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Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 34 Sleepers XI

Our Gameweek 34 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 34 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. Additionally, I've included the rostership percentage from the "Community List" -- the twenty 12-team divisions that comprise the ultra-competitive DraftPL Community League and International Genie League -- to provide some additional context for who is likely to be available and where you might want to follow the wisdom of the crowd.

Before we get to this week's squad, let's (begrudgingly) take a brief look back at Gameweek 33: Only Neto (12.25) and Luis Sinisterra (10) managed to break double digits on the way to 53.5 points. Abdoulaye Doucoure's 9 point performance in a 4-1 loss to Newcastle is worth an honorable mention, at least, but nobody else showed up, including the two Wolves players who couldn't manage 4 points between them in a 2-0 win. Cursed, I tell you. In any case, points are points and the overall tally climbs to 2741, good enough for a weekly average of 85.65.

Looking ahead, six teams are set to play twice in GW34: Brighton, Fulham, Liverpool, Man City, Man United and West Ham. My usual recommendation to buy in on DGW players comes under challenge this week, particularly if you're looking at players who aren't highly rostered. The teams that double with the best fixtures (Brighton, Liverpool and the Manchester clubs) aren't likely to have too many available players in your leagues, particularly those with a chance of starting both fixtures. Fulham (MCI, @liv) and West Ham (@cry, @mci) have a very challenging set of matches and their players are probably best avoided outside of maybe Jarrod Bowen. Still, you can expect a scramble for players from these teams, so there should be some decent options from the single gamers for you to target if you've got some gaps to fill in your roster. I've chosen to spotlight the following 10 lower-rostered single game options as well as one DGW player I think is worth trying to bring in for this week:

GK: Daniel Iversen

Team: Leicester City

Opponent: Everton (home)

Rostered: 3% (Fantrax) / 4% (Community)

Points Last Gameweek: 5.25

Prospects: We're at the point of the season where the cliched "six-pointer" starts to actually mean something, and on the relegation-end of the table we've got a massive match between Leicester and Everton. A draw realistically doesn't do either team much good, so both teams should set themselves up to go for it from an attacking standpoint. Open games, particularly in more desperate scenarios like this, usually mean more shots taken. This can result in disaster if the keeper doesn't save many of them, but Daniel Iversen has been a decent-to-good shot stopper since earning the starting role, with the 3-1 defeat against Man City his only negative score across his 7 starts. He also managed 8 saves against Palace and 6 against Bournemouth, similar types of games to the one this weekend.

DEF: Serge Aurier

Team: Nottingham Forest

Opponent: Brentford (away)

Rostered: 27% / 38%

Points Last Gameweek: 4.75

Projected GW34 Points: 7.2

Prospects: While his scores haven't exactly been amazing, Serge Aurier is a player I really like as a streamer. His play style results in a solid floor of ghost points with a high ceiling if he gets involved in a goal or helps keep a rare Forest clean sheet. With Neco Williams set to miss the rest of the season with the broken jaw he suffered against Brighton in midweek, Aurier should have a clear path to the starting lineup for the remaining fixtures, which aren't too bad if you're looking for a medium- to long-term play.

DEF: Michael Keane

Team: Everton

Opponent: Leicester City (away)

Rostered: 31% / 95%

Points Last Gameweek: 3

Projected GW34 Points: 8.9

Prospects: There's a common theme across my defensive selections this week, which is that they are all on relatively poor teams that tend to concede more often than not, but offer a strong foundation of ghost points to offset those goals against anyway. Such is the case with Michael Keane, whose 3 points last week look poor out of context but are actually quite promising once you realize it was in a match where his Everton side conceded four times. I don't expect Leicester to be quite as prolific in attack, so you will hopefully see those ghost points less impacted by the -2 scores from goals against.

DEF: Chris Mepham

Team: Bournemouth

Opponent: Leeds (home)

Rostered: 6% / 33%

Points Last Gameweek: 13.25

Projected GW34 Points: 7.1

Prospects: Last but not least among the ghost point champs is Chris Mepham, who earned a lot of love two weeks back but faced a similar fate to Michael Keane this past week, earning a disappointing overall score despite ghosting well. He was back to his best in midweek, with the clean sheet swinging his points tally into double digits. The Bournemouth-Leeds match is another relegation six-pointer, though the Cherries may have just about done enough to get themselves over the line. Still, I expect another open game with lots of opportunities for the CBs like Mepham to rack up points from aerials, blocked shots and clearances.

MID: Brenden Aaronson

Team: Leeds

Opponent: Bournemouth (away)

Rostered: 51% / 38%

Points Last Gameweek: 3.5

Projected GW34 Points: 8.1

Prospects: Continuing the theme, an open game also means a high potential for peripheral stats on the attacking side of the ball. Brenden Aaronson hasn't been my cup of tea as a fantasy asset for most of the season, but his ghost point output has improved significantly since Javi Gracia was installed as manager. Part of that uptick in production is due to the American taking on some additional set piece duties. Aaronson was handed what I believe was a breather midweek, and I expect him to be reinstated to the starting lineup, perhaps on the right flank with Jack Harrison moving back to the left wing in the absence of the injured Luis Sinisterra.

MID: Amadou Onana

Team: Everton

Opponent: Leicester City (away)

Rostered: 20% / 4%

Points Last Gameweek: 7

Projected GW34 Points: 6.9

Prospects: Assuming you weren't able to bring in last week's returning Everton midfielder, Abdoulaye Doucoure, then this week's shout for Amadou Onana isn't a bad consolation. The youngster isn't quite as involved in all aspects of play as his midfield compatriot (7 points vs. 9 last GW), Onana offers some additional attacking upside due to his aerial prowess in set piece situations. Leicester have historically been pretty dreadful at defending those this season, though there's not enough data from the Foxes during Dean Smith's tenure to say whether that trend has been addressed.

MID: Joe Rothwell

Team: Bournemouth

Opponent: Leeds (home)

Rostered: 1% / 4%

Points Last Gameweek: 11.5

Projected GW34 Points: 7.5

Prospects: While I wish I could be recommending Hamed Traore here instead, his continued absence through injury has led to an extended run in the side for Joe Rothwell. He's one of those players that flies deep under the radar but actually can provide a real differential option for you this week. With the news that Marcus Tavernier is also set to miss out this weekend after picking up an injury in GW33, Rothwell is poised to preside over the majority of set pieces for Bournemouth.

MID: Kevin Schade

Team: Brentford

Opponent: Nottingham Forest (home)

Rostered: 5% / 38%

Points Last Gameweek: 0.5

Projected GW34 Points: 9.0

Prospects: With minimal time between fixtures as we head to the business end of the campaign, we will likely see some rotation come into play in the next couple matches. That said, I have come to realize that managers are rotating less due to the introduction of the 5 subs rule. One instance where there has already been a precedent of rotation set is with the Brentford attack. Thomas Frank has regularly switched between 4-3-3 and 5-3-2 depending on opponent over the last two seasons, with the 4-3-3 being favored in matches against opponents outside the European places. With Sleepers nemesis Yoane Wissa flattering to deceive in a start in GW33, I expect to see Bryan Mbeumo and Kevin Schade get the nod for the favorable home fixture against Nottingham Forest. Despite not yet contributing with an attacking return, Schade has scored pretty well when he has started and will certainly be a gameweek winner whenever he does get on the scoresheet.

FWD: Patrick Bamford

Team: Leeds

Opponent: Bournemouth (away)

Rostered: 56% / 95%

Points Last Gameweek: 5

Projected GW34 Points: 8.3

Prospects: With their season on the line, I expect Leeds manager Javi Gracia to do everything he can to field players capable of scoring goals. Patrick Bamford absolutely should have scored midweek, but inexplicably missed the target from about 4 yards out with the goal gaping. Gracia will have to put his man management skills to the test to keep Bamford's confidence up heading into the weekend, but despite being unfortunate on many occasions in front of goal this season, the fact of the matter is that Bamford is among the league's best at getting into scoring positions. Bournemouth allow 12.5 points to opposition forwards on average, so this is as good a time as any to buy in on the unfortunate striker with the hope of him converting one or more of his chances.

FWD: Jamie Vardy

Team: Leicester City

Opponent: Everton (home)

Rostered: 51% / 66%

Points Last Gameweek: 13.5

Projected GW34 Points: 8.7

Prospects: With Kelechi Iheanacho seemingly out for at least this weekend, it's a pretty safe assumption that Jamie Vardy will be called upon to lead the line against Everton. The club legend made a massive impact off the bench, scoring a goal and having another called off for offside in his 20 minutes on the pitch against Leeds. The veteran striker is showing that he's not quite finished just yet. If Leicester are to survive the drop, they're going to need some magic from their fox in the box. I like his chances of being the hero again when the Toffees roll up to the King Power.

FWD: Danny Welbeck

Team: Brighton

Opponent: Wolves (home), Man United (home)

Rostered: 59% / 100%

Points Last Gameweek: 0

Projected GW34 Points: 20.0

Prospects: My one-and-only DGW player recommendation this week is Danny Welbeck. While I don't think he'll start both games, I do believe he'll be selected from the first whistle against Wolves and get some time off the bench against his former club, Man United, to cap off GW34. Roberto de Zerbi will be eager to put the shock defeat to Forest behind him, and I can't see another start for both of Facundo Buonanotte and Julio Enciso this week. A true number nine makes a big difference in this system, and with Evan Ferguson not likely to be risked just yet, Welbeck is the best fit. There's a slight possibility he could even start both games, though I would be happy enough giving him a start if it was just the single fixture against Wolves.

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!

  • Matt Targett, Defender, Newcastle. Opponent: Southampton

  • Joel Veltman, Defender, Brighton. Opponent: Wolves, Man United

  • Jacob Murphy, Midfielder, Newcastle. Opponent: Southampton

  • Crysencio Summerville, Midfielder, Leeds. Opponent: Bournemouth

  • Pedro Neto, Forward, Wolves. Opponent: Brighton

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