Jonathan Smith's fantasy picks for the Premier League weekend

Sadio Mane celebrates scoring his side's second goal against West Ham. David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images

ESPN's fantasy Premier League game is back in action this weekend, but don't worry if you have yet to sign up. You can start whenever you want -- and that applies not only to our Premier League game but to MLS, La Liga and Liga MX, too.

As soon as you join and fill your league, your competition starts.

To help you make up your mind about your eight-man team, we've enlisted the help of ESPN's Manchester City correspondent, Jonathan Smith, to pick out a player from each of the tiers.

It promises to be a tough weekend, with so many of the top Premier League teams out of action due to the FA Cup quarterfinals. It means you are definitely going to need some help.

Check out our detailed breakdown of the scoring system to make sure you're picking your team with this in mind. Get your mates involved ahead of this weekend's round of games and play each other each week in a head-to-head match.

Every week, you'll submit a new team, or you can stick with the same eight but only if they are still in the same tiers. So make sure you're always checking and selecting the best team to beat your rival each week.

Let's take a look at who Jonathan has picked for this weekend. And, just as importantly, why.

Tier 1 forward -- Roberto Firmino: The Brazilian striker looked back to his best with a double in Liverpool's victory over Burnley last weekend and will be relishing the opportunity of leading the line at Fulham against the most porous defence in the Premier League.

Tier 2 forward -- Marko Arnautovic: After West Ham's disappointing defeat at Cardiff, Manuel Pellegrini should look to refresh his starting lineup and give a recall to Arnautovic, who remains the club's biggest attacking threat and is capable of bullying Huddersfield's woeful defence.

Tier 1 midfielder -- Sadio Mane (captain): With eight goals in his last eight Premier League matches, Mane is leading Liverpool's title challenge from the front. The Senegalese is just two goals behind leading scorer Sergio Aguero and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him move a step closer at Craven Cottage.

Tier 2 midfielder -- Felipe Anderson: Huddersfield will do their best to keep it tight when they visit the London Stadium and it will be up to the Hammers' playmakers to find a way through and Anderson, who has eight goals and three assists this season, could be key.

Tier 3 midfielder -- Dwight McNeil: The 19-year-old made just one appearance before Christmas but has become a regular ever since, making a big impact on Burnley's recent upturn in form and is already third in the club's most assists for the season.

Tier 1 defender -- Virgil van Dijk: The standout performer in the Premier League's tightest defence will look to make an impact as Liverpool aim to reclaim their place at the top of the table with Manchester City involved in the FA Cup.

Tier 2 defender -- Michail Antonio: He will look to get forward at every opportunity against a struggling Huddersfield side and Antonio is a big threat in the air and with his pace, contributing four goals and three assists this season.

Goalkeeper -- Alisson Becker: Leading the race for the golden glove with 17 clean sheets already this season, the Brazilian goalkeeper will be looking to move further clear of compatriot Ederson with a blank at Craven Cottage.