This week's column is short and sweet. GW11 features a Saturday slate of mid-table matchups and two heavy-weight clashes on Sunday, Manchester City vs. Arsenal and Chelsea vs. Manchester United. Saturday's fixtures is where the FPL value can be found this week, with the majority of relevant options from Sunday all owned in more than 50 percent of leagues. Since this list is shorter than normal, feel free to send me questions on Twitter (@Sean_Sullivan_1).
Before we get down to business, here’s what you need to know to maximize my advice. This column is reserved for weekly free agent and waiver-wire adds for Togga draft leagues and features only players owned in less than 50 percent of leagues. Players who make each column will be classified as a streaming option, (one-week add), long-term add (worth holding for a specific duration of matches) or a must-add (should be owned in all leagues).
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Ben Chilwell, Leicester City (2 percent): If you have an open bench spot, Chilwell is the defender to add after impressing against Everton. The 20-year-old was deployed on the right wing by new manager Claude Puel and could emerge as a viable option in deeper leagues if he can secure a starting berth. In two starts this season, Chilwell has now racked up 26.5 points, nine aerials and five interceptions, yet it’s his per-match averages that jump off the page. Amongst all players with less than five appearances, he ranks third in aerials won and eighth in successful take-ons per game. The upside of adding Chilwell is getting a defender playing in an advanced role, meaning production from both defensive and offensive actions. He’s worthy investment for 12-team leagues.
Florian Lejeune, Newcastle (Less than 1 percent): Lejeune is another readily available defender to target. On his third successive start in central defense alongside Jamaal Lascelles, the 27-year-old had a match high 90 touches and personal best five interceptions. His fantasy value is tied to Newcastle’s strong defensive record (they have conceded just nine goals in their first 10 matches) and low possession percentage. Lejeune is averaging six clearances and three aerials per match since cracking the starting XI, which makes him a high scoring candidate whenever they keep a clean sheet. He’s an add for deeper leagues who has the potential be a solid fourth defender.
Demarai Gray, Leicester City (8 percent): The talent of Gray was on full display against Everton. His performance included his first goal of the season, plus team highs in attempted crosses, successful dribbles and fouls drawn. However, what truly stood out was the the amount of ground he covered from the right wing. Rather than being static and hanging outside, his heat map was dispersed across the pitch and strongest in tight spaces between the midfield and Everton’s defense. This opened channels for Vardy to make textbook probing runs and in turn made Puel’s decision to play Mahrez in a central role look like a masterclass alteration.
The 21-year-old made his presence when he cut inside to collect the ball, pushed forward and drove a left-footed shot wide of the post from distance just three minutes into the match. This type of movement, which was a trend throughout the match, was the catalyst on the first goal of the match. Gray collected the ball at the edge of his own box, carried roughly 65 yards up the pitch and played a ball into space for Riyad Mahrez, who crossed low for Jamie Vardy to sweep home from six-yards out. The sequence was an excellent piece of team football and a flash of the exciting counter-attacking style the Foxes have lacked this season.
Gray should keep his place in the starting XI against Stoke City this weekend, especially considering Mahrez produced his most influential outing of the term playing in the No.10 role. If the winger can cement a starting spot, he could end up being one of the free agent finds of the season.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Burnley (1 percent): Burnley defenders have been amongst the most consistent week in and out thanks to manager Sean Dyche’s conservative tactical approach. Since their top-five defense record comes at the cost of ranking 16th in possession percentage and 15th in goals scored, it’s no surprise that Robbie Brady is their only midfielder owned in more than 50 percent of leagues. However, that could change if Gudmundsson keeps up his current form. The winger has two assists from four key passes and three successful crosses in his last three appearances, and was also denied by the woodwork in the draw with West Ham. During that span, the Iceland international has posted more points than Robbie Brady despite playing 116 less minutes. This positions Gudmundsson as a sleeper candidate for GW11.
Glenn Murray, Brighton (11 percent): After a brace against West Ham in GW9, Murray found the net for the second straight match with a powerful header at the near post in the 1-1 draw with Southampton. The inform striker has three goals in his last two matches and first-rate statistics to support him as a candidate to stream this week. Murray has won 18 aerials and put five of his six shots on target since GW9, which is more than any other forward owned in less than 50 percent of leagues. His scope of production is complimented by an appealing matchup away to Swansea City. The Swans have conceded nine goals and 28 shots on target in their last five matches at the Liberty Stadium. With home games against Stoke City and Crystal Palace on the horizon, Murray is an add who could provide major returns through the end of this month.
Laurent Depoitre, Huddersfield Town (22 percent): Managers in dire need of a forward may be forced to give Depoitre a look. The Belgian found the net last time Huddersfield Town played at home, pouncing on a mistake by Victor Lindelof to tap home past David de Gea in the 2-0 win over Manchester United. This weekend’s clash with West Brom should be a gritty affair and could see Depoitre again retain his place in the starting XI, despite Steve Mounie’s return to fitness. With two goals in his last six matches, he is a desperation play for deeper leagues.