We have this week the final pair of matchdays in the UEFA Champions League–so go in this week, or you’ll be waiting until early March to roster Cristiano Ronaldo or Leo Messi. Let’s dive in…
The very base of your lineup building, both on Tuesday and Wednesday, is dependent on a) a team’s needs going into that match, and b) the lineup they put out because of that need to win, or lack there of. There are numerous teams needing a win to advance–an attacking lineup is sure to come. Some teams need a draw or even a result in which they can lose but still advance. Chances on goal will be limited. It’s all about the situation and the upside contained therein. Avoid setting and forgetting more than normal.
Goalkeeper on Tuesday is incredibly tricky–there is a distinct lack of chalk on the slate, and good spots for anyone are less apparent at first–and second–glance.
Kevin Trapp ($4,400): Trapp should have the strongest lineup in front of him of any of the “big” clubs on Tuesday. PSG can’t advance their placement in Group A against Shakthar Donetsk but a home start can’t be overlooked.
Kiko Casilla ($4,200): Easily the chalk on the surface of things with Trapp, Casilla gets the call for Real Madrid with their advancement and group win set in stone. Let’s put aside Casilla’s poor performance at Shakhtar a couple of weeks ago and let’s focus on this match. Madrid are heavy favorites, and a mixture of starters and backups will be used by Rafa Benitez. If you can shoehorn Casilla or Trapp into your lineup, you should. Unless PSG or Real put out a really poor lineup, you can go forward with some measure of confidence–which is really short elsewhere on the slate.
Diego Benaglio ($3,900): As a United fan, I hope I’m incredibly wrong about this choice–but let’s face the fact that the visitors are traveling to face Wolfsburg without a number of first team players–and even without all the injuries to their squad, United just is not scoring. At all. Benaglio and Wolfsburg are through with a draw at home, which normally has been a stronghold for them as a club. With United firing blanks as of late, a win and a clean sheet is not out of the question, and several saves could be in the mix as well.
Gianluigi Buffon ($3,700): My favorite play of the day, by far. Even with a road start, Buffon should have his entire starting back three and they’ll clinch the top spot in Group D. Also: the Italian champs have only lost once in their last 13 matches.
Stephan Lichtsteiner ($3,500)/Alex Sandro ($2,900): These two go hand-in-hand with Buffon. As much as Sevilla will push forward in order to win (and possibly get a Europa League spot), they’ll leave their wings open to counter-attacks from Lichtsteiner and Sandro to garner chances going forward. There is a chance, also, that neither start: Sandro should get the start over Patrice Evra, and Juan Cuadrado could get the call over Lichtsteiner. All have their positives in this spot.
Serge Aurier ($3,700): The Ivory Coast defender is back with Gregory van der Wiel likely out with a back injury. Lock in the PSG right back with a pretty high upside.
Danilo ($3,400): The right back for Real Madrid hasn’t played well since returning from injury, but the matchup is pretty strong for the hosts and he has an Aurier-like ceiling.
Wesley Sneijder ($6,100): This has boom or bust written all over it, and the salary is difficult to fit because of the relative high price in the overall spectrum of midfielders. But this kind of low pressure, lack of any real defending type of game, favors a shoot on sight mentality–which Sneijder has in spades. Add in the likely low ownership, and Sneijder could win you a GPP.
Nicolas Gaitan ($4,700)/Koke ($5,800): Back to the land of chalk with these two; Gaitan missed out on a trip to Astana on Matchday Five and the Argentine should be back to his high ceiling tricks. Both he and Koke have set piece duties and should be easily in double digits on Tuesday.
Kevin de Bruyne ($5,800): The Belgian is clearly in charge at this point for City in attack, and not even an in-form Monchengladbach would scare me off de Bruyne.
Real Madrid ($2,500-$4,500): With James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos likely rested, all from Isco, Lucas Vazquez, Casemiro, Mateo Kovacic and Denis Cheryshev (if they start, of course) have their merits in order to get the rest of your lineup set. Be ready to pivot from one Madrid option to another dependent on the lineup Benitez puts out; look for whom plays up top in the front three and target them.
Vitolo ($3,700): The Sevilla winger is somewhat overshadowed by his teammate Yevhen Konoplyanka, but the value and consistency is there. He’ll be opposite Sandro or Evra; if the latter starts, Vitolo becomes even better a play. In my opinion, the only thing Konoplyanka has over Vitolo is set piece duty–which is a lot in this scoring system, I get that–but on Tuesday, I like the latter.
Wolfsburg’s outside midfielders ($3,300-$4,800): There’s a lot of value to be had in Wolfsburg’s midfield as a whole, regardless of the gameflow between they and United. If United plays defensively, looking for a goal on the counter or opening up late, Wolfsburg has possession and chances will be there. If United opens up, guys like Daniel Caliguiri, Julian Draxler, Andre Schurrle and Vieirinha will be even more attractive. Again, wait for lineups to be announced and make any necessary changes.
Lucas Moura ($4,100): If the talented Brazilian gets the start for PSG, he’s really hard to avoid. Not a typical winger, Moura can score or be the provider, and depending on the lineup, might have dead ball responsibilities if Angel Di Maria does not play.
Cristiano Ronaldo ($10,400): If he starts, it’s hard to avoid Ronaldo in your lineup, especially if you’re just going with one or two. There’s enough value on Tuesday to build around Ronaldo with little issue, and in this matchup against Malmo, Ronaldo, if possible, could be extra selfish with shots on goal.
Burak Yilmaz ($4,300): Alongside Sneijder, Yilmaz (or Umut) could be a huge boom or bust with low ownership numbers. Yilmaz will be the lead striker for Galatasaray in a really nice matchup at home. The Turkish international can score in bunches, and has domestically–can he do it on Tuesday? He hasn’t done it so far in this Champions League campaign.
Antoine Griezmann/Raul Jimenez ($7,000/$4,500): While this match should be pretty tight with chances limited, I’d be remiss not to mention these two in-form strikers. Griezmann has the resumé over the last one and a half seasons in Europe, Jimenez is really in form for Benfica and the Mexican’s price tag is much more friendly on Tuesday.
Raffael ($4,200): One of the few forwards to have set piece duties, the Borussia forward has a pretty strong floor but you need a goal to hit a ceiling.
Luuk de Jong ($4,500): So de Jong is very goal dependent, but PSV needs the win at home, de Jong has multiple goal potential and should be relatively low owned.
Paulo Dybala/Alvaro Morata ($4,800/$5,200): Both Juve forwards have their merits. Dybala is the better play if you’re looking for a dependable floor and has three goals in his last five matches. Morata comes in for a sick Mario Mandzukic and is the more natural goalscorer of the pair, and could be the surprise from the Juve/Sevilla match.