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Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 3 Sleepers XI

Our Gameweek 3 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 3 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 GW2 Sleeper squad did in fact better the team from the opening weekend, delivering an impressive 112.75 points, largely thanks to monster returns from Dean Henderson and Rodrigo. As expected, both players have seen their rostership increase and are no longer eligible for selection this time around. As will be the case moving forward, I'll be taking into consideration past performance, weekly projections and my own gut feeling to make my selections.

I'm rolling with a 3-4-3 this week. As we're now a couple weeks into the season, some of the questions around which non-obvious players could be fantasy assets are starting to be answered. As such, it's starting to get just a bit trickier to find those under-the-radar players. As you'll see when we move up the pitch, the eligible options are beginning to have some question marks around them. Be sure to have a backup plan in the event you pick any of these players up and they aren't in the starting lineup.

One additional note before we dive in: Despite being less than 60% rostered, I haven't included some of the high-profile new arrivals like Goncalo Guedes, Maxwel Cornet, Mikkel Damsgaard or Emmanuel Dennis here on the assumption that they're likely not available in most active leagues. If they are available in your league, snap them up while you have the chance. Now, onto this week's charges.

GK: David Raya

Team: Brentford

Opponent: Fulham (Away)

Rostered: 42%

Points Last Gameweek: 20.25

Prospects: Since I can't turn to Mr. Set-and-Forget Dean Henderson this week (and maybe not again this season), I'm returning to another formerly featured keeper with Raya, whose rostership is actually lower than it was in GW1. Seems like quite a few managers were afraid of the match-up against Manchester United, which may be to your advantage if the Brentford shot-stopper is an option this weekend. Fulham is coming off an uninspired 0-0 draw against Wolves last weekend and are facing a Bees team that will be buzzing after their 4-0 dismantling of the Red Devils. A second consecutive clean sheet for Raya is a possibility, but as I mentioned in my GW1 article, the Spanish goalkeeper tends to score fairly well even in matches where he concedes.

DEF: Joachim Andersen

Team: Crystal Palace

Opponent: Aston Villa (Home)

Rostered: 41%

Points Last Gameweek: 7.5

Projected GW3 Points: 7.4

Prospects: There have been plenty of headlines this week about Andersen and his role in Darwin Nunez's sending off but, headbutt incident aside, there should actually be more of a focus on the Dane's performance from a footballing perspective. The center back has been a revelation under Patrick Vieira, putting in commanding performances that may lead to some interest from elite clubs in the near future. From a fantasy standpoint, Andersen has been quietly efficient despite facing two very challenging opponents across the first two fixtures of the season in Arsenal and Liverpool. Despite conceding in both games, the Palace defender has put up scores of 7.25 and 7.5 so far. Now he faces what should be an easier task hosting an Aston Villa side that doesn't seem to be completely settled in attack just yet. Look for him to continue delivering solid ghost points even if the Eagles can't manage their first clean sheet of the campaign.

DEF: Ben Davies

Team: Tottenham Hotspur

Opponent: Wolves (Home)

Rostered: 50%

Points Last Gameweek: 14

Projected GW3 Points: 7.8

Prospects: Heading into this season, most of us at TDS felt that Cristian Romero was primed to be the dominant Spurs center back from a fantasy perspective but that hasn't proved to be the case so far, with Dier and Davies earning the lion's share of points from the trio so far. With reports emerging that Romero could be out for 3-4 weeks through injury, Davinson Sanchez may be a better short-term play here given his strong ghost point outlay in previous seasons. However, if you're looking for a defender you can keep on your roster for the long-term and feel confident of solid fantasy points, Davies is worth adding to your team ahead of the visit from a Wolves side that hasn't yet integrated its new attacking signings. The upcoming fixtures are kind for the North London side as well.

DEF: Joe Gomez

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: Man United (Away)

Rostered: 11%

Points Last Gameweek: 2.25

Projected GW3 Points: 8.4

Prospects: When news broke last week of an injury to Joel Matip, most people assumed it would be Gomez who stepped in to deputize next to VVD for the match against Crystal Palace. But the team news proved otherwise, with Nat Phillips getting the nod instead and Gomez on the bench. The new #2 for Liverpool was reportedly carrying a knock heading into the game and as a result wasn't prepared to play a full 90. That said, Phillips had a torrid time against Wilfried Zaha and was eventually replaced by Gomez. I expect Phillips to drop out of the side and Gomez to set up shop in central defense until Matip and/or Konate return. A match against bitter rivals Manchester United is usually an occasion to steer clear, but this isn't the United attack of years past, so Gomez and company will be hoping to capitalize and get their season on track with a win.

MID: Harvey Elliott

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: Man United (Away)

Rostered: 47%

Points Last Gameweek: 11.5

Projected GW3 Points: 8.8

Prospects: As I mentioned previously, we start running into a few questions marks with the midfield and forward selections, and Elliott is the most risky given that Liverpool play in the last match of this slate of games for a second consecutive week. It wasn't clear who would deputize for the injured Thiago heading into the Crystal Palace match in week 2, but the youngster acquitted himself admirably on his return to the starting lineup at Anfield. The nature of this weekend's contest against United may see Klopp opt for experience in Jordan Henderson, but it would be very harsh on Elliott to bench him. He doesn't have the same range of passing as Thiago, but he does add a creative spark in the Liverpool midfield that is otherwise sorely missing. United's midfield has been wide open across their first two matches, so the young man should have plenty of opportunities to operate in the half-spaces and set up chances for his teammates if he is indeed called upon.

MID: Solly March

Team: Brighton

Opponent: West Ham (Away)

Rostered: 19%

Points Last Gameweek: 11

Projected GW3 Points: 6.1

Prospects: Graham Potter's experiment of playing attacking players in wingback roles may be coming to an end with the signing of Pervis Estupinan from Villarreal, but for the time being it's a tactic that is paying dividends. Both Trossard and March have looked very comfortable operating from deeper positions to begin this season, with March in particular reaping the rewards when it comes to fantasy points (though it shouldn't be ignored that Trossard did manage a hat-trick from LWB in the final pre-season match). It's always a guessing game with Potter, but if March continues to start in the RWB role, he is a strong candidate to continue delivering solid scores over the course of the season. The projections aren't particularly kind this week, but with West Ham coming off their first European match this weekend, I like Brighton's chances of getting a positive result.

MID: Jeffrey Schlupp

Team: Crystal Palace

Opponent: Aston Villa (Home)

Rostered: 6%

Points Last Gameweek: 7

Projected GW3 Points: 8.4

Prospects: I could have continued with another 7-point per game player here and selected Alex Iwobi for the second consecutive week, but I like to mix things up as much as possible and Schlupp is a personal favorite of mine. There is a small possibility that the Ghanaian is dropped if James McArthur returns from an injury, but given how Palace have performed in their opening fixtures it doesn't seem likely that Vieira will make changes in the middle of the park. Much like his teammate and fellow Sleeper recruit Joachim Andersen, Jeff has been a model of consistency to begin the season and will likely find a bit more time in possession at home to Aston Villa. In addition to his solid floor of points, Schlupp does have the odd attacking return in him. He's almost certainly an option for you at just 6% rostered, and a double digit score isn't out of the realm of possibility.

MID: Granit Xhaka

Team: Arsenal

Opponent: Bournemouth (Away)

Rostered: 15%

Points Last Gameweek: 20.5

Projected GW3 Points: 8.2

Prospects: I never thought I'd find myself in this position, but here I am recommending that you pick up Xhaka for your fantasy team in 2022. Before you completely disown me as a credible source of fantasy advice, track down the highlights from Arsenal's last match against Leicester and take note of the number of times the Swiss midfielder is in or around the 18-yard box. Yes, the opposition 18-yard box. The one you attack. Xhaka seems to be relishing having more freedom to roam around the pitch, striking up a good understanding with new boy Zinchenko that sees them interchange positions between phases of play. He may not be a guaranteed starter for too much longer now that Tierney has returned to fitness (a move which may see the aforementioned Zinchenko supplant Xhaka in midfield for some matches), but Arsenal are flying high at the moment and a trip to Bournemouth should afford the Gunners plenty of chances. Don't expect another 20-pointer, but also don't be surprised to see Granit establish himself as a reliable, high-floor option if you're in a pinch.

FWD: Che Adams

Team: Southampton

Opponent: Leicester (Away)

Rostered: 58%

Points Last Gameweek: 4.5

Projected GW3 Points: 9.1

Prospects: Whew, it's slim pickings from the pool of lesser-rostered forwards! Adams barely creeps in under the 60% rostered threshold. After not playing much in pre-season and spending opening day glued to the bench, Adams was dropped in many of the leagues where he was drafted and may have even gone undrafted in smaller leagues. It's a surprising fall from grace given the other options available to Ralph Hasenhuttl, but the striker did at least manage a start and a full 90 minutes against Leeds in GW 2. The 4.5 points he managed despite his team scoring twice isn't a great sign, but maybe it's just a case of shaking off the rust. The Saints manager has been quick to chop and change his attackers, so there's no guarantee Adams gets another run-out from the start against Leicester this weekend. That said, the leaky Foxes defense may be just what the doctor ordered for getting the forward back to his best.

FWD: Taiwo Awoniyi

Team: Nottingham Forest

Opponent: Everton (Away)

Rostered: 50%

Points Last Gameweek: 11

Projected GW3 Points: 8.6

Prospects: Putting up 11 points in your first start in the Premier League is a positive sign, but unfortunately for Awoniyi that was only possible because he scored a goal. The former Liverpool youngster should continue to lead the line for at least another week while Emmanuel Dennis gets settled in, and will be looking to make the case to manager Steve Cooper that he deserves to keep his place. I normally wouldn't recommend someone who appears to be heavily dependent on goals and assists for fantasy points, but Forest will be in good spirits after their victory over West Ham and I like the striker's prospects against a fairly forgiving Everton defense.

FWD: Bobby De Cordova-Reid

Team: Fulham

Opponent: Brentford (Home)

Rostered: 8%

Points Last Gameweek: 7

Projected GW3 Points: 8.2

Prospects: With injuries to Harry Wilson and Manor Solomon leaving Fulham threadbare on the left wing, Scott Parker turned to De Cordova-Reid to do a job in GW2, and he obliged. Nothing too special to write home about, but that was generally the story of the 0-0 affair with Wolves. Despite the scoreless stalemate, the Jamaican recorded a respectable 7 points, 2 of which were from drawing a penalty that Mitrovic couldn't convert. You can bet Bobby's rostership would be higher had he earned that assist. Brentford are no pushovers, but BDCR will be facing youngster Aaron Hickey and will look to use his experience to get the better of the new arrival in front of the home support at Craven Cottage.

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!

  • Steve Cook, Defender, Nottingham Forest. Opponent: Everton

  • Shane Duffy, Defender, Fulham. Opponent: Brentford

  • Fabio Carvalho, Midfielder, Liverpool. Opponent: Manchester United

  • Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Midfielder, Chelsea. Opponent: Leeds

  • Odsonne Edouard, Forward, Crystal Palace. Opponent: Aston Villa

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