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Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 1 Sleepers XI

Updated: Aug 12, 2021

Our Gameweek 1 Sleepers XI article provides Fantrax managers with a lineup of Fantasy EPL hidden gems.  Our starting eleven of Draft Premier League differential picks will help you find a golden ticket to a big score this weekend!  These hints and tips will give you a better chance of picking up an all-important victory, as one of our picks could easily make the difference in a Head-to-Head game!

We'll be focusing on players that will bring us not only attacking returns or clean sheets, but also those players that score Ghost Points in the sophisticated and statistics based Fantrax Scoring System!

Fantasy EPL Gameweek 1 Sleepers XI

For this article, we use the % rostered from Fantrax. Our only rule is that each player we highlight is required to be rostered in 50% of leagues or below at the time of writing. Therefore there's a good chance these players will be free agents in your Fantrax Draft League!

GK: Robert Sanchez

Team: Brighton

Opponent: Burnley (Away)

Rostered: 38%

ProspectsSanchez has a friendly opening game against Burnley where a clean sheet is fairly likely (~45%). Brighton have a few defenders out to injury including Lamptey and Burn, but should still have a good chance of shutting out an attack that lacks serious fire power. Sanchez had a very good last season, and will be looking to build on it. Brighton also have a decent opening schedule (5th best for goalkeepers in the first 4 weeks according to our fixture difficulty tracker) so bringing Sanchez in now could make him a set and forget keeper for the next few weeks.

DEF: Joel Matip

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: Norwich (Away)

Rostered: 27%

Prospects: Joel Matip looks set to get the start in the opening game vs. Norwich. Given the injury/COVID issues the core of Norwich are facing I would expect a routine win with a clean sheet here. Matip also offers a set piece threat so don't be surprised if he pop ups with a goal as well. Without Van Dijk in the XI, Matip could see more aerials and should have no trouble winning them against Pukki. I like Matip as a top 10 defender this week if he gets the start. At only 27% rostered Matip should be picked up in all size leagues as a DEF3 with DEF1 upside.

DEF: Konstantinos Tsimikas

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: Norwich (Away)

Rostered: 6%

ProspectsKonstantinos Tsimikas looks set for a run in the XI after Robertson went down with an ankle injury. Early rumours suggest Robertson could miss over a month. While there is a chance Milner could slot in at left back, based on pre-season minutes I would expect Tsimikas to at least get a chance in the opener against Norwich. Based on how Liverpool uses their fullbacks, Tsimikas is a must pickup, especially if Robertson ends up being out longer than expected. A clean sheet with some key passes should see Tsimikas offer DEF2 value for this opening weekend.

DEF: Ryan Bertrand

Team: Leicester City

Opponent: Wolves (Home)

Rostered: 36%

ProspectsRyan Bertrand was signed as a depth piece for Leicester but should start their opening game against Wolves. In the Community Shield we saw Bertrand take the majority of set pieces, and keep a clean sheet against the defending champions. Leicester will have positive momentum following that win, and will look to keep another clean sheet. Leicester full backs struggle to score well consistently in Fantrax, but I do like Bertrand as a high upside DEF3 play this weekend. Wolves are still figuring things out under their new manager, Bruno Lage, and could struggle to score.

MID: Naby Keita

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: Norwich (Away)

Rostered: 19%

Prospects: Another Liverpool player makes the list! Most of you know I love a good stack, and no better matchup to stack against than a depleted Norwich side. Naby Keita has played well in preseason and should see the start over the not-yet-fit Thiago and Henderson. Keita has disappointed since signing for Liverpool but with Gini gone a midfield spot has opened up that Keita will push to make his own. Keita probably won't play 90 minutes but could see an attacking return and 8-10 ghost points in the minutes he gets. If Elliott gets the start instead I would simply drop Keita for him!

MID: Imran Louza

Team: Watford

Opponent: Aston Villa (Home)

Rostered: 4%

Prospects: I may personally be the only manager rostering Imran Louza right now, but I do like him as a MID5 punt this week. Louza is a new signing from Nantes and should slot in as a creative midfielder for Watford. Watford are prime candidates to get relegated, but that doesn't mean there can't be a few hidden gems in their team for Fantrax. I think Louza is an exciting prospect at only age 22 and can offer decent ghost points depending on how Watford use him and if he gets set pieces. He is worth a punt against a Villa team that will be looking to adjust to life post Grealish, and could end up being a season keeper.

MID: Matt Ritchie

Team: Newcastle

Opponent: West Ham (Home)

Rostered: 13%

ProspectsMatt Ritchie should get the start in the opener this weekend for Newcastle. Ritchie is known for his work rate and racks up points that way, he will get some set-pieces as well increasing his floor. There is a lot worse you could do for your MID 4/5 this weekend. In a decent matchup against a West Ham team who lost one of their best players in Lingard it remains to be seen how this one pans out. The return of Wilson should add to the upside Ritchie could provide.

MID: Nathan Redmond

Team: Southampton

Opponent: Everton (Away)

Rostered: 41%

ProspectsNathan Redmond was once touted as the next big fantasy thing, but is now a feature in a sleepers article. Southampton seem like they are prime contenders to get relegated this season, after losing Ings, likely Vestergaard, and possibly Ward-Prowse. Redmond should offer some upside and pace in a team that will need to find new ways to score goals. With Ward-Prowse injured & Bertrand off to Leicester, Redmond may even get a share of set piece duties. Against an Everton side that was recently thumped in their final preseason encounter I think he could offer a safe floor of 7 points but has the upside of a MID3 this gameweek.

MID: Jeffrey Schlupp

Team: Crystal Palace

Opponent: Chelsea (Away)

Rostered: 6%

Prospects: Crystal Palace have a tough matchup against the defending European champions but some of their players could still produce valuable scores. Jeffrey Schlupp should be in the XI and usually produces respectable scores every time he starts. He offers attacking upside, and could crack 10 points without an attacking return this week. He might be a a valuable pickup over the next few weeks as well, but is worth a gamble this week.

FWD: Demarai Gray

Team: Everton

Opponent: Southampton (Home)

Rostered: 15%

ProspectsDemarai Gray has shown decent form in preseason and could get a chance to stake his claim for a regular spot in the XI this weekend. Southampton are depleted and could give up a few goals this weekend. Gray took a penalty in preseason and scored it, which could signal his chance to take a penalty if it came down to it. Gray may be one of my favorite sleepers this season, but it will be interesting to see the role he gets at Everton.

FWD: Troy Deeney

Team: Watford

Opponent: Aston Villa (Home)

Rostered: 23%

Prospects: Club captain and former fantasy star Troy Deeney is back in the Premier League and the biggest question is whether or not he will be given a starting role this season. I do think he at least gets a chance to stake his claim for a starting role this weekend. There is every chance someone like King gets the nod, but I would at least stash Deeney until lineups are released. If Deeney gets a run in the XI he could be a FWD1.

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