The FPL budget seems near impossible to stay within this season. More than ever, it’s important to discover budget defensive rotations to help free up cash to spend on your attacking assets, as well as opening the door to the vast array of premium defenders.
A pair of budget defenders who rotate, ideally home and away, is perhaps the best tactic to overcome the limitation of funds while equipping yourself with enough premium defensive assets to keep up with the pack.
We have compiled a list of some of the standout £4.5m defensive rotations during the first six gameweeks.
4.5m Defender Rotations For FPL 2019/20
M. Targett & C. Taylor
Matt Targett will likely be thrown straight into the starting XI, and could even find himself playing wingback, as Villa start with four decent fixtures sandwiched between difficult trips to London. Burnley are the perfect club to work in tandem for clean sheet potential – Charlie Taylor is their only guaranteed starter at 4.5m.
The Clarets’ first course of action will be to restore their defensive solidity at home. This was a huge advantage for Dyche’s men in previous seasons but was hampered in the most recent campaign by their commitments to European football.
J. Lascelles & J. Bednarek
Opening six rotation of Newcastle & Southampton:
Although Wan Bissaka stole the headlines – and the hearts of millions of FPL managers – as the number 1 elusive £4.0m defender last season, Jan Bednarek was definitely number 2 after becoming a regular in the heart of Southampton’s defence.
Unlike the former, his starting price hasn’t soared this season and he joins Lascelles in the £4.5m bracket. Both are undeniably aerial threats with 44 touches and 16 goal attempts between them in the penalty area last season.
Slaloming between terrible fixtures, you can start your budget defender against two newly promoted teams and three clubs who finished in the bottom half last season.
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A. Smith & R. Fredericks/I. Diop
Opening six rotation of Bournemouth & West Ham:
Adam Smith’s versatility is always appreciated by Eddie Howe, though he will be desperate to profit from Clyne’s departure and make the right-back slot his own. He begins with Sheffield United and Aston Villa before passing the baton to Ryan Fredericks.
As discussed in my article covering the best budget defenders, Fredericks certainly impressed during the latter stages of the season and will look to plant himself in the starting XI during pre-season.
Another West Ham defender worth a look, and safer in terms of minutes than Fredericks, is Issa Diop. He quickly established himself in the Premier League as their first choice centre-back. Using either West Ham defender in this rotation completes the trio of fixtures against newly promoted sides in the opening six.
M. Aarons/J. Lewis & L. Dunk
Opening six rotation of Norwich & Brighton:
At the time of writing, Jamal Lewis’ ownership is overshadowed by his teammate Max Aarons. They were key to Norwich’s success with 42 and 41 appearances and 4 and 6 assists apiece.
German managers tend to, at the very least, entertain their fans in the Premier League and we can expect similar from Daniel Farke. His side conceded 57 goals on the path to automatic promotion and their fullbacks cannot be relied upon solely on defensive returns.
With their susceptibility to ship goals, you certainly don’t want to be fielding them vs. liv, CHE and MCI. This is where Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk can fill in for a possible clean sheet and maybe nick a goal with 27 attempts inside the box over the last two seasons.
C. Cathcart & J. O’Connell
Opening six rotation of Watford & Sheffield United:
Of the 4.5m defenders, Craig Cathcart ranked 2nd for total points (93), 3rd for minutes (3095, Taylor ranked 1st) and 1st equal for goals scored (3) last season. He did this without gaining much attention and therefore will be a nice differential with low ownership.
Sheffield United kicked off 2019 with eight consecutive clean sheets to solidify their promotion credentials and overall secured 17 shutouts in the Championship last season.
Compared to Aston Villa and Norwich, who conceded 36 and 34 respectively at home last season, Sheffield conceded just 17. They are already way ahead in this department and will be quietly confident of holding their own vs. CRY and SOU.