Premier League fantasy football 2018-19 tips: defenders, goalkeepers to pick for Gameweek 1, bargains
Get your Fantasy Premier League defence rock solid and firing on the front foot with our tips, featuring plenty of bargain options
Fantasy Premier League fever is in full swing and there are just three days until the deadline on Friday as the new season gets under way.
Manchester United host Leicester at Old Trafford and fantasy users must get all their squad choices in an hour before kick-off – which means 7pm BST.
You may want to hold your horses until 5pm BST on Thursday though – that’s the transfer window deadline for all the Premier League clubs. and we could be set for a flurry of signings.
England duo Kieran Tripper (£6 million, 26.7 per cent) and Harry Maguire (£5.5 million, 24.6 per cent) are still top of everyone’s fantasy football wish lists when it comes to defenders.
But it’s important to remember the Tottenham right back and Leicester centre-back are unlikely to be involved in the first game or two.
If your squad can manage without them for Gameweek 1 then by all means go for it. Trippier creates is an assist machine – he got seven for Spurs last season – and creates chances aplenty, which helped him pick up 18 bonus points in his 113 overall.
Maguire scored 117 for Leicester last season, with nine clean sheets, but chipped in with two goals and four assists – he’s a huge threat form set pieces, as he showed in Russia.
Plenty are putting their faith in Virgil van Dijk (£6 million, 16.5 per cent) after eight clean sheets since moving to Liverpool in January, and it looks like Jurgen Klopp may finally have solved his defensive issues.
You may prefer Andy Robertson (£6 million, 15.3 per cent) if you’re picking a Liverpool defender, though – the left-back is slightly cheaper and had five assists last season and 111 points, and was a revelation for Klopp.
There is also a lot of support the man on the other flank at the back for Liverpool, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£5 million, 14.8 per cent).
The 19-year-old showed plenty of potential with a goal, two assists and 10 bonus points in his tally of 83 – you’d expect him to be start a lot more games this season too.
Dejan Lovren (£5 million, 11 per cent) fancies himself as one of the best defenders in the world too after reaching to Russia 2018 final, and it there’s a good amount of interest in Liverpool’s other centre back.
Chelsea pair Marcos Alonso (£16.5 million, 6.2 per cent) and Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.5 million, 16.1 per cent) are reliable for clean sheets, assists and goals from the back.
They were two of the highest scoring defenders last season, with 175 points and 165 points respectively, which makes the price worth it.
Surprisingly, no Manchester City defenders feature in the top 10 most selected. Kyle Walker (£6. 5 million, 10.6 per cent) is highest at 13th, and offers clean sheets 915 last season) and assists (six).
Nicolas Otamendi (£6.5 million, 9.2 per cent) had 156 points last season but he’s less fancied this year, but scored four goals from the back and had a hefty 21 bonus points, largely from his threat, with a high ICT index.
John Stones (£5.5 million, 8.8 per cent) is a bit cheaper but it is uncertain whether he can nail down a place in Pep Guardiola’s back line, despite his performances with England in Russia.
Benjamin Mendy (££6 million, 6.8 per cent) seems to be flying under the radar a bit, likely because of his price tag and the fact he missed most of his debut season at City with a serious knee injury.
But the Frenchman looked decent getting forward against Chelsea at Wembley last Sunday and could quickly become a must-have pick – so why not get ahead of the curve?
With Toby Alderweireld’s future uncertain, Jan Vertonghen (£6 million, 8.8 per cent) and Ben Davies (£6 million, 8.7 per cent) are good options if you want another Tottenham defender, who are reliable for clean sheets under Pochettino.
If you’re looking for budget buys, Charlie Daniels (£4.5 million, 17.2 per cent) is a popular bargain option – the Bournemouth man can be relied upon to chip in with a few goals and assists each season, but he only had 94 points in 2017-18.
Or you may like Jonny Evans (£5 million, 0.6 per cent) or his fellow Leicester new boy Ricardo Pereira (£5 million, 1.2 per cent).
There is uncertainty at Manchester United, and it’s never easy to predict Jose Mourinho’s defence because of injuries.
So perhaps it’s best to avoid any United defenders for now, especially with another centre back likely to be brought in on transfer deadline day.
Instead, maybe go for the man below …
David De Gea (£6 million, selected by 29.4 per cent of fantasy users) is the most popular goalkeeper choice, and why not?
He’s the best in the world and had 18 clean sheets and 115 saves for Manchester United last season, earning 172 points. Likely to start against Leicester after Spain’s early exit from the World Cup. A far more reliable bet than any of United’s revolving door of outfield defenders.
England hero Jordan Pickford (£5 million, 22.2 per cent) is the second-most selected goalkeeper, with plenty feeling he can carry on his heroics from Russia, though may be rested for the first game.
A reliable presence in an up-and-down Everton side last season with 10 clean sheets, 122 saves and subsequently 145 fantasy points. Still has plenty of room to improve at 24, and Marco Silva did a good job developing young players like Harry Maguire and Andy Robertson during his time at Hull.
Lukasz Fabianski (£4.5 million, 21.6 per cent) looks to be a relative bargain for West Ham as well as fantasy users.
He had 157 fantasy points with nine clean sheets and 137 saves in a Swansea side that suffered relegation. You can only imagine he’ll do better under Mauricio Pochettino.
Opting for Manchester City’s Ederson (£5.5 million, 17.3 per cent) would also be a no-brainer. He only made 58 saves last season but that’s a testament to City’s defence, and he had 16 clean sheets with 158 points.
Claudio Bravo started in the Community Shield win against Chelsea, but the Brazilian should be back between the sticks against Arsenal
Many are opting for Liverpool new boy Alisson (£5.5 million, 13.7 per cent) but while he looked the business for Brazil at the World Cup, his Premier League pedigree is still yet to be seen.
If you’re looking for a cheap backup option, why not try Rui Patricio (£4.6 million, 6.9 per cent) – Wolves have picked up a bargain with the veteran Portugal goalkeeper, and the club may be one of the surprise packages this season.