Vote for the best FPL defenders of 2022/23

The Fantasy Football Scout 2022/23 end-of-season awards are up and running, with the poll for best defenders open for voting in this article and on the sidebar.

We’ll be assessing the key candidates in each position in four separate articles, continuing with this look at defenders.

Overall score, points per match and value in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) were all factors we considered when compiling this shortlist – the rest we’ll leave up to you.

You’re allowed up to five votes for this poll, with the top three definitely making our Team of the Season at the very least.



Vote for the best FPL defenders of 2022/23
  • Points: 198 / 139
  • Points per match: 5.21 / 3.86
  • Start cost: £5.0m / £4.5m
  • End cost: £6.0m / £5.1m

Although Newcastle United’s clean sheet machine malfunctioned after Gameweek 21, it says a lot that Kieran Trippier still ended up far in front as FPL’s top-scoring defender despite blanking in 13 of the 15 matches that followed.

This right-back’s dominance of underlying creativity stats makes him an easy vote. He’s the number one player across all positions for crosses (393), successful crosses (135) and corners (216), while his 83 successful corners are over twice as good as second place.

Furthermore, Trippier was the leading defender for returns (26) and expected goal involvement (xGI, 12.59), bettered only by Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes (£9.5m) for creating chances (110).

So it’s no wonder that this points magnet has been embedded in the FPL template team for a long time, to the point where he’s not been able to bring joy to owners as there was no real gain to be made.

Also frustrating was team-mate Fabian Schar (£5.1m), due to the sixth-best defender only scoring on the season’s opening day. No defender achieved more goal attempts (56), big chances (9) or shots on target (14), while his 40 inside in the box were more than everyone else’s total from all areas. With an expected goals (xG) number of 4.95, the Swiss centre-back massively underachieved but was still a top FPL asset.


Vote for the best FPL defenders of 2022/23 1
  • Points: 156 / 146
  • Points per match: 4.33 / 3.84
  • Start cost: £4.5m / £5.0m
  • End cost: £5.0m / £5.2m

Arsenal led the Premier League for 248 days without winning the title, surpassing the famous fall of Newcastle in 1995/96. But let’s not forget how brilliant their cheap players have been to FPL.

Seven clean sheets arrived in their first 14 outings before, like with the Magpies’ back line, things faded in 2023. Yet the attacking threats of Ben White and Gabriel meant such a pair were still able to finish second and fourth amongst defenders.

Previously central, White was converted to a right-back and scored twice with five assists, ranking third for touches in the final third (467). As for Gabriel, he started every match and netted three times, leading him to have the best xG tally of all defenders (5.08).

Arsenal’s weird quirk was that they defended much better on the road, ending with the most away clean sheets (10) but the fourth-fewest at home (4).


Vote for the best FPL defenders of 2022/23 2
  • Points: 143
  • Points per match: 3.86
  • Start cost: £4.5m
  • End cost: £4.8m

Brentford’s Ben Mee is another of six players to have collected three goals this season, having arrived on a free transfer from freshly relegated Burnley.

Ownership increased after he netted against Man United in Gameweek 2, before other strikes ensured he was in around two million squads for most of the season’s latter third. His xG was third behind Gabriel and Schar, as the Bees kept 12 clean sheets in an impressive campaign under Thomas Frank.

Although it could be said that this total of shut-outs was quite lucky, considering they conceded the second-most shots on target (197). Goalkeeper David Raya (£4.8m) was certainly kept busy.


FPL notes: Double-digit delight for Trent and Salah in clean sheet victory
  • Points: 156
  • Points per match: 4.59
  • Start cost: £7.5m
  • End cost: £7.8m

A late entry is FPL all-timer Trent Alexander-Arnold, who pushed up the rankings thanks to an eight-match streak of returns between Gameweeks 30 and 36. The first five of these all brought an assist, contributing to his total of 11 – best of all defenders.

Heading into the World Cup, a lacklustre 40 points had him all the way down in 25th, rising to ninth by Gameweek 29 and ending the campaign joint-second behind Trippier. Instead of being an overlapping right-back, Jurgen Klopp instructed Alexander-Arnold to invert into central midfield and that inspired a return to form over the spring weeks.

He’s been the best defender for big chances created (25) and actually sits third overall for this, also being far ahead of the third-placed defender for xGI (10.76).

Defensively, it’s been a strange one for Liverpool, as they were third-worst for conceding big chances but ended with the joint-second-most clean sheets (14). Trent missed some of these, as three of his four non-starts were successful and he was removed just before the hour mark of September’s 0-0 at Everton.


FPL notes: Shaw injury latest, Wilson v Isak
  • Points: 124
  • Points per match: 4.13
  • Start cost: £5.0m
  • End cost: £5.3m

Man United left-back Luke Shaw was often used as a centre-back during a strong second half to this campaign, collecting the sixth-most defensive points since the Gameweek 17 restart.

Clean sheets escalated in this period, with 12 from 24 matches ensuring that Erik ten Hag’s side ended the season with the league’s most.

Although low on goal attempts (14) and xGI (3.98), Shaw created a respectable 34 chances and was a bonus points magnet – coming third with 20 of them.


FPL notes: Goal + clean sheet for Mings, blank for Watkins
  • Points: 130
  • Points per match: 3.71
  • Start cost: £4.5m
  • End cost: £4.7m

Up until Double Gameweek 29, Tyrone Mings could be bought in FPL for just £4.3m. This was halfway through a spell of seven clean sheets from ten matches, as a rejuvenated Aston Villa became deadly under Unai Emery.

In the 15 matches from Gameweek 25 onwards, Villa conceded the fewest goals (8) and kept joint-most clean sheets (7). In fact, not once did they concede multiple goals in this time.

Managers soon became wise to Mings’ bargain price and he was soon up to £4.8m. Not a bad season for someone who was stripped of his captaincy beforehand, as Steven Gerrard intended for new signing Diego Carlos (£4.7m) to take his starting spot.


FPL Gameweek 15 differentials: Estupinan among three budget picks
  • Points: 128
  • Points per match: 4.13
  • Start cost: £4.5m
  • End cost: £5.0m

Emery wasn’t the only arrival from Villarreal to impress. Transfer market masters Brighton and Hove Albion continued their work by replacing Marc Cucurella (£4.9m) with Pervis Estupinan, a very attacking left-back who ended the season in many Fantasy squads.

He could only grab one of Brighton’s three clean sheets between Gameweeks 2 and 4, then the Seagulls kept just one more until Gameweek 20. However, from that point, Estupinan exploded onto the FPL scene with half-a-dozen successive returns of at least six points.

No defender has more penalty area touches (56) or clean sheets (9) in that time – one of these was because he was subbed off before Fulham notched a winner – peaking with a late 17-point haul at Arsenal which included a goal, assist and clean sheet. He has been a great addition to the game.


FPL Gameweek 30: Stones in? Is Grealish worth buying? 4

There’s no appearance from the champions that have conceded the fewest goals (33), attempts (294) and shots on target (92) and that’s simply because Manchester City’s dominant defence was infuriating in FPL terms.

There were 11 matches where they let in a goal despite an expected goals conceded (xGC) tally of under 0.50. Six of these have happened since Gameweek 29. Add in the ‘Pep Roulette’ rotation – where no defender started more than 24 times – and it was tough to justify the stress of owning one. Even Joao Cancelo (£7.1m) wasn’t invincible anymore, shipped off to Bayern Munich in January.

Elsewhere, Ben Chilwell (£5.6m) felt almost essential for a few weeks until succumbing to another injury, whilst fellow sufferer William Saliba (£4.9m) started the campaign at £4.5m and was third-best at the time of his problem.

Finally, Andrew Robertson (£6.8m) had his lowest-scoring FPL season by far since 2017/18 alongside ‘only’ eight goal involvements. Though he was still able to rank third in his position for chances created (52) and fourth for xGI (7.81).