Premier League fantasy recap: Breaking down the braces

Alvaro Morata scored a brace this weekend, another sign of his continually improving form for Chelsea. NEIL HALL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Thank you, Maurizio Sarri.

The Chelsea manager's line at the end of this story, saying Eden Hazard "might be able to play for 40, 45 minutes," led me to pivot from Hazard to Raheem Sterling as my Tier 1 midfielder this weekend.

Hazard did end up coming off the bench and picked up an assist. But Sterling had two goals and two assists in Manchester City's 6-1 demolition of Southampton, finishing with a league-best 41.6 fantasy points.

Sergio Aguero "only" finished with one goal and two assists, and 30.4 points. Leroy Sane and David Silva also finished with more than 20 points. This was yet another reminder of how important Manchester City is when building your fantasy team.

But enough about them. There were lots of goals around the league this weekend -- 33 of them, in fact, with Huddersfield Town vs. Fulham still to come on Monday.

West Ham beat Burnley 4-2, Tottenham beat Wolves 3-2, and Chelsea and Everton beat Crystal Palace and Brighton, respectively, by 3-1 scorelines.

Three other players, besides Sterling, finished with a brace. And they all featured in the games mentioned above: Felipe Anderson, Alvaro Morata and Richarlison.

Let's start with Richarlison, who has already surpassed his total of five goals in 38 league games for Watford last season. He now has six goals in his first nine games for Everton, a very impressive start.

Richarlison has been playing as Everton's center forward in recent weeks, as opposed to on the wing, which increases his fantasy value in some formats -- like Fantasy Premier League -- where goals are much more important than anything else.

But in ESPN's format, I'm still more excited about one of his teammates, Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Sigurdsson had the assist on Richarlison's first goal against Brighton, and really should have scored at least one goal himself - he had two very good chances early in that game. He has one fewer goal than Richarlison, but two more assists, and 23 more chances created. Sigurdsson is currently 11th among all outfield players in fantasy points, while Richarlison is only 38th.

If they both remain as Tier 2 midfielders, I'm probably picking Sigurdsson every time.

Morata has suddenly come into form again, after a very poor start to the season. He scored just one goal in Chelsea's first four league games, and then was dropped to the bench for their next four. But Morata's been back in the starting lineup for the past three games, and has now scored in back-to-back games.

He's also taken five shots in each of those games, with three on target each time. And Morata easily could have had a hat trick against Crystal Palace, if his chip over Wayne Hennessey was just a little higher in the closing stages. Still, he's up to five league goals on the season.

Morata wasn't great last year for Chelsea, but he wasn't awful, either, finishing with 11 goals and six assists in 31 league appearances (24 starts). At 26, Morata's still relatively young, and he scored 15 goals in just 26 league appearances (14 starts) for Real Madrid two years ago, earning a big-money move to the Premier League.

With excellent playmakers like Eden Hazard and Willian playing alongside him, Morata should get plenty of great looks at goal -- and he has. Despite that four-game stretch of not starting, Morata is still ninth overall in expected goals with 4.96. And per 90 minutes, Morata is averaging 0.74 expected goals -- only Sergio Aguero (0.86) and Jamie Vardy (0.75) are averaging more among regular starters.

If he continues to be available as a Tier 2 forward, Morata should be at or near the top of your mind at this point.

Anderson's numbers for West Ham aren't quite as impressive. Despite his pair of goals on Saturday, Anderson still only has three on the season, and one assist.

He took five shots, with four on target, against Burnley. But Anderson had taken just nine shots in his first 10 Premier League games, since coming over from Lazio in the summer.

He does have 23 chances created, which currently puts him in a tie for eighth in the league. But I need to see him continue to be more of a goal threat before I'd seriously consider putting him in my fantasy team. After all, this is a player who only scored four goals in each of the past two seasons in Serie A.

Teammate Marko Arnautovic, however, is a player I will continue to have my eye on. He scored his fifth goal of the season against Burnley, is in the top 10 in the league in shots with 30, and has taken 14 shots (eight on target) in his past three games.

With West Ham playing at Huddersfield next week, I'm sure I'll be considering Arnautovic, as well as Morata playing at home against Everton, when choosing my Tier 2 forward.