Starting Eleven: Wednesday Premier League Breakdown
Starting Eleven: Wednesday Premier League Breakdown

This article is part of our Starting Eleven series.

MATCHES (EST)

2:45 p.m: Arsenal v. Bournemouth
2:45 p.m: Southampton v. Fulham
3:00 p.m: Crystal Palace v. Manchester United
3:00 p.m: Chelsea v. Tottenham
3:00 p.m: Liverpool v. Watford
3:00 p.m: Manchester City v. West Ham

FORWARDS

Wednesday's slate is loaded and the options are numerous. Sergio Aguero will likely be the most popular forward given the matchup and hat tricks in two of his last three Premier League starts. Not many have his upside, and his floor should be respectable against West Ham. The main worry is that he probably won't play a full 90 after going 120-plus Sunday against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final. The same goes for Raheem Sterling, and his upside isn't as good anyway. If you can't trust them, there are other places to look, with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane against Watford. Mane has surprisingly had the higher floor with more opportunities lately, though Salah will likely be more popular. Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are next and, similar to Liverpool, one player has a better floor in Lacazette.

The biggest decision is whether you want to go with upside or floor, and that'll likely decide the slate because Salah and Aubameyang have better odds to score than their teammates. Otherwise, it's a mixed bag, especially with Marcus Rashford battling injury and Southampton not having a great option against Fulham. There are other ways to go if you don't like the favorites, and while Harry Kane has made the score sheet in seven of his last eight starts, he only just returned from injury and isn't expected to score at Stamford Bridge. Eden Hazard may be a little easier to trust because his floor is around 10 fantasy points, often with enough passes and shots to hold value no matter the opposition. Wilfried Zaha could be looked at, as well, though his recent numbers are juiced due to matchups with four goals and an assist in his last four starts.

This isn't a great slate to stretch for a forward because most of the top options are in good situations. Why test your luck with Aleksandar Mitrovic or Joshua King when Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City are all heavy home favorites? Go with the chalk up front and stretch at other positions.

MIDFIELDERS

It's nothing new in the midfield, with Paul Pogba expected to be the most popular after scoring at least 18 points in his last 10 starts. Even in the scoreless draw against Liverpool, he still managed 18.8 points because he racked up defensive stats while only having two shots. That should again be the case against Crystal Palace, a match more favorable than Liverpool. There are a couple other midfielders who stand out with more upside than the rest. Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a goal and assist last match and will be a worthy selection, with Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva in that same mold, though as a bigger favorite. De Bruyne still hasn't fully come through this season, but his floor has been around 10 points, and he has to make the score sheet at some point with six shots on goal and six chances created in his last three starts in all competitions.

Elsewhere, it's a mix of defensive midfielders with floors near 15 points, including Luka Milivojevic, Fabinho and Jorginho the best bets due to defensive stats and a lot of passes. Others like Granit Xhaka and Jean Michael Seri are in the same category, with Xhaka getting the boost in a favorable match because he usually creates at least one chance.

Instead of Christian Eriksen at Chelsea, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and James Ward-Prowse deserve consideration because of the matchup. Hojbjerg has a better floor, but Ward-Prowse is on corners and is more likely to make the score sheet. Going against Fulham, someone will have to score for Southampton, and those two are the best bets after they didn't even use a true forward last match.

DEFENDERS AND GOALKEEPERS

It's straightforward for defenders, as all of the favored center-backs will come close to 15 points with the help of completed passes. Virgil van Dijk is at the top of that list with more than 100 passes in four of his last six starts, and while teammate Joel Matip completes fewer passes, he does a little more defensively and has six shots in his last two starts. Nicolas Otamendi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos are in that same mold and should both see the ball plenty. It may be worth it to go with one of the full-backs in either match since they should get plenty of activity in favorable situations. That includes Benjamin Mendy, who could return from injury, while Danilo may start for Aymeric Laporte. Andrew Robertson doesn't have a safe floor, but he's hit 19 fantasy points in three of his last six starts.

There aren't many other options as safe, unless Laurent Koscielny returns to the starting XI. Otherwise, it's a bunch of players in more difficult matchups who may get more defensive work but won't complete as many passes as usual, and that includes everyone on Chelsea and Tottenham.

Goalkeeper is a little less certain because a lot of the big favorites won't make enough saves to be worth it. That's where David de Gea enters against Crystal Palace, as he's averaging almost four saves per start. That's led to at least 10 fantasy points in five of his last seven games, and he should get work on the road. Alisson and Ederson probably won't be challenged much, so that's why I'm inclined to go with Bernd Leno, who has at least 11 points in his last three starts. Bournemouth may not score, but they get forward a decent amount and that could lead to a few saves.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Adam Zdroik plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: zdroik, DraftKings: rotozdroik, Yahoo: StreakMaster.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate. 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year.
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