Its another week with Champions League Soccer and we’re facing an interesting slate with plenty of heavy favorites and lots of underdogs. My general strategy is target the heavy favorites at home as more secure plays, however, my plays today will cover a variety of players that fit both criteria. Also of note, this is matchday 4 of the group stages, which means that teams are playing each other for the second time around. This time we can learn from these previous games and help us determine what kind of adjustments the managers might make prior to this weeks games. As always, keep on a look out for the lineups prior to roster lock and you can always tweet me @DFS_hambazaza for any questions you may have.
Danijel Subasic – Monaco hasn’t allowed a single goal in the group stage of this edition of the Champions League. Although Monaco are on the road and are playing a desperate Benfica team, I suspect that he’ll be facing plenty of attacks and will have plenty of opportunities to make good defensive plays. Moreover, his price tag will be very inviting as he’s tagged at only $3,600 he will help your team afford some of the bigger name stars that we have going tomorrow.
Wojciech Szczesny – Arsenal came back from behind last game in the 89th minute after scoring twice. And the arsenal faithful were rewarded with that improbable road win with the team being so short handed. With Szczesny likely available after serving a suspension last game, I suspect that he will be the starting goalkeeper for the heavily favored Arsenal team. Szczesny is one of several heavy favorites going into the games tomorrow, He will be in several of my teams as I suspect the gunners to move forward in this game.
Roman Weidenfeller – The Borussia Dortmund’s goalkeeper is expensive at $4,700 but he has yet to concede in European competitions, even though they have had a very rough go in the German Bundesliga, Dortmund have dominated their European competition, and coming off a win against this same Galatasaray team in Turkey, I Suspect they will hold the Turks goalless once again.
Iker Casillas – The Real Madrid goalkeeper is the biggest favorite on the board on Tuesday’s slate, and for good reason. He Madrid team has dominated all competition across all leagues. In their last matchup against Liverpool in Anfield, the Spanish champions were able to dominate the English team and came away with three points. Another three points today will seal their berth to the next round. The Spanish team will look to prove its ground in front of it home fans who will be looking to enjoy watching their team dominate, again.
Others I like: Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus, Moya – Atletico Madrid,
Kieren Gibbs and Calum Chambers, Arsenal – As you know by now, the defender spot either has to be manned by defenders who will venture up front, provide crosses, assists and shots on goal, or by guys who are playing on a heavy favorite who can get a CS and W bonus at the end of the game. In this case, Gibbs and Chambers satisfy both criteria, as Arsenal is a heavy favorite at home. And, Gibbs is coming off a game where he assisted on a goal and provided 6 crosses to the offense for a total of 19 points. Moreover, in the meeting with this team he was able to score the game tying/winning goal.
Lukasz Piszczek, Borussia Dortmund – The value play of the day comes in the form of the attacking full back for Dortmund. He is priced at a mere $2,000 and is eligible for the CS bonus. He also gets the full benefit of heading out into offense and delivers crosses. In two champions league games he’s been able to provide two assists to his team. Look for him to continue to provide attacks and to put his team in a position to win this game through his offensive efforts.
Lichtsteiner, Juventus – the Juventus player plays the right wing in a 3-5-2 formation and is more of an attacking midfielder. Draftking however has him listed as a defender, meaning that if you think that Juventus won’t concede any goals here, then you could get the bonus of the clean sheet on a midfield player and take advantage and roster a player who can provide some help up front as well as provide some defensive bonus stats. Win-win.
Others I like: Juanfran and Sequira – Atletico Madrid, Marcelo – Real Madrid
James Rodriguez, Real Madrid – It’s not a bad idea to try to get some Madrid players on your rosters today. There will be an abundance of opportunities against an overmatched Liverpool team. I suspect that Ronaldo will be looking to take a commanding lead in the all time Champions League goal scorer race before Messi takes the pitch tomorrow. In the meantime, I believe that James presents the best opportunity from the Madrid midfield to provide an assist if not a goal. The man is only 23 years old and is having a magnificent year with several amazing goal highlights. I think he gets another one today.
Shinji Kagawa, Borussia Dortmund – The Japanese midfielder has two assists so far for the German outfit and he will be looking for more. Dortmund are looking to improve on their 3-0 record so far in Europe and Kagawa is very capable of providing shots and pressure on a weak Galatasaray backline that has succumbed to 9 goals in the last three games played.
Marcelinho, Ludogorets – He’s cheap and last time out he took seven shots against Basel. This game on the road he’ll be expected to help the surprise Bulgarian side overcome a tough Swiss team. Ludogorets have a chance to advance to the second round along with Real Madrid and they can do so by beating a tough Basel team. Marcelinho is having a very good season as an attacking midfielder for Ludogorets, he has 7 goals and 3 assists in 18 matches across all competitions and he’ll be looked upon to deliver today.
Koke, Atletico Madrid – His price has gone up a little from the $6,100 price tag he had last game day, but he’s still a value play at $7,000 given his upside. Last time out he scored a goal and recorded 3 assists as his team absolutely thrashed Malmo 5-0. This game on the road, Koke will be expected to step up again and he will be capable of delivering and dismantling the Swedish side’s defenses.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Borussia Dortmund– He’s listed as a midfielder for Dortmund, but he’s really playing the forward spot alongside Reus who is a good option as well. but Aubameyang has scored or assisted in all three Champions League games so far this season. His price however has skyrocketed to $7,800, but he still makes a good mid-range option if you choose not to spend heavy on some of the superstar strikers out there.
Others I like: Wesley Sneijder – Galatasaray, Andy Najar – Anderlecht, Raheem Sterling – Liverpool, Paul Pogba – Juventus, Pajtim Kasami – Olympiakos, Santi Cazorla – Arsenal
Carlos Tevez – Juventus, He was able to get 5 shots off on Olympiakos but was unable to capitalize on those opportunities on the road and Juve ended up losing the match to a feisty Olympiakos team. I believe that the Italians will come out firing on all cylinders today to attempt to secure all three points in order to give themselves a chance to qualify to the knockout stages of the competition.
Konstantinos Mitroglou – Olympiacos, I don’t know if Olympiacos will get a score or not today, but at his price, Mitroglou is very tough to pass up. He’s playing as a lone striker and he is capable of scoring goals and so far this season has 3 goals in the Greek Super League and has a goal and an assist in the Champions League. If the Greek squad can continue their remarkable European run, expect Mitroglou to be involved in some form or fashion.
Cristian Ronaldo – Real Madrid, The price is very high, at $14,000 you’ll have to roster some serious value in order to compete. However, the performance is all but guaranteed. Even in the last game against Liverpool where Ronaldo left early, he was able to score 24 fantasy points and score a goal to go with 6 shots, 3 crosses and a foul drawn. Ronaldo is playing at another level now and is cementing himself as one of the best in the history of the beautiful game.
Karim Benzema – Real Madrid, If you can’t afford Ronaldo most likely and still feel good about your lineup, in return, you should consider Benzema. Benzema has been superb recently and his form is excellent. He is coming off three games where he scored 3 goals and recorded 2 assists for Real Madrid. Moreover, he’s had the highest in-game rating of any player in the champions league so far and should continue to lead his team to another win today.
Breel Embolo – FC Basel, The Swiss forward will be playing as a lone forward for the home team that are slight favorites in this matchup. So far this season he’s shown the ability to get loose and get some shots off. His last match against Ludo he was able to draw five fouls as well as record two shots on target for 8 fantasy points. He has some upside as he’s a striker, but his floor is very low. Consider him a GPP option only.
Marco Reus – Borussia Dortmund, One of the most skilled players in the world who plays primarily in the left wing and attacking midfield positions. he’s averaging a little under 4 shots per game in the Bundesliga and has 2 goals to show for 5 matches. He was able to notch his first champions league goal of the season last time out against Galatasaray along with five crosses, an assist and four shots. Reus is a very capable offensive player who can score in any game and I suspect he’ll get his chances today. What’s more intriguing is his price is only at $8,000 and he could be one of the higher performers on the day.
Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal, there is an abundance of forwards to choose from, and they all come in different price points. However, my favorite one considering price and opportunity today comes in Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez should continue his commanding dominance over all of Soccer today as he has continued to provide the Gunners with plenty of attacking prowess. In his last four games Sanchez has scored or assisted on seven goals and averaged 28.25 fantasy points. Sanchez will be highly owned and you don’t want to fall behind.