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 16!
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 16 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 again this week, with Friday one of the very few days sans EPL footy until the new year. Speaking of last gameweek, the Gameweek 15 Sleepers XI put up a respectable 82.75 points with Sarabia (15.5), Gomez (14.25), Castagne (10.25), and Sanchez (19) all delivering double digit hauls. The season tally now stands at 984.75 points, improving the weekly average to 65.65 points.
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 16. 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 16 Waivers and the latest episode of the Key Pass Collective for some additional insights from the Draft Society team.
Wolves GK (G, Wolves v Nottingham Forest)
We featured Bentley in our Waiver Wire article and mentioned that he might lose his spot if Sá is back so I was going to shy away from choosing a Wolves GK. But I realized that Sá is actually also below our 60% rostered threshold, so I will double down on this GK situation as it is a relatively early game. You might want to hold both or be quick on the draw when lineups are anounced as they have potentially the best matchup of the GW. Along with Brentford, Liverpool, and City, they have great odds for a clean sheet. Forest are generating 3.2 Shots on target on average in the last 5 games, so expect double digit points with a CS if all goes well.
Lewis Hall (D, Newcastle @ Spurs)
We have been clamouring for a Hall start for 3 weeks now and it has not happened yet as Newcastle again went unchanged in the midweek games, besides the GK swap due to Pope's injury. The difference is that they were thoroughly outplayed and outclassed by a ruthless Everton team. Howe needs to make a change and Hall is on the top of the list of players who can provide a spark, so we expect him to feature. So much so that I will go out on a limb and say I would trust this start projection even without cover even though it is the last game. Hall's 45 minutes so far in the league treated us to a 10 ghost point haul so we are expecting big things from the Chelsea loanee.
Max Kilman (D, Wolves v Nottingham Forest)
My reasoning is similar to that of the GK position. Forest are absolutely atrocious away from home, they are averaging less than a goal a game and conceding 2.25 on average. They have lost their last 4 games and are looking increasingly likely to be sucked into a relegation scrap. We have not been able to nail down the classic alpha/beta role split between Dawson and Kilman when it comes to aerial dominance as both players are capable of dominating on their day. Our Ghost Point Tracker has Kilman just above 7 ghosts, which should provide a decent cushion in the off chance Forest sneak a goal.
Tosin Adarabioyo (D, Fulham v. West Ham)
Formerly a favourite streamer of ours, Tosin has failed to hit the form of previous years this season as he has only started one game so far. Last GW in the annihilation of Forest. Has he done enough to keep his spot? We hope so, as he put up a very respectable 12.5 points with a clean sheet with not much to do against hapless Nottingham Forest. He will surely have much more work this time around, but if he is given the nod, he could end up ghosting well against cross-happy West Ham.
Harvey Elliot (M Liverpool @ Crystal Palace)
The fixture congestion, coupled with Macca's injury and Endo's and Gravenberch's rise in prominence in the 6 role, have us believing in a midfield reshuffle that may result in a start for Elliot. Setting up against a low block is not something Liverpool do well. Their lack of creativity from midifeld when not running at their opponents could point to Klopp opting for Elliot, who has been known to be able to play the killer pass between the lines and could help a ton with offensive rotations on the right. This would allow Szobo to feature on the left side of a midifeld 3, the position he occupies to devastating effect for his national team.
Ryan Christie (M, Bournemouth v. Man Utd)
Christie has been flying under the radar a bit, but he has been a very solid fantasy option for a while now in this resurgent Bournemouth team. His 3 double digit returns in the last 4 games speaks volumes about his scoring potential. This is even more impressive given he only scored one attacking return in there (an assist against Villa) during that stretch. He is a mainstay in Iraola's side, he rarely gets subbed, is on sets, and he can score a ton of ghost points. What is not to like?
Scott McTominay (M, Man Utd @ Bournemouth)
It seems that the young Scot has come to save United again, grabbing his starting chance with both hands as he scored to help his team overcome Chelsea in the midweek game. I dont expect McTominay to keep up Messi/Cristiano/Haaland level 1+ goal/game level returns, but he does get into very good positions, so his stat sheet will benefit from attacking as well as defensive points.
Vitaly Janelt (M, Brentford @ Sheffield United)
We, like many others, felt uneasy starting Janelt who has been playing out of position (not the good kind, a mid featuring in defense) for the last few games. We were wrong. He has really found a new fantasy gear ocupying the right back spot, scoring 8, 10.5 and 15.5 in his last 3 games. He should continue to flourish in this new role in the absence of Jensen, especially when facing the worst team in the league this weekend.
Luis Sinisterra (F, Bournemouth v. Man Utd)
Reminiscent of Joao Pedro, the Colombian has been doing the most from the bench. But he finally got a start midweek and paired an assist with a few ghosts. This could be the start of a nice run for Sinisterra - Man Utd this weekend isn't the worst matchup, especially given Bournemouth's fine form. He could potentially turn into a longer hold given that Semenyo & Outarra are both off to Afcon at the end of January. We all know from his stint at Leeds that he can ball out fantasy-wise - he just needs to stay fit and in the good graces of Iraola.
Neal Maupay (F, Brentford @ Sheffield United)
The diminutive forward has gotten a new lease on life back at his old club in West London. With Toney suspended and Mbeumo now out with a knock, Maupay will be the main man up front. While he had an underwhelming day at the office against Brighton, he dropped nearly 20 the week before against Luton Town. Another matchup with a relegation fodder beckons.
Raul Jimenez (F, Fulham v. West Ham)
In a blast from the past, Raul Jimenez is scoring goals again. His brace against Forest in GW 15 delivered a haul for those nostalgic managers among us. Another decent matchup against West Ham at home is forthcoming, and if he can continue to roll back the years, the goals could flow. Let's be cautious given that he has shown he is quite capable of dropping a 0.5 point performance like he did a few GWs ago v his old club, Wolves. He is boom or bust. If you need potential upside at FWD, he is your guy.
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