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Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 16 Sleepers XI

Our Gameweek 16 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 16 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, I'll take form, fixtures, projected points and a healthy dose of intuition into account to make my selections.

We're just one week away from the World Cup break and an extended period away from our Draft Premier League fantasy teams (unless you plan on satisfying your fantasy itch with trade negotiations). I personally plan on stepping back and enjoying the matches without the anxiety over how well or how poorly individual players perform. I can instead just be disappointed in the U.S. as a collective!

Gameweek 15 was a relative success with a pretty solid 80.25 points, though it must be stated the majority came from Sleepers XI mainstay Morgan Gibbs-White and burgeoning fantasy favorite Kaoru Mitoma. While both of them remain under the 60% rostership threshold heading into this week, I'm going to turn my attention elsewhere to try and highlight some less popular options. That said, please don't sleep on these guys if they're still available to be added to your roster.

Before I go into fantasy hibernation, let's take a look through the free agent pool to see who might be available in your leagues to help you get a win to start your hiatus on a high.

GK: Vicente Guaita

Team: Crystal Palace

Opponent: Nottingham Forest (away)

Rostered: 22%

Points Last Gameweek: 0

Prospects: On the surface, choosing the keeper playing against the bottom side in the league may look like I'm banking on a clean sheet, but I try to avoid making that bet generally when coming up with my recommendations. It's never a good feeling to be counting on a significant number of points that can turn into a negative score in an instant. The fact that Forest have only scored 10 league goals does speak to the potential for that coveted clean sheet bonus, but I'm actually recommending Guaita because of the relative uptick in attacking output from his opposition in their recent matches (including their 2-0 win over Spurs in the EFL Cup midweek). The players finally appear to be learning how to play together and creating chances, which I believe will lead to a decent number of save points for the Palace keeper.

DEF: Ibrahima Konate

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: Southampton (home)

Rostered: 50%

Points Last Gameweek: 11.25

Projected GW16 Points: 10.2

Prospects: Despite their slow start, Liverpool aren't as far off of the top four as media reports would have you think. The return to fitness of Konate may help them kick on, particularly as they search for more defensive solidity. With Joe Gomez getting the start alongside a reserve team in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday, I feel confident the young Frenchman will retain his starting role alongside Virgil van Dijk. It's uncertain at the moment who will be managing Southampton this weekend, but they have historically been a good opponent for center backs to face given their penchant for playing long balls from the back. It remains to be seen if that happens this weekend, but even if not, Konate was a ghost point king against Tottenham in GW15. He could even stake a claim on the starting role ahead of Matip if he continues to perform well.

DEF: Clement Lenglet

Team: Tottenham

Opponent: Leeds United (home)

Rostered: 20%

Points Last Gameweek: 0.5

Projected GW16 Points: 8.0

Prospects: This week feels like a particularly difficult one to select potentially high-scoring defenders that are lower rostered. The projections actually bear that out as well, with Lenglet coming in as the fifth highest projected defender among the available options, despite his comparatively low projected score of 8 points. Tottenham's defense has not been anywhere near as strong as expected from an Antonio Conte team so far this season, and there hasn't been a standout fantasy player at the center back position. The most central of the back three has tended to score better than the other two, however, and Lenglet has recently been deployed there when Ben Davies and Eric Dier are also in the lineup. I believe that will be the case for the home tie with Leeds. With Spurs seeing the return to fitness of some key players, I'm anticipating an uptick in their form.

DEF: Harry Maguire

Team: Manchester United

Opponent: Fulham (away)

Rostered: 23%

Points Last Gameweek: N/A

Projected GW16 Points: 7.9

Prospects: With Diogo Dalot suspended for the match against Fulham due to yellow card accumulation, there's a chance for one of United's less favored defenders to make their case for future inclusion to Erik ten Hag. Maguire was selected when Lindelof was injured a few gameweeks ago, and I think he'll earn a recall, with the Swede moving to right back. The English center back hasn't been at his fantasy best for a while, but showed glimpses of his potential with a 13-point performance in the 1-0 win over West Ham. At the time of writing United had not yet been in action in the Carabao Cup, so be sure to check on the team for hints at ETH's potential selection. Tyrell Malacia could be a decent pivot if it looks like Maguire won't get the start this weekend, but in either case be aware this match is the final game of the week, so you won't have much in the way of options as your backup plan.

MID: James Garner

Team: Everton

Opponent: Bournemouth (away)

Rostered: 1%

Points Last Gameweek: 0.5

Projected GW16 Points: 7.3

Prospects: My midfield selections this week feature two pairs of players facing each other this weekend in what I believe will be fairly open matches. Everton - Bournemouth doesn't sound like a particularly exciting game at face value, but both teams have been offering up plenty of points to their opposition all over the pitch. Everton is dealing with a mini injury crisis at the moment, with question marks around Onana, Gueye and DCL. Given the likely absence of at least one of the central midfielders, I like Garner's chances of being called on from the start in this one. He is likely to take some set pieces while he's on the pitch, which is always a positive for potential fantasy points.

MID: Adam Lallana

Team: Brighton

Opponent: Aston Villa (home)

Rostered: 5%

Points Last Gameweek: 22.5

Projected GW16 Points: 7.8

Prospects: The other "featured fixture" for my midfield selections is the decidedly more exciting on-paper tie between Villa and Brighton. Albion have taken to Roberto De Zerbi's tactics like a seagull to the beach (did I just make up an expression? Maybe it'll catch on), scoring multiple goals against the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal since his appointment. The possession-based system plays directly into Lallana's strengths, and the former Liverpool and Southampton man has reignited his career and fantasy relevance. He may be the man to lose out if De Zerbi restores Danny Welbeck to the starting eleven, but given Lallana's form and Welbeck's inclusion in the cup, I think we'll see another run out for the veteran midfielder. Don't expect another 20-pointer, but the fact that the potential is there makes him an enticing option if you missed the Mitoma train.

MID: Jacob Ramsey

Team: Aston Villa

Opponent: Brighton (away)

Rostered: 51%

Points Last Gameweek: 22.5

Projected GW16 Points: 6.1

Prospects: On the flip side of the Brighton-Villa match, there were encouraging signs for Ramsey to continue as a first-team player under Unai Emery. It wasn't clear who the new manager would opt for in midfield, but with Coutinho out injured and McGinn still seemingly out of form and/or favor, Ramsey took his chance well, with a stellar 22.5 points despite scoring an own goal. Even if Emery was planning on sticking with the players who had been regular starters while he got to know his new squad, it's hard to imagine he'll drop a player who scored and assisted twice in his last match. Brighton are tough opponents, but I still think Ramsey has the potential to outscore his projected points this weekend.

MID: Marcus Tavernier

Team: Bournemouth

Opponent: Everton (home)

Rostered: 22%

Points Last Gameweek: 34.5

Projected GW16 Points: 9.7

Prospects: I've featured Tavernier in the Sleepers XI previously and he's done okay, but he finally delivered the type of performance I knew he was capable of in GW15. He is easily the most dangerous player on the pitch for Bournemouth in most matches with his dribbling ability and dominance of set pieces. I really like his chances of continuing his good form against Everton this weekend. If he is not available in your league, Lewis Cook is less explosive but has quietly been putting in some very solid performances as well and could be a good option if you're looking to maintain a lead rather than chasing your opponent.

FWD: Brennan Johnson

Team: Nottingham Forest

Opponent: Crystal Palace (home)

Rostered: 46%

Points Last Gameweek: 8.5

Projected GW16 Points: 7.2

Prospects: The forward pool has been incredibly shallow this season, making it near impossible to find more than a handful of available options that are worth consideration. Surprisingly, I'm returning to three strikers this week. Johnson was benched by Steve Cooper a couple weeks back after some disappointing performances, but was restored to the starting lineup in GW15 and looked much more lively. The front three of Johnson, Gibbs-White and Dennis looks like it could be the preferred trio for now, and I like any of the three this week to come through with a good fantasy score against Palace. Johnson feels slightly more assured of a start to me than Dennis and is projected to score slightly better, hence my decision to opt for him over the former Watford man.

FWD: Neal Maupay

Team: Everton

Opponent: Bournemouth (away)

Rostered: 19%

Points Last Gameweek: 0.5

Projected GW16 Points: 7.7

Prospects: It's more Everton-Bournemouth up top (cue the inevitable 0-0 bore draw), where I'm tipping Maupay to be dangerous as he fills in for the injured (again) Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Maupay has historically been extremely goal-dependent for his fantasy points, but surprised all of us earlier this season with 10 ghost points in the Merseyside derby. He's reverted to form in the few starts he's managed since then, but with Bournemouth giving up 13 points on average to opposition forwards, I'm backing him to deliver for fantasy managers this weekend. Just be prepared for 11 of those points coming from scoring a goal and the possibility of his score being the remaining 2 points if he doesn't get on the scoresheet.

FWD: Kieffer Moore

Team: Bournemouth

Opponent: Everton (home)

Rostered: 5%

Points Last Gameweek: 2.5

Projected GW16 Points: 9.6

Prospects: Finally, I've chosen Moore as a very under-the-radar fantasy pick at the forward position. His 2.5 points last week were a massive disappointment coming off of his brace against Spurs in GW14, but I have faith in the big man rediscovering his scoring form against the Toffees. Moore started the season well for the Cherries, but was dropped at the end of August with the return to fitness of Dominic Solanke. Gary O'Neil recently discovered he can play both of them in the same team to good effect, though, and I think Moore will keep his place ahead of Ryan Christie for this one.

The Reserves

If you're playing on Fantrax with Live Lineup Changes, you may also wish to consider the below high risk, high reward type players. If any of these guys get a surprise start this week, snap them up and plug them into your starting eleven!

  • Matt Doherty, Defender, Tottenham. Opponent: Leeds United

  • Joe Gomez, Defender, Liverpool. Opponent: Southampton

  • Dwight McNeil, Midfielder, Everton. Opponent: Bournemouth

  • Lucas Moura, Midfielder, Tottenham. Opponent: Leeds United

  • Odsonne Edouard, Forward, Crystal Palace. Opponent: Nottingham Forest

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