The Defensive Watchlist – Gameweek 3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

the watchlist

With a renewed vigor in his approach to team value @liambednarski reviews those who returned points in GW3 in the hope of uncovering an early bandwagon.

The Watchlist – Goalkeepers

Ben Foster (4.6) returns to the top of the watchlist with a strong performance and favorable fixtures to come. Investment is encouraged. Buy.

Jordan Pickford (4.0) with Vito Mannone (4.5) suffering a long term shoulder injury the youngster was thrust into goal for Sunderland. He made some sharp saves with his cut price a great proposition for bargain hunters. Strongly Consider.

Jakupovic (4.1) almost secured a clean sheet making a number of saves against Manchester United. Is doing his owners proud. Strongly Consider.

Tom Heaton (4.5) was defeated by some remarkable shots this week. They do give away quite a few which is dangerous against a side as skillful as Chelsea. Still worthy of consideration. Strongly Consider.

Steve Mandanda (4.4) made his first start for Crystal Palace and made a strong save to deny Callum Wilson. He will be important for Palace this season and is known to be a quality keeper. Monitor.

Other performances – Goalkeepers

Cech (5.5) was on fire, Steklenburg (5.0) was solid, Courtois (5.5) snagged his first clean sheet of the season whilst De Gea (5.5) already looks to be heading towards the golden glove. Monitor.

Victor Valdes (4.5) is injured slightly longer then expected I still wouldn’t be rushing to bring Brad Guzan (4.5) in with a solid but not inspiring performance. Avoid.

Simon Mignolet (5.0) is the bane of my existence with yet another sticky performance. I thought his positioning was poor on Rose’s goal. A debut for Joel Matip is encouraging in defense though. Avoid.

Willy Caballero (5.0) should step aside now that Claudio Bravo (5.5) has signed from Barcelona. His neither been poor or impressive as the Joe Hart situation has imploded. Avoid.

The Watchlist – Defenders

Gareth McAuley (4.6) is sitting pretty at the top of the watchlist after an impressive start to the season. He has favorable fixtures to come and is a wise investment. For cheeky wildcards or those looking for some value his team mates Evans (4.5) and Galloway (4.5) are that little bit cheaper.

Leighton Baines (5.5) and his motley crew (Ashley Williams 5.0, Phil Jagielka 5.0, Holgate 4.6) are looking to press ‘McAuley & Friends’ from top spot. Baines should be right at the top of your considerations with penalties in his locker and a favourable set of fixtures. Buy.

Manchester United (5.5) are looking the top shelf choice in defense this season Valenica & Bailly are both worthy of selection. Luke Shaw has left the party at (5.6) for those wildcarding I suggest moving Shaw to Valenica if Shaw hits 5.7 before Valenica hits 5.6. Buy.

Chelsea failed to concede to a thunder-buster this week and collected a clean sheet in the process. John Terry (5.5) is my pick of the bunch, he is a threat from set pieces. It depends if Chelsea do buy a CB before deadline day with Zouma (5.5) on the sidelines for some time. Buy.

Other performances – Defenders

Scott Dann (5.5) opened his goal scoring account for the season with a thunderous header. His team looked extremely threatening from set pieces throughout the match. Has a high price tag but still deserves monitoring.

Wes Morgan (5.0) & Robert Huth (5.0) helped each other to a goal and an assist this week. They continue to offer value at this price, I recommend Huth as a differential with only 1.6% ownership with great goal threat. Strong Monitor.

Kingsley (4.1) and Jordi Amat (4.1) were rather fragile as Swansea lost to Leicester City. Both of their cards were again marked after this display. Those with a wildcard assess your options as I see them being dropped in the near future, all others continue the risk with the 5th defender. Hold.

Pape Souare (4.5) is the value option within the Crystal Palace defense and is a consideration if they can have a turn in form. Monitor.

Tottenham Hotspur are just getting out of second gear with 5.6 Kyle Walker now managing a knock you could look to Vertonghen (5.5) but I suggest looking elsewhere. Weak Monitor.

The Watchlist – Eagle Eye

Eyes are again on Watford who have made signings to contribute to the 3-5-2 formation the new manager is building this season. Although battered by Arsenal some value will appear amongst their defenders so keep an eye on them over the coming weeks as the team settles.

Arsenal will need their new signings within the match day squad before their defense can be seriously considered. Liverpool did improve with Matip in the side. I recommend delaying investment in them until Karius (5.0) returns from injury though.

Note Price Changes:

Price changes this morning saw Holgate (4.6) and Sterling (8.2) rise in price.

McAuley (4.6), Cazorla (7.5), Sanchez (10.9), Heaton (4.5), Negredo (6.8), Ozil (9.5), Valenica (5.5) and Foster (4.6) are the most likely to increase within the next 24 hours. Plan your transfers accordingly.

Lenihan (4.0) is set to drop in price for Hull and will free up cash for those wildcarders who are looking to invest in a deadweight 5th defender at the kind price of 3.9.

Watchlist Article on Midfielders will be up tomorrow as always please discuss your transfer decisions below, leave any questions about players not mentioned. Feedback on the style and content of the piece is also most welcome.

30 comments on “The Defensive Watchlist – Gameweek 3

    • The Swan and Paedo

      Yes. But there have already been 6 rises this week and I think if you haven’t already wildcarded already you may have missed the boat a little in terms of increasing team value.

    • Liam Post Author

      It is a good idea but they have to rise 0.2 in price for you to earn 0.1

      You only earn 50% of the price rises whilst you own a player.

      This ensures a certain level of difficulty throughout the season for all players.


      I bought Hazard at 10.0 he is currently 10.2 so I could sell him for 10.1

      I would have to again buy him at 10.2 but I can use that 0.1 gained to spend elsewhere on perhaps a player who has fallen in value.

      As the Swan and Paedo has mentioned some price rises have already occurred. I believe there are many more to come over the next two weeks and you will still have an opportunity to make some 0.1 gains.

      You won’t be able to make as many as some other though. Still a reasonable amount though maybe 0.2 or 0.3.

      Hope that helps.

      • The Swan and Paedo

        Who do you think is most likely to double rise this fortnight?

        And I need to sit a 4.5m striker in there who won’t drop. I currently have Hinchcliffe from Hull who looks to have zero ownership. But if he has like 5 owners and 3 of them sell, could he get a price drop? What about Rantie who is out on loan but is ranked at like -80 on FPL Statistics to drop? Is he price protected while out on loan?

        • Liam Post Author

          Its hard to read the market as the market is generally not as FPL aware as the readers of this site.

          Additionally the market is very complicated system they deliberately change it most years so that people can’t accurately predict prices.

          The market generally moves on players who have scored really big in the previous GW with a preference for English stars and players of high profile.

          Sterling, Hazard, Sanchez, Capoue, Shaw, McAuley are my top picks for double rises.

          They have to be assets everyone wants to move in as well with attacking talent generally higher on the list or people who are top of the point scoring after three weeks.

          People want the highest scorer for the round or highest scorer overall even if that selection doesn’t make sense in terms of the entire season.

          The realm of the 4.5 striker is one which goes beyond the bounds of Mr Liam Bednarski’s knowledge base.

          Having a look now and from investigation in pre season Hinchcliffe is a youth striker who played in pre season. He must have been named on the bench in the FPL due to the lightness of the squad.

          He is extremely unlikely to feature or obtain owners.

          Price drops for low owned assets work on a different kind of system to protect the owners if my memory serves me correctly. This may have changed in recent years as I said the price changing system is always developing.

          Rantie was at Bournemouth I can’t even see him on the list of players on FPL his been removed it appears which is odd, maybe he was never added this season.

          Whats your strategy in picking up ‘dead’ 4.5 players? I am rather interested.

          • The Swan and Paedo

            This is just a wildcard thing. I have my team filled up with potential risers then will set it up last minute with my proper team. Budget means that I need to sit a 4.5m striker in there temporarily. However, I have now traded Aguero out so have plenty of money to put in Defoe/Negredo for Hinchcliffe.

      • 19pizzujak

        Thanks, so you will only gain money from 50% of the amount you paid for them. So if I buy someone like Cazorla, and he goes up by 0.1, if i re sell him, I will get nothing?
        Also just a few questions, 2 of Sterling, Cazorla or Barkley, Heaton or Foster and a rank of Bellerin, Shaw, Valencia and Baines. You may not be able to respond and that’s fine

        • Ryan

          You are correct about going up by 0.1 total, you will get no returns.
          I’d pick Sterling and Barkley, Foster and choose Valencia > Shaw (only on price) > Baines > Bellerin. But all that is just my opinion

        • Liam Post Author

          Yes this is correct using your example of Santi Cazorla.

          Sterling-Foster (close call on Heaton)

          Baines-Shaw/Valencia-Bellerin (tough to split the Manchester United pair)

      • greenninja15

        My understanding is that Wildcard trades do not contribute to price changes – only regular trades

  1. Zac

    New to FPL and well my team is a mess. I overspent in the defence not really understanding how the pricing system actually worked (i play AFL fantasy so its very different) and am without Ibra or Aguero. Anyway i only have 1 free trade but i will use my wildccard but not sure what exactly to do. Might even need to use a 8 point loss.
    Team is as follows:

    De Gea, Valdes

    bellerin, Alderwiereld, Shaw, Amat, paredes

    Eriksen, Sigurdson, Barkley, Drinkwater, Ibe

    Kane, Lukaku, Long

    Have 2.4 in the bank but Long, Ibe and Sigurdson all look like they have to go. Was thinking Long-Negredo, Ibe-Capoue but advice is needed!

  2. baysietoff

    Keep it up Liam!

    Wildcard in play since lock-out and have all the likely price rises in my sights. Really hoping Aguero gets rubbed out because my final Wildcard team feels great without him… My XI will be Foster, Valencia, Baines, Evans, Hazard, Ozil, Sterling, Barkley, Ibra, Lukaku and maybe Rondon. And that’s without using any money made. Fyi, all in on Everton, 6 of our next 7 games have great potential.

    • Liam Post Author

      Hey Baysie!

      Good to see you back on board, now to get the pen out of your pocket, Pleeeasse 😀

      Heavy on Everton there you really, really keen on them or is it the supporters bias coming through?

      Interested to hear your thoughts

      • baysietoff

        Haha not sure I’m back on board just yet, maybe when the midseason brick wall starts to rear it’s ugly head!

        Nah defo not bias. Early signs are Jags and Williams look like they’ve been playing together for years so our defence could go back to the good old days. My worry will be when we play teams with bigger strikers as neither are particularly tall, and the last few seasons Swansea were horrible against teams that played direct, and we couldn’t deal with set pieces. Gueye is huge in our defensive set up too, very underrated. Disrupts play as good as anyone and is happy to pass forward. Generally EPL attacks are rusty to start the season off so we might fill our boots with some cleanies! Baines looks fitter than he has for a couple of years so should be a no brainer even if he’s not always on pens, or Jags is always amongst the Bonus Points for those on a budget.

        Our attack has shedloads of potential once Lukaku shakes off the cobwebs and plays like the head of the attack we know he can. Plus, Mirallas seems to be dropping deeper a lot more and not playing a full time winger/inside forward, thus allowing Barkley to play higher up the pitch which will help his potential for points immeasurably once he loses the “don’t shoot” philosophy drilled into him by Martinez.

  3. The Swan and Paedo

    The other thing I’m considering strongly is going without Zlatan for the year.

    Reasons for:

    -Frees up space for much better mids and generally a more balanced team. Can easily have Hazard/Ozil/Mane plus Kun/Lukaku/Benteke or similar.

    -I always have Kun if he’s fit and I always captain him. Not sure I can justify an 11m+ player who I’ll rarely captain.

    -Mourinho teams generally don’t go for the kill. 2-0 and shut up shop has generally been his way. I don’t see there being enough huge hauls to damage me too much. Even vs Saints he got 13 points, I’m pretty confident I can match that with Lukaku and Mane vs say Ibra and Redmond.

    -If he goes flat then I can get a huge advantage over the field. I appreciate that defensive strategy works best in this game but I am already outside the top 1m so need to be aggressive.

    Reasons against:

    -In AFL Fantasy this year I chose not to start Dangerfield and then refused to pay 600k+ for him. Despite me nailing Zorko from wk2, Merret from wk1, Docherty from w1, Hunter from w1 and Nroo and Sloane at w4 both for sub-500k I still ended up outside the top 5k because of Dangerfield. It ruined my year and I don’t want to experience that again. Would hate for him to score 30+ goals and ruin me.

    -I don’t fancy Martial or Pogba and definitely not Rooney. Mkhi might be an option if he gets games. So I would be without Utd attacking coverage which could really hurt.

    • Liam Post Author

      I don’t advise going without Zlatan for the year I was considering it but Pogba brings him into the game excellently.

      Zlatan is the third best striker in the world in my opinion even at 35 and his significantly cheaper then Aguero in FPL.

      If I had to leave either out of my side I would chose to leave out Aguero.

      Sterling looks set to have a stellar year it might not pan out but players are playing different roles at City this season. It may see Aguero’s role change slightly.

      Also Aguero is really injury prone so Ibra would allow for stability in selection for a prolonged period of time.

      Great work in AFL Fantasy land there with those selections.

      The biggest disadvantage to extensive knowledge in fantasy sports is that you begin to miss the obvious calls. You know how to make all the tough and hard calls on the lesser profiled players but you begin to take your eye off the superstar.

      My friend had to convince me to select Dangerfield as well as I don’t watch Dangerfield. I know his excellent so I focus on trying to figure out who is not quite excellent but could be.

      Because I am not thinking about him my brain then thinks I shouldn’t pick him.

      Its illogical I can’t quite explain the thinking but basically my advice is be careful in overthinking big talent. They are outliers and will bite.

      Valid points though you can choose not to carry a heavy hitter like Ibra or Aguero and still have a successful season there is a proven track record of results.

      I consider both sides here its just your Dangerfield / Ibra thoughts have also been a personal weakness of mine in fantasy games in the past / currently.

      • The Swan and Paedo

        Haha I was texting my mate earlier and FPL came up, I mentioned maybe going without Ibra- he referred to him as Ibrafield so is clearly thinking along the same lines…

        BTW, I read earlier that Koeman has alluded to Lukaku, Barkley and Baines sharing penatlies. Given that Baines is generally pretty passive and has technically just missed one, I can see him not getting the next one. Definitely lessens his value.

        • Liam Post Author

          Mourinho did the same thing with Ibra, Pogba & Rooney whether its true or not is hard to say.

          It makes it harder for goalkeepers to research or know who is going to take it with modern technology keeping an eye on things it is perhaps wise to have multiple takers.

          Either way its a spin on the media and although Baines technically missed the penalty I would consider it a penalty scored.

          Lets not get too technical he hit the goal, it hit the keeper and went in.

          I expect Ibra & Baines to take the majority of the penalties for the respective teams.

          Ah yes your friend has a valid point there to some degree.

          Remember I advise your own strategy backing your own gut decisions. The burn from Dangerfield is fresh in your mind I wouldn’t let it consume your decision making. On the flip side perhaps there was a lesson to be gained from not owning him.

          Thats your decision to make, you know my thoughts on the matter already. Its a personal weakness of mine that I have been trying to address. I moved quickly on Hazard and have been rewarded so far for investing early in the biggest stars.

          Alternatively I got burned for not moving quickly enough on Ibra, so I still have some steps to learn myself.

  4. Holly

    I’m starting to get a bit worried about injuries in my defence at the mo, I’ve currently got Schmeichel, Valdes, Stones all out. I’m thinking of replacing Stones with an Everton defender what with their favourable run of fixtures coming up but I’m not sure whether I’m going to need to bring a new goalie in as well. Do we think Schmeichel should be okay after the international break?

    • Liam Post Author

      Good call on an Everton defender with favourable fixtures and a decent approach to the game under their new manager.

      I am not sure of the nature of his injury it looked like a hamstring to me but apparently its a hernia and his 50% chance of playing the next match at this stage.

      Ben Dinnery is who you need to google for his website and also his twitter account his the master of FPL injuries.

  5. brandonpietie

    My WC team
    Foster (Jakupovic)
    Collins; Evans; Baines (Gibson; Amat)
    Hazard; Coutinho; Özil*; Sterling (Maloney)
    Benteke; Ibrahimovic; Lukaku


    • Liam Post Author

      Work the market a little harder you can make some valuable coin over the international break.

      Its a good team for GW4 but you should be trying to make a couple of sneaky 0.1 profits before then transferring all of the above into your side.

      I like the team though.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: