Sean Sullivan

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Sean's Super Subs GW1

Thursday, August 10, 2017


Welcome back to another season of Sean’s Super Subs!  For the second successive year I will be writing a weekly  waiver wire column that focuses on Togga’s draft league format. Each week the players I tip will be based on a variety of different elements ranging from availability, matchup, form or statistical hunch.  The goal is simple: limit the often-fatal last minute lineup tinker and supply the knowledge needed to maintain a superior squad throughout the grueling campaign.



 

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While this column normally focuses on players owned in less than 50 percent of leagues, the first edition will also offer some players with long-term potential.  Once the campaign kicks off, the weekly advises will return to the customary format that spotlights those with lower ownership.  In short, I will be highlighting players to bolster your team sheet with.  Specifically, this lists includes sleepers, players that went undrafted but have high potential, as well as players with fantasy squad rotation value ahead of the season.  For those new or in need of a refresher, below is an overview of Togga’s scoring...

 

 

Togga Scoring

   
 

FWD

MID

DEF

GK

   

Goals

9

9

10

10

   

Assists

6

6

8

9

   

Key Passes

2

2

2

6

   

Shots on Target

2

2

2

2

   

Successful Crosses

1

1

1

1

   

Successful Dribbles

1

1

1

1

   

Dispossessed

-0.5

-0.5

-0.5

-0.5

   

Own Goals

-9

-9

-9

-9

   

Clean sheets

0

1

6

8

   

Saves

0

0

0

2

   

Interceptions

1

1

1

1

   

Tackles Won

1

1

1

1

   

Goals Conceded

0

0

-2

-2

         

Penalty Save

0

0

0

8

         

Yellow Cards

-3

-3

-3

-3

         

Second Yellow

-4

-4

-4

-4

         

Red Cards

-7

-7

-7

-7

         

Aerials Won

0.5

0.5

1

1

         

Clearances

0

0

0.25

0.25

 

       

 


Goalkeepers

 

 

Joe Hart (West Ham):  Given his prior experience in the Premier League, I found it interesting that Hart is owned in just 11% of leagues. The England international kept 15 clean sheets and conceded just 36 goals in 2015-16 at Manchester City while also boasting career totals of 881 saves and 119 shutouts in 302 career Premier League appearances.  While I would stay away from him this week—West Ham play Manchester United at Old Trafford—the 30-year-old has the potential to post major returns over the course of the season.  Hart is a four-time Golden Glove award winner and should bounce back for the Hammers, having endured a forgettable loan spell at Torino last season.

 

Asmir Begovic (Bournemouth):  Despite being a backup for two seasons at Chelsea and making just 19 appearances, Begovic’s prospects at Bournemouth should not be hindered.  The 30-year-old is expected to dethrone former number one Artur Boruc and help Eddie Howe’s side correct their defensive issues.  Begovic conceded 1.42 goals per match over the course of five seasons at Stoke City, where he kept 42 clean sheets in 156 league appearances.  The Bosnia-Herzegovina international is good season-long option and the goalkeeper I would stream during GW1. Bournemouth opens the year with a favorable matchup at home against a West Brom side that scored just 16 away goals last season.  

 


Defenders

 

 

Chris Smalling (Manchester United):  Manchester United defenders were some of the most popular during draft season, with Antonio Valencia, Daley Blind and Eric Bailly selected in more than 80% of leagues.  The Red Devils have a tough matchup with West Ham this weekend but, with long-term potential in mind, the fewer owned group is worth a look.  Jose Mourinho looks set to use a five-man midfield this season after the addition of Nemanja Matic, which means the Portuguese boss will likely use three center backs more often than not.  This makes Smalling a more appealing option than full-backs Matteo Darmian and Luke Shaw.  The England international made just 18 appearances last season but should see significant time with Marcos Rojo ruled out until December.  

 

 

Nathan Ake (Bournemouth):  Ake was nothing short of excellent during his loan spell at Bournemouth last season and should pick up where he left on after securing a permanent return this summer.  As a multifaceted center back, the Dutchman could emerge as one of the most reliable defenders on a week-to-week basis.  Last season he averaged 9.65 points per match across 10 appearances, during which he scored three goals and helped keep three clean sheets.  Ake will hold a firm grasp on a place in Eddie Howe’s starting XI and, like Begovic, is a strong option against West Brom this weekend.

 

 

Geoff Cameron (Stoke City):  The United States international is an under the radar defender that offers well-rounded production.  Cameron missed a large chunk of last season due to a series of injuries; that being said, he performed well during his time on the pitch.  The 31-year-old, playing predominately in a defensive midfield role, averaged 9.07 points per match and scored eight or more points in 59 percent of his starts (18).  Cameron will also benefit from a return of goalkeeper Jack Butland, whose presence in goal should see the Potters post more clean sheets than last season.  He’s worth adding in 10-team leagues and could have starting value in those with 12 teams.

 

 

Alfie Mawson (Swansea City):  A prototypical offensive defender, the type most coveted in fantasy, Mawson was one of the brightest young English center backs in his first top-flight campaign last season.  The 23-year-old scored four goals and was dominant in the air, as he led the Swans in aerial duels won (84) and recorded more than Everton center back Ashley Williams (79).  Mawson’s impact was also evident based on Swansea’s defensive record, with seven of their eight clean sheets coming with him in the starting XI. His fantasy potential is further supplemented by being a weekly starter and a major threat on set-pieces.  Owned in 11% of leagues, Mawson has value in those with 10 or more teams.

 


Midfielders

 

 

Alex Iwobi (Arsenal):  Alexis Sanchez will miss the first two matches of the season with an abdominal strain, while Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil are also in doubt for Friday’s opener with Leicester City.  The notable list of absences means Alex Iwobi will likely deputize for the duration of Sanchez’s time on the sidelines.  This makes Iwobi one of the top players add if you need a midfielder.  The 21-year-old scored three goals and provided five assists last season, with per-match-averages of 1.5 shots and 1.03 chances created over the course of 26 appearances.  His upside is furthered with the Gunners facing a Leicester side without Danny Drinkwater and Robert Huth, followed by a trip to Stoke City.  Iwobi, who is owned in 31% of leagues, will have value whenever Sanchez and/or Theo Walcott are unavailable this season.    

 

 

İlkay Gundogan (Manchester City):  After missing the vast majority of his debut season at the Etihad, Gundogan has returned to first-team training and should be back in contention before the end of August.  While that means the 27-year-old will likely miss the first few matches, he was a more than suitable piece in fantasy last season prior to suffering a torn ACL.  The German international looked strong in central midfield where he scored three goals, assisted once and created 12 scoring chances in 8 starts.  With Pep Guardiola using a 3-5-2 during the pre-season, that leaves Yaya Toure as his primary competition for the holding midfield role in the starting XI.  Since Gundogan is expected to overtake Toure once he’s fully fit, he’s someone to add and stash on your bench.

 

 

Tom Ince (Huddersfield Town):  Huddersfield has favorable fixtures to open the season, with a trip to Crystal Palace followed by home matches against Newcastle and Southampton.  This boosts the already high stock of summer signing Tom Ince.  The winger arrived from Derby County where he impressed the last two seasons with 38 goals in 115 appearances.  Ince was at his best last season as he scored 14 goals and provided six assists, while creating 77 scoring chances.  The 25-year-old also ranked first in the Championship shots on target with 58, which was a total better than Newcastle striker Dwight Gayle (48).  Ince, who scored four goals during the pre-season, has the potential to be a top-40 midfielder this season and therefore should be on the radar of owners.

 


Forwards

 

 

Sandro Ramirez (Everton):  Everton signed Sandro Ramirez and Wayne Rooney to fill the void left by Romelu Lukaku.  Ramirez, who joined from Malaga, is the arrival that interests me the most in fantasy.  The 22-year-old striker scored 14 goals in 28 starts and 16 goals in 31 total appearances, averaging a goal every 150 minutes.  An efficient scoring record during his lone season at Malaga was supplemented by averages of 3.1 shots and 1.1 key passes per game, and a total of five assists.  The former Barcelona player is someone I believe can make a real impact this season, which is why I drafted him both of my 12-team leagues.  He should be your first waiver-wire add if available.

 

Andre Gray (Watford): Watford broke their club-record transfer fee with the signing of Gray from Burnley in a deal worth a reported £18.5 million. The 25-year-old moves to Vicarage Road where he will compete with Stefano Okaka to partner skipper Troy Deeney upfront.  Gray scored nine goals and provided three assists in 26 starts for Burnley last season, having bagged 25 goals during Burley’s promotion campaign in 2015-16.  While he failed to replicate the form seen in the Championship, a starting spot for the Hornets should see him produce a better output.  Gray’s potential makes him a striker worth owning in all leagues.

 

Saido Berahino (Stoke City):  Stoke City had one of the feeblest striker forces last season.  Peter Crouch was the club’s top scorer (7), Mame Biram Diouf scored just once and Berahino failed to find the net in 14 appearances. This positions Berahino, who joined from West Brom last January, in need of having another breakout season after the sale of Marko Arnautovic to West Ham.  The 24-year-old was unable to make his mark during 2016-17 as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation; however, the tides could be changing with manager Mark Hughes set to begin the season with a 3-4-2-1.  The tactical alteration will give Xherdan Shaqiri more freedom in the final third and that means better service the former baggie.  Though Berahino is three seasons removed from a 14-goal campaign at West Brom, it’s conceivable he can be a double-digit scorer in a new system with renewed confidence.  He’s worth a roll of the dice in deeper leagues.  


Need More Premier League Insight?


Check Out Sean's Season Previews: Bournemouth West Ham | Leicester City 

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