With the rise of creative defenders such as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joao Cancelo, going big at the back has become popular in FPL.
However, there is still a place in the game for a budget defender as they can still turn out to be hidden gems.
In fact, last season the top 29 in the points per million rankings were all goalkeepers or defenders.
So here are 5 of the best cheap defenders costing £4.5m and below that offer superb value.
Lewis Dunk – £4.5m
The Brighton captain is a reliable option for Brighton, only missing games last season through injury.
His team are solid at the back, placing 6th lowest for both xGA (45.6) and goals conceded (44) last season.
Additionally, Brighton were only allowing 12.5 shots per game against them, which is also the 6th fewest.
He’s strong in the air too, scoring 7 headers during his Premier League career.
Furthermore, the Seagulls have decent fixtures, playing none of last term’s top four until GW9.
Jonny – £4.5m
Wolves had a decent defensive record last season, conceding only 43 times (5th fewest). They face only one of last season’s top 10 in their opening 6 matches as well.
Wing-backs are key to their attack, with Jonny and Rayan Ait-Nouri seemingly the preferred duo to start the season.
Comparatively, Jonny was averaging 2.9 points per match last term, with Ait-Nouri scoring 3.8.
However, Jonny is the bigger goal threat, scoring 0.18 non-penalty goals per 90 (ranking him in the 97th percentile for full backs across Europe’s top 5 leagues). By contrast, his teammate averaged just 0.05.
They are similar in terms of attacking returns (0.18 and 0.15 per 90 respectively) but RAN is more creative, producing 0.3 goal-creating actions per 90 (Jonny – 0).
The Frenchman also takes more touches in the opposition box per 90 (2.81, Jonny – 1.93) but Jonny can play on either side of the wing. Consequently, this gives him the advantage due to potential minutes.
Tyrick Mitchell – £4.5m
Mitchell became a regular last campaign, starting 35 games and scoring 109 points.
Palace ranked 5th lowest for xGA (41), allowing only 11.7 shots per game (also the 5th fewest).
The 22-year-old was a vital part of that solidity, winning 54 tackles (6th most) – a huge 66% success rate (second highest).
Read More: Premier League Clean Sheet Odds (Updated)
He also shows promise going forward, attempting 16 crosses into the box overall (8th most).
Palace face a tough start with Arsenal, Liverpool, and Man City in their first four, but then until GW19 only play Chelsea from last season’s top four.
Takehiro Tomiyasu – £4.5m
Tomiyasu and Ben White both offer great value this season with Arsenal being stable in defence. The Gunners kept 13 clean sheets last campaign, the 5th most.
They scored similarly per match (TT – 3.6, BW – 3.3) with Tomiyasu getting one assist to White’s none. However, they score very low on both non-penalty xG and xA per 90 (0.08 and 0.05 respectively).
The main bonus for the full-back is that he pushes further forward which may just give him the edge out of the two.
Update: It looks like Tomiyasu may not start the season. If this looks to be the case as the season draws closer, you should avoid him.
Neco Williams – £4.0m
Neco Williams has just signed for Forest, making him the only £4.0m starter in the game currently.
The Welsh international shone at Fulham last season, per 90 averaging 0.3 goals and assists as well as 1.43 shots.
Read More: Top 10 Underpriced Players in FPL 2022/23
In Forest’s 3-5-2 he will get very high up the pitch in the right wing-back position, giving him more freedom to attack.
He has experience playing there for Wales and at the lowest price in the game, he’s an extremely low-risk asset.
|Tyrick Mitchell||Crystal Palace||£4.5m||109|
|Neco Williams||Nottingham Forest||£4.0m||4|