Getting your team selection correct in Draft Premier League is just as essential as your pre-season draft or your weekly waiver wire claims. And that’s exactly why we’re here to help with our Gameweek 38 Start and Sit article! We’re here to help you with some of the big Fantasy EPL decisions you may need to make for the upcoming fixtures.
Gameweek 38 Start and Sit
Whether you’re an obsessed EPL fan like our FantraxHQ team, or a casual player new to the world of Fantasy EPL, you know to start your attacking players against relegation-threatened sides. We’re not going to waste your time dealing with the obvious! The goal of this article is to delve into notable players across each Fantrax position and let you know if you should be starting or sitting those players.
Our format is as follows: We will be choosing 2 different teams. One will be our starts of the week, made up of non-obvious, low-rostered players. The other will be our sits of the week, made up of highly rostered, normally started players.
It all comes down to this. We’ve made it to the final game of the 22/23 English Premier League season. Like Man City or Southampton, some fantasy managers’ fates will have been sealed by now, but if you’ve still got something to play for, I’m here with some suggestions on who you should consider playing and who should ride the pine when all the matches kick off on Sunday.
Starts of the Week XI
Average % Rostered: 28%
Beginning between the posts, Sam Johnstone will look to close out the season on a high and make a case for his inclusion in the starting eleven from the beginning of next season, whether or not Roy Hodgson remains the manager. A home fixture against a Nottingham Forest side that just secured safety could offer up a clean sheet to go along with any saves the keeper makes.
While Forest players may breathe a collective sigh of relief, there are a few players, like Serge Aurier, who still have a case to make to Steve Cooper heading into the offseason. With Neco Williams set to return from injury in time for preseason, Aurier will want to leave a lasting impression with a good performance against the Eagles. Jonny Evans recently returned to the Leicester City lineup and Dean Smith will be hopeful he is fully fit for their crucial survival match against the Hammers. If the veteran CB isn’t in the starting lineup, you can pivot to whichever player starts in his place in the back line. Man United may have secured a Champions League berth by the time the weekend arrives, but I still like a Victor Lindelof start against Fulham on the final day. The Swede has been a surprisingly good scorer of late.
In midfield, a few youngsters have caught my eye in recent weeks. Both James Garner and Lewis Hall look like they can make their true Premier League breakouts next season, but they’re doing a good job proving their value to their managers now. Hall, in particular, has made a case for fantasy consideration, putting up a double digit score in a loss to Man City to follow his 9 points the previous week. Will Hughes has made a return to the starting eleven after being frozen out for most of the season, and I think Hodgson will stick with him for the final game, though we could see Jeff Schlupp called upon instead. Whichever of the two starts is worth putting in your lineup, as both offer the potential for attacking and defensive contributions to build a solid floor of points. John McGinn has had a pretty inconsistent season by his usual standards, but I would feel alright giving him a spot in my starting lineup if I was short of options with the potential to deliver a double-digit score. The Scot can put up big numbers on his day.
Up top, Julio Enciso and Noni Madueke are a couple new faces who, like Garner and Hall, have every chance to be regular Premier League starters next season. Neither is guaranteed to start, but if they do they have both shown that they can rack up the ghost points with successful dribbles, key passes and shots on target. Finally, this weekend could be the unfortunate swansong for Adama Traore in the Premier League. It remains to be seen what happens to the greased up winger, of course, but he’s never really been able to fully convince his managers that he can be counted on. Perhaps a standout performance against Arsenal would do the trick. In any case, you have to play him if he starts, right?
Sits of the Week XI
Average % Rostered: 82%
It was a tough call for who to bench in net this weekend, and I debated putting David Raya here, but the Brentford keeper has had such an excellent season that I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I wouldn’t bet against him putting in another save-heavy display against City, anyway. Nick Pope will have to contend with a defense in front of him with nothing to play for, while Chelsea players seem to be at least trying to show their worth to future manager Mauricio Pochettino as the season draws to a close. The Magpies have had a surprisingly difficult time keeping clean sheets in the second half of the season, and I could see them conceding to this iteration of the Blues as well.
While Raya dodged the dishonorable distinction of being in the Sits of the Week, I can’t say the same for Ethan Pinnock. The Jamaican has been an excellent servant to his club and fantasy managers alike, but City can go for the jugular in this one and I fear for his points tally if they are on top of their game. Antonee Robinson and the rest of his Fulham defensive teammates will count themselves lucky to keep the Red Devils at bay, especially if Marcus Rashford is available following an illness. Thiago Silva is a legend but finally started to look his age against Man City. I think he’ll struggle to keep up with the likes of the red-hot trio of Wilson, Isak and Almiron.
Moises Caicedo has been a decent option while Brighton has had their double gameweeks, but with a single fixture against an excellent Aston Villa side, I think there are better options likely available in your league. The same can be said for Mathias Jensen and Ruben Neves, who are both capable of match-winning performances, but likely not against the top two teams in the league. Youri Tielemans has rarely been able to translate his real-life quality into representative fantasy scores, so without one of his trademark worldie goals, you’re likely looking at another sub-8-point score from the Belgian.
Kai Havertz has fallen victim to Lampard’s tinkering recently, coming off the bench or being substituted early on three of the last five occasions and only managing a total of 5.5 points across the two matches where he played 80+ minutes. I’m not expecting much better against Newcastle, even if their players are on the beach a week early. Leeds have everything to play for still, but Rodrigo just isn’t the same player that we saw in the first half of the season. It would be very convenient timing for him to rediscover that form for this weekend’s match against Tottenham, but I’m not holding out much hope of that happening. Willian has been in excellent form over the final two months of the campaign, so this may be a bit of a controversial call, but I think he’ll struggle to make the same impact when he faces one of the league’s best one-v-one defenders in Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Make sure you also check out our official EPL content partner, The Draft Society, for all the latest! Check out their Fantrax Weekly Player Projections page for more player evaluations for the upcoming week!