The group stage of the Champions League resumes this week with another cramped schedule of games. Six of them make up DraftKings’ main UCL slate on Tuesday. We look at studs and value options from each position to consider for your soccer roster.
Duvan Zapata ($9,100)
Atalanta has gained a reputation as one of the most entertaining teams in the world right now. That’s partially because of how quickly the team moves the ball forward. A strong attacking core, led by Zapata at the front, ensures that smartly-played deliveries into the box are converted into goals. Zapata has scored four goals in his past six games for club and country. He has also scored two goals with two assists in this young Serie A season so far. He will want to carry that form into the Champions League.
Karim Benzema ($8,800)
In six starts for Real Madrid this season, Benzema has scored just one goal. That indicates a lack of goals, but Real Madrid has also changed the preferred formation to accommodate a defense-oriented style. Benzema still has at least one shot on target in each of those games, apart from one. Real Madrid likes to have fun in the Champions League, with a quicker pace of play, which could benefit Benzema if there are more opportunities.
Others to consider: Luis Suarez ($7,200).
Josip Ilicic ($9,800)
It will take Ilicic some more time to find his best rhythm after a long layoff. He looked much better in the previous game against Sampdoria in Serie A. He took six shots, of which one was on target. He even created six chances for his colleagues. Even though his performance lacked a goal or an assist, there was enough evidence to suggest he isn’t far away from his best.
Mohamed Salah ($8,700)
Salah has gained some terrific form after Project Restart. In eight appearances this season, he has scored six goals. He also was in fine goal-scoring form prior to the conclusion of the 2019-20 EPL season. He would want to mark his 50th appearance in the Champions League with aplomb against an opponent that might not have the same level of defensive efficiency as others in the tournament.
Others to consider: Raheem Sterling ($9,000)
Trent Alexander-Arnold ($6,300)
With Virgil van Dijk ($3,600) out for a while with an injury, Liverpool could be exposed at the back. Still, that won’t impact how Alexander-Arnold moves forward to contribute offensively. He has been Liverpool’s designated setpiece taker for a while now, which will certainly increase his fantasy value. He is currently averaging 15.6 DKFP per game, joint highest for any defender on this slate.
Sergio Ramos ($4,400)
Ramos made a sprightly return to Real Madrid after his knee injury and he scored from the penalty spot in a 3-1 win against Barcelona in El Clasico on Saturday. He was brought down in the box to win that penalty. From a fantasy standpoint, that’s additionally compelling because it’s indicative of his offensive capabilities. At a price of just $4,400, he is arguably the best pick on this slate.
Manchester City was guilty of conceding too many goals in the Premier League. Last season, when the team went a goal or two up, there was a renewed sense of defensive solidity to turn that reputation around. That has continued this season and I sense there is a similar game in the offing here against Marseille. Ederson will have a few saves to make but he should still keep a clean sheet.
Others to consider: Jan Oblak ($5,500)
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Nikhil Kalro is the Founder and CEO of Altletics Esports.