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The top ten defenders picks for your Draft Fantasy Football team

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With five defenders required for your squad, it’s important to get the choice right as defenders can become regular and reliable points scorers for your side. Such a source of points is crucial if your forwards and midfielders go through patches of bad form.

Clean sheets are the bread and butter of a defender’s game, worth four points each, but it’s also good to be aware of the high potential for goal scoring defenders, with each strike worth an impressive six points for a defender.

Discipline is also key, with one point lost for each yellow card and three lost for every red card, so some of the hot headed Premier League defenders may be best avoided.

Here, The Boot Room offer top ten picks for the first round of your Draft Fantasy in defence…

10. Nathaniel Clyne – Liverpool 

Almost unchallenged as the first choice right-back at Anfield, Clyne is another full-back with an important attacking contribution as well as defensively. Jurgen Klopp is looking to add strength to his defence this summer and that will play into Clyne’s hands too as he is already a high scorer.

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9. Danny Rose – Tottenham Hotspur

Like Kyle Walker on the opposite flank, Rose can often be found playing more as a wing-back than as a full-back. That freedom to roam forwards and contribute to his team’s attack gives him huge potential if he can avoid injury next season after missing the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

8. Ryan Bertrand – Southampton

Southampton were very strong defensively last season under Claude Puel and are likely to maintain that conviction under Mauricio Pellegrino. Bertrand was the biggest benefactor given his powerful runs down the left side of the field to support attacks and he scores unexpectedly high.

7. Michael Keane – Everton

The new summer signing was one of the top scoring defenders in the game last summer whilst with Burnley, and now having taken a step up to Everton he should be ready to score even more points. Likely to be first choice and with a group of talented defenders around him, the only concern may be how long it takes the new unit to gel.

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6. Charlie Daniels – Bournemouth

Daniels has taken up Leighton Baines’ mantel as a high scoring full-back with his penalty taking heroics. Bournemouth may not be the strongest side defensively but with Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake brought in this summer, they’re likely to be much harder to beat this season.

5. Kyle Walker – Tottenham Hotspur

Whilst it’s not yet clear if he will be a Tottenham player or a Manchester City player come September, Walker will continue his marauding displays down the flank. Similar to Alonso in that he occasionally plays more as a wing-back than a full-back, Spurs also boast a solid defensive record.

4. Antonio Valencia – Manchester United

A regular pick at Old Trafford under Jose Mourinho, Valencia is a disciplined player who rarely picks up yellow or red cards but regularly keeps clean sheets. On top of that, he does support the wingers in front of him and has an important contribution going forward.

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3. Toby Alderweireld – Tottenham Hotspur

Alderweireld has developed a reputation as one of the Premier League’s top defenders and rightly so with his assured displays. That brings in clean sheets and given that he’s also a threat at set pieces with three goals last season, the 28-year-old soon racks up the points.

2. Cesar Azpilicueta – Chelsea

Part of a reliable defence and a player who is almost always picked to start, Azpilicueta is a regular points scorer. Unlike David Luiz and Gary Cahill alongside him, the Spaniard is afforded to roam forwards more often and that’s reflected in his goal and assist returns with four assists last term.

1. Marcos Alonso – Chelsea

There are a huge six points on offer for goals scored by defenders, and Alonso is the most prolific goalscorer available. Many would argue that he should be listed as a midfielder such is his attacking contribution, but it just makes him an even more attractive pick for your draft.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

Bournemouth

West Ham should bring Jermain Defoe back to East London

The 35-year-old made just 11 appearances in the league this season.

Josh Kerr

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Jermain Defoe
Photo: Getty Images

Despite a truly disappointing and underwhelming season for West Ham, the club managed to restore some pride when they finished the season with a 3-1 win over Everton at the London Stadium.

However, one result doesn’t shy away from a season of turmoil and rebellion from Hammers fans, as the club finished 13th with the toxic atmosphere in East London directed towards the owners.

The future is also uncertain for David Moyes but, if the Scotsman is to start thinking about potential transfers, the 55-year-old Scot should consider bringing former West Ham forward Jermain Defoe back to East London.

The 35-year-old hit 37 goals in 93 games for Sunderland before re-signing for Bournemouth on a free transfer last summer, a move that seemed a brilliant piece of business from the Cherries.

However, Defoe has been restricted to just 11 Premier League games this campaign, scoring just four goals. And, while the Englishman hasn’t hit the highs of last season, he is still a goalscoring threat to be reckoned with.

Despite Rangers being labelled the bookmaker’s favourites to sign the former Tottenham striker, according to Paddy Power, West Ham should definitely consider swooping for one of the Premier League’s ultimate poachers.

(Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for Premier League)

West Ham have struggled with their forward options this season with Javier Hernández becoming frustrated on the bench, whilst Andy Carroll has also failed to hit the mark having struggled with injuries.

Defoe scored 18 goals during his time at Upton Park, quickly becoming a fans favourite, so should the Hammers bring back one of their former club heroes?

Considering Bournemouth have the likes of Joshua King and Callum Wilson in their forward line, they may be interested in offers for the 132-time Premier League scorer.

West Ham struggled for attacking firepower this term, with Marko Arnautovic largely relied upon upfront. Therefore, reinforcements are likely to arrive at the London Stadium during the summer.

When a player like Jermain Defoe shows even a slight sign of being unhappy, in this case, due to a lack of game time, it should then become the club-in-need’s priority to swoop.

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Bournemouth

Wolves must ensure Benik Afobe stays at Molineux next season

Josh Kerr

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Afobe
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Wolves have secured their promotion to the Premier League in emphatic style. Registering 99 points as champions is a fantastic achievement for the Midlands side.

However, there is still business that needs attending to before returning to the promise lands of England’s top division.

Wolves striker and Bournemouth loanee Benik Afobe’s future is still undecided and the Wanderers have to act fast if they are to make the deal permanent.

According to the Birmingham Live, there are terms of their loan agreement with Bournemouth that state the club have until May 31st to decide on whether they will make the deal permanent.

The Bournemouth Echo have also reported that Wolves will get first choice as to whether they sign the £12 million-rated striker on a permanent deal.

Despite not being a regular feature in the Championship all season, Afobe still boasts six league goals from nine appearances proving he could have more to offer next season.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Also, considering his experience in the Premier League, the 25-year-old would be a useful addition as they prepare for life in the top flight.

Afobe endured a successful first spell at the Molineux Stadium before his move to Bournemouth, reported by BBC Sport to be in the region of £10 million.

His initial two years at the club saw 23 goals in 48 appearances and the former England under-21’s star quickly became a fan favourite before leaving for the Cherries in 2016.

He rejoined Wolves in the January window, on loan, leaving the striker “crying in his car with happiness”, according to BBC Sport.

The 6ft striker has 63 Premier League appearances under his belt, and for £12 million it is surely worth the expenditure to have Afobe leading in the dressing room next season.

The move would be ideal for both parties as Afobe has failed to establish himself as Bournemouth’s first choice striker, falling behind the likes of Joshua King, Callum Wilson and Jermaine Defoe in Eddie Howe’s side.

Wolves supporters were delighted to see their former hero return home, and with a full season ahead of him, Afobe could be the man to help fire the goals that could keep the Midlands outfit in the division next season.

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Bournemouth

Can Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe become Everton’s next ‘David Moyes’?

Eddie Howe could follow in the footsteps of former Toffees boss David Moyes.

Max Cohen

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Eddie Howe
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On Wednesday night, Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side were unlucky to fall to a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, as the Premier League 11th ranked club gave the Red Devils a torrid time.

The remarkable success of the young English manager at Dean Court bears an uncanny resemblance to the career path of David Moyes. Just like Moyes, Howe would be a perfect fit at Goodison Park.

In 1998, Moyes began his managerial career at the tender age of 34 at Preston North End, who were then struggling at the foot of the third division of English football. The Scot proceeded to engineer a fantastic turnaround at the club, avoiding relegation in his first season and achieving promotion just two years later.

Moyes brought Preston within inches of promotion to the Premier League the very next season, but the Lilywhites were defeated in the play-off final by Bolton.

Everton v West Ham United - Premier League

(Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)

In 2002, the Merseyside club came knocking, signing Moyes in March with the club in the relegation dogfight. The Glaswegian kept the Toffees up that season, and the rest is history.

11 years at Goodison Park brought unprecedented success, with Champions League qualification, a string of top-seven finishes, and even finishing above dreaded rivals Liverpool on occasion.

Just like Moyes, Eddie Howe started his career in coaching in his early thirties, and has enjoyed immense success in lifting a lower-league club up the English league system.

Howe took over at Bournemouth when he was 31, steering them clear of the League 2 relegation places in 2009, gaining promotion to League 1 in 2010, going up to the Championship in 2014, and reaching the Premier League in 2015.

If anything, Howe has experienced more success than Moyes before joining Everton, as his Bournemouth side have tremendously overachieved in the top flight and look set to secure their Premier League status for the third consecutive year.

Everton would do well to acquire the services of the youthful English manager in the summer, as his arrival just might spark a similar revival to that of David Moyes.

With his incredible knack of getting the best out of his players, Howe would revitalise the Toffees and breath fresh life into a directionless club; just like the Scot did 16 years ago.

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