As you may have noticed from either playing the Goal game, or reading our Team of the Week articles, defenders are dominating the early stages of the new Premier League season. Thus far, 45 per cent of all Premier league goals this season have either been scored or assisted by a defensive player. For comparison, in 2017-18 defenders contributed towards about 29 per cent of goals.
We are obviously working on a small sample size for this young season but, with trends like this, it’s far better to jump on it sooner rather than later. With that in mind, today we’ll be breaking down the five defenders who have the most points in our game at time of writing.
James Milner - Liverpool, £6.4, owned in 7.9% of teams
Milner has jumped out to an early lead in the Goal game not only leading all defenders in points but all players period. With a goal, assist, and two clean sheets in just two matches, it’s easy to understand the hype surrounding him at the moment.
If he can manage to hang onto a role in Liverpool’s XI he could prove to be an amazing Fantasy asset, but that’s less likely than the rest of the names on this list keeping their spots. While it’s unlikely that he gets dropped this week, it’s hard to imagine Milner keeping Fabinho out long-term.
Marcos Alonso - Chelsea, £6.9, owned in 19.98% of teams
Many were wondering if Alonso would fit well into new manager Maurizio Sarri’s system but, at least on the attacking end (one goal, two assists), those questions have been answered. The Spaniard has been a top three Fantasy defender ever since he came to the Premier League and it’s unlikely that that streak will be broken this year.
Whether or not Chelsea can reclaim their spot as an elite defence remains to be seen but, considering he is the only defender who is a consistent goal threat, Alonso is always worth owning.
Benjamin Mendy - Manchester City, £6.7, owned in 17.34% of teams
We only saw a glimpse of what Mendy could do last season before he ruptured his ACL and missed the rest of the 2017-18 campaign. He’s back and healthy now though, and doing big things for both Manchester City and his Fantasy owners. He currently leads the league in assists (four), twice as many as anyone else in the league.
Add the fact that City have allowed the second-fewest shots and have the easiest schedule over the next five weeks, and Mendy looks a must own.
Steve Cook - Bournemouth, £5.9, owned in 1.16% of teams
Cook just edges out Milner for the most surprising name on this list. Asmir Begovic and Charlie Daniels both made our bargain XI so the resurgence on the Bournemouth defence isn’t exactly shocking, but Cook’s attacking certainly has been. He’s never had more than four goals or two assists in a Premier League season before, yet got one of each against West Ham at the weekend.
Obviously, it’s unlikely that he dominates on that front but, considering his low price and ownership, he’s not a bad option as a clean sheet gamble.
Andrew Robertson - Liverpool, £6.6, owned in 17.57% of teams
Robertson came into the season with a lot of buzz, and has certainly backed it up thus far. He has the second most touches in the box among defenders and his assist came as he set up the second most goals (five) at his position after becoming a starter in match week 15.
With improvements made in midfield and goal, Liverpool’s defence is set up for a fantastic season as is evidenced by the fact that they’ve yet to concede thus far. There are both cheaper and more popular entrants to this Liverpool defence but, pound-for-pound, Robertson is the best option.