We can all pick those elite names early in the draft to get off to a solid start. However, the key to “winning” your draft is identifying those late round “sleepers” who can back up the stars and propel you to your league title!
As part of our FREE draft kit, we’ve identified a sleeper from each Premier League team to target in your draft! In part one we start with sleeper filled Arsenal and finish on the little fancied (but talent rich) Burnley!
Nicolas Pepe – Arsenal (Forward)
Last Season: 10G, 3A, 226.5 Points, 7.89ppg
Recommended Round (12 team): Round 7
Nicolas Pepe is our headline player from Arsenal but in all honesty there’s five or six players I could’ve picked from. The exciting Ivorian winger always looks lively without producing an awful lot on the pitch but rallied towards the end of last season, leading fans to believe there’s more to come from their record signing. Tread carefully, however, as similar could be said this time last year but 10 goals is nothing to be sniffed it. I have faith in Pepe coming good, however, especially if Pierre Emerick Aubameyang displaces Alexandre Lacazette as centre forward, leaving Bukayo Saka to fill the left side.
Aubameyang himself is a faller this season, needing a comeback season to put himself back among the elite. A first round pick last season, Auba should be taken in round four this season, maybe slightly early if you believe he will have a bounceback year.
Emiliano Martinez – Aston Villa (Goalkeeper)
Last Season: 15CS, 142 Saves, 385.5 Points, 10.14ppg
Recommended Round (12 Team): Round 10
Yes, a goalkeeper! The very popular Aston Villa won’t contain many sleepers this season so Emi Martinez is the guy to target in later rounds. The Villa stopper was the top scoring goalkeeper by 58 points last season and should be the first keeper off the board this time round.
A very tidy 10.14 points per game puts the Argentine in the set and forget category and a timely boost in the Fantrax default scoring for goalkeepers will see Martinez as an even more valuable asset. I’d take him as high as round 10 and maybe even higher providing you have a solid base to build on.
Sergi Canos – Brentford (Forward)
Last season: 9G, 8A
Recommended Round (12 Team): Round 12
All the draft headlines will be stolen by Ivan Toney as far as Brentford are concerned but keep an eye out for fellow talented forward Sergi Canos. The fleet footed former Liverpool man will be charged with creating chances for their star man but will certainly chip in with a few of his own.
His underlying statistics are also good, average 2.1 shots per game as well as 1.2 key passes per game, showing Canos will be central to a lot of Brentford’s attacking play in their first campaign back in the big time. The Spaniard could be a deadly fourth forward for your roster and should he turn into a decent asset it will allow you to trade away your third or second forward for a more favorable midfielder from that shallower midfield pool.
Tariq Lamptey – Brighton (Defender)
Last Season: 1G, 3A, 86.25 Points, 7.84ppg
Recommended Round (12 Team): Round 10
Brighton’s forgotten man is set to return at the start of the new campaign and could easily end as one of their top scoring Fantrax players this time around, providing he can stay fit of course. His one goal and three assists in his 11 appearances last season don’t do justice to what an attacking threat Tariq Lamptey was steaming forward for Graham Potter’s side from right wing back.
His all action style of play is always likely to lead to knocks but also excitement and goal scoring opportunities which is exactly what you want from a fantasy defender. His underlying stats are, as you’d expect, pretty good with 10 key passes, 19 interceptions and 13 successful dribbles over that short time meaning he has plenty of ways to score good points alongside those goals, assists and the odd clean sheet. If I can secure one big name defender earlier in the draft, I’d even be delighted to get Lamptey as my second defender.
Ben Mee – Burnley (Defender)
Last Season: 2G, 0A, 10CS
Recommended Round (12 Team): Round 10/11
Bit of an odd one here but bear with me. Burnley is slim pickings for sleepers with the only assets worth writing home about being Dwight McNeil, Chris Wood and the centre backs. Therefore, I’ve chosen Ben Mee.
Why? He’s a decent asset anyway, averaging a steady 9.03 per game as an ever present, reliable centre back. But Mee is set to benefit from the new “blocked shots” scoring category added by Fantrax this time round, with only Aston Villa’s Ezri Konsa bettering Mee’s 45 shots blocked last season. Those towering centre backs are about to get even better so you can do much worse than pick up James Tarkowski and Mee as your set and forget defenders this year.
He’s certainly not an exciting pick but picking up the likes of Mee towards the start of the second half of your draft frees you up to fully gamble on the last few picks.