Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 12 Sleepers XI

Our Gameweek 12 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 12 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 60% of leagues or less at the time of writing. Therefore there's a good chance some of these players will be free agents in your Fantrax Draft League! As always, we'll take form, fixtures, projected points and a healthy dose of intuition into account to make our selections.


Every once in a while, you have a fantasy week where everything just works. It's a great feeling, and helps offset the pain of less successful weeks. Week 11 was one such week for the Sleepers XI, which amassed a season-high 120.75 points. That haul boosts the weekly average back over 90 and brings the season score to 928.5 points. Not too shabby for 10 weeks of work.


That said, we're coming up on a couple game weeks that could fall more in line with those lesser weeks I mentioned above, with three EPL fixtures in the space of 7 days ensuring rotation will come into play in gameweeks 12 and 13. The midweek matches in particular are ripe for managers to ring the changes. Lower-rostered players have a higher likelihood of getting a call up to their teams' respective starting elevens this week, which means they'll be in higher demand--particularly with a blank fixture for the league's top two sides, Arsenal and Man City.


If you have the ability to check lineups as they come out, that's likely the best bet for ensuring you can roll out a full team this week. If not, I've hopefully found some players (including the reserves!) you can rely on to get to a starting XI in GW12. Godspeed!


GK: Jordan Pickford

Team: Everton

Opponent: Newcastle (away)

Rostered: 58%

Points Last Gameweek: 7.25

Prospects: Goalkeeper is the one position you can almost guarantee you'll be able to roster a starter even if you aren't able to make adjustments to your team after lineups are announced. Frankly, most of the goalkeeper options under the 60% rostership threshold look like they could be decent options this week, so don't scramble to drop players like Kepa, Guaita, Leno or Bazunu if you've already got them in your team. I'm using this opportunity to recommend a longer-term hold if Pickford happens to be available in your league. The England shot-stopper is showcasing his best form ahead of the World Cup and has been delivering positive scores even when Everton concede a goal or two. Case in point: the 7.25 points he delivered in the 2-0 loss to Spurs in GW11.


DEF: Wout Faes

Team: Leicester City

Opponent: Leeds (home)

Rostered: 23%

Points Last Gameweek: 13

Projected GW12 Points: 9.7

Prospects: Recently minted "fantasy real" on the Key Pass Collective podcast, Faes repaid the faith shown him by the TDS crew with a third consecutive double-digit score in GW11. The Foxes have been surprisingly solid defensively when playing at home, and their recent uptick in form could bode well for another strong display from the new center back. Leeds have struggled to reignite their attack since Rodrigo picked up an injury a few weeks into the season. Faes should get the start again, particularly if Jonny Evans remains out, but be wary of the fact that this fixture is the last one of the gameweek on Thursday, so you'll have very limited options for replacements in the event of a surprise omission.


DEF: Joe Gomez

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: West Ham (home)

Rostered: 42%

Points Last Gameweek: 11.5

Projected GW12 Points: 8.4

Prospects: It's amazing what one result can do for a team's confidence, as well as for its individual players. Liverpool showed at least some semblance of the team that's been a title contender for the past few seasons in their 1-0 victory over Man City on Sunday, with Gomez rediscovering his best form in a man-of-the-match display in central defense. With Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate looking like they'll still be in the treatment room, Gomez should remain in the team for the visit of West Ham. It's unclear whether Liverpool can use their most recent result as a catalyst for returning to the upper echelons of the league table, but they do have a very promising run of matches up to the World Cup and Gomez could be a cheeky way into what Jurgen Klopp and co. will hope is a much-improved defensive unit.


DEF: Nelson Semedo

Team: Wolves

Opponent: Crystal Palace (away)

Rostered: 13%

Points Last Gameweek: 0

Projected GW12 Points: 8.7

Prospects: The safe bet of Max Kilman worked well for the Sleepers Squad in GW11, but I'm feeling like a calculated risk on higher upside could be the play this week. One of Jonny or Ait-Nouri could be supplanted by Semedo, who only made a cameo in the deeply underwhelming 1-0 victory over Nottingham Forest. The Portuguese right back has rarely lived up to his full potential from a fantasy perspective, but a shakeup in the team is needed and Wolves will be hoping to capitalize on a similarly struggling (and likely much-changed) Palace team. I could be wrong, but this game doesn't exactly have goalfest written all over it, so hopefully Semedo can keep the negative points to a minimum.


DEF: Mohammed Salisu

Team: Southampton

Opponent: Bournemouth (away)

Rostered: 11%

Points Last Gameweek: 13.25

Projected GW12 Points: 8.2

Prospects: Betting on Southampton defenders has been a crap shoot to say the least this season. They're the only team in the Premier League yet to keep a clean sheet 10 matches into the campaign, and facing a shockingly decent Bournemouth side under Gary O'Neil. So, why am I suggesting you should bring Salisu into your team this week? Well, for one, he should retain his starting role with some question marks over Armel Bella Kotchap's fitness. That's nearly reason enough this week, but the real hope for any rosterers is that the Ghanaian was back to his ghosting best against West Ham, registering 15.25 points from peripheral counting stats. Is this a return to fantasy relevance for the former favorite? Let's hope so.


MID: Yves Bissouma

Team: Tottenham Hotspur

Opponent: Manchester United (away)

Rostered: 23%

Points Last Gameweek: 5

Projected GW12 Points: 6.8

Prospects: Yes, I've read the Antonio Conte quotes about his preference to play a 3-4-3 and the possibility that Lucas Moura or Bryan Gil could get a run out in the absence of Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison in midweek. No, I don't believe them. Similar to Conte's press management with the return of Matt Doherty a few weeks back, I believe the Italian manager is putting up a smokescreen to take the pressure off Bissouma, who had his best performance so far in a Spurs shirt in his appearance off the bench against Everton. The Malian has been slowly eased in by Conte, but I believe he'll get the call at the base of a 5-man midfield behind Kane and Son in this one. This is one of the riskier recommendations, particularly as Bissouma hasn't put up any great scores for his new club, but we know from his time with Brighton that he has the potential to score quite well.


MID: Harvey Elliott

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: West Ham (home)

Rostered: 51%

Points Last Gameweek: 3

Projected GW12 Points: 7.8

Prospects: Similarly to Gomez, Elliott had been relegated to a substitute role in recent weeks, but earned a recall due to injuries elsewhere in the squad. The youngster put in a shift that countered much of the criticism of his defensive workrate and ability, and given his fairly early substitution I believe he will get the nod from the start again for the midweek match against West Ham to give a rest to Thiago. Let's hope he can improve upon the 3 points he mustered against City. The Hammers are a slightly more forgiving opponent to opposition midfielders (allowing 7.4 points per match as opposed to City's 5.6), so I like his chances.


MID: Ryan Fraser

Team: Newcastle

Opponent: Everton (home)

Rostered: 3%

Points Last Gameweek: 0

Projected GW12 Points: 7.5

Prospects: The unfortunate news of dual injury setbacks for Alexander Isak and Allan Saint-Maximin means Newcastle are thin in the attacking positions. With Jacob Murphy and Miguel Almiron starting each of the matches since the international break, now feels as good a time as any to roll the dice on Fraser. The diminutive winger played about half an hour in the scoreless draw against Man United and, like those teams, failed to exceed 0 for his troubles. The Scot is one of the most boom-or-bust fantasy players in the league, though, and could just as easily deliver 20 points as another goose egg. The projections put him at a much more conservative 7.5, but there are circumstances (particularly one where Kieran Trippier is handed a rest and Fraser assumes set piece duty) where a bigger score could be on the cards.


MID: Adam Lallana

Team: Brighton

Opponent: Nottingham Forest (home)

Rostered: 3%

Points Last Gameweek: 6.5

Projected GW12 Points: 8.7

Prospects: It's been a long, long time since Lallana was in my thinking from a fantasy standpoint. A 6.5 point return in just 21 minutes and an all-but-guaranteed start in midweek was enough to earn the former Liverpool and Southampton midfielder a starting berth in the engine room for the Sleepers Squad. Brighton haven't lit the world on fire under their new manager just yet, but it's hard to argue against a contest with Nottingham Forest being just what the doctor ordered to get them firing on all cylinders. Roberto De Zerbi's possession-based play style suits Lallana's game, and I expect him to be deployed in an advanced role where he can operate in tight spaces to bring his teammates into the attack with him.


FWD: Sekou Mara

Team: Southampton

Opponent: Bournemouth (away)

Rostered: 2%

Points Last Gameweek: 2.5

Projected GW12 Points: 9.1

Prospects: Up top, I'm taking some big risks on players who haven't managed too many minutes in the Premier League thus far. Mara has just two EPL starts to his name since his arrival in the summer, but the youngster has really passed the eye test any time I've watched him. I would certainly exercise caution with this pick and even advise against it if you won't be able to make adjustments on the fly based on lineups, but if the youngster does get a start I like him as a high upside punt. If you're looking for a moderately safer play at forward, you may want to see if someone like Goncalo Guedes or Jordan Ayew is available instead.


FWD: Denis Undav

Team: Brighton

Opponent: Nottingham Forest (home)

Rostered: 6%

Points Last Gameweek: 0.5

Projected GW12 Points: 10.2

Prospects: Finally, we have another high-risk, potentially high-reward selection with Undav. Danny Welbeck has yet to score a Premier League goal this season, despite looking dangerous. Given that fact and the striker's injury history, he could be due for a rest midweek. His German teammate has yet to start a game, but was used off the bench in GW11 by De Zerbi for the first time since his appointment as the Seagulls' manager. Is the summer arrival ready to lead the line from the start? His manager wasn't as forthcoming as he was about Lallana, so we won't know until lineups are announced. The good news is that Brighton play on Tuesday, so there's a good chance you'll still be able to pivot to another player if Undav isn't quite ready to start.



The Reserves

If you're playing on Fantrax with Live Lineup Changes, you should definitely keep an eye on starting lineups for the following high upside players who have some question marks around their starting status this week. If any of these guys does get a start for their team, snap them up and plug them into your starting eleven!

  • Tariq Lamptey, Defender, Brighton. Opponent: Nottingham Forest

  • Emiliano Buendia, Midfielder, Aston Villa. Opponent: Fulham

  • Fabio Carvalho, Midfielder, Liverpool. Opponent: West Ham

  • Armando Broja, Forward, Chelsea. Opponent: Brentford

  • Kelechi Iheanacho, Forward, Leicester City. Opponent: Leeds


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