This article is part of our Starting Eleven series.
- 10:00 am: Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Manchester City
- 10:00 am: Burnley vs. Arsenal
- 10:00 am: Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth
- 10:00 am: Fulham vs. Newcastle United
- 10:00 am: Leicester City vs. Chelsea
- 10:00 am: Liverpool vs. Wolverhampton
- 10:00 am: Manchester United vs. Cardiff City
- 10:00 am: Southampton vs. Huddersfield Town
- 10:00 am: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton
- 10:00 am: Watford vs. West Ham United
You can have a pick of anyone in the league. The problem is that some lineups won't look the same since only Liverpool and Man City truly need three points. Because of that, a lot of people will turn to Sergio Aguero, though that may not be the best strategy. As mostly a goal poacher up front, he hasn't surpassed 10 fantasy points in four of his last five starts, and City haven't had an easy time finding the back of the net in recent matches. It's equally tricky for Liverpool because a lot of owners will be on Divock Origi after his Barcelona brace, yet Daniel Sturridge could easily steal minutes after starting the past two Premier League matches.
I'd rather turn to players with higher floors, but also with decent odds to make the scoresheet. Wilfried Zaha is usually good for at least 10 fantasy points since he draws more than three fouls per match and now faces a Bournemouth team who have struggled away all season. Callum Wilson is worth a look on the other end, but he doesn't have the same floor as Zaha. It makes more sense to take a chance on Jamie Vardy, who is closing the season on a good note and Chelsea may not put their best foot forward with nothing to play for, especially after playing Eintracht Frankurt on Thursday.
I'd still put Alexandre Lacazette over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang because his floor remains higher even if the latter is scoring more goals of late. That said, I don't hate Ashley Barnes or Chris Wood against the Gunners, who have given up three goals in each of their last two away matches. Salomon Rondon, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Shane Long, Marcus Rashford and Troy Deeney are all in play with decent odds to score. Mitrovic may be the safest because of the number of shots he gets per match at home, though Rashford and Deeney should also have respectable floors above 10 points.
Midfield is a little easier since you don't have to rely on goals and because Mohamed Salah is there (assuming he returns from a concussion). He hasn't had a great floor, but he's back in form with 13 shots on target and 12 chances created in his last six starts in all competitions. If Liverpool are to have a chance of winning the title, it'll likely be because of Salah. I'm not as confident in Sadio Mane making the scoresheet, but he still had 10.50 fantasy points last match despite taking only one shot. Surprisingly, Oleksandr Zinchenko may have a higher floor than either of them after scoring at least 15 fantasy points in his last five starts in which he wasn't injured. He's taken Benjamin Mendy's old spot, and in addition to racking up defensive stats, he is completing more than 70 passes per match to go with a few crosses. That puts him a level above every other Man City midfielder, though Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan are close behind. Raheem Sterling is more of a risk because his floor is often below 10 points and he hasn't gotten the same opportunities in recent matches due to teams packing it in against them. Eden Hazard is usually in the conversation because his floor is around 15 points to go with upside, but I'm not sure he goes the full 90 in this match with Chelsea already locked into the top four and on a short week.
If you go the defensive route, N'Golo Kante, Wilfred Ndidi and Luka Milivojevic are always good options, with the latter being the best choice due to set pieces and penalties. I'd throw Andros Townsend and Ryan Fraser into the mix if you want a little more upside, as both wingers love to cross and I'm expecting goals in that match. If you want to stick with the Liverpool trend, Fabinho had a floor of 16.70 points last match and could hit that number again through defensive stats and completed passes.
DEFENDERS AND GOALKEEPERS
Liverpool will also be a popular trend on the defensive end, with Virgil van Dijk the best play on the slate. He has at least 19 fantasy points in his last four starts and should be near that number again at home. I'm less confident in the others, though Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold usually perform better at Anfield with more completed passes, leading to around 15 points. I'd still put the three Man City guys above the Liverpool full-backs. Aymeric Laporte and Vincent Kompany are running the show in the back, with 15 fantasy points almost a guarantee for the former, while Kyle Walker has seen his numbers increase in recent starts due to more possession.
Otherwise, none of the other options have as consistent floors even though Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta are usually around 15 points. I'm still not positive how the Blues will look in this match on short rest. The usual top defensive plays like Lucas Digne and Ricardo Pereira are in tougher situations, so it's not as easy to trust them. However, there are still viable options who should surpass 10 points like Joe Bryan, Calum Chambers and Aaron Wan-Bissaka because they're all at home.
Alisson Becker will likely be the most popular goalkeeper with the best odds to secure a clean sheet. If you want to fade the public, Fulham have taken a more defensive approach to close the season and Sergio Rico has hit 11.60 fantasy points in his last four starts. Vicente Guaita is another possibility since he's making more saves than everyone else with 34 in his last seven starts.