With some potential bargains for our forward and midfield lines this week (yes Defoe is actually priced cheaper than any goalkeeper this week at £4.3M for some reason…?) it leaves us with a little bit more cash than normal to splash on this week’s defenders. That said, we are of course still on the lookout for those cheap differentials that might fly under the radar and there are a few of them this week too. However, Gameweek 14 appears to be the week for slightly more expensive defenders than normal.
Below we delve into the numbers to assess the best choices for our Gameweek 14 back three.
(FYI – For those of you who haven’t read our rules on picking FanDuel defenders remember we don’t waste space in our 11 with a forth defender. Back 3’s only please!)
Marcos Alonso (CHE) – v Man City (A) | £7.9M
We love to reminisce about the good old days (last week) when Alonso set us back less than £6M. Unfortunately, everybody else has now got wise to our secret weapon, and having risen to sit within the top 5 average points scorers for defenders in the game this week, his price has increased accordingly too. One of the drawbacks of the FanDuel game I’m afraid! That said. He’s still a FanDuel gem and in irresistible form.
In his last 3 games alone he’s created 5 chances, made 7 clearances, 4 interceptions and made 165 successful passes. He’s also scored 1 goal and should have had another last week at Spurs. He’s averaged 27.75 points over the last 3 games and that for a defender is outstanding. We fully expect him to have another blinder against an inconsistent City side this week and are backing the expensive Chelsea wing-back.
Winston Reid (WHU) – v Arsenal (H) | £7.9M
Back from his ban against United last week, Reid is one of only two defenders in the game with a better form total over his last three appearances than Marcos Alonso. An average of 28.6 points per game is impressive over that period and included 25 clearances and 11 interceptions. Although we fully expect Arsenal to respond better to their midweek defeat than West Ham might, the opportunity is still there for Reid to accumulate points as he comes up against an in-form Arsenal frontline that will no doubt test him. As with Alonso, he’s fairly expensive as defenders go but as we said, the low priced forwards have freed up some much needed funds for us this week.
Nathan Ake (BOU) – v Liverpool (H) | £7M
Another victim of the price hikes this week, the bargain that was Nathan Ake has jumped in price this week off the back of two brilliant performances for Bournemouth. Thankfully we tipped him both weeks and with a score of 42.5 and 28 in those two games we were rewarded handsomely. Not only did he bag himself a goal (and should have had an assist but for wasteful finishing) but he’s made 28 clearances in just 2 games which is amazing.
Facing a tricky tie on paper this week against Liverpool, we feel it might just be the best week to be playing them. Coutinho, Sturridge and Lallana are all out which will certainly have an impact, and Bournemouth have actually performed fairly well at home this season with 3 wins from 6 games and 3 clean sheets too. If they are to add to that this week, expect Nathan Ake to have a say.
For those backing Bournemouth but on the hunt for a real cheap differential, look no further than Brad Smith (£4.2M) this week. Set to retain his place thanks to an injury to Charlie Daniels, the full back is likely to be as busy as any this week and is the cheapest defender in the game strangely?!
Cedric Soares (SOU) – v Crystal Palace (A) | £8M
Cedric’s re-introduction to the Southampton starting line-up has coincided with 2 wins and 2 clean sheets. Coincidence? We think not. Cedric’s underlying stats when he’s played this season are actually very good and he guarantees at least one or two chances created every game. Remember there are 3 points on offer for each chance created and up against a shambolic Crystal Palace defence this week we fancy him to accumulate some more.
For all Palace’s defensive faults they have actually been fairly impressive going forward this season, thanks on the whole to the newly inspired Wilfried Zaha. As a result, we expect Cedric might be fairly busy defensively up against the the pacy winger and so with attacking and defensive returns possible, he becomes a very attractive option. A hefty £8M is a big investment for a risk but… fortune favours the brave and we think he’s worth it this week.
Federico Fernandez (SWA) – v Spurs (A) | £8.4M
Similar to Cedric above, Fernandez has been in inspired form since returning to the Swansea lineup in the last two games and we fully expect him to line up against Spurs this week too. At 8.4M he’s one of the most expensive defenders in the game (which in our opinion is way over-hyped), however there is reason to believe this week he could be worth his price tag. 27 Clearances and 6 interceptions in just two games is impressive stuff and off the back of his new contract we expect the in-form Harry Kane to force a whole lot more this week.
Fernandez tends to get quite involved in the box for set pieces too which is a bonus. With the quality of ball being delivered by Sigurdsson at the moment it’s very conceivable he could provide attacking returns as well as defensive ones too, like the assist at Palace last week. Interestingly Fernandez also appears to draw fouls quite consistently too and with 0.5 points on offer every time he does, we think he could rack up a decent total this week.
Michael Keane (BUR) – v Stoke (A) | £8.4M
Away from home Michael Keane has averaged over 22 points this season. For a defender that’s a very decent return. Keane has flourished this season, with talk of a call up from the new England boss gaining momentum. Thanks in part to Burnley being so poor away from home, Keane has been forced into these great away day performances and although Stoke might not be the greatest attacking threat in the league – (they’ve created less chances at home than pretty much anybody else), we do fancy them to ‘have a go’ at Burnley this week. Keane averages just under 9 clearances per away day and has blocked 15 shots on goal in those 5 appearances. That’s 39 points he’s accumulated from those two stats alone. Another performance like that this week will do us nicely thanks.