This article is part of our Mondogoal Fantasy Soccer series.
Believe it or not, only two weeks remain in the Premier League season. Even more unbelievably, Leicester City has already been crowned champion of England.
While the Foxes fairytale has come to fruition, fantasy owners only have a couple more opportunities to earn their own prizes.
Mondogoal's Week 37 Perfect Million contest offers such a chance, and with that contest in mind, here's a lineup that could potentially maximize point production under the allotted £100M budget.
Ben Foster, WBA at BOU (£5.8M): After not making his league debut until late January, Foster has gone on to post the sixth-best point average (5.18) among Perfect Million goalkeepers with at least 10 appearances. Still, his £5.8M valuation falls outside the top 25 at his position. Even though West Brom's defensive form has dipped lately, Foster's cheap price makes him easy to slot into most lineups, and this weekend's home matchup versus Bournemouth isn't exactly daunting. The Cherries have lost five of their past six games, scoring over one goal just once over that spell.
Aaron Cresswell, WHU v. SWA (£8.4M): Thanks to a convincing 3-0 win at West Brom last weekend, Cresswell and West Ham snapped their six-game span without a clean sheet. Nonetheless, the Englishman still totes 11 clean sheets to his name, leaving Leicester City's back four as the only Perfect Million defenders with more such outings than Cresswell. On Saturday, Cresswell will aim to increase his count at home versus Swansea City, who failed to score against West Ham earlier this season, as well as in four of its previous six meetings with the Hammers.
Charlie Daniels, BOU v. WBA (£7.5M): Whereas Cresswell ranks fourth among Perfect Million defenders in total points, Daniels leads his position with an even 231.00 through 35 games played. The Bournemouth left back's tally is supported by three goals, five assists and seven clean sheets, giving him great offensive potential as well as steady defensive production. Although it's been a while since Daniels score more than 5.00 fantasy points, Saturday's game at West Brom could offer a revival, as the Baggies have scored the second-fewest goals this term and Daniels bagged one against them earlier in the campaign.
Jamaal Lascelles, NEW at AVL (£5.1M): Desperate to save its place in the Premier League for next season, Newcastle has gone unbeaten in its last four games, securing a pair of clean sheets at home along the way. As the Magpies' cheapest defender on Mondogoal, Lascelles has averaged an eye-opening 7.05 points per game over that span, making him an excellent late season value. Given their situation in the standings, Lascelles and his side are gifted with the best possible matchup this weekend, when last-place Aston Villa travels to St. James' Park having lost 11 straight. Against by far the Premiership's worst attack as well, Lascelles embodies the perfect bargain defender for Saturday's action.
Dimitri Payet, WHU v SWA (£12.6M): With an assist in back-to-back games for West Ham, Payet has now been credited with 10 helpers on Mondogoal, and he could bring his goal tally to double figures this weekend. That's because he and the Hammers are slated to host Swansea City, which has shipped a joint-worst 15 goals from its past six away games. Meanwhile, West Ham's attack has been sizzling, scoring at least twice in seven straight league games. Payet, West Ham's Player of the Season, is the catalyst of that unit, so his £12.6M salary is certainly worth the investment.
Riyad Mahrez, LEI v. EVE (£12.6M): Priced at the same point as Payet, Mahrez is the only Perfect Million midfielder with a higher point average (11.21) and more assists than his fellow French-born playmaker. Mahrez also recently edged Payet and others to win the PFA's Player of the Year Award, a well-deserved prize given his massive role in catapulting Leicester City to its most unlikely championship. With silverware already reserved, Saturday's final home match versus Everton should act as a sort of title testimonial, and Mahrez's brace against the Toffees earlier this term could prepare him to be the star of the show yet again.
Eden Hazard, CHE at SUN (£12.6M): The man who preceded Mahrez as PFA Player of the Season, Hazard's current campaign was downright deplorable until the past week or so. In fact, through Chelsea's first 33 Premiership matches, Hazard scored just once. While his Week 35 brace at Bournemouth assured onlookers that he actually still exists, the Belgian's wonderful curling goal against Tottenham on Monday helped clinch the Premier League title. For Leicester, that is. Nonetheless, Hazard's season-long hangover seems to be subsiding, making him an interesting option at Sunderland's bottom-five defense Saturday.
Andros Townsend, NEW at AVL (£9.2M): A player that scored as many goals as Hazard until April, Townsend too has found some form lately. However, his recent stretch only came after Tottenham plundered Newcastle for £12 million in January. For someone with five career Premiership goals, that fee appeared absurd, but to Townsend's credit, he's responded with four scores and two assists in 10 starts for his new club. Averaging just about 10.00 fantasy points per match in those appearances, Townsend's stock is certainly on the rise going into the weekend, when a home match against the league's worst team, Aston Villa, looks all the more appetizing.
Jermain Defoe, SUN v. CHE (£10.0M): By converting a penalty in stoppage time last weekend at Stoke City, Defoe not only earned an all-important point for Sunderland, but also extended the Black Cats' current spell to just one loss in their past eight outings. Now just one point from safety, four of Sunderland's last six goals scored have come from the 33-year-old Defoe, whose personal mark has reached 14 thanks to his late season stride. With an assist as well, Defoe ranks third among Perfect Million strikers in both average (7.52) and total points (233.02), and he will hope to continue his heroics at home versus an unimpressive Chelsea backline Saturday.
Jamie Vardy, LEI v. EVE (£9.4M): Surely the life of Leicester City's championship party, Vardy also gets to celebrate his team's triumph with a return from his two-match ban. That puts Mondogoal's top Perfect Million forward back in play, and Vardy's matchup appears a fantastic one on paper. At home, where he's scored 12 goals in 17 games this term, Vardy is slated to face a much-maligned Everton defensive unit that's also riddled by injuries. Prior to last weekend, the Toffees went seven matches without a win, so the stage is seemingly set for Vardy to take a glorious bow.
Andy Carroll, WHU v. SWA (£6.5M): On the back of six goals in West Ham's past six Premiership showings, Carroll has now netted nine times, his best total since the 2010-11 campaign. Although injuries contributed to derail his career since then, the now cut-price Carroll is firing on all cylinders, averaging a whopping 12.1 fantasy points per match since starting his scoring stretch. What's more, Carroll has an awesome opportunity to extend his assault against a favored foe Saturday, as he's West Ham's leader with four career goals versus Swansea City, including three in the Hammers' last three meetings with the Swans.