This article is part of our Mondogoal Fantasy Soccer series.
Nine months later, we've once again reached the end of another rollercoaster Premier League campaign.
However, unlike many versions past, the soon-to-be completed Premiership ride included arguably the most unforeseen twist yet, as lowly Leicester City defied the blueprint and ran away with this season's silverware. Conversely, defending champions Chelsea went off the rails in extraordinary fashion, flirting with the relegation zone to start the season.
With Leicester already crowned, and Aston Villa, Norwich City and Newcastle already receiving their relegation notices, only the final Champions League and Europa League qualifying places remain left to play for on Sunday's final matchday.
While the relative lack of consequences should result in some strange Week 38 turns, Sunday's schedule of 10 simultaneous games gives fantasy owners an action-packed opportunity for one final hurrah in Mondogoal's Perfect Million contest. Surely worth the free price of admission, here's a lineup that could potentially deliver a cash-filled conclusion.
Hugo Lloris, TOT at NEW (£6.9M):Mondogoal's top scoring goalkeeper with 223.30 points this season, Lloris' salary somehow is still cheaper than 19 players at his position. Knowing that, Lloris is not only the best fantasy option between the posts, but he's also the best bargain. With only Sunday's game at relegated Newcastle left to play, Lloris and Tottenham's defense has conceded four goals fewer than any other team this term. Considering Newcastle failed to score against abysmal, last-place Aston Villa in their most recent outing, Lloris should be able to take advantage of the demoralized Magpies and clinch his 14th clean sheet.
Chris Smalling, MUN v. BOU (£7.8M): Despite seemingly having a set of musical chairs surrounding him in Manchester United's defense this season, Smalling has still gone on to collect a soothing 17 clean sheet performances. No defender tops Smalling in that all-important category, and 11 of his clean sheets have come at Old Trafford, where Louis van Gaal's side has impressively allowed a league-low eight goals. Priced outside the top 40 players at his position, Smalling averaged 6.62 fantasy points per game in his five starts prior to Tuesday's letdown at West Ham, and he should be primed for a bounce back at home Sunday versus a Bournemouth team that's scored just once in four straight.
Gabriel Paulista, ARS v. AVL (£7.5M): With teammate Per Mertesacker ruled out, Gabriel is in line to make his 18th start of the season, yet he's already accrued nine clean sheets. An erratic but aggressive defender, the Brazilian's 6.50 fantasy points per game place within the top 20 at his position, but his £7.5M price rightfully reflects his usual reserve status. That value makes Gabriel a stellar selection as the cheapest member of Arsenal's projected starting defense Sunday, when an all-time awful Aston Villa side visits the Emirates Stadium with only 27 goals scored this season. The Villains have also failed to score in four consecutive games against Arsenal across all competitions.
Jose Fonte, SOU v. CRY (£7.0M): A player with a fantastic record of 41 clean sheets for Southampton over the past three seasons, Fonte has long been an under-appreciated fantasy performer. In fact, only 15 defenders have totaled more than his 210.24 fantasy points this season, yet none of his superiors come at a cheaper salary. Southampton's club captain, Fonte has led the Saints to three straight home wins going into Sunday's visit from Crystal Palace, which hasn't won on the road since before Christmas. Moreover, only two teams have found the back of the net less often than Palace thus far.
Eden Hazard, CHE v. LCY (£12.4M): In a matter of convenient timing for his native Belgium, Hazard is clearly rediscovering his form ahead of next month's European Championships. To that point, the attacker has reeled off four goals in Chelsea's past four games, including one at Liverpool on Wednesday. While that end-of-season flurry has certainly brought Hazard's goal total up from a woeful one through Chelsea's first 33 league appearances, he is averaging 16.96 fantasy points per match during his recent outburst. Given that rejuvenation, the obviously gifted Hazard is worth his £12.4 salary this Sunday, even with Chelsea hosting champions Leicester City's third-ranked defense.
Andre Ayew, SWA v. MCI (£10.3M): Like Hazard, Ayew too is enjoying a purple patch to close the campaign, though the latter also started the season with a bang. In his first four Premiership games, Ayew accumulated three goals, the same amount of times he's scored in Swansea's last two tussles. On the whole, Ayew sports 11 scores this term, which, despite his inconsistency, trails only PFA Player of the Season Riyad Mahrez among midfielders. Deployed atop Swansea's attack lately, Ayew has a tough matchup versus Manchester City on Sunday, but considering he's scored in back-to-back games against other top-eight sides West Ham and Liverpool, Ayew could be up for the challenge once again this weekend.
Dusan Tadic, SOT v. CRY (£9.0M): Heading into the final round of action, arguably no midfielder is hotter than Tadic, who has contributed two goals and six assists in Southampton's last four contests. That recent haul includes a tremendous three-assist outing against Manchester City in Week 36, followed by a pair of assists last weekend at Tottenham. Overall, Mondogoal has only credited two players with more than Tadic's 11 assists so far, and only Man City has tallied more goals scored at home than Tadic's Southampton this season. The Saints' last visitor will be Crystal Palace, which, as previously mentioned, has been horrendous on the road this year.
Andy King, LEI at CHE (£6.4M): In most instances, the final day of the Premiership season results in some performance oddities. For example, three teams scored at least four goals on the final day last year, including Stoke City's 6-1 victory over Liverpool. Two years prior, West Brom finished its season with a 5-5 draw versus Manchester United. If any team has proven capable of the unlikely this season, it's Leicester, and King in particular has produced some surprising showings lately. In both of his starts in 2016, King has supplied both a goal and an assist, including last weekend versus Everton. At a much-maligned Chelsea defense Sunday, King is worth taking a chance on given he and his team's knack for the unexpected.
Alexis Sanchez, ARS v. AVL (£12.7M): As he sets his sights on leading Chile to back-to-back Copa America titles this summer, Alexis has also approached his best form lately. Prior to early March, he had scored in just three Premiership fixtures this season, but since then, the electric attacker has manufactured seven goals and three assists in Arsenal's subsequent 10 league outings. With a goal at Manchester City last Sunday, Alexis brought his fantasy point average to 13.39 per game in his last seven appearances alone, justifying his hefty salary. Furthermore, a home date against a last-place Aston Villa team that's shipped 14 goals in its past four games versus Arsenal makes Alexis' picture outlook appear even brighter.
Sergio Aguero, MCI at SWA (£12.2M): While Aguero is on a quest for his second straight Golden Boot, Manchester City still needs to secure at least a point to lock up its Champions League place for next season. Thanks to a six-match goal streak that includes eight scores in total, Aguero's 24 goals this term are just one off the pace of Harry Kane's 25. However, Aguero's mark comes from eight fewer appearances, supporting an 11.81 fantasy point per game average that leads all players. With two career goals versus Swansea, and incentives for both he and his team to put their best foot forward, Aguero is certainly someone to target Sunday.
Christian Benteke, LIV at WBA (£7.4M): Even though his first – and maybe only – season at Liverpool hasn't gone as he might've hoped, Benteke is still just one goal shy of his fourth straight double-digit scoring season in England. The big Belgian came on to score in the waning stages of Wednesday's game versus Chelsea, earning Liverpool a 1-1 draw, and has averaged 6.96 fantasy points per game over his last four appearances, done in just 151 minutes. Playing time shouldn't be a problem this weekend at West Brom, as manager Jurgen Klopp could very well elect to rest top striker Daniel Sturridge ahead of Liverpool's upcoming Europa League final. Should that indeed transpire, Benteke would make for an intriguing cut-price option against a team winless from its past eight.