I have used virtually all of the av's at one time or another, including m/s essentials. No matter which a/v you choose, each will have "holes".
For the last few months I have been using essentials along with malwarebytes and have had 0 issues. It is easy to run, low on resources and the malwarebytes is a great "follow up" to an essentials scan.
Used MSE, switched to Avast, Avast screwed up, switched back to MSE, MSE screwed up. Most of my gaming and programming files are now moved to various "quarantine" areas around my PC. The only thing that MSE and Avast was able to catch was a questionable Java file.