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Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 24 Sleepers XI

Our Gameweek 24 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 24 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.

Looking back at Gameweek 23, it was the first display I'd call a disappointment since the resumption of play after the World Cup. The Sleepers squad only managed to put up 69 points, due in part to some unexpected benchings and a few shockingly low scores (looking at your 1-pointers, Messrs. Doucoure and Tete). That total isn't too far off my season target weekly average of 75 points, though. I'm still on track to exceed that target at the moment, with the 1921.25 total points good for a weekly average of around 87.25 points.

Things may be about to take a turn, though I hope it will be for the overall benefit of everyone in the community. We've received some good feedback recently on Twitter and Discord that the rostership percentages generated by Fantrax aren't as helpful as they could be, given that they apply to ALL Fantrax DraftPL leagues, regardless of activity (meaning those mock drafts you took part in during pre-season are still being counted if the leagues haven't been deleted).

We've always known this wasn't an exact science, but hearing from members of the community that particularly active leagues aren't finding our recommendations useful because those players are much more highly rostered than their rostership percentage suggests means some additional consideration is in order when making those selections. My score for Sleepers XI each week doesn't matter if you don't stand to benefit from the recommendations.

With that in mind, this week I've opted not to include many of the exciting January signings (Kamaldeen Sulemana, Hamed Traore, Dango Ouattara, and Wout Weghorst were all in my original draft), and players who have recently become fantasy-relevant (Luke Ayling and Evan Ferguson, too) that still fall below the 60% rostered mark in an effort to highlight players who are more realistically available in your leagues. That said, if any of the aforementioned players are on your waiver wire this week, I'd prioritize bringing them in over just about any one of the picks below.

We will explore some possible solutions and see if we can get them implemented in the future (in fact, Joe already came up with a good idea for a fix). Thank you all for continuing to share your feedback on how we can improve our offerings. We appreciate you!

Without further ado, here are my revised Sleepers for Gameweek 24:

GK: Neto

Team: Bournemouth

Opponent: Wolves (away)

Rostered: 4%

Points Last Gameweek: 12

Prospects: This may be just a one-week play with Bournemouth set to face Man City and Arsenal in the upcoming gameweeks. But for a streaming keeper option I like Neto's prospects this week. Wolves have been much improved under Julen Lopetegui and may end up putting a goal or two past the newly appointed captain for the Cherries, but a quick look at the Brazilian's recent performances reveals that Neto can deliver promising fantasy scores even without keeping a clean sheet. Scores of 12, 11.5, and 10.75 across the last three games while conceding are a great indicator that he's worth drafting into your team.

DEF: Stefan Bajcetic

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: Newcastle (away)

Rostered: 17%

Points Last Gameweek: 17.75

Projected GW 24 Points: 6.2

Prospects: Coming into the season, only the most attuned Liverpool fans would have been aware of Stefan Bajcetic. Fast forward to last weekend's Merseyside derby and Mo Salah is hailing the youngster as the best player since he broke into the squad in January. The holding midfielder has shone a spotlight on Liverpool's deficiencies in the engine room and what could have been had they prioritized reinvigorating their central midfield in either of this season's transfer windows. Thankfully for Liverpool, Bajcetic has filled the proverbial "like a new signing" role. Depending on how you look at it, the youngster has either the benefit or the downside of being listed as a defender in Fantrax. It certainly helped his score last week with the Reds keeping a rare clean sheet, but will it be more of a detractor in a tougher fixture against Newcastle? The good news for anyone who can draft in the teenager is that he's putting up solid ghost points. Oh, and he's got a double gameweek on the horizon too, which should add to his appeal.

DEF: Emerson

Team: West Ham

Opponent: Tottenham (away)

Rostered: 7%

Points Last Gameweek: 15

Projected GW 24 Points: 3.6

Prospects: One of the inevitable outcomes of the selection decision I outlined above is that there will be fewer players available who meet my self-imposed qualification of 6 or more projected points for the game week. That's not to say there aren't quite a few players who are projected to score higher than Emerson's paltry 3.6 this week, but none of them struck my fancy. Consider the West Ham fullback my hunch pick of the week, though to be fair his scores since establishing himself as the starting left wingback help make my case. The match up against Tottenham is a good reason for the low projection, but I like Emerson (the non-Royal variety) as a high-upside punt against a Spurs team that hasn't quite been hitting their usual heights recently.

DEF: Nelson Semedo

Team: Wolverhampton

Opponent: Bournemouth (home)

Rostered: 18%

Points Last Gameweek: 0.25

Projected GW 24 Points: 7.5

Prospects: Last week's investment in Wolves assets carries forward to this week (and realistically should be a focus next week, though roster numbers may again skew lower than actuality due to their double gameweek). With a frustrating rotation taking place between Rayan Ait-Nouri and Hugo Bueno on the left side of defense, I'm opting for what should be a bit more secure starter on the opposite flank in Nelson Semedo. The Portuguese (yes, I know this is not a helpful descriptor for Wolves players) does not offer the same attacking upside as Ait-Nouri (through successful dribbles) or Bueno (with the odd set-piece), but he appears to be a mainstay for Julen Lopetegui. This recommendation is less for the short-term and more for the medium to help you prepare for the DGW. I don't think Wolves will be able to keep the new-look Bournemouth attack at bay, but outside of last week's nearly nonexistent score, he has been providing a solid floor of ghost points in 2023.

MID: Moises Caicedo

Team: Brighton

Opponent: Fulham (home)

Rostered: 55%

Points Last Gameweek: 8

Projected GW 24 Points: 7.3

Prospects: Back in the other direction with a one-week pick-up before Brighton blank in GW25, I've been impressed by Moises Caicedo's return to the lineup following his desperate attempts to leave the club in January. The Ecuador international's heart was in the right place, but his head should have prevailed and prevented him from issuing the come-and-get-me plea he posted on his social media accounts as the window drew to a close. As he proved with his treatment of Leandro Trossard, Roberto de Zerbi is a firm believer that no man is bigger than his squad. However, all seems to have been forgiven in the case of Caicedo following a brief exit from the starting lineup, and he's repaid his manager's faith with some excellent displays at the base of the Seagulls' midfield. His fantasy output has been solid, too, and consistent with his points from before the transfer distraction. If some security is what you're after this week (in the form of 6-9 points), this is your signal to buy in.

MID: Abdoulaye Doucoure

Team: Everton

Opponent: Leeds (home)

Rostered: 7%

Points Last Gameweek: -2

Projected GW 24 Points: 6.9

Prospects: Sean Dyche wasted no time reinstating to the starting lineup some of the Everton players who were on the fringes during Frank Lampard's tenure in charge of the Toffees. Abdoulaye Doucoure was one such player recalled from the wasteland, and it's not particularly surprising. You can imagine the former Burnley boss would have had his eye on the Malian maestro as a transfer target when he was at the helm at his previous club. Doucoure's abilities as a box-to-box midfielder should stand him in good stead with Dyche moving forward, and now that he looks set for a run of games I think he could play his way back into his best form. Leeds are the most forgiving team in the league when it comes to opposition midfielders, offering up 10.4 points per match on average, so this week is as good a time as any to jump on the Doucoure bandwagon. Hopefully, he performs better than his namesake from Crystal Palace did when I selected him last week...

MID: Joao Gomes

Team: Wolves

Opponent: Bournemouth (home)

Rostered: 1%

Points Last Gameweek: 12

Projected GW 24 Points: 6.8

Prospects: I mentioned in my intro that I'm avoiding many of the January signings moving forward, but there's still space to highlight those who are still nearly guaranteed to fall below the rostership threshold, even in active leagues. That's why I've included Joao Gomes, who came on as a substitute after Mario Lemina was sent off for running toward the referee last week (you read that correctly). Gomes did no harm to his chances of earning the available spot in the engine room for this week with a dramatic late winner over Southampton in GW23. The match against Bournemouth presents an opportunity for the Brazilian (not Portuguese!) to convince the manager he deserves to keep the spot long-term. Don't expect another goal, but Bournemouth are second only to Leeds for points allowed to opposing midfielders with an average of 10.3. That's enough for me to be willing to take a punt on him, particularly if he does nail down that role ahead of DGW25.

MID: Crysencio Summerville

Team: Leeds

Opponent: Everton (away)

Rostered: 29%

Points Last Gameweek: 8.5

Projected GW 24 Points: 8.6

Prospects: I'm a big fan of a lot of Leeds' attacking players, particularly in the wide areas. The issue has been getting a jump on which of them will be fit long enough to build form with a consistent run in the side. Wilfried Gnonto has been the best of the bunch this calendar year, but it was Crysencio Summerville who made a splash heading into the World Cup break with goals in four consecutive games before picking up an injury. Now that one of the contenders for best name in the EPL is back to full fitness, he is back to making an impact. While he didn't score in either of the back-to-back matches against Man United, he did put up 8 and 8.5 points, respectively, and was at the heart of everything positive Leeds did in attack in the second match in particular. With Luis Sinisterra still expected to be sidelined, I'm backing Crysencio to come through for his fantasy backers.

FWD: Matheus Cunha

Team: Wolves

Opponent: Bournemouth (home)

Rostered: 21%

Points Last Gameweek: 1

Projected GW 24 Points: 7.8

Prospects: As was the case with Joao Gomes, I'm pretty sure Matheus Cunha is still around in the majority of leagues. The January recruit hasn't exactly set the world on fire with his performances so far, particularly in a fantasy sense. That said, Wolves are getting better all the time with Lopetegui at the helm and Cunha (another Brazilian; maybe Portuguese wasn't such a bad descriptor for Semedo, after all) seems to be first choice through the center at the moment. The Atletico Madrid loanee wasn't nearly as prolific in La Liga as he was for Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga in seasons past, but the 23-year-old has massive potential. He's starting to show signs of adapting to life in the Premier League, particularly in the recent win over Liverpool, and I like his chances of getting his first attacking return for the old gold this weekend as long as his team can keep the full complement of players on the pitch.

FWD: Dominic Solanke

Team: Bournemouth

Opponent: Wolves (away)

Rostered: 45%

Points Last Gameweek: 9

Projected GW 24 Points: 7.8

Prospects: I'm realizing as I progress through these recommendations that I've made no fewer than 5 selections from the Wolves-Bournemouth match, which I'm banking on being an open affair. Hopefully, my prediction will come true for those of you who buy in on players from either side. In any case, there's a lot to like from a fantasy standpoint about both of these clubs at the moment, as both have done a good job of refreshing their squads in needed areas over the winter window. Dominic Solanke isn't one of the shiny new toys at Bournemouth, but he certainly stands to benefit from their arrival. The big striker now has the likes of Dango Ouattara and Hamed Traore to supply him with service, something that has immediately yielded results. While Solanke wasn't on the scoresheet against Newcastle, he took 5 shots (3 on target) in his first match back from injury, and that was against one of the league's stingiest defenses. If the new boys have already been snapped up, you could certainly do worse than to call upon the man spearheading the new-look attack.

FWD: Yoane Wissa

Team: Brentford

Opponent: Crystal Palace (home)

Rostered: 18%

Points Last Gameweek: -0.5

Projected GW 24 Points: 7.4

Prospects: The siren song is playing in my head again, and I can't resist the allure of a potential Yoane Wissa masterclass, despite the Congolese winger having burned me on multiple occasions this season. The epitome of boom-or-bust in Fantrax Default Scoring, the Brentford forward is not a pick-up for the faint of heart. Thomas Frank alternates between 5-3-2 and 4-3-3 formations, usually opting for the latter in matches against all but the most dangerous opponents. Given Crystal Palace's difficulties scoring goals this season, I'm betting we'll see the 4-3-3 this weekend. Wissa does have some potential competition for the spot in the form of recent recruit Kevin Schade, but we've all seen how reluctant Frank is to throw in his young signings (Keane Lewis-Potter or Mikkel Damsgaard ring any bells?), so I think Wissa is a safe bet to start. Whether he can turn that start into points is another question entirely, and you'll likely need an attacking return for the choice to pay off. If you're feeling brave, you can try to convince yourself you're making the right choice by considering that Palace are one of the more forgiving sides in the league for opposition forwards (allowing 11.3 points per game on average). Godspeed to you brave soul(s) that takes the leap of faith. You have my respect.

The Reserves

If you're playing on Fantrax with Live Lineup Changes, you should 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 do get a start for their team, snap them up and plug them into your starting eleven!

  • Harry Maguire, Defender, Man United. Opponent: Leicester

  • Takehiro Tomiyasu, Defender, Arsenal. Opponent: Aston Villa

  • Conor Gallagher, Midfielder, Chelsea. Opponent: Southampton

  • Danny Ings, Forward, West Ham. Opponent: Tottenham

  • Pedro Neto, Forward, Wolves. Opponent: Bournemouth

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