This column serves the purpose of providing you with weekly waiver-wire adds for Togga season long draft leagues. Each weekSean 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.
Last week was highlighted by the full return of Gabriel Jesus, who scored a late header to salvage a 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough, and Lewis Cook’s first start since the opening week of the season. Cook, who was excellent in a substitute cameo against Boro during GW35, was however unable to replicate the same caliber of fantasy impact as he posted a negative score. While I issued Gaston Ramirez the first-ever ban from my column last edition, I will not be shunning Cook.
A big money summer signing from Leeds United, the 20-year-old was frighteningly good two weeks ago and showed signs of why the Cherries paid a handsome fee. Cook came on in the 44th minute, completed 89 percent of his passes and touched the ball 61 times…but against Sunderland…he completed just 79.7 percent of his passes and touched the ball 10 times less. The reason why I am taking a stand on my pick is this: Cook is one of the few players I have already pinned on my shortlist for next season.
For those wondering how my squads have fared this term, the answer is well. In the Togga Writer’s League (12-team) I pulled off a pair of consecutive victories to sneak in as the 6th seed, while in my 10-team I secured the top seed despite losing Sadio Mane and Michail Antonio. Below is a peak at both my squads. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@Sean_Sullivan_1) with your comments, prayers and questions.
Togga Writer’s League: 10-0-8; 30 points
Hugo Lloris; Ashley Williams, Nicolas Otamendi, Geoff Cameron, Jose Holebas, Patrick van Aanholt; Dusan Tadic, Victor Moses, Marc Albrighton, Nemanja Matic, Chris Brunt, Jesus Navas; Diego Costa, Victor Anichebe, Andy Carroll
10-Team League: 25-0-10; 75 points
Jordan Pickford; Antonio Valencia, Patrick van Aanholt, Hector Bellerin, Matteo Darmian, Jose Holebas; Kevin De Bruyne, Nathan Redmond, Victor Moses, Kamil Grosicki, Robert Snodgrass, Ryan Fraser; Christian Benteke, Marko Arnautovic, Divock Origi, M’Baye Niang
This week’s column celebrates the opening round of the playoffs for leagues with a postseason, but also contains finds for owners preparing for a mini double-game week. Having both situations to consider, the recommendations are tailored accordingly.
Eldin Jakupovic, Hull City (40 percent): Jakupovic is by far the top streaming option after an excellent performance against Southampton, which saw him recorded a two-save clean sheet by denying a pair of efforts by Dusan Tadic. Jakupovic’s first stop was an awkward yet effective body denial on a point-blank strike while his second was from a spot-kick, as he ranged to his left to palm away Tadic’s low strike. The 32-year-old’s late heroics are supplemented by a home fixture with freshly relegated Sunderland, and I’m backing him for a third successive clean sheet.
Ben Mee, Burnley (50 percent): Assuming Mee is able to recover from a shin injury, which forced him to miss GW35; he’s a must-start against West Brom. The ever-present center-back has put together a stellar fantasy season as he currently ranks as a top-10 defender in three major metrics—2nd in both clearances and aerials, and 8th in interceptions. Additionally, Burnley is coming off their first away victory of the season and the Baggies are riding a run of poor form. Tony Pulis’ side travels to Turf Moor on the heels of three straight loses, and goalless in their last three away matches. I would grab Mee if he’s available and certainly start him this week.
Harry Maguire, Hull City (26 percent): The top defender to add for owners taking part in the playoffs should be Maguire. The 24-year-old has averaged 16.5 points per match over the course of the last three weeks, plus Hull City are home to Sunderland—the Black Cats have scored just two goals in their last six matches. While there’s a possibility that David Moyes throws all the king’s men at the Tiger, Maguire’s fantasy form outweighs the hypothetical concern. He enters this weekend in better fantasy form than center-back elites Gary Cahill (13.3) and Nicolas Otamendi (10.3), in addition to having scored twice in his last four starts. All things considered, he’s someone I want to start.
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City (14 percent): Cameron is another defender that should produce enough points to help owners up against the odds in their playoff-opener. The American international has been a low-key stud the last two weeks as he’s scored well across all defensive metrics, helping him to an average of just a shade over 14 points per match. However, the lure of Cameron runs even deeper considering he’s listed as a defender but plays in a holding midfield role. Having averaged 10.7 points per match over his last five starts, he’s worth a start this week.
Kieran Trippier, Tottenham (16 percent): Mauricio Pochettino will likely draft Kyle Walker back into the starting XI for Friday’s match against West Ham, but Trippier is still worth adding. The right-back was stellar in the 2-0 victory over Arsenal as he picked up season-high numbers in tackles (5) and clearances (5). Trippier hasn’t started back-to-back matches this season, which is somewhat misleading given his “actual” and fantasy form when called upon. Over the course of his last two starts, against Watford and Arsenal, the 26-year-old grabbed an assist, created seven scoring chances and posted a total of 50 fantasy points. He’s an add to consider because Pochettino should hand him at least one more start before the season concludes.
Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal (45 percent): If you play in a league that has not enable playoffs, Ramsey should be on your radar because the Gunners have a double-game week. The first will come on Sunday against a banged up Manchester United, with the second a trip to the St. Mary’s for a tangle with Southampton. The Welsh international is coming off a shaky performance in the North London derby, but did mange to create the club’s two best scoring chances—curling a strike on net just before half time and setting Theo Walcott up with a golden opportunity late on. With a shot at double the points and Granit Xhaka in doubt, Ramsey’s value is boosted for GW36.
Kamil Grosicki, Hull City (37 percent): Grosicki has made this column a few times this season. And his presence on this edition has as much to do with his performance against Southampton as it does with Hull City facing Sunderland. Grosicki came closest to scoring in the nil-nil draw with the Saints at the weekend as he drilled a free kick, which had Fraser Forster beaten, off the post in the first half. Although Grosicki hasn’t produced a double-digit score since GW31 he’s created an average of two chances per match during that span, and the Blacks Cats allow an average of 17.4 shots per game. Furthermore, Sunderland have conceded 10 goals from set pieces this term, which bodes well given Grosicki's dead-ball capabilities. I see him as a low-risk, high-reward play in all leagues.
Marc Pugh, Bournemouth (8 percent): For the second successive week Pugh was one of Bournemouth’s top performers. The 30-year-old put in 82 minutes of solid football during the 1-0 victory over Sunderland, as he found the ball in the attacking third and registered two shots on target. Pugh’s outing came on the heels of a man of the match display against Middlesbrough, which saw him pick up his second assist of the season and curl a right-footed strike past Brad Guzan. He’s in form, and has value as a fifth midfielder against Stoke City this weekend.
Charlie Austin, Southampton (19 percent): Austin is on the verge of returning to from a dislocated shoulder and is expected to resume first-team football before the end of the term. Although his timetable is somewhat vague, Austin will play for the Under-23s on Friday night. Should his outing run smoothly, he could play a role in the club's final two matches—the Saints travel to Middlesbrough before their home finale against Stoke City. In short, Austin has scored six goals in 13 appearances this season and is a consideration if you can afford to hold an extra forward.
Ashley Barnes, Burnley (9 percent): The pool of available forwards is severely depleted, which means owners may need to take a risk on someone like Barnes. After three quiet starts he came to life against Crystal Palace at the weekend, scoring his sixth goal of the season in a match where he could have had a brace. Barnes opened the scoring with a composed second chance effort after mishitting his initial shot and had the ball in the net again shortly thereafter, but the referee ruled out his second for controlling the ball with his arm. After his best performance in quite sometime he’s likely to play at least 70 minutes against West Brom, who haven’t kept a clean sheet since GW32. Barnes isn’t the most appealing option but, should one of your regulars be ruled out, he can be considered a mid-tier third forward.
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