The Defensive Watchlist – Gameweek 13

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With a renewed vigor in his approach to team value @liambednarski reviews those who returned points in GW13 in the hope of uncovering an early bandwagon.

The Watchlist – Goalkeepers

Jordan Pickford (4.1) it is a rare week when the youngster doesn’t accumulate a save point. Is the value goalkeeper of the season. Buy.

Ben Foster (4.7) his side is currently pushing above its weight, always defensively minded he remains a steady option. Consider.

Tom Heaton (4.8) he is set for some time on the sidelines with a calf injury. These can typically take 1-3 weeks to recover from. Hold.

Lee Grant (4.1) collected a clean sheet with Butland still a no-show his worthy of a place in your 15 man squad. Hold.

The Ponder – Goalkeepers

Frasier Forster (5.0) another clean sheet for the giant with fixtures turning in his teams favour he is worth consideration. Strongly Consider.

Loris Karius (4.9) the cheapest way into the Liverpool defence. He is worthy of consideration given the upturn in the Red’s fixtures. Strongly Consider.

Darren Randolph (4.4) was superb in only his second start of the season denying Manchester United on a number of occasions. Monitor.

Paul Robinson (4.0) the veteran goalkeeper made his first start in many years as injury cover for Tom Heaton. Light Monitor.

Ron-Robert Zieler (4.4) his a decent goalkeeper but he doesn’t look capable of world class saves to accumulate clean sheets. Avoid.

The Watchlist – Defenders

Liverpool joined Stoke City as the only clean sheets in GW13 as the difficulties at the back continue this season. One has to sit back and seriously consider heavy investment in defenders this season given the myriad of mid-price midfielders available this season. Looking at the defending between Swansea and Crystal Palace was enough to make even Sunday League footballers cringe.

The Chelsea Run is Over, Another about to Begin?

Chelsea were denied a seventh straight clean sheet after a superb left-foot effort from outside the box from Christian Eriksen. It took something special to break down this excellent defensive line. Hats off to you Eriksen. They now face Manchester City at home before embarking on a favorable run of fixtures. My general advice is to wait an additional GW to obtain a Chelsea defender. Although I always say ‘go with your gut’ based on your individual situation, everyone’s 15 man squad is different.

Marcus Alonso (6.2) remains the standout option with his insanely high positioning providing numerous opportunities for FPL points. He does lack the required composure in the final third though. Buy.

Cesar Azpilicueta (6.2) he is a strong option although is now playing as a centre-back so Alonso remains the preferred option. Strongly Consider.


A second consecutive clean sheet for the Reds, as they kept lowly Sunderland out ahead of a favorable run of fixtures. The injury prone Dejan Lovren (5.1) is the most cost effective option with Joel Matip (5.5) providing a constant threat from set pieces. Buy.

Nathaniel Clyne (5.7) is a deceiving FPL player, his pace and forward runs look exciting but they very rarely end in attacking or bonus points. Avoid.

Super Southampton

Having earnt their fifth clean sheet of the season in FPL the south-coast side have been remarkably resilient. Without attacking outlets in Tadic and Boufal they managed to secure all three points against Everton.

Cedric (4.9) is the standout option at the back for Southampton, the Euro 2016 champion has just returned from injury. He has attacking and bonus point potential and comes in at a cut price. Buy.

West Bromwich Albion

They crashed back to earth with Michael Dawson (4.4) snatching away our seemingly routine West Brom clean sheet.

Chris Brunt (4.9) played in midfield again, is likely to retain his role with Chadli returning from knee surgery. He is a classy player who is likely to accumulate FPL points in an OOP role. Buy.

Gareth McAuley (4.8) his goal threat combined with a boost in fixtures make him a strong option with another 10 point haul proof of that. Buy.

Allan Nyom (4.3) remains one of the best value defender on the market at the current time with the left-back role seemingly secure. Buy.

The Mid Price – Defenders

Jose Holebas & Daryl Janmaat (4.8) as impressive as Holebas has been his team mate is shaping as the better FPL product over the course of the season with a real goal threat.  Strongly Consider.

Glen Johnson (4.7) collected an eight point haul in his full return to the side. He has the best attacking upside within the Stoke City defence although suffers a lot of injuries these days. Strongly Consider.

Patrick van Aanholt (5.0) the man dubbed as PVA Glue is about to embark on a favourable run of fixtures (yes Sunderland can have a favourable run) in which clean sheets look reasonably likely. He doesn’t need too many though as his an attacking points magnet. Strongly Consider.

Adam Smith (4.8) returned to action after missing a match due to five yellow cards. He was an attacking outlet playing OOP in midfield. Strongly Consider.

Robert Huth & Wes Morgan (5.0) the Leicester duo embark on a kind run of fixtures yet without Kasper in goal seem unlikely to accumulate too many clean sheets. Light Monitor.

The Budget – Defenders –

Erik Pieters (4.5) his team has a strong schedule ahead and he is the cheapest way into the Stoke City side. Buy.

The Punt – Defenders –

Nathan Ake (4.2) made his second start for Bournemouth and again was threating from set pieces. He could be a viable 5th defender as we approach the winter months. Strong Monitor.

Others – Defenders

Neil Taylor (4.3) as his teams fixtures take a favourable turn the Welsh left-back is worthy of consideration. Given he can secure a starting role. Consider.

Josh Tymon (4.0) the youngster played 90 minutes in his second match for Hull City. He is beginning to shape as a defensive option at spot five. Monitor.

Jordi Amat (4.1) is winning the battle to continue as the 5th defender given the upturn in fixtures for Swansea. Although conceding four goals is never a good sign. Monitor.

Marc Muniesa (4.2) stepped in for Ryan Shawcross obtaining a clean sheet but it should be a shortlived rotation ploy from Stoke City. Avoid.

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

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

10 comments on “The Defensive Watchlist – Gameweek 13

  1. The Swan and Paedo

    Hey mate, not posted here for quite a while but have been following your great work as always.

    Current backline is:


    Alonso is coming into my team in GW16 no matter what it takes and looks a likely season-keeper. I can do Coutinho to Eriksen this week and Matip to Alonso the week after and leave the rest as it is.
    Alternatively I could do Couts to someone sub 7.3m and upgrade Holebas or Pieters to Alonso.

    This would give me a pretty solid defense. It also means I can hold Matip till GW 18 when his fistures run out, switch him to an Arsenal def as their fixtures are then insane and then change the Ars player to a Spurs player in GW26 when their fixtures become very good.

    So basically it’s a choice between Alonso and 4 rotating or it’s Alonso, another premium and 3 rotating.

    • Liam Post Author

      I don’t think Eriksen is the answer with the large amount of position rotation within the Spurs side.

      His a consistent long shooter and bagged an amazing goal which was a 1/25 chance or thereabouts.

      Gylfi is the midfielder of choice in my mind for Coutinho replacements.

      Depends on your forwards as well and where you need the cash as to a decision on two premiums at the back.

      Given the trend of the clean sheets this season it is difficult to advise a double premium selection. That said the clean sheet situation has to turn at some point and with favorable fixtures Arsenal are certainly worth considering.

      Good to hear from you with the more irregular posting toiled and missed weeks I had lost my regular commenters which is a great shame because I love the questions.

    • EmGee

      There is the perfect Sigurdsson sized hole there assuming you don’t have him my friend. You won’t be disappointed. Or is he 0.1 too expensive after his price rise?

      • Liam Post Author

        I’m in a pickle myself though already owning Gylfi.

        Going to have to wait on Firmino injury update later in the week.

        Couldn’t afford Mane by 0.1 damn Brunt upgrade last week left me shortchanged rookie mistake.

        Always carry a little bit of spare change even with two free transfers.

  2. Steven Sexton

    I’ve already made two trades and copped a -4 and just realised that my defense is a big issue. Here is what it looks like:
    Francis, Holebas, Friend, Kingsley & Lenihan. Ok I know I have a budget defense that is not the issue. The issue is obviously do I take a -8 or just take the one or potentially two donuts?

    • stevenfsexton

      I already traded out Lukaku and Coutinho and yes my team is over invested in attack, I know. The funny thing is I got three donuts in defense last week and still won my match thanks mainly to Sanchez C(Holebas YC 55 mins, Francis YC 3 Goals Conceded & Kingsley DNP). Holebas is now 75% chance to play and Friend is due back this weekend according to the FPL site but all I can find on twitter is that he is another couple of weeks away….hmmm

      • Liam Post Author

        I would hold off on the third trade until Saturday until the press conferences are completed regarding Friend’s injury.

        What I do know is Middlesborough’s manager is conservative with injuries he will always give players more time to recover then necessarily needed.

        I suggest a stronger 4th defender with the game weeks coming thick and fast in December with a higher chance of injuries.

        As for this third trade what are the long term benefits to your side?

        The short term benefits are negative with -4 points but does it position you well next week for a trade?

        FPL is like chess in this regard you always have to think two or three steps ahead.

        • stevenfsexton

          ok got my lateral thinking going and its not worth it even if the player such as nyom gets a cs then i only get 2 points more, not worth the risk thanks!

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