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 for a cleanie as they travel to fellow Premier League strugglers Huddersfield. Although Palace have shipped 6 goals in the opening four gameweeks we are confident that their defence can hold out against the leagues lowest goal scorers (along with West Ham and Cardiff).
The Players: There are multiple strong contenders for attacking differentials on top of the defensive returns in this Palace side. Wingbacks Patrick van Aanholt (54% DFF ownership) and available again Aaron Wan-Bissaka (22% DFF) have excellent attacking potential, combining for a total of 23 points in GW1. As the Draft Fantasy Football ownership statistics suggests van Aanholt is unlikely to be available in active leagues, we would highly recommend looking to one of our highly ranked in-form players; Jeffrey Schlupp (26% DFF). Whilst Schlupp is categorised as a defender, Palace have been playing him in a left wing position, increasing the potential for attacking returns. Although Mamadou Sakho (17% DFF) is less likely to bring attacking returns, he is a king of bonus points; and is a very useful squad member for any FPL Draft players who cannot get their hands of Wan-Bissaka, van Aanholt, or Schlupp.
The Opposition: Huddersfield are the joint lowest scorers in the Premier League having registered only 2 goals in the opening four gameweeks. It was highlighted in pre-season; Huddersfield have not strengthened in the attacking areas that often looked a little blunt last season. Last seasons main attacking outlets, Steve Mounie and Aaron Mooy have yet to find any form and much of the creative or attacking play has sat on the shoulders of midfielder Philip Billing.
The Prospects: The decision to bring in a Palace defender is not just a GW5 move, but can also be part of a more strategic long term plan. With Newcastle, Bournemouth, Wolves and Everton all coming up in the next four gameweeks.
Alternative Choice: Southampton
So what if you’ve already jumped on that Palace defensive train? We recommend taking a look at the potential Southampton offer to pick a low ownership defender with potential defensive returns for GW5.
Two reasons why you need to consider Southampton defenders for gameweek 5:
- Brighton are the away side. Brighton do not historically travel well in the Premier league having only scored 10 goals on the road since their promotion.
- Southampton are in the top 5 teams for defensive record this season, having only conceded 4 goals the Saints sit behind the top 4 Premier League teams; Liverpool (1 goal conceded), Chelsea, Watford, and Manchester City (all conceded 3 goals).
In terms of the players to target, we would always suggest looking to wing backs as the first port of call as they are more likely to pick up attacking returns to supplement their defensive returns. Ryan Bertrand (46% DFF) is unlikely to be available, but if he is then snap him up. A more likely target would be Cedric Soares (11% DFF) who is in excellent form having picked up an assist in GW4. Of the two central defenders, Jannik Vestergaard (7% DFF) and Wesley Hoedt (3% DFF), we would favour Vestergaard however there is very little between the two. It is worth mentioning goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (34% DFF) who has fully established himself as the no.1 and is in really good form. If McCarthy is available in your league he would be a worthwhile transfer to be your reserve keeper.
Looking Elsewhere: Digne and Rico
Looking now towards specific players who could be targeted this weekend. We are really feeling the attacking returns this gameweek and therefore can’t look past Premier League newbies Lucas Digne of Everton and Diego Rico of Bournemouth.
It has taken Digne (17% DFF) a few weeks to establish himself in the Premier League but in his first start he picked up an assist proving what we all thought; this lad has got attacking points in him. With Premier League basement boys West Ham up next, we are backing Digne for not only a clean sheet, but also an excellent chance for an attacking return (West Ham have both the joint worst attacking and defensive records so far this season). The only risk with Digne is the potential to be rotated with Baines; but he can’t be dropped the game after such an impressive display!
Much was said and written in the summer about Rico (1% DFF), however due to suspension we have been deprived of seeing him play until GW4. The 90 minute shift against Chelsea was a nice taster of what is to come from the wing back. Comfortable on the ball taking many of the Bournemouth set pieces, possessing pace and certainly keen in equal measures to both get forward and also fulfill his defensive duties. With Leicester up in GW5 we can certainly see Rico causing a few problems for the Foxes and we’re punting on him picking up some attacking returns this season. Looking ahead, Bournemouth and Rico will not face one of the big 6 for another five gameweeks; now would be the time to jump on Rico as he moves into our ‘hot’ form rankings!
📢 More Articles 📢
Check out our GW5 Punting For Gold article here!
📝 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!
📊 Previous Tips 📊