Premier League fantasy transfer market: Captain Salah or Hazard?

There were 33 goals scored in the Premier League last week -- nearly twice as many as in La Liga (18). Two games finished 1-0, and every other game featured three goals or more.

That makes for a very exciting weekend fantasy-wise. Hopefully we'll have another one, with some more goals from the players listed below in this week's Premier League fantasy transfer market!

Tier 1 Forward

Add: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

Is Salah going to score 32 league goals again this season? Probably not, but he's going to do better than his current haul -- two goals in five games -- indicates. He is second in the league in shots (23), tied for second in shots on goal (nine), and second in the league in expected goals (3.63) ... so he's been pretty unlucky so far. Plus he's tied for the league lead in chances created (16), despite having only one assist. And he's playing at home this week, against Southampton -- he scored twice against them in this fixture last year.

Avoid: Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Could Kane score this week, playing away, but against Brighton? Sure. But Kane's lack of shots so far this season is disturbing. He didn't take a single one in Tottenham's 2-1 Champions League loss at Inter Milan on Tuesday. And he only has 12 shots in five league games so far. Last season Kane took 184 shots in 37 games (nearly five per game) and had 40 more than Salah, who finished in second place.

Tier 2 Forward

Add: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)

There are a few tempting options here, but I'm going with Mitrovic playing at home against Watford. He has four goals, one behind the league leader Eden Hazard. He's also third in the league in shots (20) and tops in shots on target (10). Mitrovic is seventh in the league in fantasy points (76.3), right behind Salah (78.8).

Avoid: Danny Ings (Southampton)

Guess who is the only player with a higher expected goals total than Salah this season? Yep, believe it or not, it's Ings (3.75) ... but don't pick him this week! He can't play against Liverpool, since technically he's been loaned to Southampton from them.

Tier 1 Midfielder

Add: Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

I had him in my team last week (although, alas, I didn't captain him), and it's awfully hard to take him out after his hat trick against Cardiff City. He won't be playing at Stamford Bridge this week, but he will be playing against West Ham -- a team that has conceded 11 goals in five games. And Hazard was rested for Chelsea's Europa League game on Thursday, which is a positive from a fantasy perspective.

Avoid: Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

The Pogba bandwagon is going to pick up again after his two-goal, one-assist performance in Manchester United's 3-0 Champions League win at Young Boys on Wednesday. But Pogba only has two league goals in five games, and both of those came from the penalty spot. Don't get me wrong, it's good that he's currently on penalty kicks. I'd just like to see Pogba start scoring goals from open play before I pick him over the likes of Hazard and Sadio Mane.

Tier 2 Midfielder

Add: James Maddison (Leicester City)

There are players from Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal available in this tier, but I'm going with Maddison this week. He's playing at home against Huddersfield Town, a team that has conceded 11 goals in five games. Maddison scored his second goal of the season last week, although it came from the penalty spot and Jamie Vardy would probably have taken the kick if he wasn't already off the field. But Maddison also took a team-high four shots, with three on target, and also had a team-high three chances created. He's 14th among non-goalkeepers in fantasy points (70.2), right behind Pogba (70.5) and ahead of another Tier 1 midfielder, Christian Eriksen (68.8).

Avoid: Jorginho (Chelsea)

I picked him last week, seduced by the fact that he was the league leader in passes completed. Well, he's still the league leader in that category, but he did nothing else last week ... literally. No shots, no chances created, not even a single tackle, interception, block or clearance. No thanks.

Tier 3 Midfielder

Add: Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)

I certainly wish I had in my team last week, when he notched two goals and an assist against Leicester, and posted a whopping 34.7 fantasy points. Fraser only scored five goals in 26 league games last season, but he's more than just a goal threat. He's also tied for fourth in the league in chances created (11), and Bournemouth will be playing at Burnley, who are really struggling right now. The Cherries' opponent this week is winless and has conceded 10 goals in five games.

Avoid: Joe Ralls (Cardiff City)

He leads his team in chances created with seven, but Cardiff won't be creating many chances against Manchester City, even at home.

Tier 1 Defender

Add: Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)

Alonso was quiet against Cardiff last week, taking just one shot, although he did have three chances created. He's still fifth overall, and tops among defenders, with 80.8 fantasy points this season, and could do plenty of damage against West Ham. He has taken 13 shots, five more than any other defender. Plus Benjamin Mendy, the most tempting option besides Alonso, missed last week's game due to injury and also sat out Manchester City's 2-1 Champions League loss to Lyon on Wednesday. It's unlikely that he'll play this weekend and could be out longer than that.

Avoid: Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)

Yes, he's putting up good numbers this season -- in fact, he's third among all defenders in fantasy points (68.3). But you just can't pick a center back in this tier, given the caliber of attacking fullbacks available: Alonso, Mendy, Andrew Robertson, Kieran Trippier, etc. These guys are much more likely to deliver a goal or an assist than the likes of Vertonghen.

Tier 2 Defender

Add: Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)

I'm OK with being more conservative and picking a center back in their tier -- the fullbacks on offer aren't nearly as tempting as in Tier 1. Mustafi is averaging 13.3 fantasy points per game, sixth among all defenders and tops in Tier 2. His Arsenal are playing at home against Everton.

Avoid: Ben Davies (Tottenham)

He's tempting, being a fullback with two goals and six assists last season, and one of the few players from a big club available in this tier. But he has neither a goal nor an assist this season, and played the full 90 minutes at Inter Milan on Tuesday. My guess is Danny Rose starts ahead of Davies against Brighton.


Add: Ederson (Manchester City)

Only three teams managed to keep a clean sheet last week. Manchester City were one of them, and if they can do that at home against Fulham, I bet they can do it against Cardiff City, even away from home. Man City will dominate possession, as usual, and Cardiff have only scored three goals in five games.

Avoid: Joe Hart (Burnley)

He's averaging 11.5 fantasy points per game, third-best among goalkeepers, but that's primarily because he leads the league in saves with 26. He's also conceded 10 goals in five games, and Bournemouth have scored 10 goals in five games, so I don't like Hart's clean-sheet chances, even at home.


Not captaining Hazard really hurt me last week, but that was only his second hat trick since he joined Chelsea in 2012. I think Salah is due for a big game, and he's more likely to have one this week.