This article is part of our Starting Eleven series.
9:05 a.m: Cardiff v. Chelsea
11:30 a.m: Liverpool v. Tottenham
Sunday's slate could be a bit harder than usual because neither match is a lock. Chelsea are the biggest favorite, but they've lost four of their last five away, including 2-0 most recently at Everton. Still, Eden Hazard should be the top forward with nine shots, seven chances created and 13 corners in the last three matches. His floor will be near 15 fantasy points with upside against Cardiff, who have allowed a league-high 31 goals at home. As usual, Gonzalo Higuain is goal or bust, though it'd be a disappointment if he didn't make the scoresheet in this spot. Pedro and Willian have better floors, but only Pedro is likely to make the starting XI. You could also look at Junior Hoilett or Oumar Niasse in that match, but I can't remember the last time either was worth considering in this format, especially as an underdog.
Sadio Mane will surely be in the majority of lineups with seven goals in his last five starts in all competitions. In addition to scoring, his floor has been a tad better than Mohamed Salah's, though not by much. That said, it's inevitable Salah finds the back of the net again and is worth a look with 10 shots on goal since the last time he found the back of the net. Roberto Firmino is behind both of them mostly because he's less likely to make the scoresheet, but even then he has two goals and an assist in the last two league matches. This is a tough spot for Harry Kane and it's probably best to avoid him since Liverpool have allowed a league-low nine goals at home. He's on a nice scoring run, but if he doesn't score and only gets a few shots, his floor will be worse than most other forwards.
Jorginho and N'Golo Kante should be in most lineups since their floors should be close to 15 points. Jorginho has been slightly better of late with 16 points in three of the last four matches thanks to more passes and defensive stats even while not playing more than 74 minutes three times. Ross Barkley could be in consideration if he makes the starting XI, but Aron Gunnarsson and Victor Camarasa could be more viable. Gunnarsson has boosted his stats with seven shots in the last three matches, while Camarasa is slightly more consistent, as long as Cardiff get a few corners.
Fabinho is just below the Chelsea guys, failing to surpass 13 fantasy points in his last three starts. His passing numbers have stayed the same, but his defensive numbers have slightly dropped. He's probably a level below James Milner if they both start, but Milner hasn't started the last two in league play. Otherwise, it's a toss up between Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli ;neither is easy to trust given the matchup, and their upsides aren't that different.
DEFENDERS AND GOALKEEPERS
Liverpool defenders have been the easy route in recent weeks, but there's a chance the Chelsea guys overtake them Sunday because they could have more of the ball. Either way, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso are usually around 15 points no matter the matchup because they get forward in addition to racking up passing numbers. Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz are a little less consistent, but Cardiff could help them push their floors easily above 10 points. The reason to still consider Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip is that they're at home and could easily control their match. However, less of the ball means lower of a floor, and that's highlighted by Van Dijk's 7.70 fantasy points when these teams met earlier this season. Even if Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson both start, their attacking stats may be lower than usual. Kieran Trippier may be the only other defender to consider because the other options will likely have floors in the single digits due to Liverpool and Chelsea controlling possession.
Kepa Arrizabalaga will probably be the most popular goalkeeper, but there's a chance he doesn't have to make a save and repeats the performance against Wolves in which he had 2.40 fantasy points from zero saves and one goal allowed. Then again, it's not like any of the other options are safe. Alisson is favored but has worse odds for a clean sheet. The bold move would be to use Neil Etheridge and hope he racks up saves and also gets a clean sheet against a team that's struggling away from home.