Fantasy Football Scout: Budget Defenders Joel Ward, Lewis Dunk, Max Aarons And Ahmed Elmohamady
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Whether you play the official FA Fantasy Football, Sky Sports Fantasy Football or The Sun's version, you're running out of time to get your first eleven locked in. In fact, the deadline for Gameweek 1 is 7pm, Friday August 9. If you're going to have a productive season, then don't follow in the steps of Manchester United and panic buy on the last day of the window, take your time to prepare and you could bag yourself a rising star or two by using our Fantasy Football scout tips. This week we'll be looking at some of the cheaper defenders on the list, leaving you room for must-haves like Trent Alexander-Arnold and Lucas Digne.
When looking at defenders, we want options who are likely to start games, keep clean sheets and provide an attacking threat. All prices will be in official FPL currency.
Joel Ward, Crystal Palace - £4.5M
Remember last year's budget hero, Aaron Wan-Bissaka? Well thanks to his £50M plus move to Manchester United, he's no longer makes the cheap list. Joel Ward is set to replace 'The Spider' at right back. Last season, Ward only made six starts under Roy Hodgson and played across the back four, but as they haven't replaced AWB, Ward looks almost certain to be a starter.
Lewis Dunk, Brighton - £4.5M
Lewis Dunk is guaranteed to start for Brighton this season alongside Shane Duffy. He's not only £0.5M cheaper than his counterpart, but the 27-year-old provided two goals and one assist last season so he could occasionally net you some attacking returns too. Admittedly he's not going to set any Fantasy Football records, but he'll make a great bench warmer. It's also worth noting that he's reportedly the replacement for Harry Maguire if Manchester United meet Leicester's transfer demands which will only increase his value and points at the end of the season.
Max Aarons, Norwich - £4.5M
Max Aarons is the next defensive rising star. He provided two goals and six assists last season for Norwich and picked up a few individual honours along the way to promotion. The 19-year-old won the EFL Young Player of the Year, was in the EFL Team of the Season and was included in the PFA Team of the Year. Despite recently signing a five-year deal, he's been linked with a number of high-profile teams and the likes of Crystal Palace. If Aarons does make the move to Selhurst Park, then he could replace Joel Ward in the starting lineup.
Ahmed Elmohamady, Aston Villa- £4.5M
If you can remember as far back as the 2014/15 season, Elmohamady scored a total of 114 points for Hull and totted up an impressive two goal and five assists. Last season, he managed two goals and eight assists in the Championship, proving that he's still capable in attacking areas. To make him seem like an even more enticing option, he was often used further up the field last season and managed 53 key passes which is a brilliant return for a defender. At 31-years-old, Elmohamady is in the peak of his career, and scored as many goals at super-striker Mo Salah in the recent African Cup of Nations.
Well done if you've made it this far down the article as we've definitely saved the best until last. Good luck!