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.
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.
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.
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.