This article is part of our Starting Eleven series.
2:45 p.m: Fulham v. Leicester City
2:45 p.m: Burnley v. Liverpool
2:45 p.m: Wolverhampton v. Chelsea
2:45 p.m: Everton v. Newcastle
3:00 p.m: Manchester United v. Arsenal
3:00 p.m: Tottenham v. Southampton
Tuesday's four-game slate left plenty to be desired in terms of high-impact forwards, but that issue gets tossed out the window Wednesday, especially with Liverpool and Tottenham big favorites against Southampton and Burnley, respectively, while Everton and Chelsea face off against Newcastle and Wolves. Oh, and we can't forget about the biggest match of the day, as new Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri hosts his old Leicester City squad, who he won the Premier League title with only a few years ago. Oh, did you think I was going to say Manchester United v. Arsenal? Yeah, that is also on the slate, but there are plenty of reasons to avoid it for fantasy purposes.
Given their high implied goal totals and own high anytime goal scorer odds, Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah figure to be very popular. With plenty of goal scorers on the slate, a three-forward formation is probably the best, but figuring out that third forward will be tricky. One name that jumps out is Richarlison because of how many duels he wins and shots he takes, though those same reasons are why Aleksandar Mitrovic could get some attention. Then again, selecting either of those players to go with Kane and Salah means you're not going to have Eden Hazard, who has a tougher matchup away to Wolverhampton but has also taken 18 shots, including seven on goal, while creating 21 chances and drawing 21 fouls in his last six games.
I wasn't expecting to see Arsenal score four goals against Tottenham in the North London derby this past weekend, and I really really don't see it coming at Old Trafford on Wednesday. No matter how many issues Manchester United have, when a big opponent comes in, manager Jose Mourinho loves to clog it up and ruin all of the potential fantasy value. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been great lately, scoring three goals on eight shots (three on target) and picking up one assist on four chances created in his last two games, but do you really want to take him against United when you can have Kane, Salah, Hazard, Mitrovic, Richarlison, Roberto Firmino or Jamie Vardy?
While we can focus on upside with our forwards, there are a number of strong midfielders who provide high floors. One who jumps out is Everton's Idrissa Gueye, who leads the Premier League in tackles won this season and only four players on Wednesday's slate have won more duels. Then again, if we're talking about Everton in a match they are favored to win, then we can't ignore the great upside of Gylfi Sigurdsson, who has five goals on 27 shots, including 12 on goal, and one assist on 19 chances created in his last eight games.
Another pair of teammates could get some consideration because of their respective roles, as they face off against the worst defensive side in the league. Leicester travel to face Fulham, and while the home side recently hired Claudio Ranieri, the former manager of the away side, to right the ship, he only just got there and the defensive problems have hardly been fixed. As a result James Maddison should surely be in play if we're targeting upside from that match, with Wilfred Ndidi, who has won just one fewer tackle than Gueye while also leading all players on the slate in duels won, the reliable fantasy-point producer. Not only had Ndidi won just one fewer tackle than the league leader, but he's taken 21 more shots, so we can't discount his upside either.
Fading the Liverpool midfield is reasonable because they really do get their upside from the forwards, and most of their high-volume passers are along the back line. However, Tottenham have plenty of solid midfielders, and with a home match against Southampton, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli are surely fine plays if you don't want to go too heavy on Everton and/or Leicester City.
DEFENDERS AND GOALKEEPERS
Once again, Liverpool defenders will be in play because of their strong clean sheet chances against Burnley, especially with how much Virgil van Dijk passes. It's worth pointing out that Lucas Digne is also in a great spot at home against Newcastle, who have been terrible away from home this season, especially since he has a strong role on set pieces. His contributions in the attack are excellent, as he's had at least two chances created in six consecutive league starts. I don't think you have to go all out with an Everton defensive stack, but pairing Digne with Jordan Pickford makes as much sense as van Dijk and Alisson.
Those will surely be popular, but again, don't forget about Spurs, especially with Kieran Trippier fit again. With his role on set pieces for a big favorite, how can he not get serious consideration at home against a Southampton side that just sacked Mark Hughes this week? Ben Davies or Danny Rose make sense on the other side, but Alisson and Pickford feel a bit safer than Hugo Lloris in goal.