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Gameweek 15 Sleepers XI: Fantrax EPL

We look to the waiver wire and free agent pool each week to highlight some under-the-radar players who could be a short-term or even long-term solution for your Fantrax EPL fantasy teams. Our Sleepers XI provides fantasy managers with a full squad of differential picks, and some high upside options to plug in if they are in the starting lineup. Don't sleep on these underappreciated gems as you put together your roster for Gameweek 15!

A game of soccer being played at night under a single floodlight

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 15 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 "Big 3" -- the twenty 12-team divisions that comprise the ultra-competitive DraftPL Community League and International Genie League, as well as the eight equally competitive 10-team divisions in the Discord Super 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.

It's a tight turnaround this week, with the end of the last round just two days removed from the beginning of the next set of Premier League fixtures. Speaking of last gameweek, the Gameweek 14 Sleepers XI put up an on-par, but admirable 63.5 points, especially considering the warmup injury to Kristoffer Ajer, no-show from Curtis Jones and uncharacteristic negative score for Ogbene (-0.5). Dara O'Shea (20.75) was again a man possessed in defense, while Tino Livramento (13), Ross Barkley (10) and Ehor Yarmolenko (9) all delivered. The season tally now stands at 902 points, keeping the weekly average right around the 64.5 point mark. This week will likely prove tricky as managers will have to decide whether to rotate midweek or use the upcoming weekend's fixtures in GW16 to provide their players a rest. It may be a bit of both, so if you have the luxury to make live lineup changes you'll need to be on your toes when the team sheets are announced.

The Sleepers XI table below includes a full team of Starters, as well as 5 Reserves -- high-upside players with some question marks around whether or not they'll start in Gameweek 15. Keep an eye out when lineups drop and pick them up if you see them starting and need to fill a spot on your roster. Read on below for the rationale behind each of the Starter selections.

For the sake of getting this article to you in time for you to read it and make any decisions before lineups come out, this week will feature slightly abbreviated explanations. Be sure to check out our Gameweek 15 Waivers and the latest episode of the Key Pass Collective for some additional insights from the Draft Society team.

Robert Sanchez (G, Chelsea @ Manchester United)

Chelsea's new number one was one of the heroes in their victory over Sanchez's previous team, Brighton, in Gameweek 14. The Spanish shot-stopper came up big with 7 saves to put him in double digits for points despite conceding twice and being booked. The Blues are allowing a lot of shots this season, with Sanchez making 4 or more saves on five occasions so far this season. A trip to face a Red Devils side that averages nearly 4.5 shots on target per match but just over 1 goal per game could be a recipe for another high score.

Joseph Gomez (D, Liverpool @ Sheffield United)

With Joel Matip very likely out through injury and both starting fullbacks playing the majority of the match against Fulham on Sunday, Gomez should be in line for a recall to the starting lineup against the Blades. The versatile defender is often drafted in to provide better aerial support than Kostas Tsimikas can manage (one can't help but think he would have done better against Bobby Decordova-Reid for Fulham's third goal at the weekend). While he won't have to contend with Oli McBurnie, he should still have the opportunity to rack up a few points from aerial duels to go along with a potential clean sheet and any more attacking contributions he can muster against the worst Premier League team in recent memory. The Reds will hope they'll have had this fixture before the new manager bump can take effect.

Lewis Hall (D, Newcastle @ Everton)

After naming an unchanged side against Manchester United over the weekend, there's almost certainly going to be rotation among the Newcastle ranks for their trip to Everton. Hall appears to have lost the battle to be the regular stand-in for the injury-stricken Dan Burn to Tino Livramento, but the former Chelsea youngster should get his chance this week either in place of, or possibly with, Livramento. Hall earned 10 points without a goal or assist in a 45-minute appearance earlier in the season, showcasing his penchant for racking up peripheral stats. Given the fatigue that's likely set in among the rest of the available Magpies, Hall should be on the pitch for a longer period of time against the Toffees.

Matt Doherty (D, Wolves v. Burnley)

It was a surprise to see Hugo Bueno jump straight back into the starting lineup against Arsenal following a fairly lengthy injury layoff. Doherty came in to replace the fullback around the hour mark against the Gunners and seems likely to earn a start for the home fixture against Burnley given Bueno's presumed lack of match fitness. If Bueno is able to go again, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Doherty utilized in his preferred role on the right side of the Wolves defense to give Nelson Semedo a much-needed rest. In addition to being a favorable fixture, we know that the Irish fullback has historically been an excellent fantasy asset when given the opportunity to impress from the start.

Timothy Castagne (D, Fulham v. Nottingham Forest)

Antonee Robinson stole the headlines for fantasy purposes with his PL-record 13 interceptions against Liverpool, but it was also a notable evening for Fulham's other fullback on the night as Kenny Tete marked his return to the team with a goal. After such a lengthy spell on the sidelines, however, it's very likely we'll see Tete return to the bench in favor of a rested Castagne. The Belgian was on the pitch for both of Liverpool's late goals and not much else on the way to -3.75 points in GW14, but when he's started he's tended to fare far better. The Cottagers have found more attacking success recently, with a lot of their goalscoring chances coming from wide areas. Forest have a poor record away from home, so it could be an opportunity for Marco Silva's men to continue their promising recent uptick in performances.

Jeffrey Schlupp (M, Crystal Palace v. Bournemouth)

Sleepers XI talisman Schlupp missed the match against West Ham due to a personal matter, but is reportedly set to be available when the Eagles host the Cherries on Wednesday. The Ghanaian has been deployed in a more advanced wide role this season following the departure of Wilf Zaha and I think he'll cause problems on the left wing against veteran fullback Adam Smith. While Andoni Iraola has finally started to get some positive results out of his side, Bournemouth are still the most favorable team to target with midfielders this week, having allowed more than 12 points on average to their opponents on their travels so far this season.

Johann Gudmundsson (M, Burnley @ Wolves)

Jacob Bruun Larsen earned his first start of the season in the 5-0 victory over Sheffield United, but even with scoring a goal it would be a surprise to see him retain his place in the starting lineup given his lack of playing time so far this season. The Dane was replaced just after the hour mark by Gudmundsson, who offered up 5 key passes in his limited time on the pitch. The Icelandic midfielder has rediscovered his fantasy form from years back over the past few gameweeks, averaging double digit scores across his last 5 outings. Prior to being given a rest against the Blades, Gudmundsson had started four matches in a row for the Clarets. He has been taking roughly half of his team's set pieces as well, which typically offers the opportunity for relatively easy points from key passes.

Lewis Cook (M, Bournemouth @ Crystal Palace)

Another player who has recently taken on a share of his team's set pieces is Cook, who has taken on some of the responsibility following the unfortunate injury to the very promising Alex Scott. Cook has flown under the radar, particularly given the scoring of fellow midfielders Ryan Christie and Marcus Tavernier, but a quick look through his Game Log reveals a more than serviceable midfield option for your team. Scores of 11.5, 11 and 8.5 across his last three games is better than a lot of much more popular and highly rostered players. There is, of course, a possibility that Iraola decides to make wholesale changes and give a start to someone like Joe Rothwell instead, so keep an eye on team news and have a backup plan in mind.

Pablo Sarabia (M, Wolves v. Burnley)

After his incredible goal and assist in injury time to secure victory over Tottenham in GW12, most folks assumed Sarabia would be thrown straight into the starting lineup for Wolves' next match against Fulham. He didn't even make it off the bench and was again left out of the starting lineup against Arsenal this past weekend, though he did at least make an appearance as a substitute. There were rumors of a disciplinary issue at the heart of his absence against the Cottagers, but the fact that he made his playing return at the weekend suggests whatever spat there was between Sarabia and Gary O'Neill is water under the bridge. The Spanish winger will hope to earn a rare start against Burnley to make his case for his inclusion in the first team moving forward. He'll certainly be motivated and will likely preside over at least a percentage of set pieces on the day.

Antoine Semenyo (F, Bournemouth @ Crystal Palace)

As usual, predicting forwards is a real challenge this week.  In an ideal world, I'd use this space to recommend whichever Bournemouth wide forward(s) start given the Cherries seem to have turned a corner with some positive results and momentum on their side of late. I've opted for Semenyo given his excellent recent form, as well as the relatively low number of minutes he's played in the last two matches (69 against Villa and 65 against Sheffield United) that could mean he's got enough in the tank to start midweek. That said, the pacy Ghanaian has the likes of Luis Sinisterra and Dango Ouattara breathing down his neck and either of them could supplant him in the starting lineup. Palace have been pretty stingy at home, but Bournemouth are creating a lot of attacking opportunities and I think there are enough ghost points on offer to be satisfied with even without a goal contribution.

Luca Koleosho (F, Burnley @ Wolves)

In full transparency, I'm on the fence as to whether Koleosho will be called upon from the start against Wolves. The teenage winger has started each of the last five Premier League matches for Vincent Kompany, which suggests he's made the starting role his own. However, with such a tight turnaround of matches and heavy fixture congestion on the horizon as we get into the festive period, the Clarets manager will need to be strategic about how much the youngster can handle. Burnley will have been buoyed by their emphatic win over Sheffield United and Koleosho in particular will likely have been thrilled to finally notch his first Premier League goal. If he is named to the starting lineup again, I like his chances to kick on and build on his exciting performances that until this past weekend had only been missing the end product.

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