With Day 1 of Matchday 1 in the group stages in the books, we now find ourselves heading into a fun slate on day 2. Tuesday’s matches all completed very predictably with all the favorites winning at home and the only underwhelming results were from the two Manchester teams who ended up both losing with the same 2-1 scoreline.
For Wednesday we have a new set of challenges with only three overwhelming home favorites, but a significant increase in the number of superstar must-plays with Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern, Arsenal and Beyer Leverkusen all in play we’ll have our work cut out for us trying to narrow down our selections for this slate of matches.
So here is your cheat sheet. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
Lock of the Day
Asmir Begovic, Chelsea $4,000 – Chelsea is one of the one of the biggest favorites on the board playing at home against Maccabi Tel-Aviv and with their starting goalkeeper at only $4,000 he’s priced like a road underdog which is unique in the DraftKings game. You will need to save some salary somewhere in order to be able to afford the other superstar plays that are available to choose from today. Start your lineups with Begovic and go from there.
Stefan Kiessling, Beyer Leverkusen $6,700 – Kiessling and Beyer Leverkusen are playing at home against BATE of Belarus. Last champions league season BATE were the team that conceded the most goals (24) and suffered a terrible loss to Shakhtar 0-7 at home. I don’t expect them to put up much of a fight against Beyer Leverkusen, even if the German club has struggled to find some footing in the early stages of the Bundesliga. while Leverkusen have lost their last three matchups, nothing will help revive their confidence more than a Champions League matchup against a team that many have picked to land at the bottom of the group.
Worth Your Buck
Lionel Messi, Barcelona $12,800 – It is very difficult to not recommend Messi in such a stacked slate, but Messi is Messi, and he can score regardless of how much playing time he gets. In his last matchup he came off the bench and scored in just 30 minutes to seal the victory for this side visiting Atletico Madrid. Prior to that, he managed 2 goals for Argentina in an international friendly and he looks poised to start one of his epic goal-scoring-assist-producing runs that he does every year. Messi and Ronaldo have a little personal rivalry and after Ronaldo has eight goals in his last two matches, Messi will be looking to remind the world that he is just as unstoppable. Of course, you can venture away from Messi easily to Suarez or Neymar with no problem, it is very very tough to pinpoint which of the other two Barca stars will have a good day, but one thing is for sure, Messi will be involved one way or another.
Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal $10,600 – Alexis Sanchez has not scored many goals this year (0 in the EPL to be exact), however, he has taken close to 5 shots a game and he has averaged more than 30 touches in the opponents third. Despite not scoring a single goal, Sanchez has managed to average 12 points on DK this season with 16 last time out. Expect Sanchez to be highly active once again and with a matchup against a likely overwhelmed Dinamo Zagreb, Sanchez is going to be in my cash lineups today.
Value Play of the Day
Baba Rahman, Chelsea $2,500 – Mourinho has hinted he will give his new young full back a shot this matchup against the visiting Israeli champions. Rahman comes from the German squad Augsburg where he averaged close to 4 crosses a game and should jump in with a chance to prove his worth to his new boss. Rahman is extremely cheap at $2,500 that I can’t him on my teams given the expected output from him. The only risk is he would get subbed off and lose his clean sheet bonus, but if Chelsea play well and he does well, he may see close to 65-70 minutes of action.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal $5,600 – The Ox is expected to start this week with Arsenal suffering from some minor injuries that will give him another chance to start, and pairing him with Sanchez is a good way to go. Oxlade-Chamberlain has done well this season with every start for both Arsenal and England and should expect to play well in this one as well if given the chance to start once more.
Sleeper of the Day
Junior Moraes, Dinamo Kiev $5,700 – He’s priced cheap and he’s playing forward for an attacking team. Nobody will look to this Porto-Kiev matchup and instead people will try to roster players from Barca, Chelsea, Bayern, Arsenal and even Leverkusen and Valencia, however, I believe there are some goals here. Moraes is the lone striker for this squad and has scored three goals in seven appearances in the Ukranian league this season. The Brazilian should be in a good spot to score for his team at home and while they are underdogs to Porto, I expect Moraes to at least be in contention for a goal or two.
Hulk, Zenit St. Petersburg $8,500 – Zenit are underdogs to Valencia, and this is a Russian team traveling east (which is tough situation to be in due to the time zone differences.) However, Hulk has been a monster this season (you see what I did there?) after scoring five goals and recording 4 assists with 6.1 shots per game (in 8 matches). This pick will play great in a large GPP as well since there will be a significant portion of the field rostering the Valencia goalie Juame Domenech ($3,100) who is likely starting for the injured Mathew Ryan (no, not that one, Julio is safe). Hulk can work as a contrarian play that can pay off.