Wondering who are the best Gameweek 1 budget defenders for FPL 2021/22? You've come to the right place.
We'll be keeping this list of budget defenders, within the £4.0m - £4.5m price range, regularly updated before the Gameweek 1 deadline, so make sure to bookmark this page.
Be sure to also check out our FPL Ultimate Guide and other positions below:
- Best Budget Keepers (4.0-5.0m)
- Best Premium Keepers (5.5m+)
- Best Mid-Priced Defenders (5.0 - 5.5m)
- Best Premium Defenders (6.0+)
- Best 4.5m Midfielders
- Best Budget Midfielders (5.0 - 5.5m)
- Best Mid-Priced Midfielders (6.0 - 8.0m)
- Best Premium Midfielders (8.5m+)
- Best Budget Forwards (4.5 - 6.0m)
- Best Mid-Priced Forwards (6.5 - 7.5m)
- Best Premium Forwards (8.0m+)
The budget defenders position in Fantasy Premier League will likely require the most planning. This is because you are likely to have at least two to four assets which you will rotate to target the optimal fixtures in each Gameweek.
The Best £4.0m Defenders in FPL - Gameweek 1
There are 17 £4.0m defenders in FPL this season and unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we have any viable options so far.
We have had some gems in past with the likes of John Lundstram, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and even Tyrick Mitchell last season.
From the £4.0m defenders available, I would say Javier Manquillo, Kevin Long and Phil Bardsley are our best options and they would only be worthy of inclusion if injuries occurred to their teammates. Other than that, we're keeping an eye out for potential loan moves from the likes of Brandon Williams.
The bargain basement for defenders this season looks like a no-go zone!
The Best £4.5m Defenders in FPL - Gameweek 1
Conor Coady (£4.5m) – Wolverhampton Wanderers
I believe Wolves defenders this season have been slightly under-priced and this is probably due to their poor season in 2020-21. They finished 13th in the Premier League and kept 10 clean sheets (15th best in the division) with 52 goals conceded (8th).
Wolves have a really solid squad and I think this season we will see more of the ‘old’ team rather than what we got last season which was marred with covid postponements and also the horrific injury to Raul Jimenez (£7.5m).
They rank fourth best for defence according to our Fixture Ticker. Their opening three Gameweeks are difficult but the fixtures thereafter pick up immensely.
With the Liverpudlian born centre-back nailed in that backline, he will undoubtedly be a great value option.
He only scored one goal last season, yet towards the end he was a lot more attacking as he was given the licence to roam forward by Nuno Espirito Santo.
It’s impossible to tell if he will be given that role this year under Wolves' new manager but even if he isn't, he is still a top option for his price and is £0.5 cheaper than any other nailed Wolves defender.
Matthew Lowton (£4.5m) – Burnley
Burnley are another team who underperformed last season and weren’t the solid defensive unit we are accustomed to.
Just like Wolves, I think we will witness a defensive improvement this season and Lowton at £4.5m seems a great route into their defence.
The Clarets kept 11 clean sheets (14th) last year compared to 15 (2nd) in the 2019-20 season with a fairly similar team.
Although Burnley’s fixtures are not the best to start with, there are a few good ones in there where they can easily keep a clean sheet.
Brighton & Hove Albion, Leeds United and Norwich City are games which they will fancy and Lowton can easily be rotated by FPL managers for the opening matches.
Lowton historically has low to medium attacking threat with one goal and one assist last term and 15 assists over the last eight seasons with limited minutes.
He was more of a nailed pick last season playing 3060 minutes – the most he has played in the past three seasons.
Tariq Lamptey/Joel Veltman (£4.5m) – Brighton & Hove Albion
Tariq Lamptey broke into the team near the end of the 2019-20 season and really impressed from a real-life and fantasy perspective.
Unfortunately, his 2020-21 season was tarnished with a long-term injury where he only managed to play 11 games and it looks he also may miss the first few games of this season too.
However in this short period, he racked up one goal, two clean sheets, and three assists with six Shots in the Box, one Big Chance, 10 Chances Created and two Big Chances Created.
The 20-year-old English right-back clearly likes to attack and is a menace down that flank.
Joel Veltman is another good attacking option with plenty of clean sheet prospects. He is probably a safer pick, as Lamptey is returning from a lengthy layoff.
The Dutchman managed 14 Shots, 11 Shots in the Box, two Big Chances, 22 Chances Created and two Big Chances Created in only 25 starts.
Brighton were a strange team defensively last season. Their defensive stats were among the best in the league with 12 clean sheets (5th), and 46 goals conceded (7th) but were in the relegation battle almost all season finishing 16th.
If they play the same way this year I can honestly see Graham Potter's side having a really strong season and I believe their defensive players are underpriced.
The Seagulls' defensive fixtures are amazing for the first eight Gameweeks and only have one tough game in Arsenal. Our Fixture Ticker ranks them in the top five overall.
Luke Ayling (£4.5m) – Leeds United
Leeds United were the most impressive team last season and won everyone's hearts with their entertaining and attacking football.
After just being promoted, they finished 9th which was just seven points off European qualification.
Despite conceding 54 goals (15th), they still managed to keep 11 clean sheets (6th). All their defenders are priced at £4.5m but Ayling has the best-attacking stats and is nailed.
He managed 24 Shots, 14 Shots in the Box and six Shots on Target while also creating 27 Chances and five Big Chances.
Amazingly he ended the season with zero attacking returns but if he posts similar underlying numbers again, he is sure to rack up some goals and assists.
Leeds have a fantastic set of opening fixtures playing Everton (H), Burnley (a), Newcastle United (a), West Ham United (H), Watford (H) and Southampton (a) in their first eight Gameweeks.
At £4.5m you will be hard-pressed to find a better value defender than Ayling, especially at the start of the season with those games.
Wesley Fofana (£4.5m) – Leicester City
This was the one that surprised me the most. Leicester City are a solid top-five side and only missed out on Champions League qualification by one point.
They kept 11 clean sheets (6th) and Fofana was a key player for them for the majority of the campaign.
The 20-year old could not have asked for a better debut season and was impressive throughout and cemented his place in the Foxes backline.
In only 27 starts, the French international also managed 11 Shots in the Box while also creating six chances.
Although his attacking threat is fairly low, his price makes him a worthy FPL asset because he plays in such a good team.
Furthermore, Leicester’s fixture are also great – in the first eight games, they play Wolves (H), Norwich (a), Burnley (H) and Crystal Palace (a).
£4.5m Budget Defenders worth a mention
Rob Holding of Arsenal could potentially be another bargain at £4.5m. Depending on signings, he could keep his place in the starting lineup. Although the Gunners finished 8th, they still kept 12 clean sheets (5th).
Jan Bednarek could also be a great option. Southampton have a tough opening set of games, yet he could be one to look at once their fixtures ease up slightly.
I mentioned Lamptey and Veltman above but Ben White and Adam Webster are also good alternatives who are equally priced.
From the promoted sides, Rico Henry could be a shout. The Brentford left-back has a goal and two assists in 28 starts and the Bees have the best Expected Goal Conceded from all the promoted teams.
Hub Power Rankings
I will rank these FPL Budget Defenders in accordance with our Power Rankings for Hub members!