Welcome to Sean's Super Subs! Triple S is your primary destination for elite FPL advice, which focuses on Togga draft leagues.
Each week I will recommend players—based on availability, current form and matchups—that have high upside as either: an add, a spot start, or a trade piece. The recommendations will normally revolve around highlighting a spike in player’s fantasy value or present an ideal solution to selection dilemmas. These weekly picks are meant to grab your attention, limit the often-fatal last minute lineup tinker, and aid in the process of maintaining a superior squad throughout the grueling FPL campaign.
The players I picked in GW7 yielded a grab bag of results, which was best represented by Artur Boruc’s 7-point performance. Shkodran Mustafi proved to be a smart play as his outstanding effort saw him make the week’s Perfect Squad, while my other defenders scored minimally. Heung-Min Son was again, playing in a free-roaming attacking role, a difference marker Spurs. The midfielder has graduated from being a “Super Sub” considering he has four goals and two assists since moving into Tottenham’s starting XI. Jordan Henderson also proved a formidable fantasy option as Hendo recorded an assist playing in support of Liverpool’s attacker, while I was very surprised to see Sofiane Feghouli go as an unused substitute in West Ham’s draw. Finally, we arrive at the forwards. Christian Benteke delighted with a splendidly difficult header against Everton, but Charlie Austin failed to register a single shot against Leicester City.
Goalkeeper: Artur Boruc (7)
Week Eight Super Subs
Goalkeepers - “The Year of the Free Agent Goalkeepers”
Owners that drafted a top goalkeeper - such as Petr Cech, Thibaut Courtois or David De Gea - have noticed how cruel the beginning of the season has been, in terms of FPL production. For example, none of the three keepers I mentioned rank in the top eight in terms of total points. In fact, they rank 10th, 11th and 14th respectively. To makes matter even worst, we have seen a point differential breakdown that shows only a marginal gap between those that rank in top 20. Supplied below is the points per 90 minute average of each tier thus far.
- Top 5 - 8.58
- Top 10 - 8.36
- Top 15 - 7.1
- Top 20 - 6.59
Lee Grant (Stoke City) - With that out of the way, Lee Grant is the hottest goalkeeper on the market and warrants consideration for a start in GW8. This is based on the idea that he was free agent during GW7 when he scored 14.25 points against Manchester United. The veteran keeper was in peak form as his eight saves and single goal conceded helped Stoke secure a needed point at Old Trafford, while his score was the round’s fourth best score by a goalkeeper. Additional support can be found in the fact that Stoke City have conceded just two goals with Grant in goal and their opposition, Sunderland, has scored multiple goals just once. The Black Cats enter the match at the bottom of the table in points (20th) and in scoring as well (six goals in seven matches). The 33-year-old is on loan from Derby County and has been propelled into a starting role, which he will hold until either Jack Butland, or potentially Jacob Haugaard, returns to full fitness.
Marcos Alonso (Chelsea) – The summer signing made his first appearance in the starting XI against Hull City last weekend and it bore fantasy-gold: 22 points and a spot in the week’s Perfect Squad. Alonso was deployed as a wingback, where he excelled in every-way possible. Offensively he created four scoring chances and hit two successful crosses, while on the defensive end of the pitch he added two interceptions and two interceptions. After a strong performance that saw Antonio Conte use a three-man backline, it seems likely the Spaniard will be part of Chelsea’s plans moving forward. The impending return of John Terry however won’t hinder Alonso, as long as the Blues continue to use wingbacks. While the jury is still out on the defensive format that will be used, the multidimensional 25-year-old is worth the add heading into GW8.
Adam Smith (Bournemouth) – Under the radar finds are the key to success throughout the season, which is why Smith is worth a look. Last week I struck out when I mentioned another Bournemouth defender, Steve Cook, who scored just 0.5 points. Smith on the other hand, has the attacking upside at Cook lacks, as the Cherries’ right-back ranks 1st in successful take-ons and 18th in overall points by a defender. What else is to like? He has scored at least six points in all but one of his appearances so far. Smith is someone to monitor, if you’re contemplating adding a reserve, because he his points per 90’ minutes (8.57) is the eight best by a defender.
Phil Jagielka (Everton) – Jagielka pulled out of the England’s squad due to a thigh strain, but should to be fit for this weekend. This is good news for fantasy owners in search of a defender who can be a reliable producer when other starters have bad matchups. Jagielka scored 20.25 points GW7 thanks to nine clearances and an assist, awarded for earning a free-kick that Romelu Lukaku converted, in their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace. The 34-year-old’s solid start has him position as a top defender in fantasy, as he ranks 3rd in aerials won (26) and 10th in total points (65). His points per 90’ minute average (9.29) makes him a fringe candidate for usage your starting XI in GW8.
Jose Holebas (Watford) – Holebas recorded his first assist as a Hornet in a 2-2 draw with West Brom in GW7. He cracks my list this week because of two reasons. First, Watford’s boss Walter Materazzi has implored a tactical approach that features the fullbacks in the attack. Second, Holebas has proven he is up for this task. Over the course of his past four matches, the 32-year-old has a goal and an assist, while his seven appearances have also yielded nine successful take-ons and six successful crosses. His 16 points against West Ham (GW4) and 19 against Bournemouth (GW7) should be kept in mind when Watford tackles Middlesbrough in GW8.
Nordin Amrabat (Watford) – Amrabat was another Hornet that made quite a buzz in GW7. The winger was excellent in a match against Bournemouth where he made one goal and was denied his own by a pair of fine saves by Artur Boruc. His liveliness throughout, his best appearance of the season, saw him create four scoring chances and registered: two shots on target, two successful crosses and two successful take-ons. In 444 minutes of play this season Amrabat has scored 51 total points and leads Watford in successful take-ons (11). The Moroccan international provided a spark that has him in line for what would be his fourth start of the season and possibly an add should he have another good performance in GW8.
Joe Allen (Stoke City) - The midfielder has been called by many nicknames, my favorite of which being “the Welsh Pirlo” and the “the Welsh Jesus”. Nicknames aside, “Grizzly Allen” has been the only member of Stoke City relevant in fantasy so far this season. The Welsh international has been on a tear as of late, scoring goals in consecutive matches while averaging 15.37 points over his last four. Although his club has gotten off to a bad start his supporting cast, specifically Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri, are due for breakout performances. This and his current form demand starting Allen, who was ruled out of Wales’ World Cup qualifier against Georgia last week but could feature versus Sunderland, if deemed fit for GW8.
Steven Defour (Bournemouth) – Burnley manager Sean Dyche would agree in saying that Defour is one of, if not the most, vital pieces of his side. In six appearances this season, the Belgian international has scored 74 total fantasy points and ranks 9th in points per 90’ minutes (14.80). His impact has been even greater since GW4, as Defour has scored a goal, assisted twice and is averaging 17.87 points per 90’ minutes. Based on his form, he should be owned in most leagues and could be a sneaky start in those at 12-team or greater.
James McClean (West Brom) - I believe that all it takes for a player to find his form is a successful international spell while on international duty. And this could easily be true in the case of James McClean, who scored twice in the Republic of Ireland’s win over Moldova. His brace was a pair of quite nifty goals that required composed finishes, despite the chances coming inside the penalty area. The Baggies have a tall task facing an unbeaten Tottenham side, but I have a good feeling that McClean (who scored in a 1-1 draw with Spurs last December) will find the net regardless of the result.
Forwards - Sleeper Adds
Viktor Fischer (Middlesbrough) – Fischer is coming off his best performance for Middlesbrough. The 22-year-old recorded his first assist, in what was his second Premier League start, when his well-struck corner found Cristhian Stuani. I am labeling Fischer as a add-and-stache after an enticing outing that saw him play 58 minutes in the number 10 role against West Ham. This revolves around his selection in the starting XI ahead of Gaston Ramirez, who replaced Fischer in the 58th minute. Ramirez’s form has dipped as of late, which has opened the door for Fischer to see an expanded role. His usage should be monitored closely in GW8 and GW9.
Dieumerci Mbokani (Hull City) - It requires a three-part explanation to explain why he is on my list this week.
A.) Here is what you need to know about Hull City’s striker. Mbokani, on loan from Dynamo Kyiv, is the Democratic Republic of Congo’s all-time leading scorer (18 goals in 32 apps) and last season scored seven goals while on loan with Norwich City.
B.) The reason for highlighting, right off the back, is because we're coming to the part of the FPL campaign where most under the radar forwards are likely owned. Second, the primary backups (such as Vincent Janssen, Kelechi Iheanacho, Marcus Rashford) have, for one reason or another, been thrust into action. Lastly, and ultimately what is most important, the 30-year-old has the most upside of all strikers yet to make a splash in fantasy.
C.) The upside of Mbokani is his smash mouth physicality. This was on display throughout the first half against Chelsea in GW7, and as early as the second minute, when he spun David Luiz and drew a free kick. Against the Blues’ back three he caused real problems and was only to be rendered ineffective when his service dried up. The dimension he adds to Hull City, a set piece target for Robert Snodgrass and strength in hold up play, makes him an ideal striker to either lead manager Mike Phelan’s frontline in a 4-2-3-1 or partner Abel Hernandez in a 4-4-2.
Add Mbokani before he has a breakout match.