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Weekly Picks

Sean's Super Subs - Week 3

by Sean Sullivan
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

This column serves the purpose of providing you with weekly free agent/ waiver-wire adds for Togga draft leagues. Each week Sean Sullivan recommends players—based on availability, current form or matchups—that should be added or started.  These weekly picks are meant to grab your attention, limit the often-fatal last minute lineup tinker, and help you maintain a superior squad throughout the FPL campaign.  

 

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Neal | Steve | Andrew | Sean (me) | Stag | Ben | Galin | Nik

 


Week 2 Recap

 

The second week of the season bore another comprehensive 4-0 victory for Manchester United, who defeated Swansea City at Old Trafford, as well as another upset special. The result came courtesy of Stoke City and their newest striker, Jesé, who scored their lone goal as the Potters topped Arsenal 1-0 at the Bet365 Stadium.  Meanwhile, Chelsea rebounded with a 2-1 win over Tottenham at Wembley and Huddersfield Town continued to roll with a 1-0 victory over Newcastle.  Elsewhere, it was an eventful matchweek for a pair of former Manchester United forwards.  Javier Hernandez scored his first two for West Ham and Wayne Rooney scored his historic 200th PL goal, but the Hammers suffered a 3-2 loss at Southampton while the Toffees drew 1-1 with Manchester City.

 

My tips for GW2 posted excellent returns, thus making up for a less-than-stellar yield from the opening weekend.  As usual, the player ratings below reflect whether or not their FPL production justified their performances…

 

Goalkeeper

 

- Jonas Lossl – 18.5 points:  Lossl has yet to concede and stands atop the keeper rankings after two gameweeks (35.5 points).  The on loan keeper from Mainz 05 made five saves against Newcastle, including an acrobatic diving stop to his right on Matt Ritchie and later a low push to keep out Joselu from inside the area.  Collected and composed throughout.  (8 out of 10)

 

 

Defenders

 

- Jose Holebas – 20.25 points:  Holebas lived up to better half of his boom or bust reputation against Bournemouth.  The wingback tied Richalison with a team high four key passes, made three interceptions and helped keep a clean sheet.  While his deliveries were not as good as last week, he completed 86.4% of his passes and pinged a match-best pair of successful crosses.  Holebas ranked second in terms of defenders who didn’t score a goal during GW2, behind only Chris Schindler (21.75), and now sits third in the overall rankings.  (7.5 out of 10)

 

 

- Phil Jones – 14.5 points:  For the second straight match, Jones started alongside Eric Bailly and helped keep a clean sheet.  Aside from allowing Tammy Abraham one free header, he was always quelled Swansea’s attack throughout the match with 10 clearances and three successful tackles.  Jones was also unlucky not to put United ahead when he headed off the early bar in the first-half.  Overall, he was arguably one of the best Red Devils on the pitch.  (8 out of 10)

 

- Kyle Walkers-Peters – DNP:  The return of Kieran Trippier saw Walker-Peters dropped to the bench.  For the time being it appears the youngster is still second-choice at right-back, meaning his stock falls after a strong debut during GW1.

 

Midfielders

 

- Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 12 points:  Loftus-Cheek produced another excellent performance.  The Chelsea loanee was the best Eagle outfielder on the pitch as he led Palace in key passes (2) and successful dribbles in the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool.  While he was tasked with getting stuck in defensively, during a match that saw the Red control 72.4% of possession, Loftus-Cheek pushed forward to create the Eagles best chances.  He set up Andros Townsend, who was denied by Simon Mignolet, before wiggling free on the end line to provide Christian Benteke with a sitter that the striker should have buried.  (8 out of 10)

 

- Christian Atsu – 7.5 points:  The potential is there for Atsu to be the feature threat of the attack, but the winger was unable to stake his claim against Huddersfield. Though he did record a pair of key passes and successful take-ons, his overall performance dipped compared to his outing against Tottenham.  Before you drop him, however, I would wait to see how he preforms against West Ham this weekend. (5 out of 10)

 

 

- Steven Defour – 7 points:  Defour was composed on the ball as he created two chances and completed 91.4% of his passes, which was the best competition rate of any player on the pitch for the full 90 minutes.  He looked good in a deeper central midfield alongside Jack Cord despite the outing coming in a 1-0 home defeat by West Brom. (7 out of 10)

 

Forwards

 

- Dominic Calvert-Lewin – 14 points:  Did everything that was asked of him in the 1-1 draw with Manchester City.  Calvert-Lewin led the front line with strong hold up play and created three chances, including the assist on Wayne Rooney’s 200th Premier League goal.  This marked the second time the youngster had provided for Rooney this season.  After such a well-rounded performance against an elite side, it's hard to see Ronald Koeman keeping him out of the starting XI next week. (9 out of 10)

 

- Steve Mounie – 7 points:  Came back down to earth after his brace against Crystal Palace during GW1.  But not getting on the score sheet didn’t hamper Mounie’s effectiveness, as he won a match-best eight aerial duels and led the Terriers with two key passes.  Despite failing to register a single shot, his return of seven points is a good sign in terms of his floor in fantasy.  (7.5 out of 10)

 

 


 Quick reminder, only players owned in less than 50 percent of leagues are considered for this column.


 

Defenders



Chris Schindler, Huddersfield (10 percent):  Schindler played a major role as the Huddersfield Town backline shutdown Newcastle.  Though his partner Zanka took the headlines in the opener, the 27-year-old went center stage at The John Smiths’ Stadium.  Schindler led the Terriers in clearances (11) and interceptions (5), while his four aerial duels won better by only striker Steve Mounie (8).  The imposing center back made successive last-ditch interventions to quell an early chance that fell to Dwight Gayle and kept the back four organized throughout the 1-0 victory.  With Schindler, Zanka, Chris Lowë and Tommy Smith clicking in front of goalkeeper Jonas Lossl, Huddersfield stand alongside West Brom and Manchester United as the only clubs yet to concede.  Southampton will be a test for David Wagner’s men as the Saints are coming off a 3-2 victory over West Ham.  However, the matchup favors Schindler for another strong fantasy outing.  Ranked fourth in total points (32.5) and sixth in points per match (16.75) amongst all defenders, Schindler has made two more clearances than Manchester United’s Eric Bailly (12) and won as many tackles as Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante (7).  He’s an above-average streaming option for 10-team-or-deeper-leagues.

 

 

Timothy Fosu-Menash, Crystal Palace (11 percent):  Crystal Palace’s rough start under new boss Frank de Boar continued at the weekend, as they fell to Liverpool on the heels of a 3-0 defeat to Huddersfield Town.  The Eagles have conceded four goals during their first two outings, having yet to full adapted to the 3-4-2-1 formation favored by the former Ajax manager.  But that isn’t so much the case with Manchester United loanee Fosu-Mensah. Holding the starting right-center back role, the 19-year-old athleticism has seen him excell over the course of two starts thus far.  Fosu-Mensah grabbed my attention during GW1 when he pulled off a sensational last-ditch tackle in to deny the Terriers a breakaway.  What stood out was his pace, having covered 37 yards (33 meters) in roughly four seconds, and the fact that he closed on Steve Mounie despite the striker’s five-yard head start.  Supplementing this highlight is the quantity of defensive interventions he’s made over the first two matches.  He ranks tied for second in tackles (6) and tied for third in interceptions (7), with his totals both equal to the production of wingback Patrick van Aanholt.  Fosu-Mensah is a long-term option that managers in deeper league should consider starting.  Crystal Palace is home against a Swansea City side that has allowed the second-most points (117.5) to opposing defenders this season.

 

 

 

Kurt Zouma, Stoke City (38 percent):  Stoke City pulled off the upset of the round by beating Arsenal thanks to a goal by debutant Jeśe, and an offside decision that nullified Alexander Lacazette’s equalizer.  Manager Mark Hughes’ tactical approach at face-value seemed questionable as it allow the Gunners to dominate possession, the center of the pitch and spray balls over the top to their pacy attackers.  However, it proved a slick move as it forced Arsenal to challenge the strongest cog of the Potters defense: Kurt Zouma. The Chelsea loanee defended bravely as Stoke earned its first clean sheet of the season, with his three tackles won highlighted by a pair of well-timed challenges to shutdown Hector Bellerin in dangerous positions.  The Potters look set to carry the momentum into the away clash with West Brom and, that being said, is why I like Zouma as a streaming option in 10-team-or-deeper-leagues.  He enters the weekend having posted per-match-averages of seven clearances; two tackles won and two interceptions against Everton and Arsenal—clubs with more potent attacks than the Baggies.


Midfielders



Tom Carroll, Swansea City (11 percent):  If Swansea City is unable to add a new playmaker before the transfer window closes, Carroll will have to step up and “replace” the creative void left by Gylfi Sigurdsson’s move to Everton.  The 25-year-old already saw an increased workload at the weekend, as he completed more passes (63) and crosses (3) than any other Swan in the 4-0 defeat to Manchester United, Carroll.  His 82 touches, two key passes and 9.5 fantasy points were also team highs. The potential for Carroll to be an above-average midfielder in fantasy is a hard sell but one that holds truth, considering the Englishmen has already taken over direct and indirect free kick duties.  While benefits from these roles won’t likely come until top scorer Fernando Llorente returns, Carroll is a solid option if you’re looking for depth in 10-team-or-deeper-leagues.

 

 

 

Steven Davis, Southampton (24 percent):  Davis isn’t a flash choice and, if anything, is one that most have overlooked in fantasy.  However, after successive starts with double-digit returns, his stock is on the rise.  The biggest reason why is linked to the starting XI manager Mauricio Pellegrino deployed at the weekend in the 3-2 victory over West Ham.  Davis was used in an advanced position with Mario Lemina and Oriol Romeu in defensive midfield roles, while Nathan Redmond and Dusan Tadic operate on the flanks.  The formation remained the same from the draw with Swansea City during GW1 expect James Ward-Prowse was dropped to the bench, with Lemina brought in for his Premier League debut.  Should Davis retain his place for the trip to Huddersfield this weekend, he should be in the discussion as streamer for 12-team leagues.  Davis has been the Saints most accurate passer through two matches (93.3%) and was awarded his first assist of the season against the Hammers, having won the penalty Tadic converted to make it 2-0.

 

 

 

Nordin Amrabat, Watford (17 percent):  Amrabat should have grabbed at least one assist in Watford’s 2-0 victory over Bournemouth but instead had to settle for a pair of chances created.  The Moroccan should have been the provider on the first goal of the match in the 18th minute, yet Nathaniel Chalobah was unable to do the superb delivery justice as the Chelsea loanee put his free header over the net.  Armabat would again set Chalobah up with a chance to open the scoring, but this time the midfielder mistakenly dummied the low cross after appearing to been called off by a Cherries player.  While the second opportunity would have required quite a striker by Chalobah, Armabat did well to spin his mark on a dime and get in behind the defense on the right wing.  The 30-year-old has created three scoring chances and recorded two successful crosses without an assist, which I why I like his chances of bagging one against Brighton.  With Andre Gray likely to partner alongside either Richarlison or Troy Deeney upfront, odds are it will be another multi-goal affair for Marco Silva’s side.  He’s a sleeper candidate for those in need of a fifth midfielder in 12-team leagues.

 


Forwards

 

 

Chris Wood, Burnley (Less than 1 percent):  Burnley completed the signing of Chris Wood from Leeds United, for a fee of £15m, on Monday as a replacement for Andre Gray.  The 25-year-old enjoyed his best season in the final third in 2016-17, winning the Championship Golden Boot by scoring 27 goals in 44 appearances for Leeds. Having found the net 44 times in 88 matches during a two-year spell at Elland Road, the New Zealand international has the potential to be the goalscorer the Clarets need.  While it may take Wood a few matches to unseat current first-choice forward Sam Vokes, he'll be worth the early add.  The Kiwi will score 10-13 goals this season and  average north of five aerial wins per match.  

 

 

Richarlison, Watford (18 percent):  As mentioned briefly above, Richarlison has proven to have a keen eye for goal over the course of his first two appearances for Watford.   The Brazilian, who grabbed an assist during his substitute cameo during GW1, produced an exquisite performance in his first start for the Hornets.  The 20-year-old took six shots (two on target), created three chances and poked home his first goal for the club in a well-deserved victory at Bournemouth. In 121 minutes of action, he has attempted eight shots with six having come inside the penalty area.  To put his production into content, he’s taken as many shots as Romelu Lukaku (8) and cracked more inside the box than Christian Benteke (6) despite playing 61 less minutes.  Richarlison deputized for the injured Roberto Pereyra, who could be fit to face Brighton & Hove Albion, but the exciting youngster will be hard to drop from the starting XI after two quality performances. He’s a must start in 12-team leagues and, in those smaller, a handcuff for Andre Gray/Troy Deeney.