The Premier League is the most popular football league in the world, and with that comes a lot of interest in the fantasy football that surrounds it.
With the new season just around the corner, we’ve put together a list of the best defenders you should be targeting for your team.
Choosing a strong backline is critical to achieving high ranks in the game, but who has the best point potential for the current season?
Here’s a rundown of the best Premier League fantasy football defenders for 2022-23, with both full-backs and centre-backs who can provide great value to your team.
Given the fact that defenders score more goals and assists than any other outfielders, they have the potential to give managers the most points.
Clean sheet bonuses are available to be earned, but picking a backline with a lot of attackers and defenders that have the potential to score goals is difficult.
We’ve based our selections on a number of factors, including form, fixtures, price and potential.
So without further ado, here are the best Premier League fantasy football defenders for the upcoming season.
How important are defenders in football?
Without defenders, football would be a very different game. The role of defenders is to stop the opposition from scoring, and to protect their own team’s goal. They use their bodies to block shots and passes, and they tackle opponents who are trying to get past them. Defenders are some of the most important players on the pitch, and they can make or break a team’s chances of success.
In modern football, there are different types of defenders. Some defenders play in the centre of the defence, while others play on the flanks. Each position has its own specific responsibilities, but all defenders need to be able to defend well.
Centre-backs are usually the tallest players on the pitch, and they use their height to their advantage. They are responsible for stopping the opposition’s attacks, and they also need to be good at heading the ball clear of danger. Centre-backs usually stay in the centre of the defence, but they can also move forward to help their team attack.
Full-backs are defenders who play on the flanks. They are responsible for stopping the opposition’s attacks down the sides of the pitch, and they also need to be able to get forward and help their team attack. Full-backs usually stay close to the touchline, but they can also move into the centre of the defence if necessary.
Wing-backs are a type of full-back who are particularly good at attacking. They spend a lot of time running up and down the touchline, and they need to have a good understanding of the game. Wing-backs are a relatively new type of player, and not all teams use them.
Defenders need to be able to work well as part of a team. They need to communicate with each other, and they need to be able to make quick decisions. Defenders also need to be fit, as they will often be running a lot during a match.
The top FPL defenders for 22-23
- Trent Alexander-Arnold | Liverpool
Trent Alexander-Arnold is the most expensive defender in FPL once again in 2022-23, having made a significant contribution to Liverpool’s latest attempt at the title.
Despite netting just twice in 32 Premier League matches for Liverpool last season, he demonstrated great creativity by creating 12 assists. He also had a better passing accuracy than Salah and was named Playmaker of the Year.
Alexander-Arnold’s marauding runs forward and outstanding passing range should make him a potent weapon for Managers once again, with the right-back now expected to serve as provider for £64 million ($76m) summer acquisition Darwin Nunez.
- Kyle Walker | Manchester City
Kyle Walker was one of the stars of Manchester City’s treble-winning campaign in 2020-21, providing a great outlet on the right flank with his pace and power.
The England international was also a reliable source of FPL points, scoring five goals and contributing four assists in 33 Premier League appearances.
Walker’s ability to get forward and provide an attacking threat make him one of the most dangerous defenders in FPL, and he will once again be a key player for City next season.
- Ben Chilwell | Chelsea
Ben Chilwell was one of the standout performers for Chelsea last season, as the left-back established himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League.
He was a key player in Chelsea’s run to the Champions League title, starting all 13 games and providing two assists.
Chilwell also had a great season in the Premier League, scoring four goals and contributing five assists in 33 appearances.
The England international is expected to be a key player for Chelsea again next season, and he is one of the most expensive defenders in FPL as a result.
- Ricardo Pereira | Leicester City
Ricardo Pereira was one of the best performing defenders in the Premier League last season, as he helped Leicester City to a third-place finish.
The right-back was a key player for Brendan Rodgers’ side, starting all 38 games and contributing five assists.
Pereira’s attacking output was a major source of FPL points, as he scored four goals and registered nine assists in 38 appearances.
He is expected to be a key player for Leicester again next season, and his attacking potential makes him one of the most dangerous defenders in FPL.
- Joao Cancelo | Manchester City
Over the last three years at Manchester City, Cancelo has solidified his standing as one of Europe’s top full-backs.
The 2021-22 season was the best yet for Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of his output in the final third, with one goal and seven assists accumulated through 36 Premier League matches.
Erling Haaland’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium has given Cancelo a target man to aim for, and few would bet against him improving his scoring rate as Manchester City pursue their third consecutive title.
- Andrew Robertson | Liverpool
Andrew Robertson is an excellent premium alternative for any managers searching for a Liverpool defensive double-up. He’s still available at a lower price than Alexander-Arnold, which makes him even more appealing.
Injuries have limited the former Libertins forward to just 10 appearances this season, but he has scored three goals in 20 games for club and country.
- Reece James | Chelsea
Despite recurring ailments, Reeces James was a huge help in attack for Chelsea last season.
In the 26 Premier League matches in which he was available, he scored five goals and produced nine assists as Chelsea ended up third.
If James can stay fit in the 2018/19 campaign, he has the potential to be the most-scoring defender in FPL, but much will depend on whether Chelsea makes any further defensive reinforcements following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
- Ivan Perisic | Tottenham
Ivan Perisic rejoined Antonio Conte at Tottenham earlier this summer, with the Italian boss bringing him in from San Siro.
After limited playing time at Inter in his final season, where he mostly played as a full-back and scored eight goals and seven assists in 35 Serie A games, the 33-year-old may be an excellent alternative in FPL.
- Luca Digne | Aston Villa
Next up is Aston Villa’s Luca Digne, who came over from Everton in the January transfer window and has been given time on the pitch.
In terms of goals scored, his recent two campaigns with the Toffees were marred by injury, but he was once regarded to be one of the most successful attacking full-backs in English football, and his four helpers in the second half of 2021-22 suggest that he is capable of returning to his best form.
- Marc Cucurella | Brighton
He only scored one goal and assisted one in 35 Premier League games for Brighton last term, but he still amassed 126 FPL points due to the team’s solid defensive performance.
If he joins Manchester City, as reported, his clean sheet bonuses will almost certainly increase even more.
Cucurella proved his potential in attack during a 4-0 hammering of Manchester United at the end of last season, and he could be a bargain option for 2022-23.
- William Saliba | Arsenal
Since his arrival from Saint-Etienne in the summer of 2019, Saliba has not played a single minute of competitive action for Arsenal, but that may all change in 2022-23.
He has been recalled to Emirates Stadium on the back of a fantastic year with Marseille, where he won the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award and helped OM secure Champions League qualification.
If Mikel Arteta throws Saliba straight into the deep end, adding greater steel to Arsenal’s backline, and at a price of £4.5m he represents a calculated risk for FPL bosses.
- Sven Botman | Newcastle
Sven Botman completed a £32m ($38m) move to Newcastle from Lille at the beginning of the month, bringing to an end one of the year’s longest transfer sagas.
Botman is a huge centre-half who will slot straight into Eddie Howe’s defence at St James’ Park and significantly improve their chances of reaching Europe, while also increasing the likelihood of keeping clean sheets.
With the Premier League campaign now underway, managers will be looking to finalise their squads and identify which players are worth investing in.
While there are a number of star strikers and creative midfielders who always seem to guarantee goals and assists, fantasy football success is often built on a solid foundation at the back.
Defenders may not always get the glory, but they can be vital in racking up clean sheets and bonus points.