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Gameweek 29 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 29!


A picture of the main stand of the Nottingham Forest stadium from the riverbank

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 29 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.


Gameweek 28 was a disastrous one for the Sleepers XI picks, with only Jean-Philippe Mateta (18.5) breaking double digits on the way to a woeful 49 points. Hopefully you were able to prioritize the higher upside guys I mentioned to pick up instead if they were available, as they fared significantly better (Ryan Christie nearly outscored the entire team, in fact). That score marginally increases the season total to 2007.25, but knocks nearly a full point off the weekly average, which plummets to 71.75.


Hopefully this week will see a return to the string of above-average scores that had been rolling in lately. That may prove challenging, as only 8 teams are in action in the Premier League this week. That will make streaming much more challenging due to the competition to bring in players likely to start, and may mean you're deciding between dropping a valuable longer-term player and bringing in a replacement who may or may not score enough points to help you win your match-up. Be sure to factor this into your decisions when dropping and adding players for this week. It may not be worth it to significantly alter your roster for the payoff of a win this gameweek.


The Sleepers XI selections below include 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 29. 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.


Matz Sels (G, Nottingham Forest @ Luton)

If you're gambling on a keeper with a fixture this week, be prepared for any outcome. There were a couple other qualifying candidates in Trafford and Flekken who have come through with solid runs of scoring at times this season, but they're also less likely to be available than Sels, so I've opted for the Forest keeper this week. The January arrival hasn't been able to single-handedly change his team's fortunes (they've lost four of the six matches he's started), but outside of his involvement in a bizarre own goal in the defeat to Brighton last week, he looked confident and capable. Visitors Luton have shown they can score plenty of goals, but you probably would have said the same for Brighton, who only managed to score one. If not the Seagulls, then certainly Liverpool, who also only managed a solitary goal back in Gameweek 27.


Harry Toffolo (D, Nottingham Forest @ Luton)

I'm not usually one to double up on defensive assets with these recommendations, but I'm not feeling great about defenders from any of the home teams this week and Toffolo has a much higher ceiling than many of the other available options. The Forest fullback had lost his place in the starting lineup to Nuno Tavares for most of February, but has recently been reinstated due to an injury to the on-loan Arsenal defender. We haven't been treated to a repeat of the two-assist, 27-point performance Toffolo delivered against Aston Villa back in November, but he's still putting up a very respectable 9.1 ghost points per start, partially the result of his ability to get into attacking positions to deliver crosses. As long as Forest can keep Luton from scoring another 3-4 goals this weekend, Toffolo has every chance to find himself among the top scoring defenders this time around.


Mads Roerslev (D, Brentford @ Burnley)

I'll be honest...there really aren't that many streamable defenders I'd be comfortable starting this week with any level of confidence that they'd deliver a positive score, and in just about any other week I wouldn't be including Roerslev in my recommendations. Aside from his performance against Chelsea a couple weeks back where he was seemingly everywhere on the pitch (and even cropped up with his first Premier League goal), he doesn't ghost well. This is one of the very few gameweeks where I can abide chasing a clean sheet (though I still don't condone it), so if you're in that boat the Dane is an option you can consider. If it helps you feel better about the decision, Brentford sit atop our Fixture Difficulty Tracker for defenders for the next 5 gameweeks and have the best fixture, statistically speaking, against Burnley this weekend. Can you tell I'm not a fan of this move and am just filling my defender quota to get to a full XI? Please don't drop a player with long-term value for Roerslev.


Radu Dragusin (D, Tottenham @ Fulham)

Sometimes the stars align and the timing is ideal to bring in a player who suddenly could have value where they previously had none. With the injury sustained by Micky van de Ven in Gameweek 28, Dragusin has the opportunity to step up and establish his credentials in both real life and in fantasy terms. The Romanian center back earned his first significant minutes off the bench against Aston Villa last week and admittedly didn't have a huge amount to do as Spurs cruised to a comfortable victory. A resurgent Fulham may provide a few more opportunities for the 22 year-old to get involved, however. Given his lack of playtime since his arrival from Genoa in the January transfer window, we don't have much of anything to reference in terms of fantasy potential, but Dragusin is also one of two or three starting players on Spurs likely to be available in most leagues.


Edson Alvarez (M, West Ham v. Aston Villa)

There were a fair number of disappointed fantasy managers when the West Ham lineup was announced for their match against Burnley last time around and Alvarez was on the bench, especially those who had plans to hang onto him for this week's fixture. Even more frustrating for those managers who ultimately dropped the Mexican was the fact that he came on at half-time for the ineffective Kalvin Phillips and played a part in earning the Hammers a draw. As a traditional holding midfielder, Alvarez isn't typically a particularly exciting fantasy asset, but in a week where time on the pitch is a factor worth considering you could do much worse. The former Ajax man almost always plays the full 90 when he is in the starting lineup, and had been on a good run of fantasy form prior to his unexpected absence against the Clarets (scores of 27, 4.5, -1, 12, 8.5 and 9 in his six previous EPL starts). Given Phillips' uninspired performances, I'd expect to see Alvarez restored to the starting lineup against Villa.


Frank Onyeka (M, Brentford @ Burnley)

With Christian Norgaard sidelined through injury, Onyeka should be a secure starter for Brentford in their match against Burnley. The Nigerian delivered a disappointing 0 in the defeat to Arsenal, but he's certainly not the first player to find it difficult to get a foothold in a match against the Gunners this season. There's more encouraging news if you look to the three previous gameweeks, where Onyeka provided double-digit scores in each, including a match against Manchester City. He may not have as many opportunities to get into the attacking third while Norgaard is out, but I still expect him to provide a solid floor of points through his contributions in the midfield battle.


Pape Sarr (M, Tottenham @ Fulham)

The last time I included Sarr in my Sleepers XI back in Gameweek 24, he came through with a 10-pointer. The only issue is that was with a goal. The Senegalese midfielder is coming off of a similar scenario last week, where he scored 8.5 points in a match where he provided an assist. In other words, the ghost points haven't been flowing for the Spurs man like they were in the first half of the campaign. Still, Sarr is someone who can contribute with attacking returns and this Spurs team is in excellent form at the moment, having lost only once since the beginning of the calendar year. It's not the flashiest pick by any means, but those are going to be hard to come by this week.


Youri Tielemans (M, Aston Villa @ West Ham)

It's all central midfielders this week, as the higher upside wingers are either already taken or have more questions marks surrounding their starting status. Tielemans was given a bit of a breather for Villa's Europa Conference League match against Ajax on Thursday, coming in at halftime to help his team on their way to a 4-0 victory. The Belgian will almost certainly be restored to the starting lineup for the match against West Ham this weekend, however, with John McGinn set to serve the first of a three-match ban in the Premier League for the red card he received against Tottenham in Gameweek 28. Tielemans has been scoring pretty well since earning a place in the starting lineup and always has a world-class goal in his locker. With McGinn out, there's a small possibility he could take some set pieces as well.


Callum Hudson-Odoi (F, Nottingham Forest @ Luton)

Following a run of five consecutive Premier League starts, Hudson-Odoi was surprisingly dropped to the bench for the match against Brighton at the weekend. The former Chelsea winger had been in excellent fantasy form, averaging nearly 14.5 points per start over that run. While Forest are in dreadful form and Nuno Espirito Santo may have been looking for an alternate solution to earn his side some crucial points, it's difficult to see him leaving out his strongest attacking players in CHO and Elanga for the vital relegation battle against Luton. The 23 year-old is one of the few players included in this week's recommendations that holds some longer term value as well, with Forest entering a favorable run of fixtures that may determine whether they can stay up for another season in the Premier League.


Keane Lewis-Potter (F, Brentford @ Burnley)

There is a case to be made that even if a player doesn't start, they may be worth playing this week if you have the roster space for them. Lewis-Potter is a good example, as he could get the start against Burnley if Thomas Frank opts to go with a more attacking 4-3-3 formation. In the event that the former Hull City winger isn't in the starting lineup, however, he could still prove useful from the bench (especially if there aren't other starting options you could bring in when lineups are announced). KLP has delivered two goals and two assists for Brentford this season and notched scores of 20.5, 17.5 and 14 points. That potential upside is worth taking a punt on in the hopes he earns a start. If you have live lineup changes, you'll likely be able to pivot to a less explosive option if you need the security of additional time on the pitch.


Morgan Rogers (F, Aston Villa @ West Ham)

The suspension of John McGinn and likely injury absence of Jacob Ramsey means Villa's left flank has an opening. Rogers started the Europa Conference League match in that position on Thursday, and while he was replaced by Tielemans at halftime it may have been more of a tactical decision as the former Middlesboro midfielder picked up an early yellow card. Rogers has played well when he's been called upon and has an opportunity to stake a claim on the starting berth while McGinn is out given Ramsey's injury issues and inconsistent form when he has been available. In less than an hour against Luton, Rogers managed two key passes, a shot on target, two successful dribbles and two aerial duels. If he can provide anything close to that level on a regular basis, he'll be a fantasy gold mine. Definitely worth taking a chance to see if he gets the call from the start against West Ham.


Reserves

If you're playing on Fantrax with Live Lineup Changes, you should 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 do get a start for their team, snap them up and plug them into your starting eleven!


  • Willy Boly, Defender, Nottingham Forest. Opponent: Luton

  • Johann Gudmundsson, Midfielder, Burnley. Opponent: Brentford

  • Andros Townsend, Midfielder, Luton. Opponent: Nottingham Forest

  • Jacob Bruun Larsen, Forward, Burnley. Opponent: Brentford

  • Neal Maupay, Forward, Brentford. Opponent: Burnley


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