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Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 35 Sleepers XI

Our Gameweek 35 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 35 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.

As always, let's take a quick look back at Gameweek 34: I was spared my midfield horror-show by excellent returns from no fewer than six players, including the second highest score of the gameweek put up by Danny Welbeck (39.5). The remaining 10 single gameweek players managed 73.75 points between them to deliver 113.25 points for the week. Not bad for only one DGW player! That takes the overall Sleepers XI score to 2854.25, or about 86.5 points per week.

Gameweek 35 is a standard single gameweek before we have back-to-back DGWs in 36 and 37. If you're in a playoff league, make sure you're especially considerate of players who may have multiple fixtures in the upcoming gameweeks. In case you haven't heard, we're offering a free trial of a very handy tool that can help you identify these players in a hurry. As you'll see with my Reserve selections this week, I like the idea of loading up on Brighton players if you can, but predicting who will start for Roberto De Zerbi is proving a real challenge at the moment. If you can afford to take a risk or two, I'd look there first as they have consecutive DGWs (even if they do include matches against Arsenal and Man City). Let's get back to the main squad, though:

GK: Keylor Navas

Team: Nottingham Forest

Opponent: Southampton (home)

Rostered: 15% (Fantrax) / 9% (Community)

Points Last Gameweek: 8

Prospects: There are quite a few lower-rostered keepers I like this week, so you're in luck if you play the streaming game with your GKs. In addition to Jason Steele, Neto and last week's Sleeper selection Daniel Iversen, I am a fan of Keylor Navas. The former PSG keeper was a revelation when he first arrived in February, but has cooled off quite a bit as Forest hit a bit of a slump. The good news for the Costa Rican is that his side have performed much better at home than on their travels. I expect both teams to go all-out for a critical three points in the fight for survival, even though it does look like it's too late for Southampton. Navas has made 6 saves in each of his last two outings, which helps make the case for his selection in what should be an open game.

DEF: Tosin Adarabioyo

Team: Fulham

Opponent: Leicester City (home)

Rostered: 13% / 42%

Points Last Gameweek: 4.25

Projected GW35 Points: 6.4

Prospects: While I like the goalkeeper options this week, I'm less enthused about the defenders on offer. I don't normally subscribe to the "on the beach" theory when taking fantasy value into consideration, but I have to admit Fulham have not looked great recently. I'll attribute it more to the absence of their talisman, Aleksandar Mitrovic. Still, outside of matches against the league's top 3 teams, Tosin Adarabioyo has managed to put up positive scores even when Fulham have been on the losing side. This weekend's opponents, Leicester City, are fighting for survival but not likely to control the game in the same stifling way as City, Arsenal or Newcastle. As such, I think we'll see a respectable showing from "yoyo" as the Cottagers look to shut up shop.

DEF: Felipe

Team: Nottingham Forest

Opponent: Southampton (home)

Rostered: 35% / 76%

Points Last Gameweek: 0.25

Projected GW35 Points: 11.0

Prospects: It's been a disheartening and frustrating couple weeks for fantasy managers who were riding the wave of Felipe ghost points; the 0.25 he eked out last gameweek was somehow an improvement over the previous game's goose egg. As we've seen with the downturn in fantasy production from James Tarkowski since the introduction of Michael Keane to the Everton lineup, changes in system and/or personnel can heavily influence how a CB performs. But have the ghosts dried up for good with Steve Cooper's transition to a 3-at-the-back system? I think this weekend will be the ultimate test of whether that's true. Southampton are not only bottom of the table, but have a play style that lends itself to a ton of aerial duels, the bread and butter of CB fantasy points. With Forest's solid home form and the opposition, if Felipe can't deliver the goods he's a drop until he can prove himself to be a viable ghoster again. That may not happen this season, sadly.

DEF: Wesley Fofana

Team: Chelsea

Opponent: Bournemouth (away)

Rostered: 57% / 85%

Points Last Gameweek: 2.75

Projected GW35 Points: 8.5

Prospects: It's time for the "okay, hear me out" section of this article, beginning with Wesley Fofana and continuing with his Chelsea teammates for the first two midfield picks. I know, I know...this isn't the Chelsea of years past, they're relegation candidates, they can't score, etc., etc., etc. The fact that I can even include multiple likely starters for Chelsea in a Sleepers XI is proof of how far the Blues have fallen this season. They simply have to get something from at least one of their next two games to guarantee their safety, and I saw just enough promise (there wasn't much, admittedly) against Arsenal to convince me their players will be worth rostering for this weekend's trip to Bournemouth. Fofana should partner Thiago Silva in the heart of the defense, which should be a very strong CB pairing. Bournemouth are tied for the second most favorable team for opposition defenders to score points against. Should be a recipe for success. I'm wary, but like I mentioned there's not a lot to love when it comes to defenders this week, so I'm going on pure nostalgia here. I wouldn't blame you if you decided not to follow suit.

MID: N'Golo Kante

Team: Chelsea

Opponent: Bournemouth (away)

Rostered: 55% / 100%

Points Last Gameweek: 4

Projected GW35 Points: 11.2

Prospects: Speaking of nostalgia, remember when N'Golo Kante was consistently fit and available? It's a real shame for Chelsea fans and honestly fans of the game in general that the midfield enforcer has spent so much of the campaign struggling with injuries. Kante has completed 90 minutes in each of the last two EPL fixtures and appears to be nearing full fitness again just in time to help Chelsea save some face. The Frenchman has been deployed a bit further up the pitch by Frank Lampard, with Enzo Fernandez occupying the deepest of the midfield positions. This offers Kante the potential to get more involved in the attack as a box-to-box type of player and increases his likelihood of adding attacking stats like key passes to his repertoire. I think an end-to-end match against the Cherries will result in a solid haul of points.

MID: Mykhailo Mudryk

Team: Chelsea

Opponent: Bournemouth (away)

Rostered: 46% / 66%

Points Last Gameweek: 8

Projected GW35 Points: 6.9

Prospects: The match against Arsenal must have been a particularly difficult one for Mykhailo Mudryk, with the Ukrainian all but announcing his move to the Gunners himself in January before landing at Stamford Bridge. The winger was booed and even assaulted with a laser, but looked composed and dangerous in his substitute appearance, managing 8 points in a 20-minute cameo. It's not a guarantee that he starts this weekend, but I think he'll get the nod as he was one of the few Chelsea players to show signs of the fight required to get them over the line to safety. Mudryk hasn't lived up to the billing just yet, but it's hard to heap all the blame on his shoulders with the squad around him in disarray. Taking past results into account, it's a good thing to be a midfielder facing Bournemouth, as they allow a league-high 10.9 points on average to their opposition.

MID: Theo Walcott

Team: Southampton

Opponent: Nottingham Forest (away)

Rostered: 5% / 14%

Points Last Gameweek: -4

Projected GW35 Points: 7.7

Prospects: Speaking of the Gunners, former Arsenal golden boy Theo Walcott has turned back the clock on his career to become fantasy relevant for Southampton since Ruben Selles took over. Don't mind the -4 from last gameweek; Theo won't score an own goal every week (or likely again at all this season). That aberration aside, the winger-turned-forward has thrived in a more central role alongside a more traditional striker, and is capable of attacking returns in addition to some pretty solid ghost point tallies. He's also prone to blanking completely, though, so he does fall into the boom-or-bust category of fantasy assets. I like his chances of booming against Nottingham Forest this weekend.

MID: Harry Wilson

Team: Fulham

Opponent: Leicester City (home)

Rostered: 44% / 76%

Points Last Gameweek: 3.5

Projected GW35 Points: 7.4

Prospects: Given their safety and the slight availability crisis at Fulham, with Mitrovic suspended and recently Pereira and Ream added to the list of players who will not play again this season, you could be forgiven for avoiding their players for the run-in. I think there's a case to be made for some of the players who have or will be given their chance as a result, though. Tom Cairney has been highlighted in the Key Pass Collective and Waivers article as one such player, but I haven't seen enough from him in his substitute appearances this season to be convinced he's the best path to points from the Fulham squad. Instead, I'm looking to Harry Wilson. I had high hopes for the former Liverpool winger heading into the season, but an injury-ravaged campaign has meant he's been a peripheral figure at best. Wilson has been a regular starter for Marco Silva in the past few gameweeks, though, and showed signs of his potential with two goalscoring performances against Leeds and Everton. Leicester's defense is pretty much in line with those teams, so I'm hopeful for another return or at least some solid attacking returns from Wilson if he doesn't manage to put the ball in the net.

FWD: Taiwo Awoniyi

Team: Nottingham Forest

Opponent: Southampton (home)

Rostered: 21% / 9%

Points Last Gameweek: 1.5

Projected GW35 Points: 7.1

Prospects: Another player selected in that Waivers article, mostly due to a lack of other good options, is Taiwo Awoniyi. And yes, that's the reason he's here as well. At this stage of the season, teams are mostly settled and there aren't many unknown quantities out there with anything like a proven track record to lean on to make a sound recommendation. That's why Totti and I are left with players like Awoniyi as some of our strongest options. I'm not guaranteeing that the Forest forward will be a strong option, mind you. Awoniyi, to his credit, has looked like a capable Premier League forward at times this season, but what you tend to get with forwards as you drop down into the lower reaches of the Premier League table is a whole lot of inconsistency. Taiwo is no different; you're either going to get a goal or nothing. Awoniyi is about as goal-dependent as they come. The only saving grace for his inclusion is that Southampton aren't great at keeping the ball out of their own net. Treat this as a last-resort pickup rather than a recommendation to drop a decent player from your team.

FWD: Jordan Ayew

Team: Crystal Palace

Opponent: Tottenham (away)

Rostered: 56% / 90%

Points Last Gameweek: 12

Projected GW35 Points: 8.1

Prospects: The new manager bounce may be over for Palace, but they showed last week that they're not packing it in just yet. Roy Hodgson has the Eagles soaring and they're headed to take on a Spurs team that just keeps conceding early goals. Ryan Mason may make some alterations to try to fix the defensive issues, but this Tottenham team needs the summer break and a major reset before any manager will be able to make much difference. Jordan Ayew has been called upon to lead the line on a few occasions, but even if he is deployed on the wing he should be able to do some damage. The Ghanaian has been a fairly regular fixture in our Sleepers XI and Ghost Point Hunters articles over the course of the season. It's likely only his lack of guaranteed minutes and occasional barren spells that keep him in contention for selection here, though it's worth noting he's climbed up near the very top of the rostership threshold for Fantrax and is on all but a few teams in the DPL Community League and International Genie League. Sign him up if he's still out there in your league.

FWD: Noni Madueke

Team: Chelsea

Opponent: Bournemouth (away)

Rostered: 11% / 71%

Points Last Gameweek: 17

Projected GW35 Points: 9.2

Prospects: Lo and behold, a fourth Chelsea player! I must be out of my mind, but I have to say I was very impressed by the performance Noni Madueke put in against Arsenal. For some reason, the former PSV winger has been left out of the starting lineup for most of the matches he's been available for since his transfer to London. He's set out to prove his manager(s) wrong, contributing a goal and a handful of additional stats against one of the league's best teams. As Lampard looks for the magical formula to earn some points, I think it would be a poor decision to leave out one of the few bright sparks from the most recent outing. I could certainly be proven wrong, but the good news is that Chelsea play at the earliest time over the weekend so you should have some other options to pivot to in case the 21-year-old finds himself back on the bench. I think he's worth a speculative pick up if nothing else.

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!

  • Levi Colwill, Defender, Brighton. Opponent: Everton

  • Facundo Buonanotte, Midfielder, Brighton. Opponent: Everton

  • Hamed Traore, Midfielder, Bournemouth. Opponent: Chelsea

  • Manor Solomon, Forward, Fulham. Opponent: Leicester

  • Deniz Undav, Forward, Brighton. Opponent: Everton

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