Streaming defenders is an essential tactic in Draft Fantasy Football, so we’re here to outline useful hints and tips on a weekly basis.
We pick out the best options for a clean sheet to be found in a Premier League defence with potentially low ownership, as well as players who look set to start for a top 6 side on a given gameweek. Pick up a free agent from one of these sides to give your team a better chance of victory!
We use the ownership statistics as per Draft Fantasy, with the rules being each player we highlight is required to have ownership of 30% or below.
Top Tip: Crystal Palace
The Team: This week we’re backing Crystal Palace, as they host a struggling Southampton side at Selhurst Park. The Eagles have been unlucky to taste defeat two games in a row, as they were beaten by the impressive Liverpool, and then by the surprise package of the season so far in Watford. We expect Palace to get back to winning ways this weekend, as they embark on a nice little run of fixtures.
The Players: Now here is where things get interesting… Crystal Palace have six players that could benefit from a clean sheet! Jeffrey Schlupp is classified as a defender on most platforms, but actually plays in midfield… he currently sits at 23% ownership on Draft Fantasy Football, and he looks set to continue in an advanced role. He’s certainly worth a look if you’re considering an Eagles “defender” for this weekend – he also features in our Hot List!
Elsewhere, the back four is likely to consist of Patrick Van Aanholt (57% DFF), Mamadou Sakho (15% DFF), and Aaron Wan-Bissaka (21% DFF), with either James Tomkins (11% DFF) or Martin Kelly (0.1% DFF) partnering Sakho. Wayne Hennessey (27% DFF) will remain in goal, if you’re after a new shot stopper.
Van Aanholt and Sakho are the best two picks for us, as Van Aanholt offers plenty of attacking potential, and Sakho is a bonus points magnet (if you include bonus points in your scoring system). During GW3 Sakho managed to gain two bonus points on Official FPL, despite the fact that his side conceded two goals and he gained zero attacking returns! Elsewhere, we would expect Wan-Bissaka to come back into the side for Joel Ward, after sitting out the GW3 defeat to Watford through suspension. Tomkins also sat out that fixture, as he was injured in the warm up. We’re currently unsure on his availability for the weekend, but Kelly is likely to deputise once again.
The Opposition: Southampton haven’t won a game so far this season, with their sole point coming during a bore-draw with Burnley on the opening day of the campaign. So far the Saints have scored just two goals, and look pretty toothless in front of goal. Loan signing Danny Ings is their one bright spark, but currently he’s getting pretty poor service it must be said. Mark Hughes announced that Ings is also doubftul for the GW4 match, as he’s been suffering with blisters – makes the clean sheet potential even greater! The likes of Nathan Redmond and Mohamed Elyounoussi really need to up their game if Southampton are to avoid relegation. We certainly expect Palace to be able to deal with their front line.
The Prospects: As alluded to above, the Crystal Palace schedule is looking pretty tasty, especially if you’re looking for clean sheets. After the GW4 clash with Southampton, the Eagles face Newcastle and Wolves at home, and Huddersfield and Bournemouth away. Investing in a Palace defender could serve you extremely well over the next five gameweeks!
Alternative Choice: Everton
Elsewhere, we’re looking towards Everton to gain their first shut-out of the season, as they face a Huddersfield side who have only scored one goal so far this season. The Toffee’s have a great chance of a clean sheet, despite being ropey at the back in their three games so far. We’re backing them for a clean sheet mainly due to Huddersfield’s lack of creativity, rather than Everton’s solidity.
In terms of the players to target, there is one player we really fancy from the Everton side this weekend: Kurt Zouma. The Frenchman was a deadline day signing for The Toffee’s, and looks set for his first start for the club this weekend, after Michael Keane suffered an injury in the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth. Zouma’s ownership is currently sitting at a lowly 1% on Draft Fantasy Football, so he would be a worthy addition to any side. Elsewhere, we would expect Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines to line up as the full backs, but as they have 48% and 46% ownership respectively, we wouldn’t expect them to be free agents in active Draft Leagues. Mason Holgate (0.4% DFF) will partner Zouma, as Phil Jageilka is out injured alongside Keane.
Looking Elsewhere: Monreal/Mustafi and Holebas
Looking now towards specific players who could be targeted this weekend, we firstly can’t look past Arsenal – the opposition of Cardiff City. The Premier League new boys haven’t scored a league goal so far this season, and it looks like they never will. A quote from Warnock during his Friday press conference prior to GW3: “I don’t think anyone would put any money on us scoring at the moment if I’m honest“… says it all really!!! Cardiff also lost 3-1 at home to Norwich Reserves during the mid-week League Cup fixtures…
Therefore, Arsenal are really a side you need to be looking at this weekend. Yes, we know the Gunners have been pretty woeful at the back so far this season… But the fact that they are playing Cardiff should bring their defenders to the forefront on your thinking. The two certain starters that are most likely to be free agents in Draft Fantasy Football Leagues are Nacho Monreal and Shkodran Mustafi, as they currently have 47% and 44% ownership respectively on Draft Fantasy Football. Monreal bagged himself a goal in the GW3 victory over West Ham, so he would be the better option out of the two in our eyes. It’s certainly worth picking up an Arsenal defender despite their recent poor form – their fixture list is looking pretty good for the next few weeks!
Elsewhere, Watford defender Jose Holebas is a great shout for a low ownership player who could perform well over the coming weeks. Watford have won all three games so far this season, and Holebas has been at the forefront of their attacking play; he’s bagged a goal and two assists. The Greek international is currently sitting at just 30% ownership on Draft Fantasy Football. The Hornets host Tottenham this weekend, and whereas we do not expect them to keep a clean sheet, considering their form they should score a goal or two. Holebas is likely to be involved if they do score, considering his abilities from set-pieces and wide areas.
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📝 Ownership Statistics 📝
The quoted ownership statistics were taken from Draft Fantasy. Check them out if you’re after an online platform for your Draft Fantasy Football league! Draft Fantasy uses a scoring system similar to the standard Official FPL game, and has many customisation options such as Kante Bonus, flex positions, custom scoring, and end of season play-offs!
🔥 Hot or Cold Player Rankings ❄️
Our Hot or Cold Player Rankings are here to outline the current prospects of key Draft Fantasy Football Players. Our ‘Hot‘ or ‘Cold‘ status will help take away your emotional attachment to certain Premier League players, and bring in the players that you need to help you dominate your Draft League. Use these hints and tips to increase your chances of success!
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