GOAL has the lowdown on the best Premier League fantasy football defenders for 2022-23, with a mix of full-backs and centre-backs that are capable of adding great value to your squad.
Defenders have the potential to provide the most points for managers given the fact they receive more than any other outfielders for goals and assists. They can also earn clean sheet bonuses, but it can be difficult to select a backline full of players that carry great attacking and defensive potential.
To make life easier for budding FPL managers, GOAL is here to profile the top defensive picks for the upcoming season.
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Trent Alexander-Arnold | Liverpool | £7.5m
Trent Alexander-Arnold is the most expensive defender on FPL once again in 2022-23, having played a crucial role in Liverpool's latest tilt at the title.
The 23-year-old only scored twice in 32 Premier League games for the Reds last term, but he also contributed 12 assists, which was only one less than his team-mate and Playmaker of the Year winner Mohamed Salah.
Managers can expect to benefit from Alexander-Arnold's marauding runs forward and exceptional passing range once again, with the right-back now set to turn provider for £64 million ($76m) summer signing Darwin Nunez.
Joao Cancelo | Manchester City | £7.0m
Cancelo has fully established himself as one of the best full-backs in Europe over the past three seasons at Manchester City.
The 2021-22 season was the Portuguese star's best campaign yet in terms of his output in the final third, with one goal and seven assists recorded through 36 Premier League outings.
Erling Haaland's arrival at the Etihad Stadium has now given Cancelo a target man to aim for, and few would bet against him improving his attacking numbers as City chase down a third successive title.
Andrew Robertson | Liverpool | £7.0m
For any managers looking for a Liverpool defensive double-up, Andrew Robertson is a great premium option once again at a slightly lower price than Alexander-Arnold.
The Scotland international scored three goals for the Reds in their last Premier League campaign and set up another 10, despite only featuring in 29 games.
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Virgil Van Dijk | Liverpool | £6.5m
Building your defence with players from the same team might not be a clever ideas if you're an FPL manager. However, if you are one of those manager willing to drop Trent Alexander-Arnold or Andrew Robertson due to their high price - as the Liverpool full-backs are the two costliest defenders you can buy in FPL - why not go for the 2019 Ballon d'Or runner-up?
Van Dijk forms the core of a strong Liverpool defence and Jurgen Klopp's team are one of the fsvourites of the titles. FPL managers can bank on the Reds not conceding a lot of goals during the 2022-23 Premier League season. To make the prospect even better, Van Dijk picked up a total of 183 points last season with an average of 5.3 points per game. Only three defenders picked up more points.
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Reece James | Chelsea | £6.0m
Reece James proved to be a huge asset in attack for Chelsea last season, despite niggling injuries disrupting his momentum.
In the 26 Premier League matches that the 22-year-old was available for he hit five goals, and also managed to record nine assists as the Blues ended up finishing third.
If James can stay fit in the upcoming campaign, he has the potential to be the highest-scoring defender on FPL, but much could yet depend on whether the Blues make any additions to their backline after losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
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Ben Chilwell | Chelsea | £6.0m
Ben Chilwell missed the majority of Chelsea's last campaign after undergoing surgery on a knee ligament injury, but returned for their final game against Watford.
Despite only appearing a total of seven times in the Premier League, Chilwell scored three goals and laid on one more to show that when fit, he is a very useful operator going forward.
The 25-year-old should be raring to go for the new season, and will no doubt garner high ownership figures on FPL due to his qualities in both attack and defence.
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Ivan Perisic | Tottenham | £5.5m
Ivan Perisic reunited with former Inter boss Antonio Conte at Tottenham earlier this summer, with the north London outfit snapping him up on a free transfer following his departure from San Siro.
The 33-year-old played primarily as a full-back in his final season at Inter, recording eight goals and seven assists in 35 Serie A outings, and could be an excellent choice in FPL after being included in the defenders' category.
Luca Digne | Aston Villa | £5.0m
Next on the list is Aston Villa left-back Luca Digne, who joined Steven Gerrard's ranks from Everton in the January transfer window.
The Frenchman's last couple of seasons at Everton were blighted by injury, but he was once considered to be among the most effective attacking full-backs in English football, and his haul of four assists in the second half of 2021-22 suggests that he is capable of rediscovering his best form.
Marc Cucurella | Brighton | £5.0m
Marc Cucurella only managed to record one goal and one assist in 35 Premier League appearances for Brighton last season, but still accumulated 126 FPL points thanks to the team's solid defensive record.
The Spaniard's clean sheet bonuses will likely increase even further if he completes a reported move to Manchester City, where his talents going forward could also be better utilised.
Cucurella showed how much he can offer in attack during a 4-0 thrashing of Manchester United towards the end of last season, and he is one to keep an eye on as a potential bargain pick for 2022-23.
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Kieran Trippier | Newcastle | £5.0m
Former Tottenham right-back Kieran Trippier returned to the Premier League after a stint in La Liga with Atletico Madrid in the winter transfer window as he joined Newcastle in a £12 million deal.
Trippier scored twice in his first four games for the Magpies before being sidelined through serious injury, but is now fully fit again and could be an excellent budget pick in FPL due to his set-piece prowess.
Aaron Cresswell | West Ham | £5m
Defenders who hit free kicks and corners, like Aaron Cresswell, are worth their weight in gold on FPL. The West Ham stalwart amassed 115 points last season with two goals and four assists, despite spending much of the season on the sidelines with injury. The season before, his points haul was 153! If he can stay fit, Cresswell will be a good choice.
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Lisandro Martinez | Man Utd | £4.5m
While he may not be a tall centre-back who is going to get on the end of set-pieces, Lisandro Martinez is a marauding defender who likes to win the ball high up the pitch and play defence-splitting passes. He scored one and assisted three last season for Ajax in the Eredivisie. At £4.5m he could be a cheap option.
Diogo Dalot | Man Utd | £4.5m
With Erik ten Hag's arrival at Manchester United, several players may be getting a chance to get back into the first team picture. One of those players is Diogo Dalot who played more pre-season minutes than any of his competitors at right-back and seems to the preferred choice of the former Ajax boss.
Dalot scored 54 FPL points last season despite playing fewer than 2000 minutes and not being the first-choice right-back. For those managers willing to take chance, Dalot is a good budget pick at only £4.5m price.
William Saliba | Arsenal | £4.5m
Saliba hasn't seen a single minute of competitive action for Arsenal since his 2019 move from Saint-Etienne, but that could all change in 2022-23.
The France international has returned to Emirates Stadium on the back of a stellar season on loan at Marseille, where he earned the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award as he helped OM secure Champions League qualification.
Saliba could add greater steel to Arsenal's backline if Mikel Arteta throws him straight in at the deep end, and at a very reasonable £4.5m price he represents a calculated risk for FPL managers.
Sven Botman | Newcastle | £4.5m
Netherlands U21 defender Sven Botman completed a £32m ($38m) move to Newcastle from Lille at the start of the month, bringing to an end one of the year's longest transfer sagas.
Botman is a physically imposing centre-half that will surely slot straight into Eddie Howe's backline at St James' Park and significantly boost their chances of a push for Europe - while simultaneously increasing their potential for clean sheets.
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Nathan Collins | Wolves | £4.5m
When Wolves forked out £20.5m to sign Nathan Collins from Burnley, they made him the most expensive Irish transfer of all time. The centre-back is a towering presence in the mould of Virgil van Dijk and poses considerable threat from set-pieces. He is also capable of the odd mazy run into the box too, as he demonstrated when he scored for Ireland against Ukraine in the Nations League.
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Neco Williams | Nottingham Forest | £4.0m
The Wales international makes for a great addition that works well among your budget buys that might help in building up your team, having moved from Liverpool to the newly promoted Nottingham Forest.
There is a high probability of the full-back slotting straight into the starting XI and his versality to play at centre-back and move from right to left as he did while on loan with Fulham last season where he scored and assisted two goals each.