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 24!
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 24 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.
There were a few major letdowns from the Sleepers XI picks in Gameweek 23, especially Malo Gusto (-4.25) who in addition to following through on my caution that he could pick up a booking, also ended up conceding three goals before being substituted against Wolves. Thankfully, Luis Sinisterra (19) and James Trafford (10) spared my blushes with double digit scores on the way to a weekly score of 56 points. That brings the season tally up to 1587.25 and drops the weekly average just slightly to 69 points.
We're getting into the stage of the season where we'll see teams blanking and teams with multiple fixtures, so there's added benefit to being able to stream a few spots each week. That also means there may be some players worth drafting into your squads a week or two early with a view toward getting an additional fixture out of them in an upcoming gameweek. I'll call those out in my recommendations and also share thoughts on where that strategy may not be beneficial with regard to a particular player, position or team.
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 24. 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.
Djordje Petrovic (G, Chelsea @ Crystal Palace)
Choosing a streaming goalkeeper was actually the most difficult choice I had to make this week. I prefer the defender options I've selected over their keeper counterparts, but I also don't feel confident in any of their respective teams to recommend a defensive double-up. The remaining keepers who qualify for selection don't have particularly attractive match-ups, so if you've already got a keeper you're comfortable giving another week to, you can probably hold off on chopping and changing between the sticks this gameweek. If you are looking to bring in a new shot-stopper, though, Petrovic is perhaps the best of a poor bunch. Crystal Palace have been decimated by injuries to their star players and the Blues are coming off a confidence-boosting victory over Aston Villa in the FA Cup midweek. I'm not a fan of chasing clean sheets, but that's a distinct possibility in this fixture. In the event that Palace do score, Petrovic has been averaging more than 4 saves per game since stepping in for Robert Sanchez in December, so he should at least be able to put up a positive score.
Gabriel Osho (D, Luton v. Sheffield United)
The Hatters have been the surprise package in the Premier League this season. After a very rough acclimatization period to the rigors of the top flight, Rob Edwards has his Luton team playing a very entertaining and effective style of football. There's been more fantasy value to be found in the midfield and attack, but don't discount the defensive players in favorable fixtures like this one against a Blades team badly in need of sharpening. Osho, in particular, has shown he has the ability to be a fantasy asset since making his EPL debut at the end of October. While the Hatters have only kept two clean sheets since then (strangely, both against Newcastle), he's only scored in the negatives one time in his first match back from a long-term injury. In fact, his 7.7 ghost points per start puts him in the top 25 for defenders with 6 or more starts this season alongside the likes of Luke Shaw and Kostas Tsimikas. If Luton can manage a clean sheet against goal-shy Sheffield United, Osho could easily provide a double-digit score. Luton will also play twice in GW25, though it's worth noting their opponents will be Manchester United and Liverpool, so you may be best served treating this pick as a one-week punt.
Rayan Ait-Nouri (D, Wolves v. Brentford)
The Matt Doherty resurgence at Wolves appears to have been short-lived, with Ait-Nouri missing one full match due to his participation with Algeria in AFCON and then subbing on for his Irish teammate in the second half of the match against Manchester United in GW22. The wingback returned to the starting lineup for Wolves' impressive victory over Chelsea last gameweek and should retain his starting role in Gary O'Neill's side so long as he remains fit. Injuries have plagued the young defender's campaign, but across his last four starts for Wolves he's averaging 9 points per start with no clean sheets and a single assist. Ait-Nouri is capable of padding the stat sheet with a variety of attacking and defensive involvements and I expect him to be lively down the left flank against Brentford, whether he's linking up with Matheus Cunha or the returning Hwang Hee-Chan.
Sergio Reguilon (D, Brentford @ Wolves)
Most of the excitement among fantasy managers surrounding Reguilon's loan move to Brentford was quickly scuppered by a quick look at the Bees' horrendous fixture run. And before you get your hopes up about a double gameweek on the horizon, they'll be facing Liverpool and Manchester City. That doesn't bode well at all for defenders, but there is at least a faint glimmer of hope in this weekend's fixture against Wolves. Reguilon is coming off of a strong ghost-point outing against Man City, where he scored 4 points despite conceding three goals. The former Real Madrid, Tottenham and Manchester United defender will have his hands full against Pedro Neto, which could see Reguilon rack up a decent number of defensive points. He has also started taking a few set pieces, which is always a good source of potential points. If the Bees can keep Wolves from scoring more than a couple goals, Reguilon could be a shrewd one-week play and potential trade-out target on the promise of an upcoming double gameweek.
Christian Norgaard (M, Brentford @ Wolves)
While it's inadvisable to go for defensive assets from Brentford in the upcoming DGW 25, there's a more compelling case to be made for snatching up midfielders who offer a solid floor of points without the negatives that come with conceding goals. Norgaard is a quintessential example of the type of player you can rely on to quietly work his way up to 10-15 points across two matches. These types of players very often outscore the MID 3/4 guys you typically run out who only have a single fixture, and can be really valuable when rotation may put some of the higher upside DGW players at risk of being busts. Getting in now ahead of your league mates can be a good strategy, especially with a decent fixture against Wolves this week. Don't expect a huge points haul this week, but if you're in need of a reliable starter Norgaard can definitely do a job this week. If not and you have the space to stash him ahead of the double, he can definitely be a solid contributor in the next round.
Harvey Elliott (M, Liverpool v. Burnley)
Despite playing in one of the most potent attacking teams in the league and facing one of the most accommodating, I am still a bit wary of Elliott having the highest projected score among eligible midfielders this week. The youngster certainly has the attacking qualities to offer the high upside potential that you want to find with your streaming options, but he can also go missing at times. The good news is that there is precedent for Elliott performing well against Burnley, as he scored 10.5 points without an attacking return when Liverpool traveled to Turf Moor on Boxing Day. With Dominik Szoboszlai and Mo Salah out injured and Conor Bradley potentially still away on compassionate leave, there aren't many other options to stand in the way of Elliott starting in the right central midfield role, so a start seems more likely than usual. That said, he's yet to make it past the 65-minute mark in any of his three Premier League starts so far this campaign, so be prepared for another early substitution.
Pape Sarr (M, Tottenham v. Brighton)
After a stellar opening few months of the season, Sarr has found himself a bit on the periphery for Spurs recently, either through injury or his participation at AFCON. The Senegalese central midfielder made his playing return for Tottenham with a 25-minute appearance off the bench against Everton last week and could be in line for a return to the starting XI against Brighton ahead of Rodrigo Bentancur or Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Given the points we've seen Tottenham midfielders scoring over the course of the season under Ange Postecoglou, this is more of a recommendation to pick up a player who could offer good value as a MID4/5 for the rest of the season. That said, don't be afraid to drop him to make room for those double gameweek assets I mentioned in the intro, particularly with Spurs set to have a blank week in GW26.
Youri Tielemans (M, Aston Villa v. Manchester United)
It's easy to look at Aston Villa's 5-0 demolition of Sheffield United last week, along with their position in the table, and think they're one of the league's in-form teams. That's not been the case lately, with Unai Emery's squad offering a mixed bag of results across their last 5 League games (not to mention their abject display against Chelsea in the FA Cup midweek). Given their inconsistent form, there is a possibility that the manager decides to shake things up against United on Sunday and relegate Tielemans back to the bench. That said, the Villa boss hasn't found much luck with other options like Jacob Ramsey or Nicolo Zaniolo. New boy Morgan Rogers may be a consideration now as well, though he hasn't had much time to settle in at his new club. When he has been in the starting lineup, Tielemans has frequently offered good value, however, and Villa have been much better in front of their home fans than on the road, so I like the Belgian's chances of scoring well if he is indeed trusted from the opening kickoff. Since this is one of the later fixtures in the gameweek, be sure to have a couple backup options in mind if you decide to stick him in your squad.
Armando Broja (F, Fulham v. Bournemouth)
With Raul Jimenez sidelined through injury, the loan move for Broja may provide an escape hatch for Fulham in their search for someone to lead the line. The Chelsea forward does have some competition in the form of Rodrigo Muniz, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Albanian striker given a chance to show what he's made of in front of the Craven Cottage faithful this weekend. The 22 year-old hasn't really been able to kick start his career at Chelsea, but he did showcase his potential as a Premier League striker in his successful loan spell at Southampton in the 21/22 campaign, scoring 6 goals as a then-teenager. At a smaller club with less pressure on him, I expect Broja to carve out a spot in the starting lineup while Jimenez is out and like his chances of putting some chances on target against a Bournemouth team that hasn't kept a clean sheet in its last four matches.
Ben Brereton (F, Sheffield United @ Luton)
If Sheffield United are going to put up any sort of fight to stay in the Premier League for another campaign (however unlikely that is at this point), Brereton will very likely be one of the generals leading the way. The new arrival from Villarreal has made an immediate impact with goals in his first two matches, but was a non-factor along with the rest of his teammates against Villa last week. I expect him to be back amongst the action against a Luton team that allows more than 13 points on average to opposition forwards. The Chilean has yet to make it past the 2/3 mark in matches for his new club, but may begin seeing additional minutes as he regains match fitness.
Jean-Philippe Mateta (F, Crystal Palace v. Chelsea)
As mentioned previously, Crystal Palace are in the throes of an injury crisis, missing key men in Guehi, Doucoure, Eze and Olise heading into the match against the Blues. One of the players who has stepped up to keep the Eagles outside the relegation zone is Mateta. The French striker has delivered double-digit scores on 5 of his last 8 appearances in the Premier League, including 10 points without a goal or assist the last time Palace played Chelsea at the end of December. Odsonne Edouard has slowly started being reintegrated to the team following a long-term injury, but given Mateta's contributions in his absence it would be a shock to see a change at the point of the attack ahead of a match where Roy Hodgson really needs his side to have a strong showing. The Eagles have a pretty favorable run of fixtures after this week as well, so Mateta could be a good option for your team in the medium term.
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