Top 5 FPL picks – Chelsea
Disclaimer: The Transfer Window is still open and things could dramatically change for some, or all players mentioned in the Article. The content is however of substance at the time of publishing.
Champions of Europe! The only Premier League club apart from Liverpool to have won the UEFA Champions League in the last decade, in fact, they’ve won it twice in this decade. Chelsea showed amazing class on the pitch with a professional performance in the Champions League final against Man City and similar performances have become a regular even since club legend Frank Lampard was sacked mid-season for the much famed Thomas Touchel. The German wasted no time in establishing himself at the club with a run of unbeaten games, before being shocked by now relegated West Brom at home. The Blues quickly recovered from that set back and won another run of games to finish in the top four, and then ended the season on a high with the ultimate trophy in club football.
Defence has been the USP of Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel, with Chelsea keeping record clean sheets in the first few games under Tuchel. The remarkable run made Chelsea defence assets hugely attractive to the FPL Managers, with some even tripling up on Chelsea defence. Despite Tuchel only managing 19 games in the 20/21 season, Chelsea finished with the second best defensive record in the league, only behind the Premier League Champions, Man City, who Chelsea beat in the UCL Final. Going forward, Defence shall be the main source of points for FPL Managers targeting Chelsea.
We will first analyse the opening set of fixtures and the proceed with the top 5 picks from Chelsea as per our team in order of preference –
1. B. Chilwell: £6M (DEF)
Ben Chilwell has to be one the most explosive full backs in the league after the Liverpool duo of Trent and Robertson. Chilwell’s bombing runs down the left earned him a big money move to Chelsea last season. And despite a few injuries stunting his Chelsea career, he managed 9 goals and assists in just 2286 minutes, making him a hot favorite FPL pick when Chelsea were raking in clean sheets for fun.
Chilwell has got a pretty fantastic cross, and also has an eye for the goal. He being a consistent part of Chelsea team really makes him one of the players to look out for in the 21/22 FPL season.
2. Kai Havertz: £8.5M (MID)
Kai Havertz came into the Premier League last season as a 21-year old, priced £8.5M in the FPL. He’s gone through ups and downs, slowly and steadily established himself at the club, and after scoring the Champions League Final winner, is still priced at £8.5M.
Well, Havertz scored only 91 FPL points in the last season, so why is he here? To know that, you’ll have to delve deeper into how he got those 91 points, when he got those 91 points, and why he got just 91 points.
To begin with, Havertz played only 1512 minutes in the Premier League last season due to a combination of factors including injury, COVID, lack of form and managerial changes. However, in the limited chances he got, Havertz scored 4 goals and assisted another 6. If a simple analysis is done for goals, assists and points per 90, Havertz may not seem like a bad option.
Answering the when he got those points, well in the business end of the season, where Chelsea were running in three competitions, Havertz started 4 of the last 8 Premier League matches and scored 3 and assisted a goal in this run. In parallel he started 4 of the last 5 Champions League matches Chelsea played (rested against Real Madrid in the semis), where he scored one and assisted another.
Talking about how he got those points, Havertz started 12 games post March as a Centre Forward. Chelsea were struggling to score goals and Tuchel decided to start the German up-front, which resulted into the Havertz finding some form and minutes and goals started to add up.
Chelsea have been linked to multiple strikers this summer, however, if Chelsea are unable to sign any, Havertz will see out quite a lot of game-time starting up front for a very strong team, thereby having a potential to score double the points he scored in his first season.
3. Antonio Rudiger: £5.5M (DEF)
The rock solid defence of Chelsea ever since the arrival of Tuchel makes most of their defenders a brilliant pick. This may not be true from the very start of the season given the up and down fixtures. However, over a stretch of few months, the Chelsea defenders will come out on top with substantial FPL returns.
What makes Rudiger a top pick over others is that he has almost cemented the LCB spot in the team, with Tuchel preferring him over Zouma in that role. Moreover, Zouma has been touted to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, which further cements Rudiger’s position in the team.
4. Reece James: £6M (MID)
Another top pick from Chelsea defence, who gives an explosive option with his bombing runs down the right flank. Pre-dominantly used as a Right wing back, Reece James has shown exceptional capabilities in winning his place in the top quality Chelsea team. The young full back played a memorable match in the Champions League final the last time he donned the Chelsea jersey, stopping Sterling from ever spending meaningful time on the ball.
The only down side can be the slight risk of rotation, both position wise, and personnel wise. Reece has been used at the Right Centre Back (RCB) spot multiple times over Azpilicueta, who in-turns plays at RWB. Further, Tuchel likes to experiment with wingers on wing back position against sides that play defensive football.
However, the risk of rotation is not very high, considering Chelsea’s failed attempt of buying A. Hakimi, who headed to PSG this summer.
5. Mason Mount: £7.5M (MID)
Chelsea’s blue eyed boy. Managers have changed, but Mason Mount being the most consistent performer in the midfield hasn’t changed. After slotting in a perfect through ball for Havertz in the Champions League final, Mount went on to have a brilliant summer, where he played the England team through to the final.
The best part about having Mason Mount as a fantasy asset is the guarantee of consistency and a very secure base level. Mount will surely start most matches, and surely chip in with an attacking return every alternate match. Mount also presides on set pieces for Chelsea, which adds to his appeal.
His consistency has to be contextualized by the fact that in his first season, Lampard was the new manager at Chelsea and Mount had to fight to get into the team and establish his position. While in his second season, Chelsea saw a managerial change mid-season, which meant the team went through some up and down swings. This shall be the first season where a settled Mount will be able to perform in a settled Chelsea team. His remarkable consistency guarantees us an above average season at worse. If Mount is to be picked during a good run of Chelsea fixtures, he can prove to be a good choice.
In conclusion, it can safely be said that the Chelsea defence is an obvious and simple pick. In between Chilwell, Rudiger and Reece, one or even two can be picked depending on the budget, risk ability and affinity. Further upfront, Havertz and Mount are promising and are bound to have good seasons.