It’s match day two for the UEFA Champions League group stages and all eyes are on the top teams as several look to cement their place at the tops of their groups and teams such as Chelsea look to get their first win. Tuesdays fixtures feature several top teams with which you’ll want to take advantage of these top players on those squads. For the first time on Draftkings you can roster the likes of Messi, Neymar, Totti, Iniesta and Cillessen. These games are going to be tougher to gauge than the EPL games as these teams do not play each other often, and sometimes involve some extensive travel in order to get to the destination of their match. It is important to keep track of twitter in order to avoid any late scratches that might arise before games kick off.
Last weekend, those that paid attention avoided rostering Joe Hart of Manchester City who was held out for rest in favor of Willy Caballero. Hart is expected to start his side’s important matchup with AS Roma. In other news among the teams playing Tuesday, Paris St. Germain are expected to miss Zlatan Ibrahimovic which is surely a blow to the French teams’ hopes against Barcelona. Also, keep an eye out for Diego Costa as he may end up sitting this matchup after playing Saturday. If he does sit look for Loic Remy to start in his place and attempt to impress his manager Jose Mourinho in their European fixture.
If you want to keep up to the minute when lineups break follow me on twitter @DFS_hambazaza and I’ll do my best to tweet out lineups and any last minute thoughts before lineups lock on Tuesday for gamedays.
As for now, lets get on with the picks
It’s always hard to nail down which goalkeeper will perform the best as a lot of it depends on touches and save opportunities. The exception to this is when a keeper is facing a clearly overmatched team that a clean sheet is almost assured. One of these goalkeepers that fits the second criteria is Schalke 04’s keeper Fahrmann
Ralf Fahrmann (Schalke 04, $4,300) – He came off a great game against Chelsea last time out and he was able to hold the EPL leaders to one goal and managed to record 4 saves. Moreover, Last time out in the Bundesliga Fahrmann and Schalke emerged victorious against Borussia Dortmund who unleashed 17 shots on Schalke (5 on target) with only 1 goal scored. This week Schalke face a Maribor team that managed to get off 14 shots against Sporting CP of Portugal. That game featured a total of 41 shots taken between both teams but only two goals. If anything, Fahrmann should be in line for the W and potentially the clean sheet, his team is the biggest favorite in the Tuesday slate and they will play like it.
Petr Cech (Chelsea, $3,400) – Something tells me that Chelsea will be doing a rotation on their goalkeepers between the EPL and European play. With Courtois getting the majority of the playing time, Petr Cech has been left on the sidelines watching his younger teammate in goal for the majority of the start of the season. Cech started in goal in the League Cup matchup last week and looked decent. This is a risky pick and you’ll have to watch for the starting lineups as they are announced, but if Cech does start, I suspect he’ll prove worthy of the job. Chelsea are a favorite in this game and they are facing a Sporting team on the road that has 4 draws in its last 6 matches with only one match where they scored more than one goal (4 goals against lowly Gil Vicente.) They have some attacking prowess in Slimani and Nani, However, I suspect they won’t win against a dominant Chelsea team, so Cech should be in line for at least the W if not the Clean Sheet.
Other keepers I like: Gorka Araizoz (Athletic Bilbao), Andriy Pyatov (Shakhtar Donetsk), Fabiano (Porto)
Lucas Digne (Paris Saint Germain, $3,700), I’ll try to find some cheapies for this position in order to allow you to afford some of the top players that you’re probably clamoring to include in your lineup. So here is the Monday special, Digne might be a sneaky play as most people will shy away from defenders against Barcelona, but what they don’t realize is that PSG is a top team in Europe and Digne is a wing defender who likes to help set up the attack. He also has a knack for getting fouled as he’s had the whistle blown in his favor 1.2 times per game so far this season. Digne also averages 0.4 shots per game and while several people might look at Van Der Wiel or David Luiz due to name recognition, I think Digne has as good a chance as any of them to get some positive scores on defense.
Dani Alves (Barcelona, $4,900), one of the best attacking defenders in the world. He’s proven throughout his career that he isn’t afraid to take a step up and assist the offense. This season in La Liga he’s already notched an assist and registers a top notch 0.8 shots per game as well as 2 crosses per game, easily the tops of any defender going today. Barca play in Paris for this matchup between the likely two qualifiers in the group looking to get at least a draw if not all three points. It could easily end in a 0-0 draw which helps the defenders, and if a score comes about, it stands to reason that Alves will be involved in some shape or fashion.
Balenziaga – (Athletic Bilbao, $2,800) Another value play to help you out. This pick is all about value as Balenziaga is another wing defender who likes to attack and support the forwards. This season so far in La Liga he has 22 total crosses. He does not however have any assists and does not shoot on goal often. This is a pure upside play at near minimum price he can stand to support you. Also, playing BATE Borisov Athletic will want to get the W and will put the pressure on the defense on the other side. This could lead to a clean sheet which would be an extra bonus.
Others I like: Zabaleta – Man C, Maicon – Roma, Rhijn – Ajax, Danilo – Porto, Mledovic – BATE, Maicon – Porto, Ivanovic – Chelsea
Davy Klassen (Ajax, $4,700) If he does indeed start for the Dutch Champions he would be an absolute steal at this price. He so far has 4 assists and 1 goal in the Dutch Eredivisie to go along with 1.9 shots per game. Klassen and Ajax are facing an APOEL Nicosia team that played a bit over their heads in only losing to Barcelona 1-0 in their last time out. Ajax should be able to crack the code and net all three points if they want any chance in moving on to the next round in a group that includes PSG and Barcelona
Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea, $9,200) Might be my top Midfielder in play today as Chelsea face a Sporting team on the road, Fabregas is the main talent that feeds the attacking front for Chelsea. Fabregas has had double digit fantasy scores for every game this season with the exception of the Manchester City matchup a couple of weekends ago. He consistently drops several crosses as well as takes several shots to assist the offense. I expect a big day from Cesc.
Yacine Brahimi (Porto, $7,400) The Porto midfielder was dominant last time out against BATE where he notched 3 goals for his team. They were his only three goals for the season, so he’s a bit of a risk in cash games, but he has shown the ability to be a top scorer from the midfield spot as well as a setup man. This game they play Shakhtar Donetsk who have shown to be a talented squad and they played Athletic tough last time out for a 0-0 draw.
Other Midfielders I like: Andres Iniesta – Barcelona, Yaya Toure – Manchester City, Daniele De Rossi
Lionel Messi and Neymar – Barcelona – The top duo in the world, between them they have a billion goals and ninety thousand assists. I haven’t checked the numbers, but I’m certain those are accurate within the uncertainty. All joking aside, If you can fit one or both in your lineups you do it. This is why we’ve been looking for savings in the other positions in order to fit these guys in. DO IT!
Gervinho – Roma, $8,900 – is another top forward you want to get your hands on, we saw how Manchester City can be vulnerable at times on defense last weekend, and Roma is a top flight club in Europe. Gervinho notched 2 goals and an assist last time out in the Champions League and he so far has a goal and an assist Serie A. This should be a high profile game and if you can fit him in your team, he’s a nice pivot away from Messi and Neymar in cash games.
Loic Remy – Chelsea $6,400 – He’s a situational play, if Diego Costa sits, then Remy is Chelsea’s top player. He’s going to try to prove his worth to his manager and you should expect him to attack and attack and attack. He’s also cheap enough that he can help you fit another top forward next to him.
Huntelaar – Schalke ’04 $7,500 – Schalke should be scoring a couple of goals in this one and I expect them to get the clean sheet. They play a 4-2-3-1 formation that allows Huntelaar to play as their top man up front. He is another cheap option you can fit in just in case Remy doesn’t start.