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Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 2 Sleepers XI

Our Gameweek 2 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 2 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!

The inaugural Sleepers XI of the 22/23 season put up a more than respectable 107.75 points in GW1. Will the recruits for GW2 be able to better their predecessors? Now that we've got some (admittedly limited) historical data to refer to, as well as weekly player projections, we'll have more information to rely on to justify our decisions. There's certainly a gut-call element to some of these picks as well. Let's get to it.

GK: Dean Henderson

Team: Nottingham Forest

Opponent: West Ham (Home)

Rostered: 49%

Points Last Gameweek: 12.5

Prospects: Despite conceding two goals, Henderson put up the fourth highest score among all goalkeepers in GW1, bolstered by his 7 saves against Newcastle. The loanee made waves in the build-up to the opening match by openly criticizing his parent club, Manchester United, for promising him the number one spot throughout pre-season last year only to keep him in the reserves behind David De Gea all year. Henderson clearly feels he has a point to prove, and is off to a great start. Forest look like a team who will be heavily relying on him to save a high percentage of the many, many shots they'll be conceding. If he can stay anywhere close to the 78% save percentage he managed last week, he'll be a set-and-forget keeper all season, regardless of opponent. Pick him up now before your other league mates catch on.

DEF: Nathan Ake

Team: Man City

Opponent: Bournemouth (Home)

Rostered: 50%

Points Last Gameweek: 12.5

Projected GW2 Points: 10.5

Prospects: I like the challenge of putting together a completely new team week over week, but I'd be remiss not to include Ake again this week given his solid outing in GW1 and the mouthwatering fixture against Bournemouth. The Cherries surprised nearly everyone with their opening week victory over Aston Villa, but the defending Premier League champions represent an entirely different type of challenge, and I don't see them having the quality to be competitive in this one. The Dutch center back didn't put a foot wrong against West Ham, so he should stave off the challenge of John Stones for at least another week, and will look to add to his clean sheet tally against his former club this weekend.

DEF: Vladimir Coufal

Team: West Ham

Opponent: Nottingham Forest (Away)

Rostered: 54%

Points Last Gameweek: 4.25

Projected GW2 Points: 8.8

Prospects: Considering Man City's dominance over West Ham in GW1, with certain portions of the match looking like a training session for the Sky Blues, I was pleasantly surprised to see Coufal put up more than 8 ghost points. The right back will face a much less demanding opponent this week in Nottingham Forest, and has the potential for returns on both sides of the ball. The Hammers' schedule turns relatively poor again in the coming weeks, so this may not be a long-term play, but the Czech is a solid streamer in weeks where his ghost point output can offset any goals conceded. That should be the case this week.

DEF: Rasmus Kristensen

Team: Leeds United

Opponent: Southampton (Away)

Rostered: 36%

Points Last Gameweek: 6

Projected GW2 Points: 8.3

Prospects: I had built up a lot of anticipation to watch Rasmus play for Leeds on the opening weekend after researching him for my Leeds Team Preview, and he didn't disappoint, getting involved in the action up and down the pitch against Wolves. Despite being robbed of a clear penalty when Jose Sa rammed an elbow into his eye, Kristensen still put up a solid, if unspectacular, score to open his Premier League fantasy account. When he's not reeling from concussive force to his head, I think he'll be even more of a threat. He'll continue to link up with his former Salzburg teammate Brenden Aaronson on the right flank, who also shone in the win over Wolves despite not seeing the fantasy points to support his performance. If the fantasy output starts to match his on-field performances, we'll see Kristensen's rostership skyrocket.

DEF: Kenny Tete

Team: Fulham

Opponent: Wolves (Away)

Rostered: 4%

Points Last Gameweek: 13.25

Projected GW2 Points: 8.1

Prospects: A former fantasy darling from the last time Fulham were in the Prem, Tete picked up where he left off with an all-action display against Liverpool. His score includes an assist for the inch-perfect cross he played for Aleksandar Mitrovic to head home over TAA. But it's worth noting he also conceded twice and picked up a yellow card. In other words, he put in work to deliver a bunch of ghost points despite facing off against Andrew Robertson and Luis Diaz. With Kevin Mbabu arriving from Wolfsburg, there is at least a threat to his starting role, but it's hard to see him losing his spot just yet after Fulham's very promising display against the Reds. We're yet to get a taste of how the Cottagers will perform away from home, but it's a gamble worth taking for the upside potential. If Tete is benched, you could certainly do worse than Antonee Robinson or even Mbabu as a back-up option this week against a goal-shy Wolves outfit.

MID: Moises Caicedo

Team: Brighton

Opponent: Newcastle (Home)

Rostered: 13%

Points Last Gameweek: 13

Projected GW2 Points: 7.6

Prospects: There wasn't a huge dataset to explore when assessing whether Caicedo would be a valuable fantasy asset heading into this season, with the Ecuadorian only starting 8 matches for Brighton last season. It looks like he could be in for a breakout season, though, with Yves Bissouma's departure to Spurs opening up a starting role for him at the base of the Seagulls' midfield. Caicedo didn't disappoint in the opener against Man United, delivering a massive 13 ghost points in their impressive victory. It feels strange to say but Newcastle is now a more difficult opponent to face than the Red Devils, particularly in midfield, so Caicedo may have a bit less involvement on the attacking side. That said, he could also see an increase in defensive contributions. I'm not expecting 10+ points per start over the course of the season, but if you can pick up Caicedo and monitor his performances over the next couple weeks, you could find yourself with a reliable MID4 to roster rest of season.

MID: Moussa Djenepo

Team: Southampton

Opponent: Leeds United (Home)

Rostered: 1%

Points Last Gameweek: 12

Projected GW2 Points: 8.2

Prospects:  As was the case with my Miguel Almiron selection last week, I'm loathe to include Djenepo here given his past history of disappointment. Miggy restored some faith last week, so I'm hoping the Malian can do the same this time around. Djenepo has been lining up at left wing-back for the Saints in pre-season and in their opener against Tottenham, and came through with a brilliant assist for JWP in GW1. While Southampton didn't do a whole lot of note after that, I think Djenepo could find some more attacking joy in behind the very attack-minded Kristensen in this match (and hopefully not too many dispossessions). I am anticipating an open match with goals on both sides, but as a midfielder he also doesn't have the downside of negative points for goals conceded that his counterpart, Kyle Walker-Peters, does on on the right. If the fit-again Romain Perraud does return to take the LWB role from Djenepo, you may also find Joe Aribo available for selection in your league. The new arrival has been taking up some advanced positions when Southampton are on the front foot and could be involved in any goals the Saints can manage against the Whites this weekend.

MID: Alex Iwobi

Team: Everton

Opponent: Aston Villa (Away)

Rostered: 19%

Points Last Gameweek: 7

Projected GW2 Points: 8.0

Prospects: One of the few bright spots in the very dull Chelsea-Everton match in GW1, Iwobi actually underperformed my expectations from a fantasy perspective. He was all over the pitch, composed defensively and threatening offensively, and I would have put him closer to double digits based on the eye test. Whether or not this is a trend is something to monitor, but the Toffees have a chance to rebound from their disappointing defeat against fellow strugglers Aston Villa in GW2. The addition of Amadou Onana introduces a bit of uncertainty in the middle of the park, but Iwobi has been a mainstay under Lampard and it would be a surprise to see him supplanted by the Belgian. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that Onana's arrival boosts Iwobi's fantasy value as he'll be freed to be more involved in the attacking build-up. That may not happen just yet, but is something to keep in the back of your mind, particularly if you are able to pick up the Nigerian this week.

FWD: Hwang Hee-Chan

Team: Wolves

Opponent: Fulham (Home)

Rostered: 22%

Points Last Gameweek: 15.5

Projected GW2 Points: 8.2

Prospects: Heading into this season, I wasn't sure if we'd even see Hwang in the starting lineup at all, but the long-term injury to Raul Jimenez and a late scratch for Joao Moutinho in GW1 meant the South Korean was called into action from the off. Working in a more fluid attacking system with the trio of Neto, Podence and Gibbs-White worked wonders for the striker, who was far less isolated than in his stints leading the line last season. The "bull" put in a typically hardworking performance, delivering a great ball for Podence's volleyed goal and harrying defenders in possession the entire time he was on the pitch. While his time as a starter may be short-lived with the arrival of Gonçalo Guedes, I believe he'll get another run-out at the Molineux against Fulham, and should again be a nuisance for their soon-to-be-replaced center back pairing of Ream and Adarabioyo.

FWD: Rodrigo Moreno

Team: Leeds United

Opponent: Southampton (Away)

Rostered: 53%

Points Last Gameweek: 12.5

Projected GW2 Points: 10.3

Prospects: The second of two returnees to the Sleepers XI is another whose time as a starter may be drawing to a close. Rodrigo got on the scoresheet against Wolves, but didn't do a whole lot else before being replaced around the 65 minute mark. While he didn't contribute much in the way of ghost points, Rodrigo has historically been less reliant on goal involvements than the league average (32% GACS reliance vs. the average of 38%), so he may find more opportunities for points against a leaky Saints defense that shipped four goals in the opening match. If he does put up another double-digit score, look to deal him out on a high before Luis Sinisterra makes his way back to full fitness and claims his starting role.

FWD: Danny Welbeck

Team: Brighton

Opponent: Newcastle (Home)

Rostered: 46%

Points Last Gameweek: 19

Projected GW2 Points: 9.3

Prospects: Perhaps due to his injury history, or his early-season numbers from last season masking his end-of-season form, Welbeck has flown under the radar at the start of the 22/23 campaign. The former Manchester United man got one over on his old club with a brilliant attacking display, including an assist to Pascal Gross. His 19 points should have perhaps been even more, as he was on the receiving end of a foul by Scott McTominay in the penalty box that was mysteriously waved off. Welbz dominated at the end of last season, with scores of 18.5, 27, 9, 15.5 and 25 in his last five games. He appears to be in the best shape of his life and, if last week is anything to go by, primed to continue his great form into the new campaign. A stingy Newcastle defense will test his resolve, but he's a must-add if he's still available in your league.

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!

  • Calum Chambers, Defender, Aston Villa. Opponent: Everton

  • Manuel Lanzini, Midfielder, West Ham. Opponent: Nottingham Forest

  • Harvey Elliott, Midfielder, Liverpool. Opponent: Crystal Palace

  • Eddie Nketiah, Forward, Arsenal. Opponent: Leicester City

  • Adama Traore, Forward, Wolves. Opponent: Fulham

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