Football Features

2022/23 Fantasy Premier League: The defenders to pick and who to avoid

By Harry Edwards

2022/23 Fantasy Premier League: The defenders to pick and who to avoid

Published: 14:10, 30 July 2022

The 2022/23 Premier League campaign starts in less than a week which can only mean one thing. Fantasy Premier League is back!

The top managers will probably have drafted and redrafted their team hundreds of times trying to get it right ahead of Friday’s 6:30pm BST deadline, with unlimited transfers up until the start of the season. But who’s in your team?

Defence is definitely a tough position to consider in FPL. Do you go for the players that will guarantee your clean sheets and an extra four points, or a full-backs and wing-backs that play high up the pitch to get the attacking output?

Whichever you choose, and remember you can go for all centre-backs or all full-backs if you wish, there are of course good and bad options.

So which defence prices stand out for good and bad reasons? Who do you want to pick and who is best to avoid?

We’ve done the work for you, looking through the players released so far, so read on for our early FPL advice.

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To pick: Ben Chilwell

Club: Chelsea
Price: £6.0m
2021/22 score: 55

When looking through FPL’s list of defenders, you’ll have to go to the third page to find Ben Chilwell when ranking on points, as the Englishman only picked up 55 in the 2021/22 campaign. But, as we all know, that’s because he missed a large part of the season through injury, only making his return on the final day.

Chilwell is a big part of Thomas Tuchel’s gameplan at Chelsea and averaged 7.9 FPL points per match last season, better than any other defender – thanks in part to three goals, one assist and four clean sheets (in seven games). Getting back to full fitness, he should be Chelsea’s starting left-wing-back and £6.0m is a decent price.

First five matches: Everton (A), Tottenham (H), Leeds (A), Leicester (H), Southampton (A)

To avoid: John Stones

Club: Man City
Price: £5.5m
2021/22 score: 70

When picking defenders you’ll probably have a variety of prices and at £5.5m, playing for Man City, John Stones may look like a decent option especially with 5.0 points per match last season. But he won’t really play and is far too expensive a risk to take.

The Englishman managed 1,118 minutes in the Premier League last season as Man City’s third-choice centre-back, over 1,000 fewer than his teammates Aymeric Laporte (2,834) and Ruben Dias (2,403).

First five matches: West Ham (A), Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (A), Crystal Palace (H), Nottingham Forest (H)

To pick: Ivan Perisic

Club: Tottenham
Price: £5.5m
2021/22 score: N/A

Seeing Ivan Perisic listed as a defender should immediately be enough to persuade you to get him in your team. Of course, Perisic will play as a wing-back for Antonio Conte but we all know how the Italian’s wing-backs actually play, which should see the former Inter Milan man thriving.

In Serie A last season, Perisic was directly involved in 15 goals, scoring eight and providing a further seven assists. With Harry Kane and Son Heung-min to aim for in the box, Perisic is going to FEAST.

First five matches: Southampton (H), Chelsea (A), Wolves (H), Nottingham Forest (A), West Ham (A)

Find the latest Premier League winner odds for the 2022/2023 season here:

Club Chance Paddy Power
Arsenal 53.59% 4/6
Manchester City 45.46% 6/5
Man Utd 0.77% 50/1
Newcastle 0.17% 80/1
Liverpool 0.01% 375/1
Tottenham 0% 500/1
Probability % provided by StatsPerform
You have to be 18+ to gamble. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (08:30, 03/02/2023). BeGambleAware.

To avoid: Jamaal Lascelles

Club: Newcastle
Price: £4.5m
2021/22 score: 47

On the flip side, not every £4.5m defensive pick is a good one. Sure, you’re not buying them with the intent of playing them, but there may be a time when you do have to – due to injury or suspension. So you’ll want to steer clear of someone like Jamaal Lascelles.

Newcastle’s business in the summer transfer window means that Lascelles probably won’t play too much, despite making 26 Premier League appearances last season and being club captain. He is surely set to fall behind Dan Burn and Sven Botman in Eddie Howe’s centre-back partnership and posted an average of 1.8 points per match last season. There are better options, even for the fillers.

First five matches: Brighton (H), Brentford (A), Liverpool (H), Southampton (A), Leicester (A)

To pick: Kyle Walker

Club: Man City
Price: £5.0m
2021/22 score: 85

Kyle Walker may have only scored 85 points in FPL last season but the Englishman was injured a fair bit, so we’re hoping the worst is behind him. But even if it isn’t, it’s worth taking the early risk for that price of £5.0m.

If he does play consistently, Walker will help Man City bring in the clean sheets, keeping 10 in his 20 appearances in the Premier League last season. Walker also added two assists and won five bonus points, so there’s a chance he’ll contribute there – but we’re all about the defending here.

First five matches: West Ham (A), Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (A), Crystal Palace (H), Nottingham Forest (H)

To avoid: Andrew Robertson

Club: Liverpool
Price: £7.0m
2021/22 score: 186

Hear us out.

Yes, only two defenders earned more FPL points than Andrew Robertson’s 186 last season and he did score three goals with 11 assists and 17 clean sheets. But it’s the price.

You’ll definitely want a marquee defender in your team but Joao Cancelo and Trent Alexander-Arnold are the better options. They’re selected by more people, with Robertson only in 10.2% of teams right now, so you’ll probably want to go with them to not miss out – and they get forward more than the Scot does.

This is absolutely nothing against Robertson and you can have him as your marquee defender if you want. But just think about it first.

First five matches: Fulham (A), Crystal Palace (H), Man Utd (A), Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (H)