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Fantrax EPL: Gameweek 7 Sleepers XI

Our Gameweek 7 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 7 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 6 was a perfect encapsulation of boom/bust, with my defensive recruits failing to amass a combined double digit score across the 5 of them (thanks largely to negative scores from Meslier and Cook, but also Klopp deciding to sub off Tsimikas one minute before he would have picked up a clean sheet bonus). On the flip side, both forwards I highlighted scored 20+. The combination resulted in 86.25 points - an improvement on GW5 - and brought the total points tally for the Sleepers squad to 566 for the season.

We're back to having a full week between Premier League fixtures. But Europe is now in full swing with the Champions League group stage getting underway so we may still see some shifting around of starting lineups, particularly for the teams competing on multiple fronts at the moment. In keeping with this theme, the vast majority of my selections this week come from teams without commitments on the mainland. Nevermind the fact that most players you'd want on the traditional Big 6 teams don't meet the rostership requirements. Let's run down the "The Other 14" to see who has earned a call-up to Sleepers XI, the hottest team in town.

GK: Bernd Leno

Team: Fulham

Opponent: Chelsea (Home)

Rostered: 11%

Points Last Gameweek: 12

Prospects: In full transparency, I made my selections this week prior to the bombshell news of the week that was Chelsea's decision to sack Thomas Tuchel. Now that he's gone, I'm not sure whether I like my selection of Leno more or less. There's always a risk of struggling players turning things around as they look to impress their new manager, and we could see Chelsea bounce back from their recent lackluster attacking performances. The former Arsenal keeper has earned the starting role from Marek Rodak at Fulham and quickly repaid the faith put in him by Marco Silva. He's yet to keep a clean sheet, but has posted positive scores in each of his four starts, including two scores of 12 points or more in the last three. The German racked up an impressive 8 saves against Spurs, and now faces a Chelsea side that may be without a manager and looking to integrate a number of new signings. This selection could blow up, but I'm banking on it taking a bit longer for Fulham's cross-town rivals to right the ship.

DEF: James Justin

Team: Leicester

Opponent: Aston Villa (Home)

Rostered: 53%

Points Last Gameweek: -4

Projected GW7 Points: 6.0

Prospects: I know, I know...recommending a Leicester defender right now is dicey to say the least, but hear me out. Prior to the 5-2 demolition against Brighton in GW6, Justin managed to score enough ghost points to stave off the negative points of goals conceded despite Leicester earning a solitary point across their opening six weeks. The wingback has been a mainstay in the lineup as Rodgers looks for that elusive first win, which may need to come against Villa this weekend in order to save his job. A clean sheet seems very unlikely here, but there was at least some show of promise in the attacking third against the Seagulls, so there's hope for Justin to contribute in the opposition half of the pitch to deliver another solid score from peripheral stats like key passes and accurate crosses.

DEF: Lloyd Kelly

Team: Bournemouth

Opponent: Brighton (Home)

Rostered: 23%

Points Last Gameweek: 8.5

Projected GW7 Points: 6.4

Prospects: From a Leicester defender to a Bournemouth're probably wondering if I've lost the plot. Maybe I have, but I like the look of Kelly this week. The Cherries are through the worst of their opening fixture run and while Brighton have so far proved they're no walk in the park, the uncertainty around their own managerial situation may have a role to play this weekend. With Scott Parker no longer at the helm, Bournemouth were seemingly free of the negativity and able to express themselves on the pitch in a manner more consistent with the performances that earned them promotion back to the EPL in the first place. Kelly didn't manage to do a whole lot in addition to his simple assist for Philip Billing's wonder strike, but has shown a decent ghost point floor (averaging nearly 8 ghosties per start) over the opening month of the season. I'm hopeful he'll outperform his projected score and reward managers willing to take the gamble.

DEF: Ben Mee

Team: Brentford

Opponent: Southampton (Away)

Rostered: 50%

Points Last Gameweek: 9.25

Projected GW7 Points: 9.1

Prospects: Finally, a recommendation where the projections don't make me question my sanity. Brentford have been so impressive this season, surprising many of the doubters (guilty) who figured they'd struggle to sustain their exceptional form from the tail end of last season without a certain Danish midfielder pulling the strings. There were also worries in defense heading into this season given the long-term mystery absence of last season's fantasy darling Ethan Pinnock. While he may be restored to the starting lineup in the not too distant future, Mee has been a very capable stand-in. The former Burnley center back has been very strong aerially, accounting for many of his points, but has also delivered points across a variety of scoring categories. Southampton don't put in a ton of crosses from open play, but their threat from set pieces means Mee should be kept plenty busy at the heart of the Bees' defense. A clean sheet would be a welcome bonus, but perhaps not necessary to return a respectable score.

DEF: Takehiro Tomiyasu

Team: Arsenal

Opponent: Everton (Home)

Rostered: 50%

Points Last Gameweek: 1

Projected GW7 Points: 9.6

Prospects: The lone selection from a top 6 club may not get a start this week depending on how Arsenal line up in Europe, but I've got to hang my hat somewhere and I'm placing it on the head of Tomiyasu. Mikel Arteta's men faltered for the first time against Man United in GW6, and after sticking with a largely unchanged side across the opening fixtures, I expect to see some rotation introduced as we move forward. The Gunners' right back has been missing from action for what seems like an age now after suffering an injury last season, but appears to be close to full fitness and knocking on the door for a starting spot at right back. Ben White has done an okay job, but the Japanese defender brings much, much more to the position and I feel it's only a matter of time before he reclaims the role. If you decide to bring Tomiyasu into your team, make sure you have a backup option or can afford to bench him if he doesn't get the start this weekend (presumably due to starting in the Europa League). This is a longer-term play if you can buy in now.

MID: Vitaly Janelt

Team: Brentford

Opponent: Southampton (Away)

Rostered: 19%

Points Last Gameweek: 7

Projected GW7 Points: 7.9

Prospects: Keeping the Brentford love-in going, I'm going with a streaming favorite from last year in Janelt. With Christian Norgaard out until after the international break with an Achilles injury, we should see Thomas Frank keep the faith with the German as the deepest lying midfielder. Don't let that dissuade you from adding him to your roster, though. Janelt has delivered a goal and an assist in his last three games, as well as a decent 7 pointer in just shy of 70 minutes last week. With the attacking form of Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo ahead of him, Janelt has plenty of opportunity to earn another goal involvement, particularly as the Bees will likely have an extra man in the middle of the park at Saint Mary's.

MID: Solly March

Team: Brighton

Opponent: Bournemouth (Away)

Rostered: 56%

Points Last Gameweek: 22

Projected GW7 Points: 9.3

Prospects: I'm honestly not quite sure how March remains under the rostership threshold to be eligible for selection. I'd venture a guess to say he's probably not available in most active leagues, but if he is it's a real mystery given his performances so far this season. Even prior to the 22 points he delivered against lowly Leicester in GW6, March has been a lock in the lineup for Graham Potter and put in the work to justify him keeping his place ahead of the more traditional wingback in Tariq Lamptey. With Potter looking likely to make the switch to manage Chelsea, there may be a chance of March losing his spot, but it's hard to see it on current form regardless of who's in charge come this weekend. If March is, in fact, rostered in your league, you could do worse than picking up any of the other qualifying Brighton midfielders (Mac Allister, Caicedo and Mwepu) as the Seagulls look to continue their exceptional start to the season against Bournemouth.

MID: Jacob Ramsey

Team: Aston Villa

Opponent: Leicester (Away)

Rostered: 42%

Points Last Gameweek: 10

Projected GW7 Points: 8.2

Prospects:  As is the case for his opposing number, it looks like Steven Gerrard could be on his final life in the game that is Premier League management. Aston Villa had been an abject disaster in the opening five weeks, but showed signs of life in a spirited contest against Man City last time out. Gerrard has chopped and changed quite a bit, but has shown faith in Ramsey in important games so far this season. The England youngster looks to have established a good rapport with Douglas Luiz and Boubacar Kamara, so it remains to be seen whether Stevie G will stick with a successful combination or look to switch things up by reintroducing Coutinho and/or Buendia. If Ramsey continues, particularly in the more advanced role he was deployed in against City, he looks like a solid choice to bolster your midfield for this week against a much more forgiving Foxes side.

MID: Joe Willock

Team: Newcastle

Opponent: West Ham (Away)

Rostered: 47%

Points Last Gameweek: 6

Projected GW7 Points: 9.1

Prospects:  Former "Steady Eddies" like Declan Rice and John McGinn have suffered from poor form and results so far this season, but it looks like Willock may be one of the players to take up the mantle this season. The Newcastle midfielder has seemingly shifted away from being a boom or bust type fantasy asset last season to being a model of consistency so far this campaign, putting up scores of 6, 8, 7, 10, 8.5 and 6 so far without any goal involvements. Still, we know there's a goalscorer in there and it feels like it's only a matter of time before he contributes with a goal or assist. A trip to face a shaky West Ham side coming off a late European fixture on Thursday may be just what the doctor ordered.

FWD: Jordan Ayew

Team: Crystal Palace

Opponent: Man United (Home)

Rostered: 23%

Points Last Gameweek: 11

Projected GW7 Points: 8.3

Prospects: This selection was always going to be one for the short-term, with the smart money on Michael Olise eventually regaining his starting role on the right wing (my guess is right after the international break). But Ayew has flown under the radar so far this season and could be a worthwhile pick-up for this week (it would have made sense for one additional week if the GW8 fixture between Palace and Brighton had not been postponed). Patrick Vieira typically turns to the Ghanaian in matches where defensive support is needed, so I expect Ayew to get the start against an in-form United team flying high after their victory over Arsenal in GW6. The Eagles forward is a ghost point magnet, even though he doesn't appear to do much aside from get away with multiple yellow card offenses while he's on the pitch. Give him a shot if you still need to fill a forward slot late in the game week. Just be wary of the limited opportunities you'll have to replace him in case he doesn't start, with only Monday's match between Leeds and Nottingham Forest to be played afterward (a key reason why you don't see players from those teams represented here as well).

FWD: Leon Bailey

Team: Aston Villa

Opponent: Leicester (Away)

Rostered: 56%

Points Last Gameweek: 11

Projected GW7 Points: 9.3

Prospects: In addition to the noteworthy performance from Ramsey against Man City, the man he assisted also deserves a shout. Bailey has to be up there as one of the most frustrating fantasy assets to roster, dating back to last season when he would make an appearance, show flashes of brilliance and then pick up an injury. Thankfully, he hasn't faced the same issues so far this season, but he has had his minutes carefully managed to avoid such a recurrence. The Jamaican is such an exciting player when he's on form, capable of mazy dribbles, line-breaking runs and, as we saw against City, stunning strikes. A must-win match against bottom of the table Leicester has set the stage, but will it be rejoicing or regret? That's the gamble you take with Bailey. If you can steel your nerves, you could stand to reap some mighty benefits. Just...temper your expectations so you don't get hurt (and hope he doesn't as well).

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!

  • Liam Cooper, Defender, Leeds. Opponent: Nottingham Forest

  • Kostas Tsimikas, Defender, Liverpool. Opponent: Wolves

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

  • Patson Daka, Forward, Leicester. Opponent: Aston Villa

  • Emmanuel Dennis, Forward, Nottingham Forest. Opponent: Leeds

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