Our scouts have identified five lesser-known Fantasy League centre-backs who have picked up a healthy number of points during the first quarter of the season and have the potential to continue in much the same way:
Shane Duffy (Brighton)
Although Brighton’s 1-0 win at Newcastle was only their second clean sheet of the season, it is also in the attacking third that Shane Duffy and centre-back partner Lewis Dunk can cause problems for the opposition.
Duffy has scored two goals and contributed two assists thus far for 10 points in total, helped by the fact that Brighton have yet to concede more than two goals in any game so far this season.
Indeed, Duffy was unfortunate not to add to his tally by a further two points at the weekend as it was his header that found Jose Izquierdo, only for the Colombian winger’s shot to take a slight deflection off Beram Kayal and into the net. With the goal being credited to Kayal, this meant that Izquierdo gained the corresponding assist rather than Duffy.
Steve Cook (Bournemouth)
Steve Cook and Nathan Ake are undoubtedly the first-choice pairing at centre-back for the Cherries, with both players having played every minute of every game so far this season.
With the exception of a 4-0 drubbing at Burnley, they have looked solid at the back – securing three clean sheets, including their last two games.
Cook also had a hand in both Bournemouth goals in a 2-1 win at West Ham, setting up striker Callum Wilson before getting on the scoresheet himself for what ultimately proved to be the winner.
James Tomkins (Crystal Palace)
Crystal Palace centre-back James Tomkins is a firm fans favourite and Hammers supporters were sad to see him go at the end of the 2015/16 season.
However, he has settled into life at Palace and alongside Mamadou Sakho has built up a good understanding.
In the two matches that Tomkins was absent, Palace conceded twice and lost both games, outlining his importance to the team.
However, like rivals Brighton, the Eagles have yet to concede more than two goals in any one game so far this season, although this could be tested in forthcoming games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United over the next month.
Michael Keane (Everton)
It was generally felt that manager Marco Silva's attacking style would result in Everton being more leaky at the back, and that appeared to be the case in their opening six matches – no clean sheets and 11 goals conceded .
However, the Toffees have kept two clean sheets and conceded just one goal in the three matches played since then, although they did have Jordan Pickford to thank for a penalty save in their last match against Crystal Palace.
It was a long ball from Michael Keane that set up Cenk Tosun for Everton's second goal in that game, having previously scored attacking points with an assist against Wolves in their opening game of the season and scoring their second goal in a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth.
Even with fit-again summer signing Yerry Mina set to make his claim for a starting berth, Keane looks the most likely candidate as his long-term partner in central defence.
Willy Boly (Wolves)
With Wolves continuing to enjoy life in the Premier League, their success has been built on being able to field the same starting eleven in all nine games played so far, including a three-man central defence.
Frenchman Willy Boly scored three goals whilst on loan at Wolves last season and opened his account as a permanent signing when giving his side a shock lead against champions Manchester City.
Wolves are another team yet to concede more than two goals in a single game so far this season, but have also secured four clean sheets in the process.