Tuesday’s Champions League slate has one fewer match than normal (Atletico Madrid visits Kazakhstan’s Astana), so we have seven games to choose from to build our lineups. The clear headliner is PSG visiting Real Madrid, and although the reverse fixture saw these teams play to a scoreless draw in Paris this one is full of narratives for those who love to visit that street.
Otherwise, we have a very even slate to pick and choose from. As of writing, the biggest favorites are Shakthar Donetsk (hosting Malmo) and Benfica (who host Galatasaray)–but both lost last matchday when they were the visitors a couple of weeks ago. So it’s time to find value, especially with the new scoring system while still chasing high ceiling goalscorers in the right situation.
Julio Cesar, $2,500
Perhaps the chalkiest option on Tuesday because of the combination of opportunity and price tag. Over a grand cheaper than Shakthar’s Andriy Pyatov, who himself is a nice play but is a bit overpriced and bigger names like Keylor Navas, Gianluigi Buffon and David de Dea Cesar is at home as Benfica are strong favorites. Cesar hit double digits in the first two matchdays and the Brazilian could hit 4x value with relative ease.
David de Gea, $3,700
If I’m spending up at keeper, may I suggest Spain and United’s #1 on Tuesday? United’s attack is struggling mightily, but de Gea remains United’s best player. CSKA won’t sit back in this one; the side isn’t built for such, even on the road. De Gea has perhaps the highest ceiling on the day. IF you want a more dependable, lower ceiling option towards towards the top of the salary chart, Buffon’s probably the best option.
Jeroen Zoet, $3,000
My pivot from Cesar is Zoet; still a lot of value to be had in a home start in a game PSV can consider an almost must-win. Add into the mix PSV is unbeaten at home spanning back to this past March (stretching over two seasons), and Zoet is a strong play.
Kevin Trapp, $3,300
Trapp will have even lower ownership numbers, most likely, than he did two weeks ago when he had a home start and shut out Madrid in Paris. Now the game’s in Madrid, but Karim Benzema is still with an injury, as should Gareth Bale. He’ll be busy, and there’s a chance Madrid scores multiple goals. But PSG has a strong defense and could do well.
Anton Kanibolotskty, $2,500
There’s a chance Pyatov misses out with a knee injury; he’s been out for Shakthar’s last two domestic matches. If Kanibolotskty plays, lock and load.
Ricardo Rodriguez, $3,300
Wolfsburg’s left back is a pretty strong, solid play, especially with the new rules giving corners as crosses.
Serge Aurier/Danilo, $3,100/3,200
Both right backs in the Madrid showdown should be strong plays; Danilo is just back from injury, while Aurier has been DFS gold albeit in a small sample size. Aurier plays on the same side as Angel Di Maria, and the two in attack have performed well so far this season. Danilo has a much better pricetag than Marcelo on Madrid’s other side, and does not hesitate to get forward and will be matched up with PSG’s Maxwell, who is solid but can’t match Danilo speed wise.
LIke Cesar, the pair of Benfica outisde backs are strong value plays for your defender slots. On top of the chance Benfica give up zero or one goals against Galatasaray, these two should get forward a lot more than they did a couple of weeks ago.
Mario Fernandes, $2,600
CSKA’s right back has three straight double digit performances, and did well against Marcos Rojo. Let’s face it–even with CSKA’s porous history defensively in the Champions League, United’s attack is struggling heavily and a goal bonus could happen. If it does, it’ll be the icing on the cake that is the Braziian’s DFS potential output.
Nicolas Gaitan, $3,900
In a just world, Gaitan’s ownership numbers should be just as high as a certain Madrid striker–if not higher. Past production, plus price? Gaitan is just money. Takes corners as well, you say? And a possible penalty taker if (Benfica striker) Jonas is out or passed over? Just use him.
Daniel Caligiuri, $3,600
Caliguiri and teammate Julian Draxler are interesting plays, but the former being used on the wing is a strong play on the surface of things. There’s a lot of value in the PSV/Wolfsburg match at midfield and forward; you have these two, plus PSV’s Adam Maher and/or Davy Propper as well. We’ll get to the forwards in a minute.
Angel Di Maria, $7,200
If you’re spending up at midfield, Di Maria is the highlight play. You have the narrative of him returning to Madrid, playing against a team he didn’t want to leave (Manchester United, then to PSG), and it’s time to try and teach some lessons.
Value, from Madrid? Yes, you can–but there is a chance James Rodriguez starts after a long-term injury. It’s a small chance the Colombian gets thrown into the starting 11, but get ready to pivot from one or both if he does start. Otherwise, both Madrid midfielders have the ability to return value even if they don’t find the back of the net.
Kevin De Bruyne, $5,200
With David Silva remaining out of the City lineup, De Bruyne remains one of his team’s best DFS options–and the most cost affordable. The floor is relatively high, while if he’s on point he could find the net multiple time. It’s a tricky trip to Spain to face Sevilla for City, but if you can put trust in any City option, it’s the Belgian.
Juan Cuadrado, $4,900
Being used now as a winger in Juve’s front three, Cuadrado is thriving–he scored once and picked up an assist on the weekend and the Colombian’s salary is pretty nice to fit into many kinds of lineups.
Anthony Martial/Seydou Doumbia, $5,800/$4,300
As a United fan, this hurts me to say/type: Doumbia is almost a must play on Tuesday. With Phil Jones unlikely to play, Daley Blind will play centrally–and the Dutch defender will not be able to keep up with Doumbia, in both pace and physical ability. Ahmed Musa is also a nice play from CSKA if you want to take both options. As I said, de Gea will be a busy man.
Martial is a start if, and only if, he’s used as the central striker in place of Wayne Rooney. Scour prematch any tactical news from Old Trafford from the hosts, and if Martial does take the #9 spot, he’s an excellent choice to score.
Benfica’s lead dog in attack is a strong play against Galatasaray, and should thrive on Tuesday. Multiple goals are in play, and he and Gaitan are a tidy little mini-stack. Want a cheap third? Goncalo Guedes at $3,600 and can return value pretty easily.
Alvaro Morata, $5,100
Juve’s attack has been irregular, and the young Spaniard hasn’t scored for a month–but Morata seems to shine on European nights. He and Cuadrado are a nice pairing.
Yevhen Konoplyanka, $4,000
If the Ukrainian starts–it’s not a certainty, but Sevilla needs three points from this match, not must one or none–he’s a very strong play. He’ll be matched against Alex Kolarov going forward, and the latter can be taken advantage of. He’ll likely make value from crosses alone–a goal or assist is pure upside.
Olexandr Gladkiy, $4,000
Even with Shakthar at home, Gladkiy is very much a contrarian option. Gladkiy simply has not replaced Luiz Adriano on the European stage. But the scenario and the opportunity is there as Donetsk’s lead striker.
Luciano Narsingh/Maxime Lestienne/Max Kruse, $4,400-$5,000
While I like Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost, his salary is a bit too high for my liking and is goal depedant. These three are not, and the PSV duo I really like. Lestienne is a doubt after his mother died and might just be used off the bench. If so, Gaston Pereiero looks to be the likely replacement.
Cristiano Ronaldo/Jese, $10,000/$3,300
Ronaldo remains the best play if you put price aside…but that’s not how lineup sausage gets made. Using Ronaldo gives you $4k per player for the remainder of your lineup, and there’s not a lot of leeway other than to build the rest around value and the leave the bigger names on the shelf. Jese should start alongside, and the youngster has two goals and an assist in his last four matches.