Are defenders proving the best form of attack?

Team 33's Fantasy football presenter Eoin Sheahan surveys the state of play ahead of Gameweek 23

Are defenders proving the best form of attack?

Adam Davy / PA Wire/Press Association Images

There’s no better place to start than at the back and the two of the best fantasy defenders at the moment who go up against each other this week.

The first is Patrick van Aanholt (4.6), who has remarkably scored in three consecutive matches and added one assist for good measure. His proven attacking threat is backed up with clean sheet potential this week too as Sunderland host Bournemouth.

On the opposite flank, for the opposite team tomorrow afternoon is Charlie Daniels (also 4.6) who hauled in a whopping 18 points last weekend. His assist potential on the left hand side looks like it will benefit from the arrival of the Benik Afobe, while spot-kick duties should never be sniffed at. Especially in a defender.

Manchester United’s clean potential sticks out above all others, though. Matteo Darmian (5.4) appears to be a relatively cheap and safe option for the next two gameweeks, when Southampton then Stoke visit Old Trafford.

It’s been the biggest story of the week for fantasy managers - Riyad Mahrez (7.2) has lost his penalty-taking duties. That news came as reason enough for thousands of managers to sell him already, but a King Power fixture against Stoke this weekend will stalled thousands more. Harry Kane got out of the Last Chance Saloon alive last week and there’s a general feeling that Mahrez is now in the same position. That being said, he has surely earned patience at this point.

Mahrez has a penalty saved against Aston Villa. Image: Nick Potts / PA Wire/Press Association Images

While it’s still extremely hard to look past Dele Alli’s (5.5) value in midfield, Christian Eriksen (8.3) has suddenly arrived on our radar as a real premium option. His brace against Sunderland last week doubled his total tally for the season and we may be witnessing the start of more consistent returns from the Dane.

In a similar price bracket, Roberto Firmino (7.8) has emerged as a decent out of position prospect. A strong showing in the number 9 role against Man United last week yielded no returns, but a clash at Norwich this weekend will have his owners salivating.

Jermain Defoe (5.2) proved he still had fantasy relevance with 5 goals in two gameweeks prior to last weekend and, with Bournemouth at home this time, it’s hard to back against him. Finding space for him in your front three will of course prove difficult, though.

Defoe's recent form indicates he is certainly a shrewd acquisition. Image: Adam Davy / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Finally, who to captain? It appears to be a straight shoot-out between Sergio Aguero (13.3) and Romelu Lukaku (9.2) for the armband this week with Aguero’s form going up against Everton’s delicious-looking fixture (Swansea at home).

Form usually wins these arguments, though, and Lukaku’s back-to-back blanks may be enough to dissuade many owners. Either way, you’ll probably want to own both this week.