The Defensive Watchlist – Gameweek 6

the watchlist

With a renewed vigor in his approach to team value @liambednarski reviews those who returned points in GW6 in the hope of uncovering an early bandwagon.

The Watchlist – Goalkeepers

Tom Heaton (4.6) showed his strengths against Watford in what was a composed performance. He currently leads the point scoring for goalkeepers without having had an easy fixture list. Buy.

Ben Foster (4.7) had little to do as his goal was breached, has Sunderland away in GW7 before fixtures really take a turn for the worst. Monitor.

The Budget – Goalkeepers

Steve Mandanda (4.4) has been brought undone by some woeful defending in recent weeks yet remains a potential differential in goal. Monitor.

The Punt – Goalkeepers

Loris Karius (4.9) made his official debut after breaking his hand in pre season. Is a significant upgrade on Mignolet and should prove a viable route into the Liverpool defence. Strong Monitor.

The Basement – Goalkeepers

Jordan Pickford (4.0) his defensive is not currently doing him any favours but he is the most nailed down of the 4.0 goalkeeper options. Buy.

Lee Grant (4.0) brought in on loan from Derby County in the Championship the 33-year-old has shown he is capable at this level. He will hold his place in the side until Butland (4.8) returns in November. Strong Monitor.

Jakupovic (4.2) his lost confidence since Marshall has been brought in to challenge his role. The market saw him go up in price this week just as he was falling out of the side. Take your profit and run. Sell.

Other – Goalkeepers

Artur Boruc (4.5) was quite good as Everton failed to beat the Pole. He is a poor option although fixtures are currently looking bright. Light Monitor.

Victor Valdes (4.5) we have seen enough from the former Barcelona man to start writing him off, his not fantastic in a team that is starting to look out of its depth. Avoid.

David Marshall (4.5) the ill discipline from Hull City is beginning to cost them whilst making it extremely difficult to value their goalkeepers. I would avoid this particular promoted teams defense. Avoid.

The Watchlist – Defensive Pondering

There has been a remarkably low amount of clean sheets over the opening 6GW with only 25 recorded. This is considerably down on the 39 recorded at the same stage last season.

It has been rather difficult to select reliable defensive options as there quite literally hasn’t been any this season.

An adjustment period is in place for Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea with new managers taking some time to balance out their new sides.

Arsenal conducted late business to start the season seriously unbalanced as they only begin to find their defensive resilience.

Liverpool were waiting on the fitness of Karius (4.9) & Joel Matip (5.4) to boost the defence after playing many opening matches away from home.

Therefore we were left with Tottenham Hotspur to lead the charge early in the season. The issues mentioned at the other clubs towards the top end of the competition go some way to explaining Kyle Walker’s (5.9) bandwagon.

The right back who suffered some rotation last term with Kieran Tripper (4.8) currently leads all charges defensively speaking with 34 points.

Accumulating two assists, three clean sheets and an impressive 7 bonus points over 6 competitive matches.

His not a renounced attacking full back and Tottenham are not a leading defence by any ones measure.

I would suggest his bandwagon is the hallmark of him leading the points scoring overall and the player being English whilst no other options stood out.

Walker gets a ‘Monitor’ status from me, his got a lot to prove with his value diminishing with each price rice.

Arsenal’s defenders have the best fixtures for the weeks ahead with the team appearing to have turned a corner investment is wise. Although the cheapest entry point is 6.0 which is a little ghastly before they have really proven their defensive stability. Monitor.

With a number of favourable fixtures and providing better value for money I suggest investment in the Liverpool defence.

The Watchlist– Defenders –

 Joel Matip (5.4) may be flying under the radar of many with 1.7% ownership and serious goal threat (think Scott Dann levels of goal threat) with good fixtures to come he has great potential. Strongly Consider.

For those shopping on a budget Dejan Lovren (4.9) is available just be wary of how injury prone the central-defender is. Strongly Consider.

Across Merseyside I have Seamus Coleman (5.5) slightly ahead of Leighton Baines (5.6) given the latters regular injury issues in the last 12 months. They don’t have the kindest fixtures ahead but are playing much better this season. Hold.

I am still backing in Antonio Valenica (5.6) and Luke Shaw (5.5) to be viable options across the entire season. Don’t make the mistake of benching them as clean sheets are highly unpredictable and they both have the capacity to attain 150 points this season. Hold.

The Budget – Defenders –

Jose Holebas (4.5) appears to be the option of choice in the budget bracket, might not live up to the billing up is a worthy risk at 4.5. Buy.

Adam Smith (4.6) I like the look of him as a player, he is able to shoot with both feet and is a threat from right-back for Bournemouth.

The worry is Bournemouth do not accumulate an awful lot of clean sheets and Artur Boruc has been in rare form, favourable fixtures ahead though. Monitor.

The Punt – Defenders –

Patrick McNair (4.4) has been announced as an ‘attacking midfielder’ by his manager after the League Cup last week. Is certainly a player to watch if he can secure first team minutes in the midfield this season. Monitor.

Others – Defenders

Gareth McAuley (4.8) it is time to say goodbye to West Brom defenders as their fixtures take a turn for the worst. It would take a brave manager to hold these assets for the upcoming fixtures ahead. Sell.

James Collins (4.6) was dropped this week after the dire defensive efforts at West Ham.

The Welshman was a scapegoat for his team as Masuaku (4.9) the only fit left back in the squad went down with injury in a team already suffering from a severe form slump. Avoid.

Defence is not an area you want to be making too many trades so the number of options here is normally a selection of the very best.

With the low number of clean sheets this season it is extremely difficult to make general recommendations. As ever patience with your key defenders (5.5 and above) is relatively important. 

Please leave your questions, any players you mention in your comments will receive a profile in the section below.

Watchlist Article on Midfielders will be up tomorrow

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4 comments on “The Defensive Watchlist – Gameweek 6

  1. The Swan and Paedo says:

    Couple of pointers.

    Holebas picked up his 4th yellow on Monday so a ban isn’t far off.

    Januzaj is out for 6 weeks so McNair’s prospects have surely improved.

    Oh and can you please keep quiet about Matip! I am tossing up between him and Clyne as my Shaw replacement. I can see Matip getting the odd massive haul with full bonus so am leaning that way but love watching Clyne bomb forward.

    • Liam says:

      I am thinking Holebas might pick up a ban but his really going to be my 4th defender so I can wear the risk.

      Yes I didn’t put two and two together on that one. Interesting prospect Mr McNair, I don’t think his quite developed enough and Sunderland are poor defensively but he is an OOP prospect neithertheless.

      I like him more then Clyne in terms of attacking prospects although Clyne does bomb forward his end product is a little weak.

      Massive fan of Clyne since he first entered the Premier League with Southampton but he doesn’t quite have that high class attacking product given his price in the game.

  2. boges11 says:

    Great stuff Liam.
    What’s the feeling with Baines. I’m thinking to move him to Coleman. Thoughts?

    • Liam says:

      It is a really tough one. Baines is not as durable as he once was so I am on the side of caution with him but Coleman also has issues with his hamstrings (particularly last season).

      Personally I am going to hold Baines if he goes down 0.1 I can handle it (will be back to 5.5), after the tough fixture against Man City he should be a fine selection hopefully on penalties.

      In the extreme short term (2 weeks) he is a sell.

      Depends how you view the game and what your plans are. Defenders have scored so poorly this year that you are not really missing out on points if you stay patient with him.

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