The Champions League is back with an eight-game slate that features some of the best attacking players in the world. Of course, when Cristiano Ronaldo is available he is usually the first name in your DraftKings lineup, but he draws a touch matchup traveling to Dortmund. This slate will require some deft salary cap management if you want to play the high-ceiling attackers like Harry Kane and Dries Mertens.
- Cristian Erikson (illness) and Dele Alli (suspension) are OUT for Tottenham.
- Karim Benzema and Marcelo will be OUT for Real Madrid.
Let’s get to all the Champions League targets and value options.
Ederson – Manchester City – $5,800 – Ederson represents safety – City are a large favorite, so Ederson has a chance at both the win and the clean sheet bonus. While the upside for saves isn’t really present if you’re choosing to design a roster built for reliability, starting with Ederson or the other favored keepers below makes the most sense.
Others to Consider – Sergio Rico ($6,000), Hugo Lloris ($5,900), Diego Benaglio ($5,200)
Roman Burki – Dortmund – $4,300 – Yes, Dortmund are matched up against Real Madrid, but hear me out. Madrid has been struggling to score in La Liga, and if you believe that will continue, Burki makes sense as a leverage play against the Madrid attack force. If you’re playing Napoli, Tottenham, City or Sevilla attackers, Burki can help you fit them in salary-wise and double down against those that target Madrid.
Others to Consider – Boy Waterman ($3,900)
Faouzi Ghoulam – Napoli – $6,300 – Ghoulam whipped in 15 crosses in Napoli’s first group stage game, and there is no reason he shouldn’t approach double digits here as well. His floor is incredibly high, and with Napoli favored to score multiple times, Ghoulam has the upside to contribute assists and more.
Others to Consider – Sergio Escudeo ($6,100), Alex Telles ($5,000)
Caner Erkin – Besiktas – $4,000 – It’s hard to find a back in this price range with as much attacking upside. Erkin has already delivered three assists in the Turkish Super Lig and one in the Champions League. Besiktas should be in an up-and-down game with RB Leipzig, so Erkin offers a discount and upside and should be a key lineup target if you need salary savings at defender.
Others to Consider – Nacho ($3,500), Raphael Varane ($3,200)
Lorenzo Insigne – Napoli – $9,300 – Insigne ranks ahead some of the bigger names due to the positive matchup with Feyenoord. Napoli is projected to score the most goals on the slate, so Insigne is a nice partner with Dries Mertens to lead your squad. Teammate Jose Callejon is a very comparable option for a slight discount.
Others to Consider – Kevin De Bruyne ($9,900), Philipe Coutinho ($9,500), Jose Callejon ($9,100), Gareth Bale ($7,700)
Anderson Talisca – Besiktas – $7,400 – The Brazilian has been a set-piece wizard for Besiktas and should feature plenty in a key matchup with RB Leipzig. Frankly, I think Talisca will be hard to fit, as ideal roster construction suggests pairing a stud midfielder with a cheaper option in the $5K-range. However, if you are stuck in the middle-tier of pricing, or want to go with a contrarian Besiktas stack (Erkin – Talisca – Cenk Tosun), this selection may make sense.
Others to Consider – Leroy Sane ($7,100), Marco Asensio ($5,900), Jesus Navas ($5,300), Youri Tielemans ($5,100)
Dries Mertens – Napoli – $10,300 – No, that’s not Cristiano Ronaldo’s name, but that’s not in error – Mertens is offered at a slight discount and is in a much better matchup. Playing at home against Dutch stalwarts Feyenoord, Mertens is one of the top favorites to score, and Napoli as a team is favored to be the highest scorer on the slate. Mertens already has a hat trick in Serie A this season, and he has a very high ceiling in this matchup. There are bountiful options at the top of the price chart, however, with the Manchester City options being especially intriguing.
Others to Consider – Cristiano Ronaldo ($11,000), Harry Kane ($10,200), Sergio Aguero ($10,100), Gabriel Jesus ($9,400), Falcao ($8,500)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Dortmund – $6,900 – Aubameyang has six goals in his last three matches and is just too cheap with the upside he possesses. Aubameyang was rumored to be a target of Madrid this past off-season, so we’ll see if that provides extra incentive for Dortmund’s dangerous strike man.Others to Consider – Timo Werner ($7,800), Fernando Llorente ($7,500), Cenk Tosun ($5,400), Luiz Adriano ($5,300)