A Finally Healthy Theo Walcott Returns and Highlights The Draft Kings Week 12 Preview

It’s been a long, grueling 10 months since England international and Arsenal starlet Theo Walcott featured in a competitive match, after heartbreakingly rupturing his ACL in early January of this year, ending his premier league season and dashing his World Cup hopes.

But the long road to recovery appears to be at an end, as the 25-year old is likely set to feature, at long last, in Arsenal’s first XI this Saturday as the North Londoners play host to Manchester United.

The matchup against the Red Devils is an ideal one for Walcott. The red-hot Alexis Sanchez will undoubtedly draw a good portion of the United defensive focus, likely leaving large pockets of space for TW to do some damage. Additionally, United manager Louis van Gaal favors an attacking style, often deploying his full backs more as wing backs which often times leaves his defense exposed. Walcott’s calling card is his electric speed and he should be able to counter United’s backs’ penchant for getting forward with this speed as he flies down the wing, wreaking havoc on a suspect back line.

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He’s reasonably priced at $8,200, and although I’d prefer the price to be a tad lower considering he hasn’t made a start yet, he makes for a strong value play if you decide not to spend big at the forward position. Even if he doesn’t find the back of the net he should make for a nice return on your investment, as he’ll have ample opportunities to cross the ball and draw fouls.

Here’s the rest of my top value plays for week 12


Thiabut Courtois/Chelsea ($5,500) vs. West Brom

I’m not in love with any of the “between the posts” options this weekend, but Courtois is easily the clear-cut best one available. Yes, he’s the most expensive, but a home match against a West Brom team with very limited attacking options gives the big Belgian the best chance at a clean sheet and victory out of the available keepers. He may be someone you just end up paying for this weekend.

Tim Krul/Newcastle United ($5,000) vs. QPR

Remember when I said I wasn’t in love with any of the keeper options this week? Well, a prime example of that is I have now typed Tim Krul’s name into one of my weekly previews (something I thought I’d never do). As far as talent goes, Krul isn’t anywhere near some of his fellow keepers, but the match against QPR is actually a favorable one. QPR averages about one goal per contest and have little in the way of a consistent striking presence. I’m not entirely confident in his ability to keep a clean sheet, but he should save a handful of shots and come away with the victory.

Tim Howard/Everton ($4,800) vs. West Ham

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With news that Valencia, Sakho, and Downing will all be out for the Hammers, Howard likely forces his way into all my lineups this weekend. He’s had a rather poor year for the Toffee’s, often making some highly suspect decisions that have led to yielding several goals, but West Ham is really going to struggle to generate any offense in this one. Even with Leighton Baines likely out due to injury, the Everton defense and their keeper have an excellent shot at keeping a clean sheet.


Kieran Trippier/Burnley ($5,100) @ Stoke City

Trippier has quietly been one of the most consistent fantasy defenders this season, and has flown under the radar largely due in part to the club he plays for. But don’t let the fact that he plays for the lowly Burnley dissuade you from choosing him for your lineup. Trippier is a cross machine, which means his value isn’t completely tied down to wether or not he scores or keeps a clean sheet (which he probably won’t, fyi). Consistent players are a must if you’re playing cash games, and Trippier is just that; averaging 9.5 fantasy points per game.

Seamus Coleman/Everton ($4,600) vs. West Ham

I’m not exactly sure why Coleman’s price is this low. Perhaps it’s because he’s yet to hit his stride since coming back from injury a few weeks ago? Whatever the reason, take the discount on this stud defender and run with it. With backfield mate Leighton Baines likely out due to injury, the Everton attack – one that relies heavily on it’s fullbacks pressing forward – will now be counting on it’s other prized back ever more so to ignite them.

Kieran Gibbs/Arsenal ($3,900) vs. Manchester United

I know I’ve consistently hyped Gibbs in this forum and he’s consistently underwhelmed, but at his price he makes for a great upside play – especially if you’re playing in any GPP’s. It’s going to be a track meet against United on Saturday, and it sounds as if that Red Devil back line might be missing a few of it’s key pieces. This all bodes well for KG.


Ross Barkley/Everton ($8,300) vs. West Ham

The Barkley breakout game is coming, folks. It’s headed. Right. For us. Manager Roberto Martinez has been raving about how good young Barkley looks in training and the limited time we’ve seen him back in action from his knee injury. He’s received back to back starts and has almost played the full 90-plus minutes in back to back matches (played 86 in the most recent match against Sunderland). When healthy, the English international is one of the most gifted and powerful midfielders in the league.

Victor Moses/Stoke City ($6,300) vs. Burnley

Moses continues to be underrated, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who averages double digit fantasy points for that price. Stoke have been surprisingly decent in attack this season, and the Chelsea loanee is one of the chief reasons why. His 34 successful take on’s out of 62 attempts (55%) is very impressive and perhaps is an indicator of his presence in midfield. He should find himself in some very favorable situations against a porous Burnley defense on Saturday.


Wilfried Bony/Swansea ($7,700) @Manchester City

Bony has been his usual self this year, with four goals and one assist to his name to date. The Swans will travel to the Etihad on Saturday which might look like it will be a bloodbath on paper, but according to Squawka.com’s team rankings the “Noisy Neighbors” have been the worst defensive club in the league this year. They tend to be better at home (as most teams do), but don’t be surprised if Bony is able to exploit a very overrated City back line.

Stevan Jovetic/Manchester City ($7,000) vs. Swansea

Jovetic started off the 2014-15 campaign red hot for City, scoring two goals against Liverpool in the club’s second match of the year. However, an injury slowed what looked to be the beginning of something special and he has yet to rediscover his form. That could all change this weekend as City will be without Edin Dzeko and will need a second striker to play alongside Agüero. The chances should be there, and he could be a sneaky play, especially in GPP’s.






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