Today we have a look at filling out your defensive line with cheaper options, to ensure you keep those funds for your high points earning attackers. Over the past few season the 3-4-3 formation seems to be the most popular among the top players. That formation allows you to field 3 strikers in your starting 11, as well as 4 attacking minded midfielders. With only 3 of your 5 defenders starting at the back, it’s then important to minimize investment, but also to ensure you choose starters who can sub into your first eleven when it’s called for. Generally I would not recommend any aimless throwaways, even at the back for defender number 5. You will face injuries, rotation & fixtures throughout the season, so picking starters is a must. Lets have a look at the top 3 cheap starting defenders in the Fantasy Premier League this season.
Best Cheap Defenders for 2016/17
Jonny Evans £4.5m West Bromwich Albion
The former Manchester United defender brings bags of experience and quality and is a nailed on starter for West Brom. Evans has been thrown around as a possible transfer target for Arsenal this summer, which shows you the kind of quality that he has. West Brom manager Tony Pulis is well known for his conservative approach, with his teams usually keeping a high number of clean sheets – and thus defensive points for your Fantasy Football teams. Last season West Brom conceeded the 7th fewest goals in the premier league (48) and had the 7th most clean sheets (11) in the league. (more than Chelsea!). So West Brom defenders are going to grind out clean sheets throughout the season, and as a starter at just £4.5m Evans seem a logical pick for most Fantasy EPL teams. His ownership is currently sitting at 7.3%. Evans also picked up a single goal & assist last season, but don’t expect too much from him in that department. West Brom enjoy a relatively pleasant fixture list for the start of he season, avoiding all the big top 5 clubs until Gameweek 8.
Jordi Amat £4.0m Swansea
If your Fantasy squad is needing to squeeze every last pound into your starting 11, then Swansea’s Jordi Amat may be just the defender for you. At just £4.0m there is nobody cheaper in the game. Amat has made 35 appearances for Swansea City since signing in 2013, often a bit player offering cover for the first choice defenders. But with Ashley Williams’ transfer to Everton this summer, and with a knock to Federico Fernández putting him in doubt, Jordi Amat seems like a sure starter for the start of the season at the back for Swansea. The Swans managed 9 clean sheets last season in the Premier League, mainly showing good form at home. They has the 7th best home defense in t he league last season, conceding just 20 goals from their 19 home matches. Amat has also started in Swansea’s last two pre-season matches, so he’s ready to go for the new season. Swansea have a nice looking first two gameweeks, facing two newly promoted teams in Burnley (Away) and then Hull City (Home). Things look a little nasty after that though.
Erik Pieters £4.5 Stoke
Stoke City’s dutch left back Erik Pieters is our final cheap defender pick for 2016/17. Pieters has been a regular in the Stoke starting lineup for the past 3 seasons, managing more that 30 appearances for each of those three seasons. Last season Pieters played in all of their 10 matches where they earned a clean sheet bonus. Pieters has also started in all of Stoke’s pre-season matches, as their first choice left back. Stoke could quite easily finish in the top half of the table this season, so a £4.5 starting defender will offer Fantasy managers rotational cover. Stoke’s gameweek 1 opponents are Premier League newcomers Middlesbrough (Away).
Check out Best Defenses 2015-2016 for Clean sheets and Defensive Stats.