In this 4-part series, I will be breaking down my 30+ player watchlist for the 21/22 FPL season. I’ve split them into 4 handy sections for easy comparison (Mr. Reliable, Calculated Punts, Bargain Basements & Risky Business). In each article, I will be explaining why they have made my list, some stats to back up my thinking, and what they have to do in pre-season (if anything) to make my final 15-man squad before the season starts on August 13th.
If you’re unsure what a watchlist is, or how it can benefit you, check out our how-to guide. (Estimated reading time: 3-4 minutes)
We’re also running our own FPL private league this year, with a prize for the winner! So if you fancy yourself as a bit of a fantasy wiz or want the chance to beat our experts, why not join the league with the link below. There’s unwavering clout on the line…
Part 1 – Mr. Reliable
In the first part of this series, I’m highlighting the players I feel you can bank on consistently getting points. On one hand, some may not always get you a double-digit game week, but that steady flow of 5-8 points can be invaluable to a 38 game season. On the other hand, there are players that have shown they can consistently garner big points over the course of a season – you just have to weather the storm, because when they hit big, they hit really big. Just to note – we have a bonus article where we’ll show you the must-haves for the season, as they’re in a class of their own.
Ederson – 6.0m – Manchester City
I don’t tend to go for premium keepers as I prefer to use my defensive funds on potential attacking returns. But the Manchester City goalkeeper can really offer you a ‘sit and forget’ option in goal. So if you don’t feel confident in which cheaper keeper will do the business this season, look no further. In his first 4 seasons in the Premier League, Ederson has proven himself to be the most reliable FPL goalkeeper, averaging 155 points per season. Although he misses out on bonus points (even though in a vacuum, he scores highly), it’s the fact he offers a rare sure thing in peps ever-rotating lineups.
Martinez – 5.5m – Aston Villa
A 1.0m price rise has done little to deter fantasy managers from selecting the Copa American champion. And so it shouldn’t. Although I think it will be difficult to repeat last seasons outstanding total of 186 points, I still believe he’s a 150 points per season ‘keeper. He may not get as many clean sheets as Ederson, Mendy, or Alisson this season, but his save & bonus points potential easily make up for that. He also offers the rare goalkeeping potential of double-digit game week hauls, which can really help those green arrows.
Pope – 5.5m – Burnley
In his 3 full seasons in the premier league, he has averaged 155 points (same as Ederson) which is elite-level FPL goalkeeping. right now, he’s seeming a bit of a differential at only 5.9% ownership, compared to Martinez at the same price (39.6%). But what separates the two is Pope has shown season after season that this is what you’re gonna get from him. It’s the classic Buzz Lightyear vs Woody conundrum.
Ben Chilwell – 6.0m – Chelsea
In his first season with Chelsea, he achieved 139 FPL points in only 27 games. He managed 3 goals, 6 assists, and 12 clean sheets in those games, which equates to an impressive 5.1 points per match. Barring injuries, I expect Chilwell to be closer to the 34 games per season mark. If that’s the case, we’re talking about a 170+ point a season player (that’s without assuming he improves his output, which he has every season so far). I think it’s safe to say you can rely on Chilwell this season.
Rúben Dias – 6.0m – Manchester City
What a rookie season in the premier league that was. He’s clearly established himself as the first-choice centre-back, and with Peps roulette making it difficult to justify City’s more attacking defenders, much like Ederson, he offers consistency. He may not rack up too many double-digit game weeks, but I expect a steady flow of 6 pointers. That’s reliable.
Andy Robertson – 7.0 – Liverpool
Plays pretty much every game, never gets injured and he’s constantly bombarding down the wing trying to whip it in. Statistically, he’s averaged 185 FPL points and 11.6 attacking returns, in his 3 full seasons for Liverpool. The definition of reliable. The only sticking point is TAA at 0.5m more, who offers slightly more points potential with his set-pieces. The choice is yours.
Son Heung-min – 10.0m – Tottenham Hotspur
With an average of 23 attacking contributions and 181.6 points per season in his last 5 seasons, it’s easy to see why we’ve got this guy on our Mr. reliable list (thanks Murray). And if he manages to repeat last seasons astounding 6.2 points per game, (same as Salah who is 2.5m more expensive) we could be looking at the premium bargain of the season. Pre-season will show us how Nuno plans to utilise one of the best double-digit game week players in the game.
Kevin De Bruyne – 12.0m – Manchester City
The assist king. I prefer a regular goalscorer from my premium midfielder, but his consistency in creating chances for this City team is on another planet. So he’s rightfully earned his spot on this list. The new 12.0 price tag could be a sticking point, especially as his stats regressed last season. But if he gets anywhere near his level in the 19/20 season (251 FPL points) we will see managers scrambling to get him in.
Grealish – 8.0m – Aston Villa
Last year he started off with some big-hitting game weeks, followed by some frustrating blanks. but after his injury, he started to show serious levels of consistency, week in week out. If he manages to combine the tail-end consistency with the opening double-digit hauls this season, we’ve got Mr. Reliable himself. At 8.0m, he could be a great way to find extra funds for your squad.
Vardy – 10.5m – Leicester City
His FPL record over the last 6 seasons screams reliability (187.6 points per season). Although he’s the most expensive he’s ever been whilst arguably being in his twilight, he managed 29 and 30 attacking returns in his last two seasons. Knowing Vardys mentality, If we add the fact that Daka has arrived, I believe he’ll be motivated to show why he’s still the best no.9 option at the club. With his opening 3 fixtures being Wolves, West Ham, and Norwich, it could be a smart risk to start your season off with him in your squad. Then, if his age has unfortunately caught up with him, he’s an easy switch to Kane once he returns. But if not, you’ve got a reliable striker already banging in the goals. Win-win.
Bamford – 8.0m – Leeds United
One season wonder? Think again. Last year he proved a lot of people wrong in his ability at this level. You could confidently sit him in your second striker position and watch as the FPL points racked up. I expect a repeat this season. His 2.5m price increase has already put a lot of managers off, with only a 17.3% ownership. And not to compare him to Kane ability-wise, but Kane had a similarly off-putting price rise after his breakout season, and he still delivered the goods. Bamford got 194 points with 29 attacking contributions last season, Kane managed 191 points with 28 attacking returns in his breakout season. The next year, Kane got 211 points. Could history repeat itself?
Be sure to check out the rest of this series, where I’ve broken down the riskier players, some absolute bargains, and the players who are smart gambles this season. And finally, if you haven’t already, check out Undrafted’s first mock draft.