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Gameweek 22 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 22!


Brighton fans wave flags at the AmEx Stadium

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 22 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.


The marathon that was Gameweek 21 is finally over, but we're still a few days away from the next round of fixtures due to the FA Cup matches taking place this weekend. While we wait, let's take a look back. The Sleepers XI team delivered a respectable 74.25 points, thanks in large part to Djordje Petrovic (19), Gustavo Hamer (13.5) and Wilson Odobert (11.5). That brings the total score for the season to1472 points, finally pushing the weekly average up to the 70-point mark.


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 22. 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.



Jose Sa (G, Wolves v. Manchester United)

There were a couple less secure starters (Jason Steele) and unknown quantities (Altay Bayindir) I was considering when making my selections this week, but security is often what you want to be looking for in a keeper. Sa has been a pretty steady performer for Wolves this season and, on the back of two consecutive League clean sheets, he'll be in confident form to close out the week's fixtures against United on Thursday. Wolves' defensive solidity doesn't often lead to a huge number of saves for the Portuguese keeper, but United's high shot volume and relative profligacy in front of goal could see him rack up a few more than usual or keep another clean sheet. Both would be a most welcome bonus, but let's not get greedy with our streamers.


Jan-Paul van Hecke (D, Brighton @ Luton)

I've generally steered clear of recommending Brighton defensive assets this season, and for good reason. The Seagulls failed to register a clean sheet for nearly half of the campaign. But there are signs that Roberto de Zerbi is finally starting to rectify the issues that have led to so many goals being conceded. Facing Luton at Kenilworth Road has proven to be no easy task, so a third League clean sheet in a row may be a bridge too far for van Hecke and company this week, but that doesn't mean selecting the Dutch defender is without merits. The Hatters' propensity to pump crosses into the opposition box lends itself to plenty of aerial duels, which van Hecke is quite adept at. In fact, he won 8 aerials in the 0-0 draw against Wolves last gameweek. Add in some clearances and blocked shots, a potential clean sheet and maybe even some attacking opportunities from set pieces and you've got a pretty compelling case to make the claim.


Jayden Bogle (D, Sheffield United @ Crystal Palace)

Be forewarned that I'm going against our points projections with my recommendation for Bogle, but also hear me out. Since Chris Wilder returned to the helm, the 23 year-old has been a mainstay in the starting lineup and completed the full match in each of his appearances. He's yet to deliver a negative score during Wilder's second spell in charge and last gameweek he put up 10.5 points despite conceding two goals. There are promising signs that Bogle's involvement in both the offensive and defensive side of the game for the Blades could see him become a fantasy asset worth holding onto. A match against an out of sorts Crystal Palace team may offer some opportunities to build on the recent positive momentum.


Marcos Senesi (D, Bournemouth @ West Ham)

After a sub-par score against Tottenham and a subsequent suspension for yellow card accumulation for the match against Liverpool in GW21, Senesi finds himself available in quite a few more leagues than he would have been prior to these two fixtures. For anyone who may have missed it, the Argentine had a four-match run where he averaged just shy of 20 points per game. It's true those scores were aided by clean sheets and attacking returns, but in a season where finding high-scoring defenders is like locating the proverbial needle in a haystack, Senesi is capable of adding some sharpness and danger to your team. West Ham looked completely lost in the absence of Lucas Paqueta and Mohammed Kudus against Sheffield United last time out, and while they'll most likely be able to call upon their Ghanaian attacker again, they're still missing the crucial creative outlet that the Brazilian midfielder provides. The Cherries will see this match as an opportunity to get back on track after two difficult defeats.


Tosin Adarabioyo (D, Fulham v. Everton)

Another center back who has proven crucial to his team's success in recent weeks, Adarabioyo can be an interesting streaming option for you if you missed out on Antonee Robinson or aren't as confident in the starting likelihood for Kenny Tete (who has made the Reserves this week, for what it's worth). While he never broke through to the first team there, the former Man City defender is showing why he was on their books in the first place with some quality defensive displays for the Cottagers. He'll be expected to contest plenty of aerial duels against Dominic Calvert-Lewin this week, but has also shown across his recent performances that he's got the ability to make interceptions and block shots. If you're looking for a reliable defender with a solid floor who's unlikely to score in the negatives, Adarabioyo is a strong option over the next couple gameweeks.


Alex Scott (M, Bournemouth @ West Ham)

I originally put Scott in the Reserves this for this gameweek, but following a brilliant display in the FA Cup win over Swansea on Thursday I believe he's made a strong enough case to be included from the start against West Ham. The central midfielder scored and assisted in the 5-0 victory and, as we've seen previously, commanded a share of set piece duties while he was on the pitch. If Scott can nail down a starting spot, he won't remain in streamer territory for long; in fact, he's already more than 75% rostered across the Big 3 leagues. The downside for this week is that the fixture falls on the final day of the gameweek, so there may not be too many options to pivot to in the event that Scott is on the bench from the start again. Keep an eye out for fellow Bournemouth midfielder and Reserve option David Brooks, though, who will also be pushing for a Premier League start after an excellent FA Cup display of his own.


James Milner (M, Brighton @ Luton)

Wolves did a good job of stifling the creativity of Brighton's attackers last gameweek, including Milner, but prior to the goalless stalemate the veteran midfielder had been delivering some very attractive fantasy scores. Operating as a left-sided wingback, the journeyman has been linking up well with Pervis Estupinan and Joao Pedro to create goalscoring opportunities. While he will most likely be relegated back to bench duty when Kaoru Mitoma and Simon Adingra return from international duty, Milner should get at least one or two more chances to make an impact in what appears to be a productive role. Luton, for all their attacking threat at home, have still struggled to shut down their opponents. They've allowed nearly 10 points per game on average to opposition midfielders when playing at Kenilworth Road, so signs are good for Milner to get back close to the double-digit scores he delivered prior to last gameweek.


Jefferson Lerma (M, Crystal Palace v. Sheffield United)

Much like my colleague Ryan, I'm having a hard time determining when one of Crystal Palace's more defensively minded midfielders is going to come through with a good fantasy score. Generally speaking, you should be excited about the prospect of a player who scored 8.5 points in a 5-0 defeat away to Arsenal. But when that same player scored 1 point in a win against Burnley and 23 in a loss to Everton, it's anyone's guess what to expect. As we saw with his late-season heroics with Bournemouth last campaign (where he scored a brace to essentially doom Leeds), Lerma is capable of producing the spectacular, but he's more often your run-of-the-mill central midfielder for fantasy purposes. I'm including him here mostly in the hope that he can rediscover the early season form that saw him averaging nearly 10 points per start before an injury sidelined him for a month. There also aren't too many attractive midfield options to stream this week that are guaranteed starters, so if that's what you need then Lerma can definitely be a warm body on your roster if nothing else.


Antoine Semenyo (F, Bournemouth @ West Ham)

Chris Hughton's Ghana team drastically underperformed expectations at AFCON and, as a result, Semenyo has made an early return from Ivory Coast to the South Coast. The winger even made the bench for the Cherries' midweek FA Cup match and should step straight back into Andoni Iraola's starting lineup, likely at the expense of Luis SInisterra. Prior to joining up with his national team, Semenyo was a regular starter for his club (though he is prone to an early substitution). Comparisons have been made to fantasy legend Allan Saint-Maximin, and while he hasn't done enough yet to put him on the same level as ASM, Semenyo does provide plenty of flair to go along with his attacking threat. As mentioned previously, Bournemouth should approach this as a winnable game despite the Hammers somehow being a top-6 side at the moment.


Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld (F, Everton @ Fulham)

Injuries to Abdoulaye Doucoure and Andre Gomes should pave the way for a rare Danjuma start for Everton this week. Despite being connected with a potential move away from the Merseyside club, it would be a shock to see the Dutch attacker out of the squad. It's a case of needs-must for Sean Dyche, who either doesn't totally trust or hasn't figured out the right way to play the Villarreal loanee. Danjuma should operate in the #10 role, joining DCL as a second striker in attacking sequences and linking up with Dwight McNeil and Jack Harrison on the flanks. He's only started on four occasions this season so we don't have a huge amount of data to reference, but in those starts he is averaging 7.5 points per start with one goal to his name. Fulham have allowed 10.5 points on average to opposition forwards at Craven Cottage this season, so there's hope for Danjuma to improve upon that average.


Oliver McBurnie (F, Sheffield United @ Crystal Palace)

Chris Wilder opted to start the match against West Ham with William Osula in attack, but made the decision to replace the ineffective youngster with McBurnie at halftime. The Scottish striker scored a dramatic late equalizer from the penalty spot to earn his side a point, but even before his goal he was looking sharp and causing problems for the Hammers defense. His promising display should stand him in good stead to earn a start against Crystal Palace this week, and with the Eagles low on confidence following their 5-0 defeat against Arsenal there's every chance for McBurnie to score in a third consecutive Premier League appearance.


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