Chelsea assets were pretty unpopular last season in FPL with their poor league performances, inconsistent managerial approach, bloated squad, and a plethora of other reasons.
But this season they have started off with a clean slate by hiring ex Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino and have invested a lot into improving their squad.
Chelsea unarguably have the best and easiest run of fixtures out of all teams in the league right now. They face Nottingham Forest in Gameweek 4, after which they have fixtures against Bournemouth, Aston Villa, Fulham, and Burnley after which their fixture run turns terrible.
They then would have to consecutively face Arsenal, Brentford, Tottenham, Manchester City, Newcastle, Brighton, and Manchester United and this period of 8 Gameweeks is where you sell and forget all Chelsea assets, even the best ones.
So if there is a time to double or even triple up on Chelsea players, it is now. Maximizing points out of these fixtures and then potentially wildcarding after the fixtures take a turn for the worse is the most optimum long term strategy to go for.
But who is a player who should be a no-brainer for your teams? There are arguments for Ben Chilwell playing as a left midfielder and potentially as a winger, talks about Malo Gusto at that price point and Reece James’ injury, but the safest bet lies with Raz i.e. Raheem Sterling.
Before the start of the season, Sterling said in an interview that he would be Chelsea’s top scorer this season with a number change back to 7 reminiscing his old unstoppable Manchester City form.
He has shown moments of brilliance in the first two matches against Liverpool and West Ham, with both him and Jackson looking the best threat for Chelsea in transitions.
He was unfortunate not to score any points in those matches but he turned it all around against Luton Town bagging a whopping 19 points with two goals, an assist, and three bonus points.
There always is an argument about Luton having the weakest defence in the league, which is true, but with Chelsea facing so many weaker defence oppositions continuously throughout five Gameweeks, if Sterling is to get back in proper form, this is his time.
He is the most attractive transfer opportunity available right now, with FPL managers looking to get rid of their high priced underperforming midfielders like Martinelli, or looking for a replacement for their Brighton assets in Mitoma, Enciso, or March who face Newcastle United, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Manchester City all until Gameweek 9.
He potentially is even a higher ceiling pick than Nico Jackson, who scored his first goal for the Blues against Luton. There also stands an outside chance that Sterling could be on penalties after Enzo Fernandez missed one against West Ham.
His nailed-on minutes and previously proven goalscoring form suggest that that a move to bring in him only has massive upside and no unforeseen downside as the new talisman of Chelsea, Christopher Nkunku is out for a considerable number of months.
And a lot of FPL managers have already started moving their assets for Sterling, with his price having risen to 7.1m already, and is expected to rise again by tomorrow night.
With over 550k managers already having decided against bringing him in, the non-owners face a race against time to make up their minds about owning him for the home fixture against Nottingham Forest or losing a bit of price value by waiting till the transfer deadline day which is still 4 days away.
The English international has a very affordable price point, form, and fixtures- everything you would want in a midfielder who could score constant double digit points for you to climb up the ranks in your mini-leagues.
But if we take a look at the opposition which has made Sterling’s name popular once again in the FPL Community, Luton Town has had a poor record defensively especially their left side, which is why wingers in Solly March and Sterling have enjoyed the freedom to cut in, dribble more and score with not much difficulty.
This should surely make one wonder who Luton Town play next and if there is another name to target and get in your FPL teams to get in on their potential haul.
And unsurprisingly, to add to your transfer headaches, they play West Ham United next and there are not many right wingers better than Jarrod Bowen in the league.
Scoring and collecting all three bonus points in his first game of the season, and then scoring and assisting in a 3-1 shock victory against Brighton with his club keeping less than 20% possession and being dominated in the game, he managed to haul with his individual brilliance.
Next up they face a team where West Ham are likely to be the team dominating and Luton playing a low block to defend their constant attacking threat. There is every chance of Bowen being an unstoppable force for the opposition defenders and bagging at least a two digit haul.
West Ham have further strengthened their attack by bringing in the talented Mohammed Kudus from Ajax, and with Michail Antonio enjoying his football, Lucas Paqueta looking set to stay at West Ham, and talks of another striker being added to the team before the window closes, David Moyes is not messing around with his team’s attack.
The benefit of transferring in Bowen over Sterling is an easier fixture next week and a much more guaranteed probability of a points haul as any goal which West Ham score, Bowen being their most lethal and important attacker, is likely to be involved.
The potential downside to this transfer is that Bowen has considerably tougher fixtures than Sterling. West Ham face Manchester City and Liverpool in Gameweeks 5 and 6, and have a tasty fixture against Sheffield United at home in Gameweek 7 after which they host Newcastle United.
But the football community also would have not expected West Ham to be second in the league after their first three fixtures, but they managed to put three goals each past Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion, and both of these teams are considerably better than the Hammers on paper.
So a match-up against Liverpool with the home side having not replaced Fabinho with a defensive midfielder of similar or better quality, and not being able to keep a clean sheet in any of their matches until now should not be a major concern for Bowen to provide an attacking return.
Bowen is the leading midfielder in Non-Penalty expected goals (NPxG) after three gameweeks and is also a better long term pick than Sterling as after Gameweek 8, the fixture run of West Ham gets even better
To conclude, being 0.1 cheaper than Sterling right now, Bowen is an alternative for managers wanting instant returns in their team.
With barely 7% ownership and being brought in by almost 200k managers, Bowen still is a better differential than Sterling whose ownership is at 11.3% and is only expected to rise in price after being bought by 680k managers just by Tuesday.
So for FPL managers looking for a bold and different pick, you put your trust in Bowen as he has got the form but not too exciting fixtures, though he still is a quality player who you can always count on.
For managers looking to play safer, Sterling has got the fixtures, but if the performance against Luton Town was just a purple patch, or is the old 18/19 Sterling form back once again, is a risk to be taken, and with favourable fixtures, it is an affordable risk.
There is also a third option that can be taken by managers wanting to have a piece of both the right-wingers, and that is to get in Sterling now for his great run of games, and then transfer him out for Bowen in Gameweek 9 after which Chelsea’s fixtures get tougher and Bowen’s fixtures take a turn for the better.