This article is part of our Fantasy Premier League Rankings series.
Clean sheets are the least sexy part of fantasy Premier League, as everyone prefers to root for goals and assists. And while we've spoken a few times on the Fantasy Soccer Podcast this season about using five defenders, or at least paying up for four, it was never because of their wonderful clean sheet upsides. No, we targeted players like Benjamin Mendy (before he got hurt), Marcos Alonso, Andrew Robertson and Kieran Trippier because they had really good attacking upside in addition to their expected high number of clean sheets.
But, just like every year, plenty of lower-priced defenders emerged like Everton's Lucas Digne, Wolves' Matt Doherty and Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold, making it not quite so necessary to spend up in every spot. Then again, if you were against it completely and just punted at defender, that worked in Gameweek 20, as Brighton (v. Everton), Cardiff City (at Leicester) and Burnley (v. West Ham) were responsible for three of the four clean sheets, joining Chelsea (at Crystal Palace) in the shutout department.
We're now beyond the half-way point in the Premier League season and Manchester United are tied with Fulham for the fewest clean sheets (two), while Arsenal are tied with West Ham and Huddersfield for the third-fewest (three). Not that we expected Arsenal to have a dominant defense, but three in 20 matches is absolutely pitiful. But, hey, at least it's more than United.
Then again, United have Paul Pogba, who had two assists in the first match after Jose Mourinho was sacked and then followed that up with back-to-back braces. Up next? A trip to face Newcastle, who he had an assist against while adding six shots (three on target) in the reverse fixture earlier this season (one in which Newcastle went up 2-0 and subsequently lost 3-2, capped off by a 90th-minute goal by Alexis Sanchez; remember him?).
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