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Draft Premier League: Gameweek 18 Sleepers XI

Our Gameweek 18 Sleepers XI article provides Fantrax managers with a lineup of Fantasy EPL hidden gems.  Our starting eleven of Draft Premier League differential picks will help you find a golden ticket to a big score this weekend!  These hints and tips will give you a better chance of picking up an all-important victory, as one of our Fantasy EPL sleeper picks could easily make the difference in a Head-to-Head game!

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” on the sophisticated and statistics based Fantrax Scoring System!

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Fantasy EPL Gameweek 18 Sleepers XI

For this article, we use the ownership statistics from Fantrax.  Our only rule is that each player we highlight is required to have ownership of 60% or below at the time of writing.  Therefore there’s a good chance these players will be free agents in your Fantrax Draft League!


An Author’s Note

So the next couple of Gameweeks are going to be tough. Real tough. Gameweek 18 has 6 fixtures as things stand, and Gameweek 19 has 16 fixtures. Aston Villa, Burnley, Manchester City, and Manchester United are the only teams who have a match during the blank Gameweek 18, as well as a double during Gameweek 19.

To add a bit more drama to the proceedings, Aston Villa’s game against Tottenham Hotspur is at risk of being postponed due to a recent outbreak of COVID-19 at the Villa training ground. Although apparently having your whole first-team squad in isolation doesn’t impact FA Cup games, as the Villans were forced to field a team of youth players against Liverpool on Friday. The Premier League is reported to be lining up the previously postponed Tottenham v Fulham game to fill in the gap if this one can’t go ahead.

Anyway, as I outlined in my Author’s Note last week, don’t take this season too seriously. It’s absolutely mad. Try and enjoy Fantasy EPL as much as you can, and use it as an escape from all the negativity in the world right now.

UPDATE: Tottenham’s game with Aston Villa has indeed been postponed, with the Tottenham v Fulham game taking its place! Therefore, look to sign up Areola and Tete, as well as obviously Anguissa, Lookman, Robinson and Cavaleiro if you need Gameweek 18 players.


PP90 Against

So for this article, I’m going for a bit of a different vibe. My fellow Fantrax HQ writer @the_innergeek released an absolutely amazing article last week based on Points Per 90 Against. Essentially the article delves into which teams give up the most points to opposition players based on position. This is a great resource to use for streaming advice, and because this article is based on low ownership players to stream on a weekly basis, I’m going to essentially use that article to make my picks.

Check out the full article here if you missed it – I can’t stress enough how great this information is!


GK: Jordan Pickford

Team: Everton

Opponent: Wolves (Away)

Ownership: 48%

Points Last Gameweek: 6

Prospects: So, based on the PP90 Against data for Goalkeepers, Burnley’s opposition score the best. Reason being? They don’t score many goals, and potentially give up a fair few save points due to their not exactly clinical forwards. Burnley plays Manchester United, but David De Gea has 70% ownership so I can’t pick him for these Gameweek 18 Sleepers. The next team up is Sheffield United. Much like Burnley, Goalkeepers facing against them score well. But Karl Darlow has 77% ownership. This isn’t going too well…

Next up in PP90 Against data for Goalkeepers is Fulham, but they face Tottenham and Lloris has really high ownership. Next up is Wolves who are facing Everton in Gameweek 18. Yay, Jordan Pickford is below my 60% ownership. But boo, I don’t like the Englishman as a streamer on Fantrax. But he’s the best low ownership player to target for this position based on the data, so he welcomes to the team Pickford.


DEF: Ciaran Clark

Team: Newcastle United

Opponent: Sheffield United (Away)

Ownership: 17%

Points Last Gameweek: 6

Prospects: So, onto the Defense. Sheffield United give up the most points to opposing defenders. Obviously. They’re bottom of the league, haven’t won a game, and can’t score goals. The Blades do have a fixture this week, and they are playing Newcastle. Therefore, streaming Newcastle defenders is highly recommended.

Ciaran Clark has started 8 games in a row due to club captain Lascelles missing out through illness. The Irish defender has played pretty well and scored ok in Fantrax. He’s the pick of the bunch from the Magpies backline for me. Clark joins Pickford in the Gameweek 18 Sleepers XI.


DEF: Victor Lindelof

Team: Manchester United

Opponent: Burnley (Away)

Ownership: 45%

Points Last Gameweek: N/A

Prospects: Next up in @the_innergeek‘s PP90 Against for Defenders is Burnley. The Clarets face Manchester United in Gameweek 18. And due to the rules of my article, Victor Lindelof is the only United defender who I’m able to pick who I think will start. So he makes the team. The Swedish defender isn’t renowned as a great Fantasy EPL asset, but in a week where there are limited options, Lindelof is fine for a punt.


DEF: Rob Holding

Team: Arsenal

Opponent: Crystal Palace (Home)

Ownership: 50%

Points Last Gameweek: 24.75

Prospects: Next up in the Points Against Defenders rankings is Crystal Palace, and they face a rejuvenated Arsenal side. Finally, I get to pick a player I genuinely like. Rob Holding. The Arsenal defender has been a mainstay in the Gunners’ defense the last couple of months. And I successfully backed him to a 24.75 point haul last week. If Holding is still a free agent in your Fantrax league, he’s a great streamer and a great addition to the Gameweek 18 Sleepers XI. Defensive partner Pablo Mari (25% ownership) is another good option.


DEF: Ethan Ampadu

Team: Sheffield United

Opponent: Newcastle United (Home)

Ownership: 9%

Points Last Gameweek: 9.75

Prospects: And now for my final defender pick. Next up in the PP90 Against data is Newcastle, who are of course facing Sheffield United. Eugh. The data suggests I need to back a Sheffield United player. Only joking, it actually isn’t that bad, as there are two defenders from the Blades who I’ve actually been eying up. Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu is a fairly talented footballer, is classified as a defender on Fantrax, but plays in midfield for Chris Wilder’s side. The Welshman gained 9.75 points last week during a 2-0 loss. Not bad. Sign him up.

Jayden Bogle (9% ownership) is the other player that could be worth a punt. He started ahead of Baldock last week, and scored really well for ghost points.


MID: Matt Ritchie

Team: Newcastle United

Opponent: Sheffield United (Away)

Ownership: 34%

Points Last Gameweek: 8

Prospects: Starting off the midfield is Matt Ritchie, who’s Newcastle side face the team who give up the second-most points to midfielders behind only West Brom: Sheffield United. The Scottish international midfielder has been gaining consistent minutes in recent weeks after returning from an early-season injury. Ritchie is not a player you can trust too much in Fantasy EPL, but if he’s starting games then he’s certainly worth an add. He usually scores well for ghost points, and a trip to Sheffield United should provide him with plenty of opportunities.


MID: John Fleck

Team: Sheffield United

Opponent: Newcastle United (Home)

Ownership: 21%

Points Last Gameweek: 3.5

Prospects: Newcastle is the next eligible team for the PP90 Against data for Midfielders, so I need to pick a Sheffield United midfielder. This is going to be rough. The Blades have basically zero midfield assets. I’m going to pick John Fleck for the Gameweek 18 Sleepers XI because he does have a history of being a decent Fantrax points scorer. He was a reliable MID3 or 4 for most of last season, so he does have potential. Fleck has been scoring pretty poorly though this season, much like the whole Sheffield United roster.


MID: Robbie Brady

Team: Burnley

Opponent: Manchester United (Home)

Ownership: 13%

Points Last Gameweek: 12.5

Prospects: Next up in the Points Against Midfielders data is surprisingly Manchester United. For some reason, they give away lots of points to opposition midfielders. Therefore, the Burnley midfield gets the nod, and more specifically, Robbie Brady. Like Ritchie above, Brady scores well on Fantrax when he’s starting, but he’s literally always injured!! I do really like the Irishman, and highly recommend signing him up if you can. He’s a really solid addition to the Gameweek 18 Sleepers XI. The statistics in @the_innergeek‘s PP90 Against data for Midfielders tell us that Manchester United are a team to target, so don’t let Burnley’s opposition put you off!

Josh Brownhill (38% ownership) is, as ever, another decent low ownership option.


MID: Dani Ceballos

Team: Arsenal

Opponent: Crystal Palace (Home)

Ownership: 56%

Points Last Gameweek: 16

Prospects: The final slot in midfield goes to the opposition of Crystal Palace, and I’m picking Dani Ceballos after an incredible performance last time around. The Spaniard scored 16 points against West Brom, despite gaining zero attacking returns. The Real Madrid loanee has been a bit hit and miss so far this season, but he performed really well in Gameweek 17. 3 key passes, 3 tackles and 7 interceptions made up the bulk of his huge points haul. Therefore, how could I not select Ceballos for the Gameweek 18 Sleepers XI?!


FWD: David McGoldrick

Team: Sheffield United

Opponent: Newcastle United (Home)

Ownership: 29%

Points Last Gameweek: 6.5

Prospects: Newcastle is the highest-ranked team for PP90 Against Forwards. Therefore, I need to pick a Sheffield United forward. I do really like Oliver McBurnie as a Fantrax asset, but because he’s actually not a very good footballer, he can’t be trusted to start every game for the Blades. The Scotsman has also been out injured recently, so may miss out due to this.

So David McGoldrick gets the nod. The veteran Irish striker has actually performed ok in the last month or so, as he picked up two goals and an assist during December. Pretty great for a team who has only scored eight goals this season! The fixture against Newcastle brings a good opportunity for victory, and McGoldrick is a fairly decent punt this week due to the limited fixtures.


FWD: Nicolas Pepe

Team: Arsenal

Opponent: Crystal Palace (Home)

Ownership: 48%

Points Last Gameweek: 0

Prospects: The next eligible team for Points Against Forwards is Crystal Palace, who face Arsenal. Nicolas Pepe plays for Arsenal. But he’s been almighty poor as a Fantrax asset this season. But hey, this is the final pick of my Gameweek 18 Sleepers, so I’ll go for him!

I do think Pepe is a talented footballer, but his time at Arsenal just hasn’t been good. At all. Youth Academy players have come into the team and looked better than him. That’s not what you want from a £70 million signing. But anyway, Pepe might be worth a punt this week. Although he does play in the final game of the week, so if you play with live lineup changes available and he doesn’t start, you don’t have many other options!


Average Ownership: 33%


Previous Editions: Gameweek 15 | Gameweek 16 | Gameweek 17

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