Going for a five man defence in FPL is a pre season trend once more.
The debate has been rife, with the emergence of many premium Fantasy Premier League defence options for the 2019/20 season.
The defence discussion started early on the Who Got The Assist? podcast, with Let’s Talk FPL Andy producing an entertaining graph to chart the trend in each FPL pre-season.
Listening to the most recent @WGTA_FPL podcast.
I wonder if the big at the back twitter mention trend will differ this year with Liverpool etc.
Usually the number of daily twitter mentions within the FPL community for it looks something like this ? pic.twitter.com/mmwM61ccAA
— Andy (@LetsTalk_FPL) June 10, 2019
The stakes are much higher now though, with high profile managers like FPL General backing the defence strategy. He’s developed an entertaining way of justifying his plans!
There's big at the back and there's BIG AT THE BACK.
I think I like it. pic.twitter.com/px7ROhXpMu
— FPL General (@FPLGeneral) July 5, 2019
I feel much better about it when I look at it upside down. pic.twitter.com/jlrgpzGUsW
— FPL General (@FPLGeneral) July 6, 2019
Despite the hype, FPL Fly is the voice of reason, reminding the FPL Community of why this tactic is generally perceived to be a bad idea. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
Neil Murray has been leading the discussion on Twitter of playing a five man defence. He’s provided numerous threads and talking points to advocate his decision making.
If you're planning 5 at the back then you need to fully commit, meaning:
❌ 4.5M rotation
❌ In fact, no suitable options below 5.5M work for this strategy
✅ Must have REAL attacking threat
So, we're choosing from just 16 candidates imo (covered here): https://t.co/nsrF6RU17i
— Neil Murray #FPL (@roneildinho) July 5, 2019
Crucial to “big at the back” strategy is attacking points from defence.
Here’s who scored 7+ attacking returns (goals & assists combined) in 18/19:
— Neil Murray #FPL (@roneildinho) July 2, 2019
A criticism of 5 at the back is less captaincy options (assuming you don't want to captain defenders).
In theory, I accept this, however in practice I only captained around 7 players all of last season and around 90% of the time went Aguero/Salah.
2 strong options is enough.
— Neil Murray #FPL (@roneildinho) July 4, 2019
Adam Hopcroft has crunched the numbers on the PPM metric from last season. Interestingly enough, its a five man defence which allows for the best overall total: it can provide balance!
Best Points Per Match 11
Budget £82.5m (no bench)
My best effort 5-3-2:
Gunn 3.9ppm £4.5m
TAA 6.4 £7m
VVD 5.5 £6.5m
Robertson 5.9 £7m
Alonso 5.2 £6.5m
Laporte 5.1 £6.5m
Sterling 6.9 £12m
Perez 4.4* £6.5m
Zaha 4.8* £7m
Wilson 5.6 £8m
Kane 5.7 £11m
Total 59.4 ppm
— Adam Hopcroft (@ahopcroft13) July 7, 2019
Twitter legend, FPL Hints, has done some experimentation in the strategy to analyse the knock on effect of the rest of our squads. Compromises in attack have to be made.
The options below are probably the strongest '#5ManDefence' teams that you can assemble on @OfficialFPL at the moment to the point where Rashford is forced onto the bench with the left option and the right option has the same defence but different attacking options.
— FPL Hints (@FPLHints) July 4, 2019
7. Don’t Take The L
Interestingly when looking at ownership, the most owned players fit into a 5-3-2 formation shortly after the game launch. The exact figures have changed since this tweet but the fact still stands.
The CURRENT most owned players in FPL:
DEF??Van Dijk 37.2%
MID??B Silva 31.1%
How many are in your team?!
— FPDontTakeTheL (@FPDontTakeTheL) June 30, 2019
So, how does all this talk of defence and formations filter down into the FPL Community? It’s a more conservative 4-42 leading at the moment, after over 1,000 votes.
Let’s talk formations!
Would love to get your opinions on why you are currently going with a certain formation. #FPL
— The FPL Physio (@FPL_physio) July 6, 2019
Some big names are bucking the trend though, with former Fantasy Premier League 2014/15 Champion a big advocate! Surely if he believes he can make it work then the rest of us are in with a shout?
I’M gOinG fIvE aT thE BaCk thIS seAsON.
— Simon March (@MarchSimon) June 29, 2019
The algorithm at Fantasy Football Fix has been working it’s magic to analyse formation trends of top managers. There’s been a shift, but a five man defence may be a bridge too far.
The 3-4-3 formation has traditionally been the most favoured in FPL, and it was the same in 2018/19 as well
— Fantasy Football Fix (@FantasyFootyFix) July 5, 2019
Finally, Fantasy Football Hub gauged the initial Community thoughts on the number of defenders to line up with in Gameweek 1. Five was controversial, but plenty of managers are now more comfortable with 4 than 3.
In your latest FPL draft, how many starting defenders do you have?
— Fantasy Football Hub (@FFH_HQ) June 29, 2019
We are delighted to be partnering with Fantasy Football Hub for the coming season!
To celebrate, we are giving away 10% off Fantasy Football Membership (limited time offer!) – a fantastic subscription for those of you keen to start compiling those five man defence squads!
Members can also take advantage of this fantastic mini-league prize! Get signed up.
BEFORE YOU GO… Be sure to check out the rest of our Community XI pre-season series: