The Premier League is back, and so is Sean’s Super Subs! As readers of my work will know, Sean’s Super Subs was formally a part of the Rotoworld.com rotation. With the Togga community moving their talents to Fantrax but retaining the same scoring format, I’ve decided to revive ‘Triple S’ for the 2019/20 season. Since my column has been on a hiatus, here is what you can expect to find throughout the season.
Sean’s Super Subs provides a weekly free agent and wavier-wire recommendations for Fantrax leagues, with a heavy focus on those using Togga scoring. Players on this list must be available in over 50 percent of leagues on Fantrax.com. Generally speaking, players will be recommended as adds for 10 or 12 team leagues and be assigned one of the following classifications. These include streaming options, (one-week adds), short-term/long-term adds (worth holding for a specific duration of matches), and must-adds (should be owned in all leagues). Players can also appear on this list for multiple gameweeks. For example, if there’s still value in a player from one gameweek to the next and he’s still available in over 50 percent of leagues, you can expect multiple appearances. Last but not least, the positional distribution of the players included will fluctuate based on the number of attention-worthy performers on a week-to-week basis.
Without further delay, here are my player recommendations for Gameweek 2.
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Nick Pope, Burnley (38%): Pope is set to be Burnley’s number one this season following Tom Heaton’s departure for Aston Villa. Back between the sticks for the opener against Southampton, Pope posted a three-save clean sheet and finished as the second-highest scoring goalkeeper in GW1 with 20.25 points. He wasn’t tested too often but did rise to the occasion when tested, with his best save coming in the form of a fingertip denial on a goal-bound effort from Nathan Redmond. Burnley has Arsenal, Wolves, and Liverpool in their next three matches, but that shouldn’t deter managers from investing in the netminder. Pope was a perpetual top-five netminder on a match-to-match basis when he was Burnley’s man main back in 2017/18. He finished that season second in points to only David De Gea and ranked joint-third in goals conceded. If you’re a manager that didn't draft a 'set and forget' goalkeeper, Pope is the best of the readily available options.
Mathew Ryan, Brighton (15%): Relying on streaming options between the sticks is feasible, but a tedious approach to managing the goalkeeper position. If you’re a manager that has gone that route to start the season, then Ryan should be the shot-stopper you go for this week. Ryan is coming off a three-save clean sheet against Watford and Brighton has four good matchups over the next five gameweeks. West Ham United and Southampton visit the Amex Stadium next, while matches against Burnley and Newcastle follow a trip to Manchester City in GW4.
Yerry Mina, Everton (31%): The best defender available in more than 50% of leagues at the time of publication, Mina is an excellent addition for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, the Columbia international is now Michael Keane’s new partner in central defense with loanee Kurt Zouma back at Chelsea. Mina led all Everton defenders in defensive actions in the goalless draw with Crystal Palace, with five clearances, three interceptions, three aerials, and two successful tackles. The other significant factor is that Everton’s next five matches are all fantasy-friendly. Following a visit from Watford this weekend, they face Aston Villa (a), Wolverhampton (h), Bournemouth (a) and Sheffield United (h). There is also the potential for offensive returns given his aerial ability on set-pieces, with Mina being a primary target for Gylfi Sigurdsson on dead-ball situations. A good add in leagues with 10 or more teams, Mina is capable of being a top-25 defender on a match-to-match basis.
Chris Mepham, Bournemouth (3%): The 21-year-old was Bournemouth’s best defender in the 1-1 draw with Sheffield United and is set to be a mainstay in Eddie Howe’s starting XI this season. Mepham’s most prominent contribution came in the form of his first Premier League goal, smashing home the rebound of a Callum Wilson effort in the second half. The Cherries aren’t a club with an airtight defense, but the backline of Mepham, Steve Cook, and Nathan Ake put up a rather strong performance against Sheffield United. Although they did concede, the goal was a product of a goal-mouth scramble, not a defensive letdown or blunder like we grew accustomed to seeing last season. He’s an excellent short-term with Aston Villa this weekend and more good matchups on slate through the end of September. Bournemouth faces Leicester City (a), Everton (h), Southampton (a) and West Ham United (h) following a clash with Manchester City in GW3.
Mason Mount, Chelsea (38%): Mount profiled as a potential breakout candidate coming into the season, as the attacking midfielder shined on loan at Derby under Frank Lampard and made some serious noise in pre-season. The youngster validated his inclusion in the starting XI at Old Trafford with a convincing performance and should be a prominent part of the attack going forward. With early signs pointing Mount being the clear-cut starter in the central attacking midfielder, it is easy to paint a picture where he ends the season as a top-20 midfielder. He’s a must-add in leagues with 10 or more teams.
Leander Dendoncker, Wolverhampton (22%): Dendoncker is someone I targeted in final rounds of drafts because he’s a non-goal/assist dependent midfielder. Last season he averaged 7.3 points per game despite posting just two goals and no assists in 17 starts. His first start of the season was an excellent example of how he can be a viable starter without finding the net. As the most attacking central midfielder in Wolverhampton’s 3-5-2 formation, Dendoncker led his side in key passes (2) and registered as many shots as Raúl Jiménez (2). VAR denied the 22-year-old a goal, but he still finished with ten points thanks to four aerials, two key passes, one tackle, one interception, and one successful dribble. Steady production from supporting statistics makes Dendoncker a safe option for managers whose other midfielders are dependent on attacking returns. He’s best suited for leagues with 12 or more teams.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Arsenal (19%): The youngster has my attention. Maitland-Niles put in a full performance at both ends of the pitch in the win over Newcastle United. His most significant contribution was setting up the lone goal, as he intercepted a pass to start a counterattack and pinged a pinpoint cross to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a smooth finish. In addition to the assist, Maitland-Niles made three interceptions and had 94 touches; a total bettered only by Nacho Monreal (104). Thanks to production will come from defensive and offensive statistics, Maitland-Lines will likely be a top-30 midfielder in GW2.
Davy Propper, Brighton (7%): Brighton’s first match under new manager Graham Potter was a significant success. Pascal Gross and Jurgen Locadia flanked Glenn Murray upfront in a 3-4-3 formation, while Florin Adnone and Neal Maupay each provided a goal off the bench in the second half. Of all the positive takeaways from Potter’s first match in charge, the one I found most interesting was how the tactical changes positively impacted Davy Propper. With his central midfield partner Dale Stephens dropping deep, Propper spent the majority of the match in an advanced role shadowing Pascal Gross on the right flank. Propper had more touches (62), possession (5.3%) and passes (45) than any of his midfield counterparts and, most notably, set up Andone for the second goal. Propper’s assist was the result of a sweet sequence; he picked up the ball on the edge of the area, split a pair of defenders and whipped a low cross for Adnone to guide home at the near post. Having been deployed as an overly defensive midfielder last season, Propper represents a good early find for managers in deeper leagues.
Allan Saint-Maximin, Newcastle United (26%): Allan Saint-Maximin is one of my favorite new arrivals. A wide attacker with a good mixture of power and pace, ASM has the tool needed to excel in an attack headlined by Miguel Almirón and fellow summer signing Joelinton. The 22-year-old’s debut came in the form of a substitute appearance against Arsenal, but his impact suggests he will end up in the starting XI sooner than later. During his 23-minutes on the pitch, his pace and dribbling ability saw him freely get into a dangerous spot at the edge of the box. He set up Joelinton, had a shot of his own and provided a dangerous cross that sailed through the box at the ideal height. Since forwards with high upside and production from peripheral attacking statistics are few and far between, now is the time to grab ASM.
Christian Benteke, Crystal Palace (31%): Benteke gets my streaming stamp of approval for GW2. Crystal Palace heads to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United boosted by the likely return of star man Wilfried Zaha to the starting XI. While Sheffield United held Bournemouth’s attack to just one goal in GW1, the Blades allowed five shots in the penalty area and two inside the six-yard box. Benteke is a goal or bust player, but I have a feeling he will put one in the back of the net this weekend.