UCL Targets: February 21/22

We get to see the second four Champions League round of 16 games this midweek when action gets underway on Tuesday night. There are plenty of contests to take part in on DraftKings and this article goes through some considerations at each position.


GOALKEEPER

STUDS

Sergio Rico – ($5,600) – Sevilla – Second in La Liga up until a matter of weeks ago, Sevilla kept five clean sheets out of six in the group stage and will be very confident of making it six out of seven this midweek. Why? Well, opponents Leicester City are six games without a league win and, more worrying, have not scored once in that run. Rico should have a good look at a win and clean sheet out of this week’s four fixtures.

VALUES

Gianluigi Buffon – ($5,100) – Juventus – I expect things to be tight at the Dragao, Juventus taking their excellent defensive record in this season’s competition into what is a cauldron of an atmosphere. The Old Lady kept four clean sheets in the group stage, conceding just a pair of goals, and Buffon was there for three of those blanks. Two of them came away from home, and the 39-year-old looks well placed to do so again in what will likely be a very close first leg.


DEFENDER

STUDS

Dani Alves/Stephan Lichtsteiner – ($5,000/$4,300) – Juventus – Alves is a big part of Juve’s attacks and in the Champions League tends to create more chances. In fact, he had 3.2 key passes per game in the group stage whereas that drops to just 1.8 per game in Serie A. Alves also averaged 5.4 crosses per game, 2.8 per game were accurate, which was the fourth best of any player in the early part of the competition. The only thing with Alves is that his status as first choice starter is up in the air and that is only exacerbated by the inclusion of Lichtsteiner in the 25-man UCL squad, a player who was left out of the group stage side. Both offer good point potential at an affordable price.

Mariano – ($4,900) – Sevilla – Mariano contributed two assists in the group stage in what was a tough quartet. He is defensively strong having averaged 2.5 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game across six appearances in the early stages of the competition. Mariano also averaged a strong 3.7 crosses per game in that period and a wounded Leicester City side could prove easy pickings for the Brazilian.

VALUES

Djibril Sidibe – ($4,400) – Monaco – No side has scored more than Monaco’s 76 goals in Europe’s top five leagues and Sidibe, like the remainder of the team, is a big part of that. Sidibe has two goals and four assists in Ligue 1 this season and in the UCL Group Stage managed a goal and an assist in five appearances. 4.4 tackles per game was in the top five among all players in the earlier phase and he also put in 5.6 crosses per game. Sidibe missed Friday’s trip to Bastia but should be well rested up for the clash with City.

Benjamin Henrichs – ($4,200) – Bayer Leverkusen – This game will be all about attack and Henrichs will be a busy lad. Thankfully, the teenager averaged a team high 4.5 tackles per game in the group stage and add in his 3.5 interceptions per game. Look at that and you realise his fantasy point potential is particularly high.


MIDFIELDER

STUDS

Antoine Griezmann – ($8,300) – Atletico Madrid – Griezmann picked up two assists in Sunday’s 4-1 romp over Sporting Gijon to make it to 12 goals and eight assists across both La Liga and Champions League play this season. In the continent’s top competition he has 2.5 shots per game and can play anywhere across the forward line of the team. Add in that he always picks up a smattering of points in most other fantasy point categories, and it’s hard to pass him up against a leaky Leverkusen defence.

Vitolo – ($7,000) – Sevilla – A goal off the bench against Eibar made it four successive double digit fantasy point games for the Spanish forward and there’s every chance he makes it five against Leicester. Whilst he did only have a single assist to show for the group stage, Vitolo also did well defensively, averaging 3.0 tackles per game. Leicester will obviously raise their game but could leave gaps at the back for the likes of Vitolo to exploit to good effect.

VALUES

Karim Bellarabi – ($5,500) – Bayer Leverkusen – Bellarabi missed the entire group stage due to the injury and is back just in time to replace the exiled playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu. He’s doing that job very well thus far and in just seven Bundesliga performances has one goal, four assists and is averaging 2.3 shots per game. He has three assists and a goal over the course of the last four games in Germany and looks a strong pick at a price this cheap.

Otavio – ($6,100) – Porto – It’s tough to see Porto getting past Juve over two legs, but if they are to have any chance then it’ll be at the Dragao and Otavio should be looked upon for fantasy points. The youngster had a goal and an assist in the group stage plus averaged 2.0 shots, 3.0 tackles, 2.0 crosses and, most impressively, 2.8 fouls drawn per game. His five assists in just 12 league games shows how much of a threat he can be and Juve will need to limit him otherwise there’s every chance he’ll cause damage.


FORWARD

STUDS

Gonzalo Higuain – ($8,500) – Juventus – It’s very hard to ignore Higuain’s goalscoring exploits this season. After arriving in the summer, the former Napoli man has 19 goals in Serie A and added three goals in the opening phase of the Champions League. Higuain is anything but just a goal merchant and averaged 3.4 shots per game in that time too.

Kevin Gameiro – ($6,900) – Atletico Madrid – Only Griezmann can match up to his compatriot Gameiro when it comes to goals in this Atleti side and Gameiro’s latest scoring feat was a hat trick in just 28 minutes as a sub on Sunday against Eibar. In three sub appearances the centre forward has four goals and one assist, and against a side in Leverkusen who tend to concede often, he could provide a nice differential away from Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco

VALUES

Javier Chicharito – ($6,700) – Bayer Leverkusen – Speaking of goals, the Mexican nicknamed ‘The Little Pea’ has five goals over the course of the last four games and 10 Bundesliga goals after just 19 appearances. He did only manage one in the Champions League group stage, but still put up 2.8 shots per game to go alongside it and his link up play with Bellarabi suggests he could do well here.