Huddersfield Town 4-1 Bournemouth
Huddersfield demolished Bournemouth at the John Smith’s Stadium in GW27. Alex Pritchard had his best performance since arriving in January, Aaron Mooy was "Mr. Everything", and Steve Mounié once again demonstrated why it's impossible to nail down his FPL value. While I do take a look at Pritchard in this column, I decided to exclude Mounié due to his sporadic scoring record and Laurent Depoitre’s return to fitness. This also pays allegiance to the fact the Terriers have scored multiple goals in just five matches this season. Speaking on Bournemouth, the defeat came courtesy of a let down in the second half. Eddie Howe’s side was firmly in the affair going into the break, but after the restart their attack was dull. Callum Wilson went missing, while Ryan Fraser and Junior Stanislas provided the only glimpses of danger. That being said, I’m not too worried about the Cherries moving forward.
Newcastle 1-0 Manchester United
Newcastle’s surprise 1-0 victory saw debutant Martin Dubravka record a four-save clean sheet and Matt Ritchie score his first goal of the season. Despite an excellent showing from Rafa Benitez’s side, light needs to be shed on what was a lackluster performance by Manchester United. Jose Mourinho recalled Paul Pogba, Ashley Young and Phil Jones for McTominay, Shaw and Rojo. However, reverting to the same starting XI from the defeat by Tottenham at Wembley once again revealed major flaws. Matic and Pogba were at fault on the lone goal, and while they did control 64 percent of possession, it yielded just seven chances and four shots on target. Coming off another underwhelming performance at Sevilla in the Champions League, I'm very skeptical about United heading into this weekend's clash with Chelsea.
West Ham 2-0 Watford
West Ham’s attack was close to full strength for their win over Watford. David Moyes opted for a 3-4-3 formation, as Marko Arnautovic returned from injury to form a front three with Chicharito and Joao Mario. Michail Antonio started on the left side of midfield and assisted for Chicharito, while Arnie scored his seventh of the season. With Manuel Lanzini on track to return this weekend, now is a good time to buy in on the Hammers. Despite a tricky list of fixtures, the club should have no problem scoring goals down the stretch.
Before we get down to business, I wanted to take a brief moment to revise the explanation of how I recommend players. In this weekly series, I identify players available in more than 50 percent of all Togga leagues. The players I find come from a laundry list of reasons and normally fall under one these three specific labels. Streaming options, also known as one-week adds, are players worth adding for a single gameweek because of injury or suspension. Short-term adds are best suited for manager needing to replace an injured regular, as these players will offer similar value or production. Long-term adds are players worth adding based on their potential to become nailed-on starter.
Follow the entire Rotoworld Premier League team on Twitter
Mike Van der Hoorn, Swansea City (5 percent): Since Carlos Carvalhal’s appointment in GW21, Swansea City has shown exponential improvement. The Swans have conceded just five goals in their last six matches; only Tottenham (4) and Manchester United (3) have conceded less during that span. Having highlighted Alfie Mawson two weeks ago, who remains the top Swansea defenders owned in less than 50 percent of leagues, the next guy to take a look at his Van der Hoorn. VHD has outperformed his season averages in points, aerial duels, tackles and interceptions on a per-match basis under Carvalhal, and produced double-digit fantasy scores in four of his last five games. He’s a streaming option for the trip to Brighton this weekend and a short-add for the next few weeks, bearing in mind three of Swansea’s next four opponents are averaging less than one goal per match.
Florian Lejeune, Newcastle (Less than 1 percent): Newcastle boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 win over Manchester United in GW27. Though the entire backline played well and posted strong fantasy returns, Lejeune was the defender I noticed the most. The 27-year-old lead Rafa Benitez’s side with 10 clearances and seven aerials, while his 16.50 fantasy points were good for 13th amongst all defenders. Lejeune’s impact was made all the more impressive considering it was his first start since missing nearly two months with an ankle injury. If you play in a deeper league and need a fourth defender for GW28, he’s a potential late pivot when the lineups come out on Saturday.
Mohamed Diame, Newcastle (5 percent): Managers looking for a non goal dependent midfielder need to take a look at Diame. The Newcastle man has put together a solid resume since cracking the starting XI, averaging 11.19 points per match across his last eight starts. Since the 30-year-old is a holding midfielder, he generates the vast majority of his points from interceptions and tackles won. However, he also offers production from successful take-ons and has scored each of his last two shots on target. Newcastle won’t be favored for their trip to Bournemouth, but Diame should still be able to rack up enough points to offer value as a low-end fourth midfielder. He’s a bench add for 10-team leagues and a streaming option for 12-team leagues this weekend.
Alex Pritchard, Huddersfield Town (1 percent): Huddersfield Town proved me wrong with a 4-1 win over Bournemouth in GW27. While all eyes were on Steve Mounié, the player I found most influential was Pritchard. He started the match with a well-taken finish from inside the penalty area, before winning the penalty for Rajiv Van La Parra to convert deep into stoppage time. Pritchard might not be a weekly lock on the scoresheet, but his sharpness and composure around the area showed why the Terriers paid Norwich £14million for his services in January. This weekend’s match against West Brom will see him tasked with an even larger workload due to the absence of injured midfield engine Aaron Mooy. Assuming Town boss David Wagner sticks with a formation similar to the one he used against Bournemouth, Pritchard can be considered a streaming option for 12-team leagues.
Oumar Niasse, Everton (35 percent): Based on his scoring efficiency and work rate, the Senegal international is very underrated. Despite tittering in and out of the starting XI, Niasse has scored seven goals in 848 minutes. In terms of efficiency, he’s averaging a goal every 121 minutes. As for his work rate, the impact was best summarized by his creation of the Toffee’s first goal in the 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace. Niasse pressured James Tomkins into an errant header and laid a quick drop pass to Gylfi Sigurdsson, who rifled home a top-notch effort from distance. Niasse, however, wasn’t done there. Five minutes later he gave Everton the lead with a guided header from inside the penalty area. In addition to Niasse’s current form, his place in the starting XI seems safe at the moment given the underwhelming impact of Cenk Tosun since his arrival in January. I have confidence in Niasse finding the back of the net against Watford, especially considering the Hornets have recorded just one clean sheet in their last 11 matches. Likewise, I like his odds in upcoming matches against Burnley, Brighton and Stoke City.
Jose Izquierdo, Brighton (5 percent): If I had to start a forward owned in less than 10 percent of leagues in GW28, my pick would be Izquierdo. The Brighton winger’s stock is on the rise after turning up in a big way during his last four starts. The Colombian was electric when he assisted twice back in GW24, plus he’s scored in back-to-back matches against West Ham and Stoke City. During that four-match span, he registered seven of his 13 shots on target and created seven chances. Taking Izquierdo’s form into account, it’s likely he will be involved in some capacity if Brighton score during the visit of Swansea City this weekend. In terms of value, he’s a third forward consideration for 12-team leagues.