FPL Week 17: Top Defenders Unlimited Transfers

With unlimited transfers at their disposal ahead of Gameweek 17, Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers can completely overhaul their squad.

It’s effectively an extra Wildcard in all but name and gives us a chance to not only react to the World Cup mid-season and any new injuries but also prepare ourselves for the months ahead.

Here, we run through some of the top targets by position ahead of the Boxing Day deadline.

Kieran Trippier + Sven Putman

  • price£5.9m / £4.4m
  • Property: 65.6% / 3.4%

Magpies cannot be defeated for their sake Clean sheets or goals conceded this season, while they are third in the top flight in terms of expected goals conceded (xGC).

At home, they’ve racked up an impressive streak of nine closed games and 10 goals shipped in their last 17 home games, dating back to the start of 2022.

In short: They’re in the top four for a reason.

For your go-to staff, you likely don’t need us to talk much about it Kieran Trippier (5.9 million pounds sterling).

The England international ranks third among all Fantasy assets (not just defenders!) for chances created and joint third for great chances created in 2022/23.

No defender can top him in expected assists (xA) either.

If you’re looking for a double in Newcastle’s defence, Nick Pope (£5.3m) could be too rich for your blood – especially since he’s no longer save after save.

There is still, significantly, way less than the £4.5m down the line for the Magpies. A step forward Sven Putman (£4.4m), the best defender to wear a black and white shirt since Jonathan Woodgate.

His attacking potential may not be so great (24 touches in the penalty area isn’t too bad, mind you) but he won’t eat out of your budget much, and he’s ‘winnable’ at that cost in more difficult matches (eg against Arsenal in Gameweek 19). ) When two Newcastle stoppers seem to be overkill.

Ricky James

  • price£5.8m
  • Property: 14.6%

Chelsea finished the run-up to the World Cup poorly, so they usually didn’t factor much into Fantasy managers’ ideas.

But some excellent upcoming games and at least a double playweek in the offing have many of us trying to forget that the Blues have been second for minutes in every xGC game without a penalty since Gameweek 11.

The new availability of Reese James (£5.8m) is easily timed.

His offensive pedigree is well documented: although this isn’t a stellar season so far for him, James is still among the top six defenders in terms of involvement in expected goals (xGI).

He was third in that stat in 2021/22, so he’s been performing at a high level over a sustained period.

Rotation is always a concern with him, exacerbated by Graham Potter’s notoriously unpredictable appointment in the fall.

The shift from Tuesday to Sunday and Thursday in Gameweeks 17-19 isn’t too bad, although the trip to Fulham comes less than 72 hours before the Gameweek 20 showdown with Crystal Palace.

Ben White

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Complete Guide to FPL Gameweek 17 Replay: Top Players, Matches, Injuries + More 2

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