Game Week 6 will have left the majority of FPL managers frustrated as a somewhat unpredictable round of real-life action meant an average team score of just 45 points.
It was midfielders who reaped the highest rewards, with Liverpool’s big win against ten-man Hull City meaning Reds trio Adam Lallana (£7.2m), Philippe Coutinho (£8.2m) and James Milner (6.5m) bagging 15, 15 and 14 points respectively.
Check out what the teams will be wearing later pic.twitter.com/PXJddVFzsL
— Premier League (@premierleague) October 1, 2016
What will have hurt most managers though, is the failure of all but four Premier League sides to keep a clean sheet.
Shut-outs have been very hard to come by this season meaning players are rightly spending the lion’s share of their FPL budgets further up the field.
Even Manchester City’s all-conquering start to the season has seen them ship goals in all but one match so far.
Managers intent however, on pushing up their weekly score will need points from all over the pitch. Where then, in the coming weeks, might points be found at the back?
Kyle Walker (£5.9m) is the top scoring defender in the game with six weeks gone but two assists and bonus points have helped him work his way to a total of 34.
Toby Alderweireld: "Diego Simeone taught me to enjoy clean sheets. Even if it’s 3-0 or 4-0, the thing is to get the clean sheet." pic.twitter.com/EwJCzF52bj
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 27, 2016
It is Tottenham however, that lead the way in terms of clean sheets, with the Belgian pair of Toby Alderweireld (£6.5m) and Jan Vertonghen (£5.5m) also joining Walker on three each.
The beauty of the two centre-backs is their importance to Mauricio Pochettino’s team means they are virtually guaranteed to start every week.
Alderweireld’s higher price is due to his tendency to pop up with the occasional headed goal and the fact that his countryman’s injury last term meant he finished the season with a superior points tally.
While any of the three men are likely to provide a reasonably safe return on investment, FPL players should be wary that Spurs face Man City this coming Sunday.
North London rivals Arsenal might offer superior defensive options – at least for the coming weeks.
The Gunners shipped four goals in week one but the partnership developing at the heart of their back four, between Shkodran Mustafi (£6.0m) and Laurent Koscielny (£6.1m) looks to have stopped the rot.
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) September 26, 2016
The pair will be eyeing the next four games, Burnley, Swansea, Middlesborough and Sunderland, as a chance to continue their progress.
Along with Hector Bellerin (£6.5m) and Nacho Monreal (£6m) the duo make up Arsene Wenger’s first-choice rearguard.
Interestingly though, the rest of the defenders in the Frenchman’s squad are all available for less than £5m so any injury could represent a replacement offering real value for money.
Looking for bargains at the back this season, has prompted many managers to opt for West Brom’s keenly priced defenders with the Baggies seeming predictably solid under Tony Pulis.
All good things though, must come to an end. After facing Sunderland this weekend, West Brom have an average FDR (fixture difficulty ranking) of four, right up until game week 12.
A much kinder run of games for Bournemouth means that the Cherries’ bargain-basement defenders should attract interest in October and November.
They were impressive in keeping Everton at bay last week and will be brimming with confidence.
Adam Smith (£4.6m) is currently leading the way for them with an impressive total of 27 points but their entire defence is available at a similar price.