Champions League Gameweek 5 Preview – Tuesday

Welcome to another Champions League preview article for the Tuesday DFS slate on DraftKings and Yahoo. We are getting to the point in the competition where motivation for teams varies drastically depending on their position in their group, and we could see some significant rotations from certain teams as a result. Make sure to keep a close eye on the team news and plan ahead so you know how you will adjust your lineups just before lock.

As always, this will just be a quick overview of some key players for the Tuesday slate. Just because I didn’t mention someone here doesn’t mean they are a bad play. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Defenders

Marcelo – Real Madrid, $6200 DK, £16 YH

It might end up being tough to fit Marcelo into your lineups on DraftKings, but he’s the clear top option on the slate if you can afford him. Marcelo had 15 crosses the last time these two teams faced each other, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him generate double-digit crosses once again. He also has a good chance to earn the clean sheet bonus and an assist here, with 0.22 xA90 in La Liga so far this season against stronger competition.

 

Danilo – Manchester City, $4900 DK, £14 YH

With City already through to the KO stage of the competition, Pep is expected to rotate his side at home against the weakest team in the group. Danilo has been more willing to get forward and put crosses in than Walker or Delph this season (3.5 per 90), and in this matchup he should have a safe floor with upside for double-digit fantasy points.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool, $4500 DK, £14 YH

After being ridiculously overpriced at the weekend on DraftKings, Alexander-Arnold’s price has come down by $1500 thanks to a difficult away fixture vs Sevilla. He isn’t taking corners any more, but he still has a decent floor thanks to open play crosses, shots and interceptions. If not paying up for Marcelo, Trent looks like one of the safer mid-range options.

Ben Davies – Tottenham Hotspur, $4500 DK, £15 YH

The Spurs fullbacks have also been heavily discounted on DraftKings thanks to being away in Dortmund. We have seen Trippier and Davies take some corners this season, and they have also been willing to get forward and cross from open play. Davies appears to be the more likely starter of the two, and he is strongly in play here despite the difficult matchup. Spurs defenders are less interesting on Yahoo, where they are still fairly expensive and clean sheets are more important.

Eliaquim Mangala – Manchester City, $3700 DK, £10 YH

With Stones sidelined for around six weeks, Pep could use this game to give Mangala some extra playing time alongside Otamendi. I don’t like playing CBs on DK, but its hard to ignore him on Yahoo at minimum salary. City are the biggest favourites on the slate and have a strong chance to pick up a clean sheet. Tosin Adarabioyo is also minimum salary if he happens to draw the start instead.

Fade: Nicolas Otamendi – Manchester City, $4000 DK, £16 YH

Otamendi is a good play on Yahoo, but with Danilo and Mangala priced significantly cheaper there is no need to pay up for him in cash games. He is a fine GPP play, but keep in mind what spending the extra salary on him does to the rest of your lineup. It’s typically best to spend up at the other positions on these UCL slates.

Midfielders

Dries Mertens – Napoli, $9300 DK, £20 YH

Mertens is still listed as a midfielder on Yahoo despite having played up front since the start of last season. Add in the fact that he’s priced at just £20 and I’m certainly not complaining! Shakhtar aren’t a pushover and Napoli have struggled in the competition so far, but the Italian side are still one of the best teams in world football right now. Mertens has been one of the highest upside players in Europe in a foward role for Napoli, with 46 goals and 23 assists in 65 games (all competitions).

Raheem Sterling – Manchester City, $9100 DK, £19 YH

It’s painful for me to recommend Sterling after being heavy on him in the last two games, where he scored 3 DK points against Arsenal and Leicester. That’s exactly why he is a good GPP play this week, however. All of the City midfielders are strongly in play here, but Sterling should be the lowest owned and has as much upside as any midfielder on the slate (1 xG+xA90 this season).

Isco – Real Madrid, $8600 DK, £21 YH

Isco has stepped up this season in Bale’s absence, with 0.78 xG+xA90 leading to 4 goals and 3 assists despite the fact that Real Madrid have been struggling a bit this season. He has also been taking some set pieces recently, which gives him a safe floor to go along with nice upside in a fantastic matchup vs APOEL. He’s a great play in cash games and makes a nice stacking partner with Ronaldo in GPPs.

Bernardo Silva – Manchester City, $7200 DK, £14 YH

Silva’s salary is a bit restrictive on DK, but he is very cheap on Yahoo given the matchup and could end up taking some set pieces here if the likes of KDB, D. Silva and Sane are rested. Bernardo is a bit overrated for DFS purposes – he doesn’t shoot much (1.4 per 90) and has only averaged 0.22 xA90 over the past two seasons despite playing for free-scoring Monaco and City sides. That said, it’s hard to ignore him on Yahoo at that salary.

Monaco Value

Thomas Lemar and Joao Moutinho are both doubtful for this game, which means we could see the likes of Ghezzal, Tielemans or Rony Lopes take set pieces. Ghezzal is the preferred option here, but all of the Monaco midfielders are playable at cheap salaries on both DraftKings and Yahoo depending on who makes the starting XI. Moutinho is also viable if he plays, although he’s similar to Tielemans in that he occupies a deeper role and relies on set pieces and defensive stats to deliver value, leading to a lower ceiling than Ghezzal or Lopes.

Fade: Yaya Toure – Manchester City, $4500 DK, £14 YH

It might seem strange to recommend another City player as a fade, but I can see Toure being a popular value option if he gets the start, and it’s always a good idea to think twice before blindly plugging in all of the value plays on the heavy favourites. There is a reason Toure hasn’t been starting games this season – he isn’t anywhere near as athletic as Fernandinho at this point in his career, and is more suited to games where he can amble around and not have to exert himself too much. With Stones out, I expect Toure to drop deep frequently to collect the ball, so unless City are camped out on the edge of the Feyenoord box for an extended period he won’t get forward as much as we are used to seeing in the past. Toure does have some upside here, but his floor is scarily low here and I’d rather look elsewhere if his ownership is going to be fairly high. Even with a goal from a penalty or direct free-kick, he might still get outscored by some of the other value plays that cross and shoot frequently.

Forwards

Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid, $11600 DK, £27 YH

Ronaldo only has one league goal this season (!) but his peripheral stats are still excellent, with 6.9 Sh90 and 1.13 xG+xA90 actually being his best numbers in the past three seasons (in a smaller sample, obviously). It’s only a matter of time before he starts heating up, and this is as good a time as any for it to happen. His floor is huge for a goal-dependent forward and, even as the most expensive player on the slate, he is a fantastic option in all formats. APOEL are conceding 22 shots per game in the competition so far, so Ronaldo should be able to feast here.

Sergio Aguero – Manchester City, $10400 DK, £26 YH

Aguero should get the start tonight after Jesus played 90 minutes vs Leicester on Saturday. The fact that City have so many offensive weapons keeps Aguero just behind Ronaldo in the cash game conversation, but if you can fit both of them into the same lineup without sacrificing too much at the other spots, it makes sense to do it.

Lorenzo Insigne – Napoli, $8800 DK, £22 YH

Nobody really knows why Insigne didn’t play for Italy in their WCQ loss to Sweden, a decision which left De Rossi looking like he was about to murder the head coach. Insigne averages 4.9 Sh90 and 0.78 xG+xA90, which gives him a great floor and huge upside in most matchups. Add in the fact that he’s been taking set pieces if Callejon is subbed off early, and it’s hard to ignore him at this price-tag.

Falcao – Monaco, $8300 DK, £21 YH

Falcao hasn’t really got going in the Champions League this season, but he has found the back of the net 13 times already in Ligue 1. Monaco have been poor so far in the competition and they need to win this game to stay in Europe. With the other big names in better on-paper spots, Falcao could fly a bit more under the radar than usual. A stars and scrubs approach will be very popular on this slate, so making a more balanced lineup with the likes of Falcao and Insigne could help you to differentiate yourself from the field.

Jean-Kevin Augustin – RB Leipzig, $4800 DK, £15 YH

Leipzig have a few injury doubts for this game, so we could see Augustin draw the start here. Monaco are the favourites here at home, but if Porto win in the early game, Leipzig will also need to pick up 3 points to progress to the KO stages of the competition. Augustin has shown nice upside in limited minutes this season (0.58 xG+xA90) and is a value option that could go vastly overlooked in GPPs, with everyone focused on the Manchester City and Monaco value players instead.

Phil Foden – Manchester City, $3500 DK, £10 YH

This could be the situation we have been waiting for. Foden is basically minimum salary on both sites and might be rewarded with a start after his golden ball winning performances at the U17 world cup. He will surely be popular, especially in higher-stakes contests, but at that salary it makes sense to just plug him in and differentiate elsewhere. Brahim Diaz is also minimum salary and likely won’t be as chalky, with Foden gaining more media attention in recent weeks.

Fade: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, $8600 DK, £22 YH

Aubameyang gets a nice discount thanks to his difficult matchup vs Spurs, but there are still plenty of alternatives in that price range and it’s unlikely that Auba has the huge fantasy performance that makes him necessary to win GPPs tonight. We’ve already seen how low his floor can be in the competition so far, and he could be on a shorter leash than normal after being recently dropped from the side for turning up late to training. It’s always a good idea to consider elite players in tough matchups in DFS, but ultimately it looks better to stay away here.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading! Please share the article on social media if you enjoyed it! Check back tomorrow for the Wednesday slate preview, and good luck in your contests today.

All data by Opta.

 

 

 

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