Starting Eleven: Sunday Premier League Breakdown
Starting Eleven: Sunday Premier League Breakdown

This article is part of our Starting Eleven series.

MATCHES (EST)

8:30 a.m: Brighton v. Chelsea
8:30 a.m: Southampton v. Arsenal
11:00 a.m: Liverpool v. Manchester United

FORWARDS

Sunday's slate is concise and easy to manage with only six teams to consider. The easiest of them may be Eden Hazard, who should be in every lineup after scoring at least 20 fantasy points in each of his last three matches even though none of those have been huge performances. In addition to drawing his usual fouls, his 10 chances created turned into four assists, and he still has nine shots in that period. Against Brighton, expect him to be on the ball plenty in numerous advantageous situations.

No other forward has close to the same floor, but that doesn't mean they can't surpass Hazard's upside. Of course, that can only mean Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Salah faces Man United, but they were in Spain on Wednesday and have struggled away from home all season. As for Salah, he's found a bit of form, with four goals on seven shots and six chances created in his last two starts. Aubameyang may be the more popular play because of his matchup, but since he isn't as big of a focal point in the Arsenal attack, his floor is often below 10 points. Then again, he's made the score sheet in three of his last four starts and faces a Southampton team that still hasn't won at home in league play. Alexandre Lacazette could be considered, but he only made it 45 minutes last match, and all signs point to him coming off the bench against the Saints.

Given the schedule, there isn't another forward who deserves more consideration. Marcus Rashford has played well and Romelu Lukaku is always a threat, but it's hard to trust them at Anfield; the same goes for Glenn Murray or Florin Andone. The better options may end up being Roberto Firmino if you like Liverpool to grab a couple goals, or someone else on Chelsea such as Alvaro Morata. The problem is that you'll need a goal for them to be worth selection, while Willian and Pedro at least do a little more with a better floor.

MIDFIELDERS

There are a few central midfielders who should be considered ahead of the rest, and two of them are from Arsenal. Both Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka have been on a tear in Arsenal's new formation that's led to more activity up front, especially for Torreira. The Uruguayan has seven shots and four chances created in the last three matches (two goals, one assist), which is relevant because he had nine shots and three chances created in his previous 13 appearances. Combine that with completed passes and a slew of other stats central midfielders get and he could be headed for another 20 points against Southampton. Xhaka is less involved in the attack, but he's on the ball more and racks up more stats from corners and defensive categories. Ander Herrera isn't far behind those two, with at least 20 fantasy points in his last three starts, and he should be plenty active on the defensive end against Liverpool.

Mario Lemina is in the same mold in central midfield for Southampton, while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has slightly more upside after taking 14 shots in his last four starts. Southampton could also be involved in numerous counters against Arsenal's shaky back line, and that would favor Hojbjerg. Paul Pogba could be on the bench again after playing at Valencia, while Jorginho and N'Golo Kante don't have the same kind of floors as the other midfielders listed above, making them hard to pick. Ruben Loftus-Cheek would be more enticing if he's in Chelsea's starting XI only because of how active he's been when on the field, averaging 3.26 shots and 2.04 chances created per 90 minutes.

If you're big into Brighton, Davy Propper has a good chance to surpass 10 fantasy points from defensive stats, whereas Solomon March is a little harder to trust since a lot of his numbers come from crosses, and that's a hard thing to rely on against Chelsea.

DEFENDERS AND GOALKEEPERS

Virgil van Dijk continues to be one of the top defenders every week just for being on the field. In addition to completing an average of 70 passes per match, he also sprinkles in a few defensive stats. He's averaged 20 points in the last few starts because of clean sheets, and while this matchup may be more difficult than the other two favorites, Liverpool have given up three goals at home in the Premier League and Champions League combined. If you're completely fading United, any Liverpool defender is in play, whether that's Dejan Lovren or Andrew Robertson, who has more potential for a goal or assist.

David Luiz isn't far behind because he also averages 70 passes per match and adds all the little things that bring his point totals between 15 and 20 most games. If you prefer upside, Marcos Alonso will be in plenty of favorable positions against Brighton after he still reached 15 fantasy points without any shots last match. Neither the Arsenal nor the Man United defenders are as easy to trust, and Shkodran Mustafi's six-point performance last match highlighted that. Some of them may have decent upside, but none of them are as likely to reach 10 fantasy points as the Liverpool and Chelsea players.

At goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga makes the most sense because he's the biggest favorite, but Bernd Leno may be forced into the most action of any favored goalkeeper, as Southampton have taken the third-most shots in the league (239) but have only scored 13 goals, tied for the second fewest.

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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