Gameweek 8: Chelsea Fantasy Football Preview – The return of Timo Werner

Long live the return of domestic football to England’s top two leagues after a typically slugglish international break that ticked off the standard Twitter bingo answers – Eden Hazard return talks, questionable transfer targets, Mason Mount England slander and straight up pure boredom – but as Chelsea return to Premier League action, the attention turns to gameweek 8 of Fantasy Football.

Just because there has been a two-week break doesn’t mean that you should forget about your team, in fact it could be quite the opposite. Maybe you’ve seen inspired international performances from a certain fast German attacker, or an out of the blue, chilly game away in Andorra (hint, hint).

Timo Werner saw yet another goal ruled out by VAR in Chelsea's win over Southampton (Image: Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Timo Werner saw yet another goal ruled out by VAR in Chelsea’s win over Southampton (Image: Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Red hot Chilwell

Well, bragging isn’t good. But, picking Ben Chilwell (as guided in the gameweek 7 post) would have rewarded you, and we told you so right here. The Englishman was my personal captain and gained 16 points for it. Although in hindsight picking Mohammed Salah (13 points on gameweek 7) would have brought in more, Chilwell’s goal contribution and relatively decent welcome back was in good faith.

With Brentford next for Chelsea, and after the defender scored his first England goal on Saturday, the Blues backline looks in safe hands to continue his run of form.

Despite his good return he is still only in 3.8% of manager’s teams for the coming round of matches. Perhaps most are put off by the lapse that resulted in him giving away a penalty and therefore conceding, losing Edouard Mendy, his own and Antonio Rudiger’s cleansheet bonus.

Even with this, Chilwell at 5.6m is a great choice, and one that is urged to be in your teams as the international break comes to a close.

Awesome Azpi

Chilwell’s strong statement of eight base points was good. It wasn’t enough to earn his way into the team of the week though. There was recognition for Trevoh Chalobah (11 points) and Cesar Azpilicueta (10 points).

So, although Chilwell got less than both of these, and arguably cost them of an extra four points each, Chilwell is still favoured by FPL managers over Chalobah. Azpilicueta is a different story, he is selected by nearly double the number of managers (6.6%).

The Spaniard might be 0.5m more expensive than Chilwell, but his typically consistent performances have seen a return of 36 points from six starts with him passing six or more points on four occasions already.

Although we don’t expect him to play as a wingback too much going forward, his two assists were vital to Chelsea and with his deep and dangerous crosses, goal contributions from defence are still likely to occur.

Azpilicueta also has history on his side. Having achieved 13 or more cleansheets in a Premier League season in six out eight full years, other popular defenders Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have only achieved this feat four times between them (albeit with them both having a smaller sample size).

Azpilicueta might not look like a sharp, flashy defensive option, but if you’re looking for a consistent bank of points and don’t want to risk Chilwell’s so far inconsistent second half to 2021, Mr Reliable might be your man.

Gameweek 8: Pick of the week

Chelsea’s road running striker is back, and even though he couldn’t live up to punters’ shouts for top scorer last season, his steady start to life this season is already looking more and more promising. With two goal contributions (one goal and one assist) in his three starts, Werner averages a Fantasy Football point every 15.7 minutes so far. Romelu Lukaku, in 36.3% of teams, averages a point per 18.6 minutes. It’s not a great difference, but it’s proof that Werner’s form might start to turn heads.

Furthermore, Werner’s minutes per point for 2020/21 was 20.3, there are small margins but perhaps the German’s reputation has so far come before him. If he is able to flip his six goals and 12 assists round.

His 8.6m price tag is off-putting for most, especially with Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo both in town. But his inclusion in just 1.8% of sides means that if you can get Werner into your team, off the back of a double on international duty, he could be a point of difference in the coming matchdays, starting with gameweek 8.

Written and edited by Tom Coley (@tomcoley49)

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