It’s safe to say we were all glad to see the return of the Premier League and fantasy football last weekend.
And while every manager wants to pick the big-name players, the reality is that a strict transfer budget means you sometimes need to find a bargain or two to balance out your side.
Dream Team 2017/18
We’ve all been there.
You’ve packed your Dream Team with the very best; a forward-line brimming with talent, a midfield that boasts goalscorers, assist-kings and pass-masters and a goalkeeper who’s kept more clean sheets than a hotel maid last season.
Which of course leaves you short on quality at the back.
That’s where we come in to save the day.
Here’s our favourite bargain defenders on the game this season, guaranteed to bring in the points but not break the bank.
Fantasy football tips: Which bargain defenders are available?
1 Angelo Ogbonna – £1.5m
Angelo Ogbonna spent long periods of the 2016–17 season crocked by injury, but still managed 22 appearances in the Premier League for West Ham.
The Italian defender barely played after January last season, and the Hammers form suffered in his absence.
Generally, their win ratio fell without the former Juventus defender in the side, while their concession rate rose.
At £1.5m, a fit-again Ogbonna could be an absolute steal for your Dream Team, especially with England No 1 Joe Hart guarding the sticks behind.
2 Calum Chambers – £2.0m
Calum Chambers silenced plenty of doubters last season with a solid campaign with relegated Middlesbrough.
The Arsenal loanee made the most of his first-team opportunities at the Riverside, playing 24 times.
He’s returned to the Gunners this summer and could stake a claim for a place in their starting line-up, although he’s been left out of the club’s pre-season tour of Australia and China.
If he does leave North London this summer, Crystal Palace is a likely destination.
And valued at just £2.0m, and having raked up 74 points last season, he could be a very reliable defender to have.
3 Gareth McAuley – £3.0m
Perhaps not a bargain per se, but opting for Gareth McAuley in your Dream Team has been one of the worst kept fantasy football secrets of recent years.
By far the cheapest defender on the game to score 100 points or more last season, the West Brom hard-man may be the wrong side of 35, but he’s still an adept defender who simply loves to score a goal or two (he notched six in the Premier League last season, an incredible return for a central-defender).
What’s more, 118 points last season is a better return than pricier defenders James Milner, Leighton Baines and Antonio Valencia.
You’ve got the tools required to pick a superstar Dream Team, but Homebase is the place for you pick up the tools you need to get the job done at the lowest prices…
4 Charlie Daniels – £2.5m
Bournemouth finished a fantastic ninth in the Premier League last season, which is pretty mind-blowing considering they were in League Two not too long ago.
Left-back Charlie Daniels typifies the Cherries fine rise to the top-flight, and was a huge part of their success last term.
Daniels raked 85 points for Bournemouth last season, with the occasional set-piece taker notching three goals in the league.
A worthy addition to any fantasy team.
5 Cuco Martina – 2.0m
Reliable full-back Cuco Martina made only a handful of appearances for Southampton last season before leaving St. Mary’s as a free-agent this summer.
He wasn’t in limbo for long though, with former Saints boss Ronald Koeman bringing him in for Everton this term.
And with Seamus Coleman’s long-term injury, Martina could see plenty of action for the Toffees.
He’s pretty cheap too, valued at just £2.0m.
Worth it, surely?