Welcome to the pre-season series “FPL bargain hunting”, the four-piece series where we find the bargains for all positions. It’s important to find THAT little gem that scores high and costs low. As frustrating as it is, the budget in fantasy football will never allow us to have star players across all places in our team, we need to fill some of those gaps with cheap but effective players to ensure we score points and have a nice chunk of cash for the big buys.
This is the second edition in the series and we are covering the defenders. Unless a defender scores, picks up bonus points or gets booked, the realistic maximum we can expect is a solid 6 points from a defender. Spending a lot of money on your defence can be risky, you could pay over 6.0m for a star defender yet he may only bag you 2 points every week and this is why we are to find some bargains. We have decided that 5.0m is a bargain price for a defender, it’s a solid, realistic price and won’t break the bank. Let’s get on with the first bargain.
Patrick Van Aanholt (Sunderland, 5.0m)
Last season Patrick Van Aanholt was one of the few bright sparks for Sunderland in a very dark season. His performances both offensively and defensively earnt him a transfer to Sunderland from his parent club Chelsea in a four-year deal. It was 5 assists and 7 clean sheets that Van Aanholt picked up last season, this is impressive considering he only featured in 28 league games and would have cost you 4.1m. Sunderland have an extremely nice start to the season with them playing against: Leicester (A), Norwich (H) and Swansea (H) in their first three fixtures, all of these games Sunderland has a good chance of keeping a clean sheet and Van Aanholt will certainly be attacking these defences hoping to pick up some assists. At only 5.0m this season, Patrick Van Aanholt is a bargain indeed.
Cedric Soares (Southampton, 5.0m)
Southampton recently made the signing of Cedric Soares from Sporting Lisbon for a fee of up to 4.7m, it seems that he was signed as the replacement for the now Liverpool right-back, Nathaniel Clyne. Soares has been featuring in all of Southampton’s pre-season friendlies so it seems that Ronald Koeman is trying to ease the Portuguese defender into that right-back position. At only 5.0m, Soares seems to be the bargain in the Southampton defence as Bertrand and Fonte would cost you 0.5m more. Southampton have got a fairly nice start to the season and as pointed out by “The Scout”, Southampton only face three of last season’s top seven sides in the opening 13 gameweeks. Cedric Soares is a bargain if Southampton can get anywhere near last season’s defensive record and should be strongly considered.
Toby Alderweireld (Spurs, 5.0m)
It’s quite clear to see that Toby Alderweireld has been brought into Spurs to tighten up their fragile defence of last season that only managed to pick up 9 league clean sheets, not good enough. Alderweireld was a key feature in Southampton’s defence last season where he played 25 times in the league keeping 9 clean sheets, the same as Spurs did all season. He can only strengthen Spurs’ backline, he’s a 26 year old defender with bags of experience under his belt including 47 international appearances for Belgium and briefly featuring for Atletico as they won La Liga over Barcelona and Real Madrid. With Spurs playing against: Stoke, Everton and Crystal Palace in their first three home fixture you can expect Spurs and Alderweireld to stick a fine chance of picking up some good points.
Daryl Janmaat (Newcastle 5.0m)
“Newcastle player?! Pft, get out of here!” Hang on, hang on. At 5.0m, Daryl Janmaat is a bargain when it comes to fantasy football. Last season the right-back set up 8 goals, he was the second highest in the defenders assist leaderboard being one place below Leighton Baines. Although Newcastle were abysmal last season and only kept 8 clean sheets, can it get worse? I can only see it improving for them and Janmaat certainly is a risk worth taking as if you’re not going to get clean sheets, the one thing you are guaranteed is assists. 5.0m won’t break the bank and the assists Daryl Janmaat will bring to the table does make him a bargain at that price.