Premier League fantasy football 2018-19 tips: defenders to pick for Gameweek 2
Left backs stole the show in Gameweek 1, with Luke Shaw, Benjamin Mendy and Andy Robertson among the goals, assists and bonus points
Getting your defence right and building from the back can be the bedrock of Fantasy Premier League success – and you’ll probably already know if you should stick or twist after Gameweek 1.
Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers will be assessing the damage after a lively opening weekend of the new season, which threw up a few shocks.
Unsurprisingly there were clean sheets for Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and fantasy favourites Burnley – though plenty of FPL managers will have been throwing the remote at the television or slamming their Reddit soccer stream shut after Manchester United conceded in added-time against Leicester.
Getting off to a good start can be vital in FPL, so if you fancy using your Gameweek 2 free transfer to bolster your backline – or if you’re already hitting the panic button and ripping things up by playing your wild card – here are our picks for defenders to consider.
Pep Guardiola joked “sometimes you want to kill” Benjamin Mendy (£6.1 million, 15 points) because of his social media antics, but the Manchester City boss was clearly thrilled with his left back’s performance in the 2-0 opening win against Arsenal.
If you took our suggestion to gamble on the marauding Frenchman – who missed most of last season through injury – for Gameweek 1, then you will have been rewarded with 2 assists and a clean sheet.
With 3 bonus points to boost, his price has already gone up so perhaps it’s best to get him in while you can still afford it.
And City now play this season’s three promoted sides and last season’s three promoted sides in their next six games – so you can expect some more clean sheets.
Accordingly, if you’re looking for another City defender or two, Kyle Walker (£6.5 million, 7 points) terrorised Arsenal on the right flank having been restored to his natural position, and managed to pick up a bonus point.
John Stones (£5.5 million, 8 points) also looked solid with 2 bonus points, and it seems he could be forming a first-choice centre back partnership with Aymeric Laporte (£5.5 million, 6 points), so you may want to jettison Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi from your squad if you chose them.
While stacking your defence with City players may pan out quite all right, you’d be silly not to at least get Marcos Alonso (£6.5 million, 11 points) in there.
The Spaniard picked up where he left off in the last two seasons with an assist, a clean sheet and 2 bonus points in Chelsea’s 3-0 demolition job on Huddersfield.
Chelsea have Arsenal next up at Stamford Bridge, where the north London club haven’t won since 2011, so you may want to consider throwing in Alonso’s fellow Blues defenders Antonio Rudiger (£6 million, 9 points) – who got 3 bonus points – or Cesar Azpilicueta (£6.5 million, 6 points).
Elsewhere, Jose Holebas (£4.5 million, 13 points) bagged two assists and was second among the points for defenders after his display against Brighton, though his Watford side face a tricky trip to miserly Burnley on Sunday.
Crystal Palace’s backline also provided rich pickings – Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£4.1 million, 12 points) was thrown in at the deep end but he kept Fulham’s Championship sensation Ryan Sessegnon quiet.
The 20-year-old’s price has already gone up after an assist, a clean sheet and 3 bonus points in the 2-0 win at Craven Cottage.
Jeffrey Schlupp (£4.5 million, 11 points) scored one of Palace’s goals, while Patrick van Aanholt (£5.5 million, 11 points) got himself an assist as well as 2 bonus points.
With Liverpool next up, however, you’d be brave to back Roy Hodgson’s men to keep Jurgen Klopp’s terrifying front line quiet.
Aside from Mendy, there were a couple of other left backs that shone in Gameweek 1 – including Andy Robertson (£6 million, 11 points), who had an assist in the 4-0 thrashing of West Ham.
The Scotsman picked up 2 bonus points, mainly for his influence and creativity at Anfield, which gives him an edge over fellow Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk (£6 million, 6 points) if you’re looking to choose between the two for the trip to Selhurst Park.
Over at Old Trafford, Luke Shaw (£5.1 million, 11 points) scored his first professional goal, easing Manchester United’s nerves against Leicester by putting them 2-0 up late in the second half.
Shaw’s career at Manchester United has been plagued by injuries but Jose Mourinho gave him a thunderous pat on the back for his efforts in the 2-1 win.
With 33-year-old Ashley Young his main competition at left back, the 23-year-old can nail down the position at United – and after picking up 3 bonus points mainly for his influence and threat, Shaw would have been the top-scoring FPL defender had United not let in an added-time goal.
That bizarre goal from Jamie Vardy, who headed after the ball rebounded off the post, was perhaps unfair on Eric Bailly (£5.5 million, 2 points) and Victor Lindelof (£5 million, 2 points), who were solid after starting their first Premier League game together.
Mourinho could use some consistency in his defensive selections, and the first-choice partnership he envisioned building when he signed Lindelof a year ago is finally coming to fruition.
The United boss was desperate to sign another centre back in the transfer window, but perhaps he needn’t have worried – and with Brighton away on Sunday, Lindelof and Bailly have a good chance of securing a shut out.
You may be backing Tottenham for a clean sheet against Fulham at Wembley, too, and Jan Vertonghen (£6 million, 11 points) might be your pick of the Spurs bunch after his goal against Newcastle.
Kieran Trippier (£6 million, 0 points) didn’t feature on Tyneside after his exploits with England at the World Cup, but given Serge Aurier was poor at right back other than his assist for Dele Alli, you’d expect Trippier will soon be drafted in.
Ben Mee (£5 million, 8 points) and James Tarkowski (£5 million, 7 points) were the pick of Burnley’s back four, who collected plenty of clean sheets last season and carried on with one in their opener against Southampton.
On Sunday, Burnley have Watford at home, where they are always solid under Sean Dyche, so it’s a good bet to bring in at least one of their lot for your defence.