Fantasy Premier League

FPL GW1 Lessons: Chilwell can fix managers' defensive issues

By The Scout 14 Aug 2023
Ben Chilwell, Chelsea

Chelsea defender rises in popularity as Stones, Gabriel and Mings owners seek replacements

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Managers in Fantasy Premier League are flocking to Ben Chilwell (£5.5m) as they look to address the growing number of issues in their defences.

The Chelsea star delivered a seven-point return at home to Liverpool in Gameweek 1, combining an assist with two bonus points in the 1-1 draw.

Chilwell's assist v Liverpool

That has earned him 145,000+ new owners for the Blues’ visit to West Ham United on Sunay, more than any other defender in the Gameweek so far.

See: FPL experts: Who are the best defenders to target?

Chilwell’s impressive display in his side’s first match under Mauricio Pochettino comes at a point where many opening squads in Fantasy have been hit by injury or rotation in defence.

Most-sold players in GW2*
Player Transfers out
De Bruyne 354,000
Stones 323,000
Mings 155,000
Gabriel 106,000
Timber 78,000

*Data correct as of 14 Aug 14:45 BST

Manchester City’s John Stones (£5.5m) is among four defenders in the top five most-sold players in Gameweek 2 as managers seek a solution at the back.

Stones had been owned by over 33 per cent of managers but missed the champions’ 3-0 win at Burnley through injury.

Arsenal centre-back Gabriel (£5.0m), meanwhile, had started 73 league successive league matches prior to being benched for their 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest

Furthermore, Tyrone Mings (£4.5m) is set to undergo surgery following the knee injury he suffered in Aston Villa’s 5-1 defeat to Newcastle United

Most-bought defenders in GW2*
Player Transfers in
Chilwell 145,000
Saliba 129,000
Estupinan 115,000
Ake 101,000
James 79,000

*Data correct as of 14 Aug 14:45 BST

Chilwell is followed by Gabriel’s team-mate William Saliba (£5.0m) for transfers in, while Stones’ fellow Man City defender Nathan Ake (£5.0m) has also proved popular. 
The appeal of Chilwell is further boosted by Chelsea’s upcoming schedule, which gives him a chance to deliver points at both ends of the pitch in Fantasy. 

Chelsea's GW2-8 fixtures
GW Opponent FDR GW Opponent FDR
2 WHU (A) 3 6 AVL (H) 3
3 LUT (H)  2 7 FUL (A) 2
4 NFO (H) 2 8 BUR (A) 2
5 BOU (A) 2  

According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), five of the Blues’ next seven matches score just two.

Cheaper Brentford alternative

Brentford are another side with a very favourable run of opponents.

Each of their next three score only two in the FDR, lifting Rico Henry's (£4.5m) prospects as a budget option.

Similarly to Chilwell, Henry played as a wing-back for his club at the weekend.

He supplied an assist against Tottenham Hotspur and created two big chances in the Gameweek, joint-top with Pervis Estupinan (£5.0m) and Reece James (£5.5m) among defenders.

Henry's assist v Spurs

Spurs and Villa also enjoy kind schedules which could bring players such as Pau Torres, Emerson Royal and Destiny Udogie (all £4.5m) into consideration as further cut-price options. 

Also in this series

Part 1: FPL bonus points: Haaland secures maximum
Part 2: Gameweek 1 FPL stats: Haaland justifies record backing as captain
Part 3: FPL Saturday review: Budget forwards prove their worth
Part 4: FPL experts: Who are the best defenders to target?


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