With just a week remaining, wondering who the best budget defenders for FPL 21/22 are? We’ve got your back. And throughout this coming week, we’ll be posting similar content before the Gameweek 1 deadline, so make sure to bookmark this page.
The budget defender’s position in Fantasy Premier League will likely require the most planning. And largely down to the fact that you will have two to four assets that you will have to rotate to optimize each Gameweek. We’ll be keeping this list of budget defenders within the £4.0m – £4.5m price range.
Although there are plenty of £4.0m defenders in FPL this season, unfortunately, the bargain basement for defenders looks like a no-go zone this time around. We’ve had some gems in the past with the likes of John Lundstram, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and to some extent, Tyrick Mitchell last season. So let’s take a look at our top 5 picks as budget defenders for the 21/22 FPL season:
#5 Conor Coady (£4.5m) – Wolverhampton Wanderers
The Wolves defence in particular has been slightly under-priced this season in my opinion and this is largely down to their poor outing last season. They finished 13th in the Premier League and kept ten clean sheets with 52 goals conceded (8th).
But Wolves have a solid squad this season, and I believe that we will see more of the “old” team rather than what we got last season, which was marred with covid postponements and injury-riddled. They possess a top-8 defense on paper and although their opening three fixtures are difficult, the fixtures after that picks up immensely.
Coady only scored one goal last season, yet towards the end, he was a lot more attacking as he was given the licence to roam forward. Although it’s impossible to predict whether he will be given that same freedom under the new management, but even if he isn’t, he is still a top option for his price and £0.5m cheaper than any other Wolves’ starting defenders.
#4 Luke Ayling (£4.5m) – Leeds United
Leeds United last season were a breath of fresh air and won everyone’s hearts with their eye-catching attacking football. After their 16 year exile from the English top-flight, they finished 9th, just seven points off European qualification places.
Despite conceding 54 goals, they still managed to keep 11 clean sheets (6th). While all of their defenders are priced at £4.5m, Luke Ayling has the best-attacking stats and is a nailed-on starter for the Yorkshire outfit. He managed 24 Shots, 14 Shots from inside the box, and six shots on Target while also creating 27 Chances and five Big Chances.
But quite surprisingly, he ended the 20/21 season with zero attacking outputs, but if he posts similar stats this time around, he is sure to rack up some goals and assists. Leeds United have a fantastic set of opening fixtures playing Everton (H), Burnley (A), Newcastle United (A), West Ham United (H), Watford (H), and Southampton (A) in their first eight Gameweeks
#3 Tariq Lamptey (£4.5m) – Brighton & Hove Albion
Tariq Lamptey broke through into the Brighton first-team after Project Restart towards the end of the 19/20 season and was really impressive from both the real-life and fantasy perspective.
But unfortunately, his 20/21 season was cut short with a season-ending long-term injury where he only managed to play 11 games and it looks likely that he might miss the first few games of this season too.
However, in his short stint last season, the Brighton defender racked up one goal, two clean sheets, three assists with six shots from inside the box, one Big Chance, 10 Chances created and two Big Chances Created.
The 20-year-old English full-back likes to attack that right-hand flank and will be a menace for the opposition defenders.
#2 Wesley Fofana (£4.5m) – Leicester City
Wesley Fofana, in my view, was the best £4.5m defender last season and it is surprising that game has not increased or kept him at par with Çağlar Söyüncü, another Leicester centre-back, who’s valued at £5.0m.
After fracturing his fibula just 10 days before the start of the 21/22 season, many managers will be reassessing their Gameweek 1 squads. I do believe Fofana’s recovery process is worth keeping an eye on. If he returns later by Gameweek 6-8, he could yet be a huge steal at £4.5m.
Leicester are a top-four contender and only missed out on Champions League qualification by one point last season. They kept 11 clean sheets and Fofana was an integral part of that setup for the majority of the campaign. The 20-year-old could not have dreamt for a better debut season and will be a starter this season once he regains full fitness.
#1 Ben White (£4.5m) – Arsenal
Arsenal did not get a great deal right last season. However, they did defend pretty well, conceding the third least goals and keeping 12 clean sheets (5th) in the Premier League.
A club that has been infamous for its leaky defence in the recent past, Arsenal have come a long way and Ben White adds that much-needed fluidity and composure in the backline. He has an exceptional passing range and his accurate long balls can unleash runners like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicholas Pépé from either flank.
White, defensively, was error-prone throughout last season, while also making 102 successful tackles, 78 aerial duels and 168 interceptions. For a bottom-half team, his attacking output wasn’t bad either, 18 Key passes, 3 Big Chance created and 17.26 xG Build-Up.