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Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 6 Sleepers XI

Our Gameweek 6 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 6 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!

Gameweek 5 was the first occasion in the 22/23 season with midweek fixtures calling managerial rotation decisions into question. Looking back from the other side, there wasn't much rotation to speak of, with many managers sticking to their preferred starters from the opening month of matches. All things considered, the 79.25 point score from the Sleepers squad has to be viewed as a positive. Two players (Mbabu and Sessegnon) didn't feature at all, while two others (Carvalho and Klich) were called into action as substitutes. That score brings the season total to 479.75, nearly identical to the overall score of the team I drafted in the DPL Community League.

Looking ahead to Gameweek 6, we're left to ask the same questions as we did in midweek. Will rotation come into play with the third set of fixtures in a week, or will Premier League managers continue to push their regulars to pick up some much needed momentum and points to begin the season? We're still a few weeks away from the first international break and also at the end of the transfer window, so it's going to come down to gut calls again, particularly as turning around weekly projections from one gameweek ending on Thursday to the next beginning on Friday is not feasible (Ed. Note: But DraftLad has gone ahead and pulled it off anyway!). As was the case last week, if you have the ability to wait until lineups to pick up guaranteed starters, that's ideal. Here are my best guesses for likely starters who have solid prospects for points over the weekend.

GK: Illan Meslier

Team: Leeds

Opponent: Brentford (Away)

Rostered: 36%

Points Last Gameweek: 1.5

Prospects: As I called out with my selection of my namesake Gavin Bazunu in last week's article, if you're looking for a sleeper keeper you want to find one who is the least likely to end up with a negative score. That usually means a player who faces a lot of shots and has a relatively high save percentage. Enter Meslier, who is averaging nearly 3 saves per game so far, with an average save percentage of 73.7%. That combination has helped keep the French shot stopper in the black for every match this season, despite only keeping one clean sheet. Visitors Brentford have generated plenty of scoring opportunities in their opening fixtures, but have struggled to put the ball in the net (the 4-0 win over Man United notwithstanding).

DEF: Armel Bella Kotchap

Team: Southampton

Opponent: Wolves (Away)

Rostered: 14%

Points Last Gameweek: 1.5

Prospects: Southampton have very quietly had an excellent transfer window, bringing in a host of exciting young talents for the future. The benefit for them is that many of them have shown they're ready for the present as well. Kotchap, the German center back, is one such player, a commanding and calming presence that Saints haven't had for a long time (dare I say since VVD departed?). I'm not quite ready to put him in the same conversation with the greats, but the signs are good that his transfer will be looked back on as an absolute steal. It's yet to be determined how well those performances will translate into fantasy points, as it's been a mixed bag so far. However, Southampton have shown promise and are coming up against a Wolves side that just can't seem to find their attacking spark. Perhaps their own new signing Sasa Kalajdzic gets the nod to kickstart their attack, but even if that's the case I like ABK here, as there will be plenty of crosses for him to challenge for.

DEF: Steve Cook

Team: Nottingham Forest

Opponent: Bournemouth (Home)

Rostered: 3%

Points Last Gameweek: N/A

Prospects: Following the capture of two entire squads worth of new signings over the summer window, it's a massive guessing game to try and determine who will crack the starting lineup for Steve Cooper's men in a given week. I have a sneaking suspicion that this weekend's match against the Cherries could be a bit of a swansong for Cook. The former Bournemouth center back now faces competition for his spot from the likes of Kouyate, Boly, Bade, Biancone and Niakhate when healthy, so I don't think it'll be long before he's replaced for good. Honestly, the start for Kouyate in midweek may have been the inflection point, but if he does get the start I back him to follow his usual pattern of putting up very solid ghost points. Pair that with a potential clean sheet against his former club and it would be a fitting send-off. Call me sentimental, but I'd really like to see it happen.

DEF: Tariq Lamptey

Team: Brighton

Opponent: Leicester City (Home)

Rostered: 39%

Points Last Gameweek: 10

Prospects: I have to say I wasn't expecting Graham Potter of all people to only make minimal adjustments to his starting lineup in a midweek fixture, and I was shocked not to see Lamptey get the nod at RWB against Fulham. The diminutive defender was given 25 minutes to make his mark at the end of the match and, while Brighton weren't able to come away with a result against high-flying Fulham, Lamptey saw plenty of success in fantasy terms. The 10 points he put up in his cameo included a key pass, three successful dribbles and even an aerial duel, reminding us why he's a must-stream when he starts. If only he could stay fit enough to get a run of games. Who knows...Potter isn't rotating, so maybe this is the year things change and Lamptey establishes himself as a starter. Wishful thinking, for sure, but imagine if you brought him in and that came to bear. If nothing else, hopefully you can enjoy his one start this week against a woeful Leicester side before he's back to bench duty.

DEF: Kostas Tsimikas

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: Everton (Away)

Rostered: 16%

Points Last Gameweek: 5

Prospects: Liverpool have struggled defensively in all of their matches bar the Bournemouth demolition so far, conceding first on multiple occasions and having to chase the game to grind out the results they've managed. I'm not saying Andy Robertson is solely to blame, but it is perhaps at least weighing on Klopp's mind that a change or two at the back could see a shift back to the defensive solidity that was a hallmark of last season for his Reds. Joel Matip may be one change following his return to training, but the weekend may come too early to throw him into a Merseyside derby. Tsimikas, on the other hand, is fully fit and has been made to wait for his chance. Klopp can be notoriously stubborn, but Liverpool have looked a bit lethargic on occasion this season, so I think this is the time we'll see the Greek Scouser get his opportunity from the start. We know from his starts last season that he's pretty much a like-for-like replacement for Robbo when it comes to fantasy output, which is typically very good.

MID: Joe Ayodele-Aribo

Team: Southampton

Opponent: Wolves (Away)

Rostered: 23%

Points Last Gameweek: 0.5

Prospects: Southampton is one of the teams that has been regularly rotated in midfield and attack even before the fixture congestion started, and I've already lamented trying to predict who Ralph Hasenhuttl will roll with in any given match. Since Aribo was on the bench for the game against Chelsea in midweek, I'm tipping him to come back into the starting lineup at Molineux. The complicating factor here is that the Saints earned an unexpected victory against the Blues, so the manager may be tempted to stick to a winning formula against Wolves. I think Aribo has the highest odds of starting among other qualifying Southampton mids, but don't be afraid to pivot to (or pick up, if Aribo's unavailable in your league) Elyounoussi or Djenepo for this match.

MID: Philip Billing

Team: Bournemouth

Opponent: Nottingham Forest (Away)

Rostered: 13%

Points Last Gameweek: 5

Prospects:  Last week I tipped Marcus Tavernier to deliver the goods and he came through with a solid 9.5. If he's still available in your league, please take a break from reading this article, put in a claim for him and skip ahead to the next recommendation when you return. If he's been snatched up, Billing is a passable alternative, particularly now that the Cherries are facing some kinder fixtures. The Dane has been converted into a more attack-minded midfielder than we were used to during his time at Huddersfield, and will be facing a Forest team that's allowing an inordinate number of chances on their goal each week (good thing Dean Henderson is between the posts for them). Bournemouth players are a bit of a risk this week given their managerial situation, but Billing was a regular last season when fit, so I expect him to get the nod.

MID: Morgan Gibbs-White

Team: Nottingham Forest

Opponent: Bournemouth (Away)

Rostered: 38%

Points Last Gameweek: 3

Prospects: Given the in-season transfer from Wolves to Forest followed by a substitute appearance and subsequent matches against Tottenham and Man City, it's not particularly surprising to see Gibbs-White with a sub 40% rostership. That said, the record signing for Forest looks like he will be at the heart of everything in attack for his new team. He's got a share of set pieces and is playing in his preferred number 10 role now, and I expect to see him grow into the role as the season goes on. A match against Bournemouth is a good place to start repaying the fee and faith placed in him by Steve Cooper to keep the side in the Premier League beyond this season.

MID: James Milner

Team: Liverpool

Opponent: Everton (Away)

Rostered: 3%

Points Last Gameweek: 5.5

Prospects: A hamstring injury for Jordan Henderson leaves Liverpool in an even more precarious midfield situation than they were in heading toward the end of the transfer window. Arthur Melo has signed on loan from Juventus, but will likely be eased in if he's to be a starter at all. While he's seen wonderful form from youngsters Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho, it wouldn't be like Klopp to start both of them together, particularly in a Merseyside derby, so I expect to see Milner in one of the central midfield berths against Everton. The veteran always puts in a shift regardless of where he's deployed on the pitch, which usually leads to solid fantasy returns. It's unlikely we'll see him on set pieces, but he is a potential penalty taker even ahead of Salah, so there's always a chance, however small, of a goal in one of the most contested matches of the season.

FWD: Patson Daka

Team: Leicester City

Opponent: Brighton (Away)

Rostered: 16%

Points Last Gameweek: 2

Prospects: This is the recommendation I have the least confidence in, even though it makes perfect sense on paper for Daka to get the nod from the start against Brighton this weekend. Jamie Vardy isn't getting any younger and hasn't displayed any of the goalscoring instinct that's been crucial to his (and his team's) success over the years so far this season. Leicester are at the foot of the table and desperately need results to go their way soon if they're going to avoid a relegation scrap. And yet, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Brendan Rodgers keep the Zambian on the bench again. One positive in the 23 year-old's favor is that he did make a difference in the two minutes he was on the pitch against Man United midweek, setting up a shot that James Justin really should have done better with. I'm hoping the limited minutes he played in GW5 were with an eye to a start at the weekend, but your guess is unfortunately as good as mine.

FWD: Dominic Solanke

Team: Bournemouth

Opponent: Nottingham Forest (Away)

Rostered: 41%

Points Last Gameweek: 7.5

Prospects: It feels a bit ridiculous to say now, but there were legitimate comparisons being made between Solanke and Aleksandar Mitrovic heading into this season. Both strikers scored a ridiculous number of goals in the Championship last year and, even though the Bournemouth striker was a fair way behind his Fulham counterpart, there was an expectation that they wouldn't be too dissimilar in terms of what we should expect from them. Mitro has smashed those expectations in an impressive Fulham team, while Bournemouth have disappointed even taking their abysmal opening fixture list into account. I don't expect Solanke to come close to the production levels Mitrovic is delivering right now, but I do think we'll start to see him display some of the form that led to 29 goals last season. A match against a fellow promoted side may be a good time to take a chance.

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!

  • Matt Doherty, Defender, Tottenham. Opponent: Fulham

  • Takehiro Tomiyasu, Defender, Arsenal. Opponent: Man United

  • Fabio Carvalho, Midfielder, Liverpool. Opponent: Everton

  • Hakim Ziyech, Midfielder, Chelsea. Opponent: West Ham

  • Armando Broja, Forward, Chelsea. Opponent: West Ham

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