Fantasy Football

FPL best defender picks: How to combat Estupinan’s injury woes

By Andrew Francis

Published: 12:00, 6 October 2023

Whether you prefer three, or four, at the back the right right defensive line can make all the difference. We’ve got you covered with all of the info ahead of Gameweek 8. 

Ideally, you are looking to include defenders that are expected to keep clean sheets, but the best defensive assets will also provide an attacking threat at the other end of the field.

Using our new FPL tool — Squawka Score — we can provide you with the best options to consider, comparing a player’s output per 90 minutes against the best attacking defenders in the game.

What is the Squawka Score? You can learn more about how we devised our fantasy football ranking system here.

Best FPL defenders
Top defender pick for Gameweek 8
Best cheap defenders for Gameweek 8
Best defenders with easy fixtures

Alexander-Arnold and Estupinan still the top choice

Here are the top 10 Premier League defenders based on their FPL Squawka Score from the 2023 calendar year.

Player FPL Squawka Score 23/24 Team 23/24 FPL Price
Matty Cash 66% Aston Villa 4.9
Kieran Trippier 64% Newcastle 6.8
Ben White 62% Arsenal 5.5
Joachim Andersen 62% Crystal Palace 4.8
Pedro Porro 61% Spurs 5.0
Levi Colwill 60% Chelsea 4.6
Sven Botman 60% Newcastle 4.7
Kyle Walker 60% Man City 5.3
Trent Alexander-Arnold 60% Liverpool 7.9
Kristoffer Ajer 59% Brentford 4.5

Estupinan replacement revealed

Every week, we will bring you a Differential Duel to shine a light on a player who both ranks well according to our Squawka Score system and could be being overlooked by the majority of FPL players.

We will do the numbers and pit them against each other but, ultimately, the power is in your hands.

Ahead of Gameweek 8, we look for a replacement for Pervis Estupinan (55.5%), who has been ruled out for the next month through injury.

The injury has rocked the Brighton backline, who have a number of key matches in both the Premier League and Europa League over the next four weeks.

We believe we’ve identified the perfect replacement, though. Pedro Porro (7.1%) has been a mainstay in the Spurs defence this season, contributing 26 points in FPL so far.

As you can see below, Porro also outranks Estupinan in all of our key metrics on the Comparison Matrix and, coming in at 0.3m cheaper than the Ecuadorian, gives you a little bit more money in the bank

Here’s how their 2022/23 stats compare on our Comparison Matrix

Ajer and Andersen the best budget options

With the £100million budget to adhere to, FPL managers need to be a bit tactical with their selections.

Using our Squawka Score super computer, we have found some budget defenders for you to consider ahead of Gameweek 8.

The best 4.5 picks for 23/24 FPL

  1. Kristoffer Ajer, Brentford (59%)
  2. Timothy Castagne, Fulham (53%)
  3. Willy Boly, Nottingham Forest (51%)

The best 5.0 picks for 23/24 FPL

  1. Joachim Andersen, Crystal Palace (62%)
  2. Pedro Porro, Spurs (61%)
  3. Levi Colwill, Chelsea (60%)

 Plenty of value in the FDR rankings

Before submitting your defence for Gameweek 8, it is worth doing one final check to accommodate one other factor.

Here, we have crunched the numbers on the FPL’s official Fixture Difficulty Rating (FDR) and used our Squawka Score ranking system to determine the best pick from each club with an ‘easy’ fixture this Gameweek.

Team Top pick FPL Squawka Score 23/24 FPL Price
Aston Villa Matty Cash 66% 4.9
Bournemouth Max Aarons 24% 4.5
Chelsea Levi Colwill 60% 4.6
Crystal Palace Joachim Andersen 62% 4.8
Everton James Tarkowski 50% 4.4
Fulham Timothy Castagne 53% 4.5
Nottingham Forest Willy Boly 51% 4.5
Sheffield United Jayden Bogle 37% 4.5
Spurs Pedro Porro 61% 5.0