In short, my GW14 picks failed to deliever. Heurelho Gomes conceded four goals against Manchester United, Marvin Zeegelaar dropped off after two strong showings and Charlie Austin saw just seven minutes off the bench. This week, however, my tips are back in full force. With some big names having dropped in ownership, be sure to take to the free agent pool before GW15 begins tomorrow morning.
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 adds forTogga 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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Antonio Rudiger, Chelsea (44 percent): For a few reasons, it’s a great idea to add Rudiger this week. His 27.50 fantasy points were good for second amongst all defenders in GW14 and Chelsea have a run of favorable fixtures over the course of December. After weekend’s visit from Newcastle are trips to West Ham and Huddersfield Town, followed by matches against; Southampton (H), Everton (A), Brighton (H) and Stoke City (H). With nine matches across all competitions during the festive period, Rudiger is in line for handful of starts having climbed the pecking order with David Luiz in and out of the first-team in recent weeks. He’s an insurance add for managers that own any of Chelsea’s regular defenders - Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Marcos Alonso.
Ashley Williams, Everton (36 percent): With 27.75 fantasy points in the 4-0 drubbing of West Ham, Williams was the top defender in GW14. However, his breakout performances is not the main reason why he made this column. This week, Everton are home to Huddersfield Town, who have failed to score in their last six away matches. During that span, the Terriers allowed a combined total of 184.5 points to opposing center-backs. This puts Williams firmly in the streaming conversation for GW15. He’s an option for 10-team-or-deeper leagues.
Mario Lemina, Southampton (31 percent): After missing three matches with an ankle injury and making a 12-minute cameo in GW13, Lemina was excellent on his return to the starting XI against Manchester City. Aside from goalkeeper Fraser Forster, he was the best Saint at the Etihad. Lemina was the club’s top tackler (5) and interceptor (3), while his five successful dribbles were most of any player on the pitch. The performance was the latest example of his ability to be a startable asset without a dependency on goals or assists. Prior to his injury, Lemina was averaging 3.6 successful dribbles, three tackles and two interceptions per match. Now that he’s healthy, the 24-year-old has the potential to be a top-20 midfielder on a weekly basis.
Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester City (23 percent): Another non-matchup dependent midfielder, Ndidi is averaging 8.66 fantasy points per match over the last six games. A standout performer last season, the Nigerian shared in Leicester City’s struggled to open the campaign. But since GW9, Ndidi’s defensive prowess has translated into much better FPL production. He’s picked up three or more tackles in each of the last six matches, while averaging three aerial victories and 1.3 interceptions during that span. Though he didn’t have to do much when he assisted on Riyad Mahrez’s superb solo effort against Tottenham, it was the second time he grabbed a helper thanks the skilfull Algerian in the last four matches. Ndidi does not have as high a ceiling as Lemina given his role in defensive midfield, yet a steady dose of defensive actions gives him value in 12-team leagues. He’ll be a top-30 midfielder against Burnley this weekend.
Jesse Lingard, Manchester United (12 percent): While Juan Mata is expected to resume his starting role in GW15, Lingard may have earned some more playing time after his performance at midweek. Making his second league start of the season, the 24-year-old set up Ashley Young’s opening goal and put the match to bed in the 86th minute. Lingard carried through midfield and wove in-and-out of three Watford defenders, before sliding a shot underneath goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes. His six key passes and three successful dribbles were both season highs, which would have been enough for a 16-point score without getting on the scoresheet. Lingard should see a few starts during the congested December fixture list and adds interest for managers looking to bolster their midfield in deeper leagues.
Chris Wood, Burnley (46 percent): Wood, through 10 appearances, is on pace to hit my late-August projection of scoring 10-13 goal this season. The New Zealand international opened his tally for Burnley as a substitute in GW3 and has since made seven starts. Across those matches, Wood has scored three goals on eight shots on target, including two in his last three. His most recent came at the midweek when he pounced on a Robbie Brady shot to open the scoring against Bournemouth. Burnley are in fine form with four wins in five matches and remain unbeaten when Wood scores. As a focal point of an attack that relies on crosses for scoring chances, the 6’3’’ Kiwi has plenty of value in deeper leagues with forward two upside. He’s a goal dependent consideration against Leicester City in GW15.
Hal Robson-Kanu, West Brom (1 percent): It’s should not come as a surprise that West Brom forwards, based on average ownership, are the least popular in fantasy. Considering Salomon Rondon (24%) and Jay Rodriguez (20%) having combined for just two goals on five shots on target the last six matches, Robson-Kanu is an intriguing option after being the most influential attacker in GW14. The Welshman, playing alongside Rondon in a 4-4-2, was powerful in the air and a constant menace for the Newcastle defense. Robson-Kanu won four aerials and popped up to head home his second goal of the season just before half-time, while his three shots were the most by a Baggie this season. With new manager Alan Pardew set to take charge for Saturday’s visit from Crystal Palace, the 28-year-old picked a great time to have his best outing of the season. If Robson-Kanu retains his place in the starting XI, he could be a useful add for someone struggling to find a third forward.
Fanduel Picks - $1K Saturday Equalizer (Single Entry)
GK: Hugo Lloris @ WAT ($4,500)
DEF: Ashley Williams vs. HUD ($5,500)
DEF: Christian Fuchs vs. BRN ($5,500)
MID: Mohamed Salah @ BHA ($12,000)
MID: Sadio Mane @ BHA ($8,500)
MID: Pascal Gross vs. LIV ($7,500)
FWD: Jamie Vardy vs. BRN ($9,500)
FWD: Hal Robson-Kanu vs. CRY ($7,000)