This article is part of our Starting Eleven series.
7:30 a.m: Bournemouth v. Liverpool
10:00 a.m: Arsenal v. Huddersfield
10:00 a.m: Burnley v. Brighton
10:00 a.m: Manchester United v. Fulham
10:00 a.m: Cardiff City v. Southampton
10:00 a.m: West Ham v. Crystal Palace
12:30 p.m: Chelsea v. Manchester City
2:45 p.m: Leicester v. Tottenham
With eight matches on the slate, there still may only be three teams to focus on with Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United the biggest favorites by far. Liverpool are the smallest favorite of the three, but Bournemouth rarely get a clean sheet and have already allowed a couple goals at home against Arsenal and Man United. With Sadio Mane questionable due to injury, Mohamed Salah will be a top option even without much of a floor because he hasn't completed more than 13 passes in his last six starts. The likelihood for a goal or assist are still there, though.
As for the bigger favorites, it's a choice between Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, or both if they're in the starting XI together. Aubameyang has been excellent, with eight shots and four chances created, but also six tackles in his last three starts. With the best scoring odds on the slate, he'll be looked at more than Lacazette, who has been relegated to the bench in the last two. And while Man United have a great matchup against Fulham, you'll have to pick between their slew of forwards, any of whom could start on the bench. Anthony Martial is scoring more than the rest, but he also doesn't do much else from a fantasy perspective.
As usual, Eden Hazard will be in the conversation because of everything he does for Chelsea. It's not a great matchup against Man City, but Hazard has the best floor in the game as a playmaker who does it all. Then again, he's going against Man City and won't see as much of the ball. Harry Kane can't be forgotten about, and while he's in a tough spot to score at Leicester, there's no reason to expect less than three shots .
Manchester City may be in a tough spot, but that match has more than three expected goals so it's logical to grab one of the Citizens. Raheem Sterling, who is averaging 40 passes per 90 minutes, has the safest floor of the City forwards, not to mention shooting and crossing opportunities.
Somewhat surprisingly, Paul Pogba has the highest average of any midfielder on the slate, but that's because when he starts, he's usually pretty active in the United midfield, whether through completed passes or being near the top of the charts in duels won. Teammate Fernandinho, Luka Milivojevic and Wilfred Ndidi. However, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg provides a bit more upside with well-rounded overall numbers combined with the 12 shots he took in the last three matches. That added boost is worth selection, especially against Cardiff. Granit Xhaka is back from suspension and is another player who racks up passes and duels every match in addition to being on corners. Arsenal teammate Lucas Torreira is slightly below Xhaka, but he has nine shots in the last four matches after only four shots in his prior 11 appearances.
With most of the other midfielders you're kind of hoping for a goal or assist because their floors don't match the ones in more defensive positions. That can be said for guys like Felipe Anderson and Christian Eriksen. because if they don't make the score sheet, they may not reach 10 fantasy points.
DEFENDERS AND GOALKEEPERS
Similar to the forwards, you'll want to target the three biggest favorites who are also expected to allow the fewest goals. Virgil van Dijk should be in most rosters after scoring at least 19.9 fantasy points in his last four starts because he's not only stacking up defensive stats, but he's been near 90 completed passes whenever Liverpool have a good matchup. Due to injury, the rest of their back line is a little unknown, but Joel Matip is completing 88 passes per 90 minutes and should be near van Dijk in terms of production (if he starts).
As for Arsenal and Man United, it's a little harder to find useful options, more so the Red Devils. At least for the Gunners, Shkodran Mustafi has shown a floor near 14 fantasy points every match and has the best odds for a clean sheet. Another intriguing play that not many will consider is Arsenal-loanee Calum Chambers, who has moved to a defensive midfield position in the last four matches and that usually leads to 15 points no matter the matchup.
At goalkeeper, you're betting between Bernd Leno and David de Gea, with neither entirely trustworthy. Leno gets the edge against Huddersfield, while De Gea faces Aleksandar Mitrovic, who will surely get a sniff of goal. To help, Leno is averaging just under 10 points in his last five matches, and none of those have been clean sheets.