Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 13 Sleepers XI
Our Gameweek 13 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 13 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 below 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.
I was worried about wrongly predicting a few starters in the the midweek matches for the Gameweek 12 Sleepers XI, and unfortunately that was the case, with four of the eleven not given the starting nod by their managers. That led to a well below average 52.5 points, taking the Sleepers Squad to 981 points on the season-- just shy of a still-respectable 90 point/week average.
Gameweek 13 concludes a three-match week for most clubs, which again calls into question how much rotation there will be. There wasn't nearly as much chopping and changing as I expected in the midweek matches, perhaps down to the newfound ability to make 5 substitutes, but time will tell if this is how managers will address the fixture congestion going forward or whether they had been planning on rotating at the end of the week instead. It's a tricky one to call, so be prepared to make some changes on the fly if you can afford to.
Special thanks to DraftLad for the quick turnaround with projections this week. I made my choices before seeing them, but they confirmed that my intuition is generally in line with expected fantasy points.
GK: Bernd Leno
Opponent: Leeds (away)
Points Last Gameweek: 24.5
Prospects: Fulham have been in good form recently and were rewarded with a clean sheet in their dominant midweek performance over Aston Villa. A major factor to their recent success has been the form of Leno in goal. The former Arsenal keeper has made at least four saves in each of his starts in October and scored no less than 6 points in any match, including the 4-1 defeat to Newcastle at the beginning of the month. The Cottagers travel to Elland Road to take on a Leeds side that has lost all of its attacking momentum in recent weeks.
DEF: Manuel Akanji
Team: Man City
Opponent: Brighton (home)
Points Last Gameweek: N/A
Projected GW13 Points: 6.5
Prospects: Rostership of the non-essential City assets (pretty much their non-Cancelo defenders) took a bit of a plunge given their GW11 fixture against Liverpool and their blank midweek. That means players who typically aren't available for selection in the Sleepers XI may be available in your leagues for the weekend fixture against a Brighton team that is short on goals. The news that John Stones is back in training may mean a shake-up is on the horizon in the near future, but Akanji should be a safe starter for one more week at least. He's not the biggest threat in terms of ghost points, but it's hard to bet against City responding in style to their loss last time out.
DEF: Liam Cooper
Opponent: Fulham (home)
Points Last Gameweek: 13.5
Projected GW13 Points: 9.2
Prospects: On the other end of the ghost point spectrum is Cooper, who somehow managed 13.5 ghost points as a halftime substitute midweek. Leeds are in dire form at the moment, but historically speaking Cooper's ability to rack up counting stats helps offset any negative impacts caused by his team's inability to perform to the standards required. The club captain should be set for a recall to the first team in place of either Koch or Llorente, likely the former.
DEF: Vitalii Mykolenko
Opponent: Crystal Palace (home)
Points Last Gameweek: 0.5
Projected GW13 Points: 7.0
Prospects: Defenders are getting a lot of love from me this week as there are quite a few fixtures that look like they could result in clean sheets for one or even both sides. Both Everton and Crystal Palace have struggled to produce much in an attacking sense of late, so each set of defenders will be hoping they can keep their opposition at bay. Mykolenko has suffered a bit of a dip in form alongside the rest of his team this month, but has shown previously that he can deliver a solid floor of ghost points in matchups where the Toffees have a fair share of possession. As DCL gets back up to speed, there's also the potential for more crossing opportunities, which suits the Ukranian fullback's style of play.
DEF: Ethan Pinnock
Opponent: Aston Villa (away)
Points Last Gameweek: 12.75
Projected GW13 Points: 8.1
Prospects: Managers who picked up Pinnock around the international break following the news of his imminent return to fitness would have been massively disappointed by his first outing of the year, where he conceded 5 goals and scored an own goal on the way to -5.75 points. You wouldn't be blamed for booting him straight back to the free agent pool. But anyone who did keep the faith or swooped in to pick up the Jamaican after the horror show has been treated to consecutive (positive) double-digit displays. There's a bit of uncertainty as to whether the center back can start three matches in the space of a week following his injury layoff, but Thomas Frank doesn't have a huge number of solid options at his disposal, particularly ahead of a winnable but perhaps tricky match against an Aston Villa side coming off the sacking of Steven Gerrard.
DEF: Takehiro Tomiyasu
Opponent: Southampton (away)
Points Last Gameweek: N/A
Projected GW13 Points: 9.1
Prospects: Mikel Arteta has been giving us his best Pep Guardiola impression in pressers recently, playing coy over the availability of his injured players. He refused to be drawn on whether Oleksandr Zinchenko was back in contention for a start for this weekend's match on the south coast, so there's a slight possibility the Ukranian reclaims his place at left back. A spot on the bench seems the likelier scenario, though, so I am tipping Tomiyasu to get the nod yet again. Longer term, this position looks to be an unwelcome selection headache, with any of the aforementioned pair and Kieran Tierney vying for a starting berth. The fact that Tierney played the full 90 in the Europa League tie on Thursday while Tomiyasu was given a quarter hour's rest is what's tipping the scales in the Japanese defender's favor for me at the moment.
MID: Said Benrahma
Team: West Ham
Opponent: Bournemouth (home)
Points Last Gameweek: 2.5
Projected GW13 Points: 11.8
Prospects: The collarbone injury suffered by Lucas Paqueta in GW11 has opened up a spot in the West Ham midfield ahead of their home fixture against the Cherries on Monday. While it was youngster Flynn Downes that David Moyes called on to face Liverpool midweek, I expect him to go for a more attack-minded option against Bournemouth. Benrahma was the first player off the bench last match and was a bright spark for the Hammers, who were unlucky not to score. The Algerian should be given the chance to impress from the start in GW13, but be aware that this is the last fixture of the week, so you will be very limited in your options to pivot to in the event he's on the bench yet again.
MID: Harvey Elliott
Opponent: Nottingham Forest (away)
Points Last Gameweek: -0.5
Projected GW13 Points: 10.4
Prospects: Usually when I have a holdover from one week to the next, it's because they performed well in the previous week. Not so with Elliott, who was not selected to start against West Ham in midweek and didn't get up to a whole lot of anything in his substitute appearance. The quick turnaround works in the youngster's favor, though, and I expect him to get a start this weekend against bottom-of-the-table Nottingham Forest. Elliott could even be deployed in the right midfield/right wing role in the new 4-4-2/4-2-3-1 formation Klopp has shifted to in recent weeks, which would allow him to get more involved in the attacking aspects of the game.
MID: Joe Willock
Opponent: Tottenham (away)
Points Last Gameweek: 4.5
Projected GW13 Points: 9.0
Prospects: Consecutive bench appearances mean former Sleepers XI "graduate" Willock is back under the rostership threshold this weekend. A late fixture against seemingly difficult opposition would seemingly be working against his selection, but we've just witnessed the difficulty this Tottenham side have in containing attacking midfielders. With some injury concerns over Joelinton, Willock should earn a recall to a Newcastle team that has seemingly hit its stride despite a raft of injuries.
FWD: Jordan Ayew
Team: Crystal Palace
Opponent: Everton (away)
Points Last Gameweek: 1.5
Projected GW13 Points: 8.6
Prospects: As usual, the forward positions feel like the most difficult to get right. There just aren't very many reliable or high upside options available, which makes sense given the scarcity at the position in general. Taking that into consideration, I could be left to rue my calls up top like I was with Mara and Undav last week. I'm hopeful, though, that Ayew will make a return to the Palace lineup following a brief rest midweek. Patrick Vieira has played the Ghanaian consistently this season, though the return to fitness of Michael Olise has complicated matters on the right flank, where he typically operates. We have seen both players on the pitch at the same time, however, which is perhaps cause for optimism. As mentioned above, Everton have seen a dip in form recently, while Palace will be looking to build upon a rare win in GW12.
Opponent: Leeds (away)
Points Last Gameweek: 15.5
Projected GW13 Points: 9.4
Prospects: There's really not much in the way of a better upside option under the 60% rostered mark this week than Willian, who looks more like the player he was at Chelsea than at Arsenal. A very solid 14.5 ghost points against Aston Villa is reason enough to buy in to the Brazilian attacker ahead of a match against a similarly poor Leeds side, but the complicating factor (because there almost always is one with lower-rostered players) is whether he is fit enough to start another match just a few days later. There are enough other matches kicking off at the same time or later this week that you should be able to find another player to stream in a pinch, if need be, but hopefully you won't need to and Willian continues his excellent fantasy form for another week.
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!
Hugo Bueno, Defender, Wolves. Opponent: Leicester City
Kostas Tsimikas, Defender, Liverpool. Opponent: Nottingham Forest
Emiliano Buendia, Midfielder, Aston Villa. Opponent: Brentford
Mikkel Damsgaard, Midfielder, Brentford. Opponent: Aston Villa
Eddie Nketiah, Forward, Arsenal. Opponent: Southampton
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