It's going to be an unusually quiet weekend in the Premier League, thanks to the FA Cup quarterfinals taking place at the same time.
Only five Premier League games will be played, and only two of the "Big Six" are involved. Liverpool will play at Fulham, and Chelsea will play at Everton.
The second-biggest favorites of the weekend, behind Liverpool, are actually West Ham, playing at home against Huddersfield Town. The other two matchups look pretty even. Bournemouth are slight favorites at home against Newcastle, and Leicester City are even slighter favorites playing at Burnley.
Mohamed Salah has now gone six games in a row without scoring a goal, if you include Champions League fixtures. But Salah did pick up an assist in Liverpool's 3-1 victory at Bayern Munich on Wednesday. He also took five shots in the 4-2 win over Burnley last weekend, and had three chances created.
With Liverpool facing Fulham, who have conceded 68 goals in 30 games -- 11 more than any other team -- Salah is an easy choice as my Tier 1 forward and captain. He's still tied for second in the league with 17 goals, despite his recent drought.
I'm also going with a Liverpool player at Tier 1 midfielder. Sadio Mane, unlike Salah, is red hot right now. He scored two of the three goals against Bayern on Wednesday and also scored two against Burnley last weekend.
Mane has now scored eight goals in his past eight league games, which is too good to ignore against a team as poor defensively as Fulham are. Mane did not score in Liverpool's 2-0 home win over Fulham back in November, but he did take four shots. (Salah scored a goal and took five shots in that game, by the way.)
Eden Hazard -- who leads the league in both total fantasy points, and points per game -- will also be a popular choice at Tier 1 midfielder. But Hazard's goal against Wolves last week came on his only shot of the game, and he had scored in only one of his previous nine games.
Hazard's floor is higher than Mane's due to higher production in peripheral categories like chances created and passes completed. But Mane's goal upside is much higher against Fulham than Hazard's is against Everton. Chelsea and Everton played out a scoreless draw at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.
On the rise
Newcastle are up to 13th in the table following their 3-2 win over Everton last weekend, a game in which they overturned a 2-0 deficit. They're just three points behind 12th place Bournemouth, and I'm going with Newcastle's Salomon Rondon at Tier 2 forward this week, despite the fact Bournemouth will be hosting Newcastle.
Rondon had a goal and an assist against Everton last week. He has three goals and three assists in his past eight games, and is averaging 3.4 shots per game during that stretch. He's also averaged 15.4 points per game during that stretch -- finishing in double figures five times, and with 9.8 and 8.3 points in two of the other three matches.
Bournemouth have conceded 54 goals in 30 games -- only three teams have conceded more. And Rondon scored both goals in Newcastle's 2-1 win over Bournemouth earlier this season -- a game in which he finished with season-highs in shots (8), shots on target (4) and points (34.0).
Teammate Ayose Perez scored two goals against Everton last week and is also available at Tier 2 forward, but he hasn't been nearly as consistent as Rondon. Perez has finished in double figures in points in only three of his past 13 games, and he finished with fewer than five points in seven of those 13 games.
Leicester City and Burnley also played out a scoreless draw back in November, but James Maddison did not play in that game. He almost certainly will start at Burnley on Saturday, and will be my Tier 2 midfielder again this week.
Maddison picked up his sixth assist of the season in Leicester's 3-1 win over Fulham last week and had three chances created. He continues to lead the league in that category, now with 81 -- seven more than Hazard in second place.
Burnley have conceded 57 goals this season, tying them with Cardiff City for the second-worst defensive record in the league. Maddison has a high floor, but he's also a goal threat, despite the fact he hasn't scored one since Dec. 5. He took two shots last week and has taken 61 on the season, tying him for 14th in the league.
Maddison is averaging 14.3 points per game over his past six matches and finished in double figures in five of those six matches.
Matt Ritchie, Newcastle (Tier 3 midfielder): He finished with only 4.7 points last week but had a penalty kick that was saved -- otherwise he would have posted a big score. I'm going to give him another chance, playing against a poor defensive team like Bournemouth, and hopefully he's still on penalties (and converts the next one).
Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool (Tier 1 defender): He scored a goal against Bayern on Wednesday, leads this tier in points per game, has finished in double figures in points in 10 straight games, and finished with 15.7 points in the first meeting with Fulham. Liverpool had 71.6 percent possession in that game, and Van Dijk had a team-high 101 passes completed.
Harry Maguire, Leicester City (Tier 2 defender): He wasn't the offensive threat I was hoping he'd be against Fulham last week -- Maguire didn't take a single shot. But he still finished with 10.9 points. I'm picking him again, going up against another poor defensive team in Burnley. Maguire didn't play against Burnley the first time around, but Leicester City outshot Burnley 22-6 in that game, despite the fact it ended scoreless.
Alisson, Liverpool (Goalkeeper): I thought briefly about taking a chance on Lukasz Fabianski against Huddersfield -- until I remembered that West Ham didn't show up against Cardiff City last week, losing 2-0 but with an xG (expected goals) conceded total of 4.51. Alisson is the safest choice this week and shut out Fulham the first time around.