It’s matchday three with the UEFA Champions League group stages. These picks should help you narrow down your selections as the games draw near. As always, make sure to stay on top of the starting lineups on twitter, you can follow me @DFS_hambazaza and I’ll try to retweet any starting lineups as they come across my screen. Good Luck
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Barcelona – Despite losing last time out against Paris St. Germain in Paris, I like Barcelona today as the top option to maintain a clean sheet. Barcelona has only let in three goals all season and they all came against PSG in matchday two in the UCL. Since that time, Barca have held two opponents to zero goals scored and are a heavy favorite today to hold their third straight opponent to a clean sheet. The only thing that is prohibitive here is the price, at $4,900 Ter Stegen comes at a slightly exaggerated price tag that will hurt your chances at rostering some of the stars that are available today at forward and midfield.
Ralf Fahrmann, Schalke 04 – Schalke is a very heavy favorite in this game and they face a team in Sporting Lisbon that has struggled in previous trips to Germany. On their home soil, Fahrmann can prove to be the best cheap option available. Moreover, his price tag of $4,000 can let you get away with not getting the Clean Sheet as a win is worth 5 points. Don’t shy away from him because of the tie game against Maribor last time out as Maribor are probably the third best team in the group.
Others I like: Manuel Neuer – Bayern Munich, Thibaut Courtois – Chelsea, Salvatore Sirigu – Paris Saint Germain
Dani Alves, Barcelona – I’ll be singling out several Barcelona players, these are the guys that are worth paying up for, they are the biggest favorite on the board and they are also the highest over/under on the board. Guys like Dani Alves, while somewhat expensive (second most expensive defender on the board) can provide guaranteed points for your fantasy rosters. Some forwards can go games without scoring, but Alves provides points in terms of crosses, of which he averages 11 a game. Moreover, in such a fluid offense with a stout defense against a team that will be outmatched, the Clean Sheet bonus is not far-fetched. Plug and Play!
Darijo Srna, Shakhtar Donetsk – The Croatian defender should find himself venturing up front on the road in a game that should feature some goals. He should be low owned since this game is the least attractive for the masses. Srna has so far provided 9 crosses in two games in the champions league, and with his team favored today, they are expected to attack the home team to try to come away with three points. The Clean Sheet is a bit of a long shot, but he should provide some attacking numbers to supplement his position as a defender.
Others I like: Jerome Boateng – Bayern Munich, Branislav Ivanovic – Chelsea, Philip Lahm – Bayern Munich, Gregory Van der Wiel – Paris Saint Germain
Yacine Brahimi, Porto – The midfielder can prove to be a handful for defenses to deal with as he’s led his team in successful dribbles into the opponent’s defensive third as well as leads the team in shots as well as passes in the opponents third. Brahimi has three goals scored so far and will likely give himself a chance to produce again this time at home against a not-as-good Athletic Bilbao team.
Aleksander Karnitski, BATE Borisov – The midfielder is coming off a home game where he scored a hatrick in BATE’s 4-1 vicotry in the league, he also scored the decisive goal for his team in beating Athletic Club at home last time out. Again, price comes into play when rostering Karnitski as he comes in at just $5,400 and thus can free up some space to roster some of the top plays of the week like a Chelsea attacking midfielder or any of the Forwards listed further down in this article.
Others I like: Oscar – Chelsea, Lucas Moura – Paris Saint Germain, Justin Draxler – Schalke 04
Lionel Messi ($13,200) and Neymar ($11,700), Barcelona – Both strikers for Barcelona are in play here. They both have had a hand in almost every goal scored by the Spanish side this season so far. However, they come at a very hefty price. Paying up for them will give you some points, Messi is the more guaranteed option as he tends to get creative in the middle as well as provides crosses into the box so the chances of an assist are high. Neymar is the cheaper option and could be the recipient of a goal or two. Be weary however that either may choose to be rested today ahead of Barcelona’s match against Real Madrid.
Loic Remy ($6,400), Chelsea – I’ll go back to the well with this one, Remy was not very productive last weekend, but he is still starting for Chelsea, which is the most prolific offense in the Premier League and can probably carry that over into European competition. I expect Remy to make use of his opportunity this time and increase his shots on goal. It is to be seen if his conversion rate can match his shot opportunity or not.
Others I like: Lasse Schone – Ajax, Islam Slimani – Sporting Lisbon, Jackson Martinez – Porto, Luiz Adriano – Shakhtar Donetsk, Edinson Cavani – Paris Saint Germain Klaas-Jan Huntelaar – Schalke 04