Fantasy Premier League

Time to plan an exit route in FPL after Chilwell's benching

By The Scout 18 Sep 2023

The Scout looks at the best replacements for defender ahead of the Blues' tough long-term schedule

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Sales of Ben Chilwell (£5.8m) are escalating in Fantasy Premier League after he was benched for the first time in 2023/24.

The Chelsea star is the second most-owned defender in Fantasy thanks in part to his role on the left wing in recent matches.

But he was replaced by Mykhailo Mudryk (£6.4m) in the starting XI at AFC Bournemouth, with Levi Colwill (£4.5m) retaining his role at left-back.

Chilwell not only missed out on a clean sheet in the goalless draw on Sunday, but also returned zero points for his owners after being booked during his brief 10-minute substitute appearance.

Managers have been quick to react, making the defender the third most-sold player for Gameweek 6 with more than 107,000+ transfers out.

Worth the short-term risk?

While the threat of rotation now considerably dents Chilwell's appeal, Chelsea’s kind short-term schedule offers encouragement for those who plan to temporarily hold.

In Gameweek 6 they host an Aston Villa side who have conceded nine goals in their three away matches. The Blues then face Fulham and Burnley in Gameweeks 7 and 8.

Chilwell’s underlying numbers also highlight his attacking potential for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

His five shots in the box place joint-third among team-mates, while his nine key passes are joint-second.

Little long-term appeal

However, Chelsea’s schedule from Gameweek 9 shows why Chilwell owners should be already planning an exit route.

They endure an extended run of tough opponents, facing seven successive opponents with a Fixture Difficulty Rating (FDR) of no less than three.

Chelsea's fixtures GW9-15
GW Opponent FDR GW Opponent FDR
9 Arsenal (H) 4 13 Newcastle (A) 4
10 Brentford (H) 3 14 Brighton (H) 3
11 Spurs (A) 3 15 Man Utd (A) 4
12 Man City (H) 5  
Best Chilwell replacements
Sven Botman (Newcastle) £4.5m

Newcastle United’s Dutchman has the form and fixtures to emerge as the go-to budget defender in Fantasy.

Botman earned maximum bonus in the Magpies’ 1-0 win over Brentford to return a nine-point haul.

Their first clean sheet of the campaign comes ahead of a very kind run of opponents for Eddie Howe’s side.

According to the FDR, four of their next five matches score only two.

Newcastle's next five matches
GW Opponent FDR
6 Sheff Utd (A) 2
7 Burnley (H) 2
8 West Ham (A) 3
9 Crystal Palace (H) 2
10 Wolves (A) 2

Crucially, Botman looks less likely to be rotated than Kieran Trippier (£6.5m) during a busy period for Newcastle, which includes the start of the UEFA Champions League group stage this week. 

Pedro Porro (Spurs) £5.0m

Tottenham Hotspur’s right-back has been largely overlooked in Fantasy due to the popularity of his team-mate Destiny Udogie (£4.7m).

While the latter can be found in nearly 17 per cent of squads, fewer than six per cent own Porro.

Since earning his first start in Gameweek 2, Porro has boasted a significantly greater attacking threat than the Italian.

Porro's assist v Burnley

He has bettered Udogie by eight shots to one, and by seven key passes to three.

Although Spurs' next two matches against Arsenal and Liverpool dent their prospects of clean sheets, Porro offers plenty of attacking upside.

Moving now for the full-back can help managers get ahead of the rush for Spurs players for their favourable schedule from Gameweek 8.

Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace) £4.6m

The Crystal Palace centre-back offers multiple routes to returns as a rotation option.

Andersen has combined a goal and a clean sheet with six bonus points so far this season, more than any other defender.

Meanwhile, four of his next five home matches score just two in the FDR.

That includes encounters at Selhurst Park with Fulham and Nottingham Forest in the next three Gameweeks. 

Malo Gusto (Chelsea) £4.2m

Chilwell’s team-mate has the all-round potential to appeal to those managers who plan to “dead end” their squads in Gameweek 7 before Wildcarding in Gameweek 8 to profit from fixture swings.

Gusto has two assists, two clean sheets and two bonus across his four starts, with his 14-point haul against Luton Town in Gameweek 2 showing his ability to deliver big returns.

View all the latest FPL tips ahead of Gameweek 6 in Fantasy Premier League

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