UCL Targets: March 14/15

After last week’s goal fest in the Champions League, this week’s games could top it in the scoring department. The following article goes through each fixture and picks out some considerations at each position.


GOALKEEPER

STUDS

Gianluigi Buffon – ($5,600) – Juventus – Of the four home teams playing this week, I think Juve are best placed to achieve a clean sheet and win combo. The Italian legend between the sticks has four clean sheets in six UCL games this season, and Juve have won five out of seven games in the competitions this season. The Italian champions are also yet to lose at home this season.

Jan Oblak – ($5,400) – Atletico Madrid – Behind Juve, Atletico look like picking up a win at home and Oblak’s return to the Champions League makes it even more likely. The Slovenian ‘keeper returned from injury at the end of last month and has topped 10 fantasy points in his last two games, which have both been clean sheets. Atletico have lost just once in the UCL this season and even then it was against Bayern. Considering the Spaniards have won all three of their home games in continental competition, Oblak looks a very strong pick.

VALUES

Kasper Schmeichel – ($4,400) – Leicester City – The entire Leicester line-up has been boosted by the departure of Claudio Ranieri, so much so that there is belief they could sneak through to the quarters. If the Foxes are to do that, Schmeichel will need to emulate his performance in Spain a few weeks ago where he scored nine fantasy points without a win or clean sheet. The Danish stopper has 11 FPPG over the last three games and an excellent record in this season’s UCL.


DEFENDER

STUDS

Dani Alves – ($5,600) – Juventus – Alves has scored double digit fantasy points in four successive games, plus in that run has a goal (v Porto in the first leg) and two assists. Alves averages a decent 5.2 crosses per game in the Champions League this season but his accuracy is almost 50%, one of the highest figures of any player still in the competition. The only question mark against Alves is whether he gets the start. If he doesn’t, Stephan Lichtsteiner can provide just as high a level of performance.

Benjamin Mendy – ($4,800) – Monaco – Mendy has consistently got forward all season and his 6.8 crosses per game in Ligue 1 is the best of any Monaco player. It’s a number that jumps to 9.8 crosses per game in the Champions League, and the Frenchman also has two assists from just four appearances. Monaco’s attacking style has not relented all season, and given that they need to win this game, I expect Mendy to turn up those crosses once more.

VALUES

Wendell – ($4,400) – Bayer Leverkusen – Wendell is a defender who loves to be kept busy both in defence and attack. That much is clear from his 4.8 tackles and 4.0 crosses per game in this season’s Champions League. The Brazilian has scored double digit fantasy points in two of the last three games and should be in for another frantic night in Madrid.

Aleksandar Kolarov – ($4,000) – Man City – Whilst he is not the marauding left back of last season, Kolarov still offers a very decent set of fantasy stats. The Serbian has two assists in the Champions League this season, but alongside that averages 1.2 shots, 1.4 fouls drawn, 3.6 interceptions and 1.0 tackles per game. It’s also not too much to expect Kolarov to get close to the score sheet, something he has not done in this season’s competition.


MIDFIELDER

STUDS

Antoine Griezmann – ($8,700) – Atletico Madrid – Griezmann has been on quite the tear in recent weeks, scoring five goals in as many games including one in the first leg against Leverkusen. Atletico’s German opponents are without a clean sheet in five games and have twice conceded over four goals in that space of time. The French forward also has eight successive double digit fantasy point games. There are few better at this price level in the Champions League this midweek in my opinion.

Thomas Lemar – ($7,400) – Juventus – Lemar is another of the Monaco players that not many had heard of before this season, and his six Ligue 1 assists is second only to Bernardo Silva in their ranks. What the young Frenchman also has is seven Ligue 1 goals plus two goals and an assist in the Champions League. Delve a little further into his stat-line and you find 2.0 shots and 6.6 crosses per game. In a game Monaco need to win, Lemar looks on for another good night.

VALUES

Koke – ($7,200) – Atletico Madrid – When you look for consistent fantasy performance, there aren’t many better than Koke. The Spaniard has an assist in each of the last two La Liga games but is yet to register one in the Champions League this season. That’s despite creating more chances per game than any other Atleti player and averaging 5.0 crosses per game. With a defence as leaky as Leverkusen’s in the Spanish capital this week, I expect Koke to score well.

Fabinho – ($5,300) – Monaco – Decent fantasy performances come very easily to Fabinho, the two-assist 15-point day against City just the latest impressive output from the Monaco man. Since then he has scored twice in three Ligue 1 games to reach seven goals for the season, a cracking total for a defensive midfielder but also reflective of his position as penalty taker. Even so, his 3.7 tackles, 2.5 interceptions and 2.0 fouls drawn per game are all figures that help consistent fantasy point scoring.


FORWARD

STUDS

Sergio Aguero – ($9,700) – Man City – Agüero is benefiting from an injury to Gabriel Jesus and has six goals in the last four games in all competitions. That run has seen him average 24.6 FPPG, 6.8 FPPG coming from shots alone. Since he had two goals and one assist in the first leg, I think the little Argentinean has another shot to put on another big performance this midweek.

Paolo Dybala – ($8,300) – Juventus – Dybala has hit double digit fantasy points in his last seven starts for ‘The Old Lady’ of Italian football and notched the 97th minute penalty against Milan on Friday that kept up Juve’s excellent home record. It’s on home soil where seven of Dybala’s eight Serie A goals have come this season. He also has at least six crosses in three of the last four Serie A games.

VALUES

Kylian Mbappe – ($6,600) – Monaco – Just 18 years old, Mbappe has 10 goals and five assists in 21 Ligue 1 appearances and looks very impressive for a player this young. Including one goal against City in the first leg, Mbappe has scored in four of the last five games in all competitions, and in the last three starts scored by DraftKings, Mbappe has 21 FPPG.

Jamie Vardy – ($5,400) – Leicester City – Vardy is back in one of those runs of form where he really looks in the mood and has a goal or an assist in each of the last three games. His goal in Sevilla gives Leicester a real chance of making the quarter finals, and at this price, he looks very tempting from a fantasy perspective.