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Breaking down the defense: Don’t focus on attacking returns

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In fact, the top nine outfield players in the Premier League so far this season, in terms of fantasy points, are forwards and midfielders.

That being said, defenders are important, too. Your fantasy matchup will sometimes be very close, and just a couple of extra points could make all the difference.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

In my Premier League review column on Monday, I wrote about Manchester City — in particular, about how valuable their players can be when they face a much-inferior opponent, thanks to dominating possession.

I mentioned that Man City fullbacks Oleksandr Zinchenko (20.7 points) and Kyle Walker (15.7) both outscored Tottenham fullback Kieran Trippier (14.1), even though Trippier had an assist, and neither of them had a goal or assist … due to passes completed.4

That prompted a larger question — just how important is it to choose defenders with a decent chance of goals or assists, in terms of ESPN’s fantasy scoring system?

Last week I got lucky, in a sense. I picked Tripper as my Tier 1 defender and Wolves’ Matt Doherty as my Tier 2 defender, thinking both had a solid chance of being involved in a goal against Huddersfield Town and Southampton, respectively.

Both players ended up with an assist, which obviously I was delighted about. But then I saw that Zinchenko outscored both my players, and Doherty (16.2) barely outscored Walker.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

If Trippier and Doherty hadn’t gotten those assists, my overall score would have significantly dropped. And defenders — even attacking fullbacks like Trippier and Doherty — don’t get goals and assists that often. Trippier had no goals and five assists in 24 league games last season. Doherty, playing in the second division, had four goals and four assists in 45 games.

For those of us who have played other formats of fantasy soccer before, like Fantasy Premier League and daily fantasy games, we’re accustomed to seeking out fullbacks rather than center backs, because they’re more involved in attacking play. But maybe they’re not always the best option in ESPN’s format?

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