The second of this week’s Champions League slates is ready to go tonight, another 16 teams kicking off at 19:45 BST (14:45 EST). In the following article, there are player picks for every position including an extra two mid-value players in midfield. As always, you can hit me up on Twitter @JamieHinksDK.
David Ospina – ($6,000) – Arsenal – Arsene Wenger’s side have conceded just one goal in this season’s Champions League Group Stage and will want to lay down a marker before the second half of the competition. That starts off at the back, where Ospina is behind a very solid defence and it’s something that Ludogorets, for all their endeavour, will struggle to breach.
Manuel Neuer – ($5,700) – Bayern Munich – Bayern have already kept one clean sheet in the Champions League this season and face a PSV Eindhoven side that is yet to win and struggled against Rostov. Neuer will feel he has a point to prove after the Atletico loss and his four goals conceded in the Bundesliga after seven games suggests another clean sheet isn’t far away.
Julio Cesar/Ederson Moraes – ($4,700/$4,600) – Benfica – Benfica are currently on a run of one loss out of 20 games in all competitions and have conceded just four times back home in Portugal. Up against a Dynamo Kyiv team that has been struggling on home soil (lost three out of the last four), this looks a good place to save money to afford to big guns up top.
Craig Gordon – ($4,400) – Celtic – A home game against Gladbach represents Celtic’s best chance of securing a win in this group and Gordon showed against City that he can be the brick wall that Fraser Forster once was. In making six saves in that game, the former Sunderland man made sure Celtic grabbed a point, which could be a precious one. As long as they win here, which they could very well do, Gordon will be a good pick.
David Alaba – ($5,900) – Bayern Munich – Alaba looks in a great spot at home to a PSV team that struggled away at Rostov last time out. The Austrian full back has 14 fantasy points per game (FPPG) in the Champions League and 17 crosses after two games. Add in that he has three assists in Bundesliga and Champions League play, and there’s every reason to trust his point scoring in cash games and guaranteed prize pool (GPPs) contests.
Faouzi Ghoulam – ($5,400) – Napoli – When you look at Ghoulam’s stat sheet after 11 games (scored by DK) this season, 92 total crosses is what jumps out right away. That’s before you see he also has four assists, two of which have come in the Champions League. On his UCL two appearances, Ghoulam has scored 15 and 18 fantasy points and is one of those classic full backs you can rely on to put up double digit points every time.
Kieran Tierney – ($3,900) – Celtic – Still just 19-years-old, Tierney is almost ever present this season having played a whopping 17 games in all competitions. Across that span of games, he has a very impressive seven assists. Tierney’s 4.6 FPPG doesn’t tell the entire story as Celtic have been involved in some very tough encounters thus far and with the attacking talent Celtic possess, in the shape of Moussa Dembele and others, Tierney won’t be waiting long for another assist.
Natanael Pimienta – ($3,900) – Ludogorets Razgrad – The Brazilian full back scored in the tight loss to PSG last time out and across four Champions League games, including qualifying, is averaging a tidy 9.9 FPPG. Those statistics have come across a whole range of categories and the Ludogorets man is the cheap foil that your cash game line-up is crying out for.
Neymar – ($10,200) – Barcelona – Neymar has had a goal or an assist in each of his last five games for club and country, and scored 27.2 FPPG over that span. The Brazilian, who takes all corners for Barca, leads the Champions League in assists (five) and the return of Lionel Messi gives him even more of an advantage in that department. City have failed to keep a clean sheet in all but two games this season and it looks rather bleak for Pep’s latest return to the Nou Camp.
Kevin De Bruyne – ($8,700) – Man City – The Belgian has scored over 11 fantasy points on every matchday scored by DK so far this season and his 22pt performance against Everton at the weekend was made up of eight shots, 18 crosses and no goal or assist. If you want a perfect illustration of a guaranteed point floor, De Bruyne will show you that on every matchday and at this price is splendid value.
MIDDLE OF THE PACK
Yannick Carrasco – ($7,400) – Atletico Madrid – Confidence is coursing through the veins of the Belgian wide midfielder after he scored a hat trick in the demolition job Atleti meted out to Granada on Saturday. Carrasco also had two assists in that game and returned an elite-level 52 fantasy points on DK. Carrasco has two goals in his last two Champions League starts and, if he starts, could prove a nice under-the-radar pick for anyone playing GPPs due to Atletico’s tough looking away trip to Rostov.
Lucas Moura – ($6,900) – PSG – Moura grabbed an assist and 12 fantasy points on his first Champions League appearance of the season last time out and has scored in four of his last six Ligue 1 games. He’s another benefiting from the void left by Zlatan and only Edinson Cavani has outscored the Brazilian winger. Expect to see some big ownership here, but there’s every reason for fantasy managers to be picking him up at this lowly price.
Anderson Talisca – ($5,800) – Besiktas – Talisca scored against his parent club Benfica on Matchday One and followed that up with a six shot, 14pt performance on Matchday Two against Dynamo Kyiv. The Brazilian midfielder averages 4.5 shots per game in the Champions League, the third best total of any player in the competition. The 22-year-old already has a goal and an assist after three starts in the Super Lig back in Turkey and averages a similar four shots per game. Besiktas have scored at least once in 22 straight games and Talisca could be the value route to that goal.
Joshua Kimmich – ($5,700) – Bayern Munich – On his first Champions League start of the season, Kimmich scored 35 fantasy points thanks to a couple of goals and has six goals in seven games for the German champions this season. At this price his ownership will continue to be high, yet you have to think he will top 10 fantasy points at the very least.
Alexis Sanchez – ($9,400) – Arsenal – Another of the sizeable South American contingent in the Champions League, Alexis has five goals in his last eight games for Arsenal and is on one goal and two assists in the Champions League. On his last game in this competition for the Gunners, Sanchez scored 26 fantasy points and his link up play with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott will be too much for Ludogorets.
Edinson Cavani – ($8,800) – PSG – Cavani has 15 goals in 11 games for club and country this season, fully allaying any fears that may have resulted from Zlatan’s departure. Three of those goals have come in the Champions League and he also averages 4.5 shots per game in Europe’s number one competition. If you want to pivot away from Barcelona, a Moura-Cavani or Di Maria-Cavani stack is the way to go.
Dries Mertens – ($7,500) – Napoli – Napoli are on a run of 18 home games unbeaten in European competition and, with Arkadiusz Milik out, Mertens should pick up the slack in attack. Mertens scored twice against Benfica on Matchday Two and has the same number of goals in Serie A this season. That’s not all you get with Mertens. The attacker also averages 3.5 shots per game in the competition and can take advantage of a Besiktas team yet to keep a clean sheet in this season’s UCL.
Ricardo Quaresma – ($7,000) – Besiktas – Two Champions League games down for the Portuguese forward and he already has a ton of points. On Matchday One, Quaresma scored 14 DK points thanks to, in the most part, seven crosses and four fouls drawn. He bettered that on Matchday Two by scoring the only Besiktas goal in the draw against Dynamo Kyiv to score 25pts. At a modest price point, he is another that should give you a decent return.