The Defensive Watchlist – Gameweek 3 International Break

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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) his defence has received upgrades with Nyom (4.5) and Galloway (4.5) joining the club allowing Dawson (5.0) to move to a central defensive role. With a favorable fixture list and a price increase looming now is the time to jump on board. Buy.

Tom Heaton (4.5) his team recruited Jeff Hendrick with the high energy midfielder likely to shield the defence. Upcoming fixtures not as favorable as Foster’s but expect them to go head to head for the title of best budget goalkeeper come the end of the season. Strong Monitor.

The Punt – Goalkeepers

Steve Mandanda (4.4) is a classy goalkeeper who has earnt his first start for the club with an impressive performance. With some enticing fixtures over the next three he is worth of investment. For those that believe in Crystal Palace that is. Strong Monitor.

The Basement – Goalkeepers

 Jakupovic (4.1) was set to be an exciting little earner for our FPL squads before the signing of David Marshall (4.5) was announced. Consider this minor bandwagon over. Wildcards Sell. Others Hold.

Jordan Pickford (4.0) with no injury replacement found in the transfer window the youngster is now Sunderland’s #1 and a prime target for FPL managers on a budget. Has a light injury but expect him to start. Buy.

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) is that little bit cheaper but with Galloway (4.5) and Nyom (4.5) signing the back four has been throw into doubt. McAuley aside that is, all the more reason to invest in the Northern Irishman.

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’ for 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 defence this season with considerations of double investment before price rises take place.

Luke Shaw (5.6) and Valenica (5.5) are the prime suspects for investment but Bailly (5.5) has also been impressive, just unlikely to accumulate those bonus points.

Shaw looks unlikely to increase again before GW4 with Valenica expected to rise a strong back three of Shaw-Valencia-Baines is prime for investment.

Chelsea have been thrown into FPL disarray at the back with David Luiz (6.0) and Marcus Alonso (6.0) signing with the club. Significant doubts now exist with John Terry (5.5) no longer the budget option he appeared last week. Monitor.

The Punt – Defenders

Daryl Janmaat (5.0) the attacking right back has signed with Watford and is set to play as a wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation. For those thinking of PVA also consider Janmaat. Fixtures are excellent from GW6. Monitor.

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

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.

Others – Defenders

 A watchful eye is being cast far and wide with 4.5 options abound in the defensive bracket seriously dependent on form and fixtures.

John Stones (5.0) is the quirky pick here, he was discussed in yesterdays piece.

‘John Stones is a real question mark. His a long way from being a complete central-defender but he has perhaps the best coach in the world to continue improving his skills.

Who fails to start out of Kompany, Stones and Otamendi?

It is a perplexing question putting the fees paid for each player aside they are all quite different and each face issues. Perhaps its daft to consider Stones will be dropped if in this party I advise continuing with his selection. He is the best 5.0 prospect in the game, if selected to play.’

I will add to this that his chances of attacking returns are incredibly low with only four bonus accumulated last season.

Say John Stones returns 14 clean sheets to Watford (Janmaat) or PVA (Sunderland) who accumulate say 8 clean sheets that is an extra 6 clean sheets (6×4=24 points)

 Janmaat scored 22 attacking points last term and two extra bonus then Stones in what was a poor year. That makes up the 24 point difference.

 PVA scored 42 attacking points last term with seven extra bonus then Stones in what was a poor year for clean sheets (6) more then making up the 24 point difference. (6 goals is quite incredible)

 This minor exercise was used to highlight the fact that John Stones is not a superb defensive pick even though he now plays for an excellent team. His attacking output is extremely minimal with bonus points again swayed towards attacking fullbacks this season. You want that attacking output with the top price shelf tag. John Stones does not offer that but he does offer 12 or more clean sheets.

 As always discussion is encouraged below and please leave a question if anyone you are interested in has not been covered. ‘The Watchlist’ on midfielders will be up tomorrow.

10 comments on “The Defensive Watchlist – Gameweek 3 International Break

  1. The Swan and Paedo

    Good point about Stones. I don’t fancy him at all anymore and have got rid. Would have to drop below 5m for me to reconsider.

    No mention of James Collins? I think he has potential to be excellent over the next 6-7 weeks.

    You really have got me thinking about a Mandanda-Pickford combo. Mandanda looks to be an excellent shotstopper and could maybe have a Gomes-style season? Interesting.

    Targett has excellent attacking stats but I assume he gets dropped soon?

    Finally, Holebas has decent stats and is also playing as a wing back with good fixtures approaching.

    I’m still lenaing towards the meaty Shaw-Valencia-Baines trio but lots to consider.

    • Liam Post Author

      Thanks although its not a conclusion on Stones just a talking point to provoke thinking.

      James Collins has an extremely injury prone body.

      I do recommend him with a massive dose of I told you so when he picks up an injury and you are forced to use a trade to remove him. Much like Johnny Evans.

      I actually like both of them. They are both players who show at lot of promise but have never really achieved their full potentials due to injury.

      West Ham have been playing horribly lately and regardless of their fixtures I am not keen on investing in the defence. Attack will look promising with a fit Payet but Zaza is not the striker they were looking from what I hear, his limited.

      Mandanda is a quality goalkeeper the factor to consider is Pardew’s defensive approach. His not an overly defensive manager and only plays this way when threatened by relegation.

      His being playing Jason Puncheon as a central-midfielder which is the definition of insanity for anyone who wants to accumulate a clean sheet.

      With Foster and Heaton you get the long range save points and a counter attacking largely defensive style. I am not sure what we are in for with a Benteke-Remy lead Palace.

      A viable risk if you believe Palace will achieve.

      Targett will be dropped if they had nice fixtures to start with I would have considered him as Bertrand recovered from injury. They are not in great defensive form atm so I would avoid him with Bertrand not far away.

      Yes Holebas is an option but Janmaat excites me more due to his attacking intent. His someone who can get goals and assists not just the numbers that lean towards it.

      Although it looks like the left back they purchased has returned to his club due to a foot issue (appears to be delisted on FPL website now) so Holebas job security is increased.

      My thoughts today have leaned towards a radical backline of:


      I want that sneaky 0.1 gain out of Luke Shaw before I invest my elsewhere. I don’t trust his injury prone body to last the distance. If he is seriously fatigued / carrying issues after a handful of games against respectively weak opposition how is he going to handle a 50 odd game season?

      • The Swan and Paedo

        Yeah that’s a good point about Shaw, I always forget how young he is as well. I would imagine he will just be used for league games and be rested in all the cup comps bcos Jose won’t care about any of them? But Valencia clearly the better choice for numerous reasons.

        Love and Amat is ballsy but I like it. You think Amat is secure now they didn’t sign anyone? And is Love any chance to get back in the team?

        Do you think there’s anyway Cech is worth the extra million over Foster/Heaton? I would expect him to be around 160 and the other two at 140ish come season’s end unless Arsenal’s defence goes backwards. With the new CB and Xhaka I would expect them to actually improve.

  2. Lachie

    Would a DEF of Shaw, Valencia, Baines (McCauley, Evans/Galloway) be too unbalanced? Using the WC and atm Holgate is the D5 as I was hoping for the double price rise.

    Also would you pick Walker over either of the United guys?

    Quality article btw (as always)

    • Liam Post Author

      I wouldn’t pick Walker over the United defenders.

      That defense is fine although I agree Holgate will be dropped and Amat is the best 4.0 option currently.

  3. brandonpietie

    Great stuff guys… Can you please RMT:
    Masuaku, Bellerin, Baines
    Hazard (c), Antonio, Özil, De Bruyne
    Bony, Lukaku, Benteke
    Bench (in order) Pickford, Galloway, Capoue, Chambers

    • Liam Post Author

      I would move on De Bruyne personally as his role has slightly changed in the side.

      Its not because he hasn’t been scoring its because his position on the field is slightly deeper now.

      In that role he is lucky to be worth 8.0 let alone 10.5.

      Otherwise your side is fine. Sunderland just signed a new goalkeeper so Pickford may have to go.

  4. The Swan and Paedo

    I think I finally settled on my defence- Valencia, Baines and Janmaat. The first two are complete no-brainers and Janmaat is a punty ‘my boy’ pick who can easily be removed if necessary.

    I thought of a concept which I call ‘Defensive De-Trolling’. I am thinking of playing Holebas as my 4th Def and 1st sub. I think he is a reasonable pick anyway but I like having him because it means everytime he gets a clean sheet on the bench I at least have the same clean sheet for Janmaat on field. So I’m not sat there each week looking at my only clean sheet being on the bench (which seems to happen way more often than is statistically feasible!)

    • Liam Post Author

      We are on the same page I am strongly thinking of making him ‘my boy’ status too.

      Feels like a ‘my boy’ hasn’t come off for a while though so maybe I should avoid it so I don’t ruin it for you.

      Apparently Valencia is going to arrive back in Manchester 24 hours before this weekends game so plan that first defensive sub accordingly.

      Haha ‘Defensive De-Trolling’ you come up with some great concepts and names.

      I am thinking about this with West Brom actually


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