So, we continue on with this week’s rankings by looking at the guys who man the box. No, it’s not the top XI UPS workers, or porn stars for that matter, but rather the top XI defenders. Can you feel the excitement? I know you can. Don’t make me get the Razzball T-shirt cannon (that may or may not malfunction at a moments notice). Just in case, look at the bright side… you get a t-shirt and a nice welt. So the defender rankings are basically like this: You own Leighton Baines, you own Branislav Ivanovic, and then you fill in where you think the value is. If this isn’t your strategy, then I’m confused. The defender’s prices and scoring capabilities are so clean-sheet dependent, minus those two guys, that it’s a hunt and peck system, like when you don’t use the home row keys. Leighton Baines, week-in-and-week-out is the stud, and it’s easy, because he is involved on so many set pieces as the man over the ball. That right there is all you need to know. That, and it’s illegal in Utah to curse at a dead person. So my rankings are multi-faceted. I use form, price, weekly opponents, and a little thing I call a hunch to determine my top-11 playable options every week. So keep on keeping on to find out more about the men who guard the box.
1. Leighton Baines, Everton: £7.1 – If you skipped the intro, then shame on you. Number one for me, because he’s involved in so many set pieces. Not a shabby defender, a great passer, and a pretty nice match-up this week. Burnley has four goals scored on the year… yeah, you wanna get some Everton love this week.
2. Branislav Ivanović, Chelsea: £7.3 – Another season, another match where he doesn’t have to avoid flares or a drone. Branna is about as stout a defender as you want, and is usually good for a goal every five matches or so. I am not concerned with the Red Devil match-up. If the rest of Chelsea do their jobs, then this will be another positive result.
3. Ryan Bertrand, Southampton: £5.4 – Value after you roster the first 2 guys is where it’s at. Will the Saint’s score 8 goals again, no. Do they have a fairly winable match, yes. The third highest scoring defender in the Premier league fantasy universe and the lowest priced out of the top 8 scorers among defense.
4. Nathaniel Clyne, Southampton: £5.5 – The value continues with Nate. The match-up with Stoke looks like a nice fit for the home Saint’s. Get used to seeing Southy’s in the rankings, as they are a stout defensive unit that can occasionally score and keep it from being scored.
5. Phil Jagielka, Everton: £5.5 – The Englishmen with the Polish name. With three great matches in a row. (A) Burnley, (H) Swansea, and (A) Sunderland his value is there for the snatching up. If he gets a goal in any of the next three, you are made in the sade. Wait, that’s the R&B singer.
6. Andre Wisdom, West Brom: £4.1 – I had the pleasure of watching the West Brom/Man-U game twice. I liked what I saw from Wisdom… he showed great presence pushing up, and may or may not have gotten lucky on the cross to Sessignon. Points are points though. I think he continues to push forward for a winnable match with Crystal Palace.
7. Alan Hutton, Aston Villa: £4.1 – Villa plays on the road to a news ridden QPR. That in itself is enough to take a chance on a Villa defender. If you wanted to argue that Aly Cissoko could be better, I’m not going to argue that logic one bit. Pretty reliant on the clean sheet, so be wary as he isn’t a push forward player.
8. Seamus Coleman, Everton: £5.5 – I did’t wanna leave out anyone of significance from the Toffees back line. Yadda-Yadda, I like the match-up, someone from the back line is going to score. Returning to being fit and got his first 90-minute match in a month… but I’m worried that he gets replaced at some point, but love him.
9. Craig Dawson, West Brom: £4.6 – Now we get down to some gut-calls on guys that have played fairly well in some games, and not so much in others. Like the home-match versus Crystal, and you’re hoping for a mark or a clean sheet.
10. Ashley Williams, Swansea: £5.1 – Has played every minute in the back for the Swans and I am calling it: he’s do for an assist against a lower tabled Leicester. At this point, you’er looking for lightning in the bottle goal or CS.
11. Eric Dier, Tottenham: £5.4 – Back-to-back games with a goal to start the year has made him look a lot better fantasy-scoring wise then he’s been. You are looking for 90 minutes here, and hoping for something positive, like the goals from earlier. The match vs. Newcastle is a positive for anyone fantasy wise.