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Weekly Picks

Sean's Super Subs - Week 12

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

The Premier League is FINALLY back after the November international break.  Following the 14-day hiatus, I’ve returned to tell you where the value can be found in GW12.  Saturday begins with Tottenham and Arsenal at the Emirates and concludes with Newcastle at Manchester United, so the brunt of the streaming value can be found during the midday slate.   Huddersfield Town will be without the suspended Christopher Schindler when they travel to Bournemouth, which makes Martin Cranie a defender to consider—especially as a budget play in DFS tournaments. Ruben Loftus-Cheek is doubtful for Crystal Palace’s visit from Everton, giving Jason Puncheon value as a late add-and-start. On the flip side, Newcastle defenders at Old Trafford top my hate list.

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, (a 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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Asmir Begovic, Bournemouth (29 percent):   Begovic has lived up to his reputation as a shot-stopper this season, as he ranks second in saves (38) after 11 matches.  Yet with just two clean sheets, he is available in more than 70 percent of leagues.  Begovic’s current ownership overshadows the fact he has provided solid returns in matches when under heavy pressure.  The former Chelsea backup and Stoke City number one has made four or more saves seven times this season, averaging 8.29 points across those matches.  Coming off a strong performance against Newcastle, Begovic is the goalkeeper to stream this week.   Both Ben Foster (39%) and Rob Elliot (29%) have bad matchups, while West Ham’s trip to Watford has trap written all over it for Joe Hart (34%). With the aforementioned trio too risk for GW12, Begovic is a good choice against Huddersfield Town at home.



Lee Grant, Stoke City (7 percent):   Grant will be taking over the gloves at Stoke City for a crucial stretch of the season following the news Jack Butland will be sidelined four to six weeks, due to a broken finger.  Losing Butland is a blow, but Potters have a proven second-choice option in the 34-year-old.   Grant kept nine clean sheets in 28 starts while the former was out with a broken ankle last season and produced a number of heroic performances, highlighted by an eight-save outing at Old Trafford.  He’s a short-term add for the next two matches against Brighton and Crystal Palace.  





Simon Francis, Bournemouth (28 percent):   With 31.75 points in the win over Newcastle, Francis was the top scorer across all positions in GW11.  Moved from central defense to right-back, the 32-year-old posted season high totals in aerials won (16), tackles (4) and key passes (3).  Francis racked up more touches than any other players on the pitch and sprung the Cherries’ attacking trio throughout the match.  In addition to leading all Bournemouth players in total fantasy points, Francis now ranks as a top-25 defender after two 20+ point outings in his last five matches.  He’s someone to consider in leagues with 10 or more teams, especially if he sees more starts on the right side of defense. 




Lewis Dunk, Brighton (4 percent):  Brighton’s defense has been the best in the Premier League of late, having conceded just once in their last three matches.  And Dunk has been amongst the stand-out performers, leading the backline in both interceptions (21) and shots blocked (16).  Dunk is averaging eight points per match since GW6 and should be busy enough against Stoke City to post another score in that range.  He has value in deeper leagues and is a wise streaming option for managers in need of a replacement for the suspended Christopher Schindler.  



Jonjoe Kenny, Everton (1 percent):   Kenny stayed busy on his third straight start for Everton, making 11 clearances and six tackles against Watford.  The sample size is admittedly small, yet totals of 16 clearances, nine aerials and eight successful tackles are enough to nullify the majority of doubts.  There are still concerns about Everton’s defense, but with Cuco Martina expected to miss a couple more matches, the youngster should see another start this weekend.  With the upside of being an attack-minded fullback, Kenny has streaming value for deeper leagues against Crystal Palace. 





Anthony Knockaert, Brighton (49 percent):   Perhaps discreetly, Knockaert has been producing closer to his pre-season expectations the past four matches, totaling 24 crosses, seven key passes and on five shots.  It’s worth noting that Brighton have benefitted from a favorable schedule, but GW12 offers another appealing matchup which manager should captizalize on.  Stoke City have allowed 13.9 shots per game since the beginning of the season and struggled to shutdown Leicester City’s midfield in GW11.  Since the majority of pressure and attention will be on Pascal Gross, Knockaert has an excellent opportunity to continue his run of three matches with at least two successful crosses and two successful take-ons.  Knockaert, who has a goal and an assist in his last four matches, is a solid add in 10-or-12 team leagues.



Luka Milivojevic, Crystal Palace (4 percent):   Crystal Palace remain a club defined by two must-start options—Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend.  But with Ruben Loftus-Cheek in doubt for GW12, Milivojevic is worth a shout in the streaming conversation.  Since returning to the starting XI in GW7, the holding midfielder is averaging a respectable 8.5 points per match.  His value is boosted as the club’s primary penalty taker, having converted from the spot in GW10 and buried all three opportunities since arriving from Olympiacos last season. Milivojevic can be viewed as a late add-and-start for this weekend’s home game against Everton.  His solid floor is solid and the Toffees have conceded the second most penalties since the start of the season.  



Jeff Hendrick, Burnley (1 percent):   The Republic of Ireland international has scored twice (two shots on target) in the last five matches playing as an attacking midfielder.  Since manager Sean Dyche moved Hendrick into a more advanced role, he is averaging a club best 1.4 shots per match and received an increased target share of passes in the final third.  The 25-year-old is goal dependent but has added value for GW12 against Swansea City who concede the fourth most shots per game (14.7).  Hendrick is a punt for managers in need for a fifth midfielder. 





Andy Carroll, West Ham (24 percent):    Carroll has found consistent time hard to come back since the arrival of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, while his own struggles with injury has limited him to just 388 minutes of action. However, with Hernandez ruled out for GW12, Carroll could return to the starting XI when the David Moyes era begins on Sunday.  Although the Englishman has failed to score or produce a double-digit fantasy score in seven appearances, the trip to Watford should see his drought come to an end.  The Hornets have failed to keep a clean sheet at Vicarage Road this season and will be without first-choice goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.  If you play in a 10-team league, Carroll is the forward to stream.  Meanwhile, depending on what formation Moyes uses, Andre Ayew (25%) is another forward to consider. 



Oumar Niasse, Everton (28 percent):   Niasse, on just his second start of the season, scored his fourth goal of the campaign.  It wasn’t a conventional finish but no less deserved, as he rounded Watford goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis and was taken down before the ball rolled of his leg and into the net.  The goal lifted him level with Wayne Rooney as Everton’s top scorer, which is all the more impressive considering his four have come in just 289 minutes of action.  If interim manager David Unsworth hands Niasse another start at Crystal Palace this weekend, the Senegalese striker offers streaming value in 12-team leagues.  The Eagles have conceded a league worst 18 goals in open play and are yet to keep a clean sheet at Selhurst this season. 



Sean Sullivan

Sean Sullivan is a Soccer Betting Analyst for NBC Sports Edge.  He is also a diehard Manchester United supporter.  You can find Sean on Twitter @Sean_Sullivan_1.