The Best 4.0 Defenders in FPL 2023-24

Jul 6, 2023 | Preseason Tips, Who To Pick

This article has a simple mission, to answer the question: Who are the best 4.0 defenders in FPL 2023-24. To do this, we felt there was no way other than to research and compile data on EVERY single 4.0 FPL defender. We don’t cut corners round here!

We’ve split this article into two sections, the first section highlights those who we think are the best 4.0 defenders, both as things stand right now and also those who could emerge later in the season.

The second section shares the data we gathered on every 4.0 defender. A big table for those of you who like to view the data yourselves.

This article is part of our Guide To FPL 2023-24 which also includes the best 4.5 defenders for FPL.

Free FPL Newsletter

If we could only give you 1 piece of advice ahead of Gameweek 2 it would be to subscribe to Lazy FPL. They condense hours of expert Fantasy Premier League research into a 4-min email sent 24 hours before every gameweek deadline.

The Best 4.0 Defenders in FPL 2023-24

As things stand right now, the three best 4.0 defenders in FPL 2023-24 are Amari’i Bell, Jordan Beyer and George Baldock. These three are the most likely of all the 4.0 defenders to play the opening gameweeks and beyond. Let us tell you a little more about those three:

Amari’i Bell (LUT)

Mr Popular himself: Amari’i Bell

Luton’s Amari’i Bell has emerged as the early favourite for FPL managers looking to grab a bargain 4.0 defender.

Bell featured in all but 2 games last season, with half the season serving as a left wing-back and the other half as a centre-back.

He managed 1 goal and 1 assist over the entirety of the season, both coming from the left wing-back position.

Amari’i Bell is a fantastic 4.0 defender on FPL if you’re just looking for somebody who turns up each week and clocks in their 1-2 points, which is all you really need from a 4.0 defender.

Jordan Beyer (BUR)

Burnley activated the option to sign Jordan Beyer on permanent deal

Jordan Beyer was nailed on as centre-back last season, except for 3 instances in which he picked up minor injuries that kept him sidelined for a couple of games on each occassion.

Before his loan move to Burnley, he completed a season in the Bundesliga for Borussia Mönchengladbach featuring in 17 games. His experienced showed in the Championship and Burnley capitalised on their option to buy, signing him on a permanent deal following promotion.

He picked up 1 goal and 2 assists over the course of last season. Injuries have been part of his career of late, which is certainly worth keeping an eye on.

George Baldock (SHU)

How many goals did you score last season, George?

You don’t need to cast your memory back too far to remember George Baldock as an FPL asset for Sheffield United when they were last in the Premier League.

In the 2019-20 he was valued at 4.5 and ended season with 142 points. The following season (2020-21), his price shot up to 5.5 and he returned an underwhelming 63 points.

Baldock was nailed on as right wing-back for the majority of last season, picking up 1 goal and 3 assists.

It’s worth noting that Jayden Bogle shares game time with Baldock depending on form or opposition, but he’s been ridden with injury across the last two seasons.

Which 4.0 Defender Has The Best Fixtures?

The decision of who to pick out of Bell, Beyer and Baldock will largely come down to the difficulty of their opening fixtures. How 99% of players view fixture difficulty is using Fantasy Premier League’s very own Fixture Difficulty Rating, also know as the FDR, that’s built into the game.

It’s all sunshines and rainbows on the FDR

This explains why, at this moment in time, Bell is by far the most selected 4.0 defender. According to FPL, Luton (Bell) has 4 easy fixtures and 2 average ones. I’m not really sure how FPL calculate this, but it’s definitely very generous and it’s not based on clean sheet or attacking potential.

We have a Fixture Tracker that is calculated using last season’s xG and xGA statistics, that we broke into two parts covering both clean sheet and attacking potential. It’s a lot less subjective and way more ruthless, especially when it comes to clean sheets (which are quite rare).

It’s all doom and gloom in our FDR.

Given that they all play for newly promoted clubs, you wouldn’t really be expecting many clean sheets from the opening 6 matches, or even across the season.

Our FDR definitely reflects that. It does suggest Luton have the best opening six (like the optimistic FPL FDR), but it does drill home how unlikely is it you’ll get anything.

So, who has the best opening fixtures from Bell, Beyer & Baldock? Bell does. But none of them have good fixtures by any stretch of the imagination. This is the Premier League.

The 4.0 Defenders To Monitor:

As time progresses there’s a possibility that some far better 4.0 FPL defenders will emerge. Whether this is due to transfer activity, tactical rotation or injury. For Gameweek 1, it’s probably best you avoid these as they aren’t nailed on, but should they begin to get playing time, they’ll become popular picks very fast.

Malo Gusto (CHE)

Malo Gusto translates to “Bad Taste” in Spanish.

The departure of César Azpilicueta has left a lack of depth in the right-back position at Chelsea, with Malo Gusto, Trevoh Chalobah & Ethan Ampadu next in line behind the somewhat injury prone Reece James.

Chelsea completed the singing of Gusto last January, but loaned him back to his original club Olympique Lyon where he finished the campaign – unfortunately picking up a hamstring injury that ruled him out of the majority of that half of the season. The Chelsea right-back curse!

Aged just 20-years old, the right-back has already made 61 league appearances for Lyon, tallying up 6 assists in the process.

Should Chelsea fail to sign a backup right-back before Reece James next gets injured, we could find ourselves with a 4.0 starting wing-back playing under Mauricio Pochettino.

READ MORE: Best Budget Goalkeepers in FPL 2023-24.

Jarrad Branthwaite (EVE)

What more do I need to do, Dyche?

Will this year be the year that Everton finally use Jarrad Branthwaite?

The 21 year old spent last season on loan at PSV, featuring in 36 matches in all competitions, finishing runner up in the Eredivisie and winning the Dutch Cup after defeating Ajax on penalties. He concluded an excellent season by reaching the final of the U21 European Championship with England.

Connor Coady and Yerry Mina have departed the club, whilst Michael Keane and Mason Holgate had some troubles with injury across last season.

Branthwaite has a very successful full season under his belt, he’s young, home-grown and a natural left-sided centre back. If that’s not enough for him to get a chance this season, you’d think his departure from Everton will be imminent.

Nuno Tavares (ARS)

Please go to West Ham, Nuno.

Arsenal’s Nuno Tavares had a good season on loan at Ligue 1 side Marseille, starting 23 matches and averaging a 0.27 non-penalty xG+xA per 90.

There doesn’t seem to be room for him in Arteta’s plans and he’s currently rumoured to be targeted by both West Ham & Galatasary. Should he end up transferring to West Ham, he could emerge as a great 4.0 defender in FPL.

At West Ham, he would compete for the left-back spot against the ageing Aaron Cresswell. West Ham will also be featuring in the Europa League, meaning rotation will be necessary, allowing players like Tavares to get more opportunities.

Tariq Lamptey (BHA)

Praying that De Zerbi opts for wing-backs in the future

Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey has also been a popular choice of 4.0 defender from the onset. At the time of writing (a few days after the game was launched) he has a higher ownership percentage than the likes of Beyer & Baldock.

Last season Lamptey made 20 appearances for Brighton but only 3 of them were starts, including GW26 where he was picked up a knee injury in the 16th minute that ruled him out for the remainder of the season. On just two occasions he featured more than 60 minutes – the required time to qualify for clean sheet points.

In the 2021-22 season, Lamptey started more often under Graham Potter who often deployed wing-backs, to which he was first choice on the right hand side. However, under new boss De Zerbi, the tactical approach has changed.

During the first half of the season when Lamptey was fit, Roberto De Zerbi favoured Joël Veltman at right back, on occasion even deploying Pascal Groß there. In gameweek 22, De Zerbi played with wingbacks and Lamptey was given the start, but this was the only occasion this happened.

If De Zerbi changes his tactical setup to include wingbacks, or if Lamptey gets a move to another Premier League club, he could be worth considering. Until now, it’s probably safer to go for a more nailed on option.

Bendegúz Bolla (WOL)

Could Bendeguz Bolla get a chance under Lopetegui?

Since signing Bendegúz Bolla in 2021, Wolves have loaned him out to Swiss side Grasshopper Club Zürich for two successive seasons.

Last season, he featured in 32 matches, scoring 4 goals and assisting 3, with an average of 0.20 non-penalty xG+xA per 90.

Nelson Semedo is nailed on at right-back, but with Jonny Otto struggling with fitness & form, and Ki-Jana Hoever returning from an unsuccessful loan campaign at Stoke, Bolla might now find himself higher in the pecking order.

Fans Opinion:

I recently shared this article on Reddit and received lots of excellent feedback from fans of various clubs. I want to repeat that information here as it’s very valuable for FPL players:

As it stands (with no transfers), Norrington-Davies (4.0) would also 95% likely be a starter for us at LCB (also capable of playing LWB), if he recovers from his long hamstring injury in time to start the season.

Jack Robinson was our LCB last season, but hasn’t (yet) signed a new contract

/u/MosF94

Sergio Gomez should be on watch list, the guy is the top scorer for the whole U21 but he is turning 23. With gundogan gone, mahrez and Bernardo potentially leaving, KDB injured, I think Pep might try to integrate someone like him on attack.

/u/jkywong

Wolves fan – Semedo was one of our best players last season. Unless he gets injured Semedo place at right back is locked. I should probably also mention that I can’t think of a single player that went to grasshoppers and came back (there’s been a good few) and were part of the squad at all beyond pre-season

/u/Mutiny101

Ampadu isn’t playing RB. If anyone Chalobah would be second understudy to James and Gusto. However, I don’t see James having a season of injuries when there’s no midweek games this season and (assuming) Poch plays him as a FB most of the time.

/u/xkcdthrowaway

I don’t think Bogle is first choice RWB, they usually rotate based on form and opposition. I’d predict Baldock is first choice in the Prem as we’ll need his defensive qualities.

/u/Montsleftpeg

Underlying Statistics of Every 4.0 Defender:

This table below is filtered to show the 4.0 defenders that featured for their parent teams last season. It includes the number of starts, minutes and non-penalty xG + xA. Please disregard the non-penalty xG + xA of players that have played few minutes as the sample range isn’t reliable.

NameTeamStartsMinsnpxG+xA
BellLUT433,8650.08
BaldockSHU332,8760.14
BeyerBUR292,5310.08
PottsLUT242,0080.10
BashamSHU181,7360.12
TaylorBUR171,7250.06
BurkeLUT151,3050.02
Norrington-DaviesSHU151,2620.10
EkdalBUR97670.12
Al-DakhilBUR76710.13
HolgateEVE55070.25
LampteyBHA34530.04
C. RichardsCRY44470.20
ChambersAVL23530.03
CédricARS23490.39
S. GómezMCI23490.39
TomkinsCRY33380.27
Van HeckeBHA32950.18
LascellesNEW21460.04
TangangaTOT21440
MbabuFUL1660.25
PhillipsLIV1370.06
ManquilloNEW0210
BechBRE0210
Egan-RileyBUR0170.16
BianconeNFO0110
J. LewisNEW070
SpenceTOT030.1
McNallyBUR030.1
Statistics sourced from FBREF

This table below shows the 4.0 defenders that were on-loan last season and didn’t feature for their parent club. We’ve included Luton’s new signing Mads Andersen in this table, despite the fact he wasn’t a loanee.

NameTeamLoanStartsMinsnpxG+xA
TrustyARSBIR443,9290.14
AndersonLUTBAR*443,880N/A
BollaWOLGRS322,7610.20
FernandezMUNPNE272,6540.19
AmpaduCHESPZ312,6390.07
O’BrienCRYRWD282,5310.14
TavaresARSMAR232,3490.27
PanzoNFOCOV242,2390.08
BranthewaiteEVEPSV211,9920.13
ThomasBURBAR221,9800.27
KarbownikBHAFDU201,8500.24
GustoCHELYO191,5950.20
RodonTOTREN161,4170.06
Mbe SohNFOGUI141,1970
HillBOUHEA131,0890
KongoloFULLEH109140
Van den BergLIVS0486960.10
BaillyMUNMAR55430.03
HoeverWOLSTO22110.73
HauseAVLWAT21910
GoodeBREBLA21170.07
Statistics sourced from FBREF

There was a few players that we didn’t include within the table due to the fact they had no data available. These players spent last season at their parent clubs, but didn’t feature in any matches: B.Williams (MUN), Mengi (MUN), Ashby (NEW), Watts (NEW) & Dräger (NFO).

Chelsea’s Baba Rahman is also included in the initial player list, but his contract was recently terminated.

Looking for a funny FPL team name or a free entry FPL cash league with prizes? Look no further!

Jamie Reeves
Written By Jamie Reeves

Portsmouth fan. Been playing FPL (to varying success) since 2009 & Sorare since 2020. Five top 20k finishes.

More FPL Tips

Gameweek 25 FPL Tips

Gameweek 25 FPL Tips

So, you’ve finally made it here, eh? Double Gameweek 25. Alright, I’ll let you relish those moments of blissful peace. It’s a double gameweek, so you're expecting double the points, right? Wrong. This is FPL, so brace yourself for double the pain. But fear not, for I...

Gameweek 24 FPL Tips

Gameweek 24 FPL Tips

If you didn’t own Foden in GW 23, this is a safe space. By that, I mean I will heavily indulge in Foden jokes to help me drown out my own pain.  20 points, Phil? Do you have no shame? A certain team based in Sheffield won’t even get that many come the end of the...

Gameweek 22 FPL Tips

Gameweek 22 FPL Tips

Welcome back from the break for some Gameweek 22 tips. It’s been aeons since GW 21, meaning a lot’s changed. Saka blanked. FPL managers rioted over their lost points. And Julian Alvarez is an excellent captain option even after another blank.  Okay, maybe a lot hasn’t...