We at The Hype Train will be providing a regular series of Power Rankings updates throughout the season for each position in the traditional Fantasy Premier League game for our partners at the Fantasy Football Hub. We will be picking our top five picks for Goalkeepers, Defenders, Midfielders, and Forwards, providing a graphical aid for each chosen player, and the reasoning behind our choices. All aboard.
How do our Power Rankings work?
We use player form, fixtures, potential, and our own gut instinct, to form our own opinionated view on who we believe is the best asset for each position in the FPL. Each position (Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder, and Forward) has differing criteria which can help generate FPL points on a weekly basis, whether for short term gain or for the long haul.
For the purpose of this article we will list our top 5 and follow up with a player on the rise in that position to also consider.
All player prices and stats are reflective of the official Fantasy Premier League game at the time of publishing.
Defender Power Rankings: Gameweek 6
Defenders can make or break a Gameweek for FPL players. Their ability to grind clean sheets when midfielders and forwards fail to live up to the billing can have a significant impact on mini-leagues and overall rankings. Each defensive position has an appeal that is attractive for players. Full-backs are more offensively based and can contribute heavily to the BPS system for their chances created, whilst centre-halves claim more CBI’s (tackles, blocks, and interceptions) and are more a menace as aerial threats for set-pieces. Also, unlike goalkeepers, defenders are more varying in price which has an impact on the selection process for FPL players.
We profile what we believe to be the best five defenders in the FPL game right now after Gameweek 5 and heading into Gameweek 6.
1) Ben Davies (TOT)
Who was Number #1 previously?: Ben Davies (TOT), a non-mover in the Power 5
The biggest shock for FPL players during Gameweek 5 was the team announcement at 16:30pm on Saturday when Spurs dropped a bombshell on FPL players that left-back Ben Davies, the most transferred in player ahead of the fifth round of games, didn’t have a place in the starting eleven.
A net transfer average of 331,806 players entrusted Davies ahead of a home encounter against Swansea, Davies’s former club, pushing the Welshman’s ownership to just shy of a million, with 983,133 hoping for a third return in five matches. Fortunately for owners, Davies didn’t feature at all, meaning benched defenders or attackers had an opportunity to redeem any potential clean sheets or goals that might have festered on the bench.
Given Davies’s inactivity, we pondered the idea of moving him down in the Power Rankings charts, but we still believe Davies is the man to bank on in the coming weeks. A rest against Swansea, in a 0-0 encounter, which would have ensured a third clean sheet of the season, pretty much nails Davies on as a starter for a run of two away games against West Ham (GW6) and Huddersfield (GW7), with both clubs beatable with their current form and fortunes.
This all leaves Davies with 5 FPL returns (1 goal, 2 assists, and 2 clean sheets) from four matches played, and has managed 5 bonus points for his efforts. Ranked joint second on 32 points with Eric Bailly, there’s hope in Davies yet, and we can see Davies continuing his trend of a great week followed by a poor week. The cycle dictates a big week is on the cards.
2) Marcos Alonso (CHE)
Who was Number #2 previously?: Kiko Femenia (WAT), who drops down in the Power 5
Sometimes slow and steady does win the race. In the case of Marcos Alonso, the Chelsea full-back, who is usually the most advanced player on the pitch when attacking, he’s been going steady in our Power Rankings for the last two weeks, and now sees Alonso’s first rise of the season to the number two spot.
Alonso’s 21.2% ownership is the second best amongst defenders in the top ten defenders, with Ahmed Hegazi’s 28.1% of owners, and 31 points compared to Alonso’s 30 points, edging the premium-priced Spaniard. A goalless encounter with Arsenal during Gameweek 5 pushed Alonso to a second clean sheet to complement the two goals he scored at Wembley against Spurs during Gameweek 2.
Chelsea’s Next 5 Fixtures
GW6: Stoke (A)
GW7: Man City (H)
GW8: Crystal Palace (A)
GW9: Watford (H)
GW10: Bournemouth (A)
Alonso has been a firm favourite of ours since his arrival from Fiorentina last season, and has added to his FPL stature with commanding set-pieces, and looking a viable goal-threat in every match he plays. Our advice to you, is based on Chelsea’s run of fixtures, and Alonso’s reliability, it doesn’t matter how much he is priced, he must be considered. Not affected by European fixtures, Alonso’s high-stamina means he is a lock, regardless of the competition.
In a season which has seen a limited range of mid-priced midfielders around the £7.0 million mark, Marcos Alonso is just that, but adds the advantage of being listed as a defender in the FPL. If you’ve the room, and the money to make it happen, Alonso should be the first to consider when reshaping your defence.
3) Phil Jones (MUN)
Who was Number #3 previously?: Marcos Alonso (CHE), who rises in the Power 5
Rising in the Power Rankings to third place, after a week rooted at the bottom of the pile due a 2-2 away draw at Stoke, Man United’s Phil Jones sees his stock rise yet again this week.
Gameweek 5 yielded a fourth clean sheet from five matches for Man United, with De Gea, Jones, Valencia, and Bailly, the only defenders that reached the feat for the team, with the only rotational position being at left-back, a position which has so far seen Daley Blind, Ashley Young, and Matteo Darmian, all occupy so far this season.
Impressively, for Jones, the United defender is joint-top of the Bonus Points System charts with 132 points, an honour shared with you guessed it, Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia. Jones, unlike the other two, hasn’t scored this season, and has a much higher rate of blocks, interceptions, and key tackles in matches. This means that despite just one bonus point this season against Leicester, Jones is likely to be the man to acquire more bonus points throughout the season. It also helps that Jones doesn’t put a foot wrong on the pitch, and is yet to be yellow carded this season.
The reason Jones is included ahead of Valencia (£6.5m – 36pts) and Bailly (£6.0m – 32pts) is purely down to the supreme value offered by the Man United defender. Having played all five games this season, Jones is a lock in the United defence in the Premier League, and is the snip of the price of a Bailly or a Valencia, which won’t last long. Next season Jones will be identically priced, which means FPL players better make the most of the England international whilst he’s still a budget option to consider for your teams.
Any wildcards being played this week will surely consider Jones as an option, to free up money further up the pitch for premium midfielders and forwards.
4) Jamaal Lascelles (NEW)
Who was Number #4 previously?: Chris Lowe (HUD), who drops out of the Power 5.
Look away right now if you’re looking to avoid intentional bias for one player in the Fantasy Premier League, written by incredibly optimistic Newcastle supporter. It’s been an uplifting three matches for Newcastle and their passionate city, who started the football season off by bemoaning that after two losses to Spurs and Huddersfield, that this season had the writing on the wall for thirty-eight games of agony and despair that will descend into an unwatchable relegation battle.
The tide has quickly turned amongst Newcastle fans, with deserved victories over West Ham, Swansea, and Stoke, setting the stage to all rival clubs in the league that Rafa Benitez and his coaching staff are not messing about. This all screams positives for FPL players, which Newcastle a tough unit to crack in the league. Organised, disciplined, and potent in attack, the last three games have been a great tactical victory for a manager who is getting the best out of his players.
At the tip of the spear has been captain Jamaal Lascelles, who in last weeks’ Power Rankings was our one to watch after a goal and clean sheet against Swansea was followed up with another match-winning goal, this time against a Stoke side who had just seen out a draw with Man United the week prior.
Newcastle’s Next 5 Fixtures:
GW6: Brighton (A)
GW7: Liverpool (H)
GW8: Southampton (A)
GW9: Crystal Palace (H)
GW10: Burnley (A)
Lascelles is a lock in Newcastle’s team right now, and for FPL players the Englishman has managed, two goals and two clean sheets in the last three matches, which is an identical match to Marcos Alonso’s output this season. Lascelles has quickly rocketed up the defender’s overall rank, equal on fourth spot with West Brom’s Ahmed Hegazi.
With Rob Elliot also an attractive option in the FPL, many will believe that the necessity for Lascelles will wear thin rather quickly with Elliot the one who could come into the team, but why not have both? You could rotate Elliot with another Goalkeeper depending on fixture suitability, and have Lascelles in the mix in case you want to have Newcastle coverage as well as potential Swansea coverage, which both teams offering value for money, and very good fixtures between now and Gameweek 10.
5) Kiko Femenia (WAT)
Who was Number #5 previously?: Phil Jones (MUN), who rises in the Power 5
The only winner from Watford’s 6-0 mauling against Man City was the injured Kiko Femenia, whose FPL stock did not take an absolute battering by the hands of Sergio Aguero and Pep Guardiola’s goal-hungry unit. Last week Kiko Femenia entered at the number two spot in our Power Rankings, and falls due to good performances from Lascelles, Jones, and Alonso, but he remains in 5th spot, just. We heavily considered Ahmed Hegazi for the Power Rankings again, after a one-week absence, but our gut is telling us otherwise, with Hegazi still a potential rotation casualty in West Brom’s side.
Kiko Femenia’s FPL Season
GW1 (WAT 3-3 LIV): 72 mins played, 3 conceded, 1 point
GW2 (BOU 0-2 WAT): 90 mins played, clean sheet, 2 bonus points
GW3 (WAT 0-0 BHA): 90 mins played, clean sheet, 2 bonus points
GW4 (SOU 0-2 WAT): 61 mins played, clean sheet, assist, 2 bonus points
GW5 (WAT 0-6 MCI): 0 mins played
Kiko Femenia started the season with three consecutive clean sheets, and an assist against Southampton during Gameweek 4’s 2-0 victory at St Mary’s. Femenia’s FPL returns means he was the first player to obtain bonus points in three consecutive matches this season, earning an additional six between from the last three matches.
Avoiding the 6-0 defeat to Man City means he will be in heavy consideration to return straight to the starting line-up after a minor injury, and heads into two away fixtures which offers good promise for Watford’s defensive returns in the FPL, first travelling to Swansea (GW6) and then West Brom (GW7).
Kiko offers a ‘Plan B’, a differential alternative to the norm, and has exceeded his FPL potential, which was almost non-existent, at the start of the season.
One to consider: Federico Fernandez (SWA)
Swansea have had a fine time on the road, collecting five points from three matches, and keeping a clean sheet in all three away matches against Southampton, Crystal Palace, and Spurs. At the heart of Swansea’s well drilled defence is Federico Fernandez, who has played every minute so far this season. The defender has managed five bonus points from two matches, and is likely to be amongst the bonus most weeks if Swansea continue to shut the door against opposition teams.
An enticing run of fixtures might tempt FPL players down this route, if you’d rather not opt for Lukasz Fabianski in goal.
Swansea’s Fixture List
GW6: Watford (H)
GW7: West Ham (A)
GW8: Huddersfield (H)
GW9: Leicester (H)
GW10: Arsenal (A)
GW11: Brighton (H)