Fantasy Football

FPL best defender picks: Budget, differential and premium tips for Gameweek 9

By Andrew Francis

Published: 7:30, 20 October 2023

The right defensive line can prove to be the difference between success and failure. We’ve got you covered with all of the info ahead of Gameweek 9. 

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 9
Best cheap defenders for Gameweek 9
Best defenders with easy fixtures

Porro and Alexander-Arnold lead the charge

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
Pedro Porro 71% Spurs 5.1
Trent Alexander-Arnold 70% Liverpool 7.9
Andy Robertson 70% Liverpool 6.6
Kieran Trippier 65% Newcastle 6.9
Ben White 63% Arsenal 5.6
Nathan Ake 62% Man City 5.1
Konstantinos Tsimikas 59% Liverpool 4.4
Kristoffer Ajer 59% Brentford 4.5
Matty Cash 57% Aston Villa 5.0
Reece James 57% Chelsea 5.3

Botman 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 9, we look for a replacement for Sven Botman (16.1%), who continues to struggle with a knee problem.

The injury put an end to the great run of form that Botman was experiencing, picking up 30 points from his opening six fixtures.

We believe we’ve identified the perfect replacement, though, and it comes in the form of his teammate Fabian Schar.

Schar has played the full 90 minutes in every Premier League game this season, picking up 26 points in the process and, with Newcastle having some favourable fixtures in the next few weeks, Schar could be the perfect replacement for the injured Botman.

Here’s how their 2023/24 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. Konstantinos Tsimikas, Liverpool (59%)
  2. Kristoffer Ajer, Brentford (59%)
  3. Murillo, Nottingham Forest (56%)

The best 5.0 picks for 23/24 FPL

  1. Matty Cash, Aston Villa (57%)
  2. Josko Gvardiol, Man City (56%)
  3. Joachim Andersen, Crystal Palace (56%)

 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 57% 5.0
Bournemouth Marcos Senesi 31% 4.4
Brentford Kristoffer Ajer 57% 4.5
Liverpool Trent Alexander-Arnold 70% 7.9
Luton Alfie Doughty 50% 4.4
Man United Diogo Dalot 56% 4.9
Newcastle Kieran Trippier 63% 6.9
Nottingham Forest Murillo 37% 4.5
Spurs Pedro Porro 71% 5.1
Wolves Jonny 45% 4.4