In order of preference:
Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd)
Man Utd may struggle to replace C-Ron’s goals but they should still be very mean at the back, thanks to the tried and trusted Vidic/Ferdinand axis. Vidic is the most expensive defender in most fantasy leagues, but with good reason: he’s a rock at the back and he’s a serious goal threat from set pieces (much more so than Ferdinand). In other words, he’s worth it.
Ashley Cole (Chelsea)
By the end of last season, Cole seemed to have finally found his feet at Chelsea. He’s a confidence player and he now looks genuinely confident to me, perhaps for the first time since he left Arsenal. He promises a solid mix of clean sheets and assists, and he’s guaranteed of his first-team place.
Glen Johnson (Liverpool)
Johnson’s versatility makes him a strong fantasy pick -Â he can play left- or right-back (midfield even?) and he’s adventurous enough to chip in with a few handy assists and goals. Now that Alvaro Arbeloa has left Liverpool, the chance of Johnson becoming one of Rafa’s first-team regulars has increased further. And with the World Cup on the horizon, you know he’ll be doing his best to impress Fabio Capello.
Wayne Bridge (Man City)
Solid, unspectacular, reliable. Bridge is a modern-day Denis Irwin. OK, he’s not quite in Irwin’s class but he’s plenty good enough to be City’s first-choice left-back. City will definitely concede fewer goals than they did last season too. Bridge is another Englishman who will be looking to nail down his World Cup squad place. A safe selection.
Stephen Warnock (Blackburn)
Yes, it’s another English full-back with something to prove. If you’re looking at cheaper defenders from outside the big four, to make sure your team comes in on budget, you could do a lot worse than look at Warnock. He’s an underrated full-back who loves to get forward; indeed, he’s played in midfield in some pre-season games. I’m sure that Sam Allardyce will turn Blackburn into a difficult team to score against.
Brede Hangeland (Fulham)
I will eat my hat if Fulham concede as few goals as they did in 08/09 (34), but Hangeland is still a worthwhile purchase – he’s a poor man’s Nemanja Vidic, in fantasy terms. If he goes to Arsenal (a big if seeing as he is now cup-tied in Europe), he becomes more than a useful purchase.
Which defenders do you have/will you buy for your fantasy team?
Six Premier League goalkeepers you should consider for your fantasy football team
In order of preference: