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Fantasy EPL Sleepers: Liverpool

Our Fantasy EPL 21/22 Draft Kit promises to be the most comprehensive set of pre-season Draft Premier League articles ever produced! A key component of our Draft Kit will be the Team Preview articles which analyze key assets to sit alongside our all-important Draft Rankings. This article highlights three potential Fantrax Fantasy EPL Sleepers from Liverpool!

Check out our 21/22 Draft Kit for all the pre-season information you would ever need. Draft Rankings, Team Previews, Strategy, Draft 101. We've got it all!!!

Liverpool Sleepers

As noted above, these are potential Fantrax Sleepers from Liverpool. These Fantasy EPL players are likely to be drafted in the later rounds. Read below for three under the radar players who could provide excellent value in your pre-season draft.

Virgil Van Dijk

Position: Defender

20/21 Points: 16 (381st overall)

20/21 Points Per Start: N/A

Recommended Draft Pick: 60-72 (12 Team League: Round 5-6)

Overview: Obviously, he's coming off the worst injury of his career. In his absence, the Liverpool defence was in shambles. Many will forget what a fantasy football stud he is, especially when the clock is ticking in drafts.

In order to fully understand the impact of a healthy Van Dijk, you need to look back two years to the 19/20 season when Liverpool won the league. VVD was a fantasy football manager's dream, as he kept 15 clean sheets, won 191 aerials (3rd in the PL), scored 5 goals, and accumulated 414.5 points with a points per game average of nearly 11. While doing all of that, he only received a single yellow card all season, a feat no other player with 3,000+ minutes accomplished except one: Azpilicueta. Virgil Van Dijk is a generational talent. Liverpool are a different, more confident team with him on the pitch. And considering the fact that his ADP was in the 50's going in to the 19/20 season, you could be set to get a great draft day value this year on a tier 1, elite defender.

Diogo Jota

Position: Forward

20/21 Points: 181 (139th overall)

20/21 Points Per Start: 11.2

Recommended Draft Pick: 48 to 60 (12 Team League: Round 4-5)

Overview: A polarizing fantasy asset heading into this year's drafts, Jota had bouts of brilliance last year that should thoroughly excite fantasy managers. However, concerns over his playtime will drive down his value.

As mentioned, Jota displayed spells of immense attacking talent last season. These returns were often inconsistent and hampered by both injury and rotation on Klopp's part. Naturally, as we have seen Liverpool boast the same attacking three for some time now, worries abound over whether Jota can break his way into the starting XI. Here's my take: there are a number of ways that Diogo Jota can become a regular in the squad and only one of them actually needs to happen. Think about it:

  • If used as a rotation piece, all three of the forwards need rests and should really be rested much more than they have been previously. Klopp has been playing with fire by pushing this attacking trident of Mane, Salah, and Firmino to play basically every match with almost no rest.

  • If he shows up Firmino, who could very easily continue to struggle with form, Jota may simply wrestle that starting spot away from Bobby.

  • If there is an injury of any sort to the front three, whether short or long, Diogo Jota gives Klopp a reason to rest them to ensure proper recovery.

  • We have already seen all four of these forwards play together in the same XI, and it was brilliant. Especially if Liverpool don't bring in a big money creative MID, this could spell more minutes for Jota.

Again, we only need one of these things to play out for Jota to have draft value. When you draft City players, you're comfortable with the idea of rotation risk, right? You draft them knowing this because the potential returns are too good to pass up. How is a healthy Reds front line any different? If you can snag him in round 5 or 6, that's great value, but round 4 is a bit of a stretch for me.

Nathaniel Phillips

Position: Defender

20/21 Points: 199.75 (116 overall)

20/21 Points Per Start: 14.1 (10th in PPS!)

Recommended Draft Pick: 144 to 156 (12 Team League: Round 12-13)

Overview: Contingent on a successful transfer deal, Phillips could be a top 12 defender in leagues that award points for aerials (which all Fantrax default scoring leagues do).

A friend recently told me that he and his league-mates affectionally refer to Phillips as Natty Light (a terrible budget beer and cult classic among college students in the States). Well, I suppose I can see the similarities, as Nat Phillips is quickly gaining cult hero status and will also go easy on your [draft day] budget! And, much like the morning after drinking a handful of Natty Lights, Big Nat also comes with a few question marks. So, in order for Phillips to truly be a potential gold mine for your fantasy team, some requirements need to be met: his transfer must go through (ideally to Burnley) and your league must reward points for aerials won. If both of these things are true, you have just struck gold in the 12th-14th round of your draft. There have been rumblings of a move to Brighton as well for this young lad. That doesn't excite me nearly as much as a move to Burnley, simply because his role as aerial specialist wouldn't be as utilized. However, so long as he secures a starting job at a Premier League team that, hopefully, won't concede three or four goals a game, he'll have major value and at a draft day price you absolutely can not argue with.

Check out The Draft Society's 21/22 Draft Kit for all the draft prep you would ever need! Draft Rankings, Team Previews, Strategy, Draft 101, and so much more!!

For all the latest from Joe Williams, follow @JWillDraft on Twitter!

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