first 7 weeks so at least one player must be included in your initial squad. As a defensive option Clark seems your best bet, at only 4.5 he could explode. A young man who has been eased into the epl over the past two seasons he seems like this could be his breakout year. With Hutton seemingly on the way out the LB role could be his, and if he can nail a starting 11 spot lock him in! He has also proved his goal scoring capabilities, finding the back of the net 3 times last season, including a brace against arsenal. With Villa showing great pre-season form, and their defence also looking solid he is the best option at 4.5 providing he starts. Just a note he has already scored 2 this pre-season, one being disallowed. Great option!
Well there you have it, plenty of budget defensive options going around this season with Colocinni unlucky not to make this list. I have previously reviewed him and S.Taylor in the Newcastle back 4 so you can review them, but I feel especially Hangeland and Williams are better options to start with. If you’re going cheap in the back 4 you will need to do some research on who will be your best bet, possibly rotating them around home/easy fixtures.
Anyway enough from me today, I will have another edition finding some more Bargains in midfield as well as another news wrap later in the week. For now follow me @MattCraigDT and keep up with all the action @FPLaddicts. Just remember, only 11 days to go! Cheers.