Attacking full backs

There has been a significant amount of Fantasy Premier League transfer activity involving defenders in the build up to Gameweek 6. Two of the primary factors driving the market have been Luke Shaw’s broken leg and managers throwing in the towel on a Chelsea defence that has conceded more goals (12) than any other in the Premier League.

I tend to choose defenders for their ability to deliver clean sheet points and I consider attacking returns to be the icing on the cake. However, there are plenty of FPL managers who prefer the gung-ho, all-out attack approach and this post is for them.

I’ve charted the performance of those defenders, all of them full backs, who have created at least five chances for their team mates this season. The interactive chart is simple; there are a couple of defensive stats – Goals conceded (red) and Clean sheets (green) – then those exciting attacking statistics: Chances created and Assists (blue), and Shots, Shots in Box, Shots on Target and Goals (yellow).

Interactive chart of full back stats to Gameweek 5 2015/16

Click to view interactive chart of full back stats up to and including Gameweek 5

The sample size is small, so caution is urged. But if you’re not one of the 26.2 per cent of FPL managers with Aleksandar Kolarov in your team and you are feel the need to make a defensive move, then you should probably join the 140,000 other managers who have drafted him in this week. He is a member of the best defensive unit in the Premier League so far, is creating lots of chances and is shooting like a mid-range midfielder. Gaël Clichy, his rival for the left back slot at Manchester City, is not predicted to be back for another month so Kolarov should retain his place for the Citizen’s tasty run of fixtures up to the Manchester derby (WHU, tot, NEW and maybe BOU).

West Ham United’s Aaron Cresswell and Southampton’s Cédric Soares have both kept three clean sheets and hit more than that number of shots. The latter has been subbed out early three times, which makes his numbers more impressive, but that also places a small question mark next to his name. The Saints fixture list doesn’t look appetizing (MUN, SWA, che, LEI, liv), but the Hammers’ schedule (mci, NOR, sun, cpl, CHE, wat) does offer some opportunities to dine after this week.

Simon Francis leads the way for chances created among defenders and his next three fixtures (SUN, sto, WAT) look kind, but Bournemouth’s inability to keep the ball out of their own net makes him less attractive to buy. Pape Souaré, of Crystal Palace, is also hindered by a lack of clean sheets. His next five fixtures don’t involve any of last season’s top four (tot, wat, WBA, WHM, lei) .

Kyle Naughton sits joint-second for chances created, but the Swansea City back line is struggling to shut out opponents despite not conceding many. Naughton faces five of last season’s top 11 in the next six weeks (EVE, sot, TOT, STO, avl, ARS). Meanwhile, Héctor Bellerín’s production looks good given he missed the opening match this season. The Arsenal full back has been ever-present since then but his fixture list is not mouthwatering (che, lei, MUN, wat, EVE, swa).

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