Different strategies to building a Fantasy defence


Fantasy managers use many different strategies to pick their Fantasy backlines. I decided to explore some of these strategies to weigh up the pros and cons.

One strategy is to pick a totally budget defence and rotate those defenders each week. The alternative is to pick 3 heavy hitters and play them every week. Or we could do a bit of both and mix a couple of big hitters with 3 budgets.

Fantasy defences have evolved over the years, to the point where they could be considered an afterthought now. 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 formations seem the norm, with little room for a fourth defender.

The winner of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) last season played more than 3 defenders on just 3 occasions. Perhaps this is a symptom of the lower quality defending in the Premier League.

Choosing an entire lot of budget defenders means we can pump the cash into attacking areas. No bad thing with the likes of Gareth Bale, Sergio Aguero, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Robin van Persie all screaming for selection.

Guy Demel sums up the budget defender role from last season. Starting at 4.0, Demel had an uncanny knack of being subbed off after 60 minutes on a clean sheet, only for West Ham to concede later, or for supplying assists out of nowhere. Others included Nathaniel Clyne, Russell Martin, Ian Harte and Adrian Mariappa.

There are new candidates this season, mainly from the promoted sides. James Chester, Ben Turner, Joel Ward and Jonathan Parr are all 4.0 and should feature regularly.

The problem is I am a bit of a stickler for having a balanced side, and I do believe that there is value in a good defence.

Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool start with good fixtures, so going with an entire budget defence would probably rule out the majority of players from these sides.

An alternative is to mix budget defenders with a couple of more established names. Last season I found the balance I wanted by rotating 3 budget defenders each week alongside 2 defenders from top teams.

While it was more demanding on my budget, 1 of the 3 budget defenders nearly always had a good fixture each week, and the 2 top defenders returned value with clean sheets and attacking points.

The least fashionable option is to pick 3 top defenders and play them every week. Ruling out the need to rotate. But this is an expensive strategy and I question whether it would drain resources from attacking areas too much.

This is why we love FPL. There’s no wrong or right, and so many different strategies available. It’s just about finding the right strategy, at the right time, and sitting back to reap our rewards – or fall flat on our face!