The opening week of the Premier League saw quite a few goal contributions from defenders, which rewarded a few Fantasy Premier League managers who took a risk on playing them or overloading their teams with more defenders.
This could tempt some FPL managers to feel that this might be the season for defenders. There are major pluses to having goal-contributing defenders. That is because they get the most points (+6) for scoring and +3 for assists. If that can be backed up with a clean sheet, you are potentially looking at a 10-point joy from a single defender.
While some FPL managers might be scrambling to bring in some of the top-performing defenders from game-week one, it could actually turn out to be a major gamble that blows up on your faces. Here are some false prophets from the opening weekend that are not worth the risk.
Chelsea newboy Axel Disasi had a dream debut for the Blues, scoring in his debut game in their 1-1 draw against Liverpool. The Frenchman popped up in the right moment to score a smart goal after a set-piece to help his side earn a point.
However, it’d be unnecessary to dish out 5.0 for a centre-back like Disasi. Chelsea have a new backline that is still adapting to playing together and are going to struggle for clean sheets in these opening months.
Mauricio Pochettino’s attack-minded style leaves quite a lot of room for opponents to pounce on and Robert Sanchez isn’t exactly the one to bail them out every time. Moreover, Disasi himself was outwitted by Luis Diaz for Liverpool’s goal and can show lapses in concentration at times. If you are desperate for a Chelsea defender, then spend a bit more on 5.5 Ben Chilwell – who is also a set-piece taker.
Tottenham Hotspur began the Ange Postecoglou era with a thrilling 2-2 draw against Brentford, a game that was full of thrills and spills. One of the best moments featured Spurs defender Emerson Royal shutting his doubters with an incredible strike.
With his side losing 2-1, the right-back somehow got into a central area just outside the Brentford box and let rip with a devastating, unstoppable strike that blasted into the back of the net. His goal earned Emerson an impressive 8 point despite conceding twice.
However, it’d be foolish to put your eggs in his basket, despite the lucrative 4.5 price. Emerson is quite error-prone and very rarely contributes goals, doing so only four times across the entirety of last season. Spurs might have some mouth-watering fixtures ahead, but they still seem really shaky defensively and full of errors – with new goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario not the most convincing either.
Taking a hit to bring in Emerson will probably end up in a loss than profit, especially with Pedro Porro waiting on the wings and urged to come back to the lineup soon.
Crystal Palace began their campaign with a gritty 1-0 win over Premier League newcomers Sheffield United and were inspired by their commanding centre-back Joachim Andersen. The Danish defender was a total rock at the back and earned three bonus points to start the FPL season with 9 points!
His 4.5 price range could be enticing, but there are possible complications from bringing him on board onto your FPL team. Firstly, Palace have some daunting fixtures ahead, as they host title conteders Arsenal in their first home game before havig away trips to Brentford, Aston Villa and Manchester United on the horizon.
Even though they kept 8 clean sheets in the 32 league games in which Andersen started last season, the new injury time system can ruin Palace’s hopes of shutouts. The Eagles’ immediate schedule is risky to bring in Andersen for a hit, because he rarely scores goals (only did once last season) and will be left with 2 points or under with no clean sheet.
Just like Palace, Fulham also had to grind their way to a narrow win to start their campaign with all three points. They had to go through some major scares at Goodison Park against Everton, with a second-half winner from Bobby Reid getting them the win.
Issa Diop performed like an absolute star on the day, coming up with clutch challenges and clearances to frustrate the hosts. His heroics also earned him an 8 point start to the FPL, making the managers who had him very happy.
However, taking a hit or wasting your transfer on the Fulham defender is probably not wise now. That is because, despite their clean sheet, Fulham did not look secure at the back against Everton – who had 9 shots on target. Ultimately, Bernd Leno’s heroics and poor finishing saved Fulham.
There is no guarantee the same wil happen in their next games, which include games against Brentford, Arsenal and Man City in the next weeks. So despite his 4.5 price, Diop could be a bad pick for now because Fulham look likely to concede quite a few goals in the next games and that will only fetch you a couple of points by opting for someone like Diop.