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Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 18 Perfect XI

The Perfect XI format of Fantasy EPL on Fantrax is going to take the community by storm. Fact. Our good friends at DPLCommLeague have brought the concept over to Fantrax, and it is sensational. We're here to provide Draft Premier League managers with our very own Perfect XI tips for each gameweek. Details of the concept and rules can be found here!

Check out DPLCommLeague for further information on the format, regular updates on the latest standings, as well as information on how you can enter.

Fantasy EPL Gameweek 18 Perfect XI

So, what is Perfect XI? Similar to Official Fantasy Premier League game, all managers have full access to the entire player pool each week, meaning multiple teams within the league could be completely identical. The main departures from OFPL are the Fantrax Default Scoring, unlimited transfers each week, no budget/salary cap, and live lineup changes available. This means that each week you can select a dream team of Fantrax assets who you think will score the most points on a given gameweek, and have the added bonus of being able to see the real life lineups before your players lock in. Magic.

Check out our Perfect XI tips below. These are our recommendations for the best eleven players this weekend! Picks are now accompanied by our weekly projections, which our Inner Circle members can exclusively access. Due to the tight scheduling, these will be a bit abridged for a couple weeks.

*Only 5 games this week and always a chance 1 of the 5 gets cancelled, so it may be better to load up on players playing in the early games if possible. Liverpool vs Spurs being the last game makes it the riskiest, but ideally we'd hear about any cancellations at least a couple hours before. I will include both a normal pivot, generally from the same team, and a pivot from a different game to be extra safe*

GK: Aaron Ramsdale

Team: Arsenal

Opponent: Leeds (Away)

Projected Fantasy Points: ~7 (GK projections to come)

Mendy, Alisson, and Ederson all have better clean sheet odds, but I like Ramsdale and his 36% odds this week, as he's about to play a severely hurting Leeds team, that just got blown out 7-0 by City, and lost at least 3 of their starters from that game to injury. They still forced 3 saves from Ederson (of total XG 0.22), so its reasonable to expect they'll get some shots off vs the Gunners, but Ramsdale's in form right now and I don't expect immaculate finishing from a team likely lead by Joe Gelhardt up top (an exciting 19 year old prospect no doubt, but no Martinelli).

Pivot: Ederson or Nick Pope

DEF: Trent Alexander Arnold

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: Tottenham (Away)

Projected Fantasy Points: 14.5

Once again, the best scoring fantasy defender in the game, averaging an impressive 19 points a game, don't overthink this one. This week, Trent has a 62% chance of keeping a clean sheet, 31% chance of assisting, and 12% chance of scoring. (Notice how this paragraph always stays the same outside of 3 or 4 numbers? Yeah, me too)

Pivot: Andrew Robertson/Konstantinos Tsimikas or Matthew Cash

DEF: Joao Cancelo

Team: Manchester City

Opponent: Newcastle (Away)

Projected Fantasy Points: 15.5

Like the aforementioned Liverpool RB, it's hard to bench Cancelo. He scores phenomenally well offensively, has the 2nd most points of any Fantrax defender, and has a 58% chance of keeping a clean sheet, 22% chance of assisting and 15% chance of scoring. If he doesn't start for some reason, I'd likely go straight to Zinchenko or a second Chelsea or Liverpool fullback.

Pivot: Oleksandr Zinchenko or Takehiro Tomiyasu

DEF: Reece James

Team: Chelsea

Opponent: Wolves (Away)

Projected Fantasy Points: 13.4

Reece vs Alonso is really a tossup again here for me, and I think including both is certainly viable, but I'm going to go with James again. After a cool patch, the right wing back came alive again last week for a nice 25.5 fantasy points. Meanwhile, Alonso continued his pesky habit of getting subbed early (for Saul too). This week, James has a 50% chance of a clean sheet, 22% chance of assisting, and 13% chance of scoring.

Pivot: Marcos Alonso or James Tarkoswki

MID: Kevin De Bruyne

Team: Manchester City

Opponent: Newcastle (Away)

Projected Fantasy Points: 17.9

KDB came storming back last week, and he (and I) are tired of the disrespect (of him). The man is one of the best midfielders in the world, is playing a poor Newcastle side, and has the highest assist odds at 43% of any player this weekend. Throw in 38% goal odds in a game that City is expected to score around 3 goals by the oddsmakers, and I'll take that every day of the week from a player who should cruise to 10 ghosts.

Pivot: Ilkay Gundogan or Dwight McNeil

MID: Phil Foden

Team: Manchester City

Opponent: Newcastle (Away)

Projected Fantasy Points: 18.0

Like KDB, Foden will likely be part of a City attack scoring multiple vs Howe's side. He scored a very nice 32.5 last gameweek, and a repeat is not out of the question. 44% likely to score and 33% likely to assist. If Foden is benched, I'd go straight to Grealish. (And you can play them both if they start but I tend to think they do not).

Pivot: Jack Grealish or Raphinha

MID: Mason Mount

Team: Chelsea

Opponent: Wolves (Away)

Projected Fantasy Points: 13.7

Mase is hot as can be, scoring goals in all of his last 4 starts (along with 2 assists for good measure). He's also back on corners. Chelsea, on the other hand, have not been particularly hot, and losing 3 of their attackers to COVID did not help. Let's hope Havertz back helps the offense, but regardless if Chelsea do anything, Mount should be involved. 26% chance of scoring and 29% chance of assisting according to the bookies.

Pivot: Hakim Ziyech or Gabriel Martinelli

MID: Martin Odegaard

Team: Arsenal

Opponent: Leeds (Away)

Projected Fantasy Points: 12.5

This is a stranger one compared to the rest of our picks. There's a couple reasons I like Odegaard. 1) Arsenal play on Saturday so far less risky if the game gets cancelled (compared to picking a Liverpool or another City/Chelsea mid). 2) Leeds are in a particularly bad stretch, and look likely to concede multiple goals to Arsenal 3) Odegaard has scored 8.5, 8, 10.5, 11.5, and 7.5 ghost points in his last 5 starts which is quite impressive, particularly against teams better than Leeds. So his floor is squarely there, as well as his upside: 25% chance of scoring and 15% chance of assisting.

Pivot: Bukayo Saka or Dwight McNeil

FWD: Mohamed Salah

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: Tottenham (Away)

Projected Fantasy Points: 17.2

Salah is the best player in the Premier League right now, the highest scoring player in Fantrax, and has a 51% chance of scoring and a 24% chance of assisting. Just do it.

Pivot: Dioga Jota or Ollie Watkins

FWD: Raheem Sterling

Team: Manchester City

Opponent: Newcastle (Away)

Projected Fantasy Points: 16.9

Another week to roster City attackers with multiple return upside. If Sterling starts (unlike last week), I like him the most, predominantly because he's been the hottest lately. He has the highest goal odds of any City player with 46% (and a 25% chance of assisting).

Pivot: Riyad Mahrez or Alexandre Lacazette

FWD: Gabriel Jesus

Team: Manchester City

Opponent: Newcastle (Away)

Projected Fantasy Points: 16.3

This 3rd forward spot is again interesting. I imagine most managers will have Salah and 1 City forward (at least). Then with the 3rd pick, they may be tempted by a Watkins who popped off vs Norwich last week and has an easier matchup in Burnley. They might be tempted by Lacazette vs a poor Leeds team or the red-hot Dioga Jota vs COVID-recovering Spurs. All valid options, and all could work out (although I do think Watkins is a trap). I'm opting for a second City forward in a game I think they win by a lot. Whoever gets the start between Jesus and Mahrez works for me (or tripling up on City midfielders if neither do). Jesus has 44% chance of scoring and a 31% chance of assisting.

Pivot: Sadio Mane or Danny Ings

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