A word of warning ahead of the final slate of games in this season’s UCL group games — players may be rested by their managers if they have already qualified for the Round of 16. For teams that have already progressed, this is a chance for fringe players to nail down a regular place on the team. Most of the players highlighted are from teams that have everything to play for and therefore I expect their managers will select the strongest side possible. We take a look at the studs and value options to consider from each position for your DraftKings roster.
Kylian Mbappé ($9,800)
Paris St-Germain, last season’s beaten finalists, is in danger of being eliminated in the group stage unless they can avoid a loss to Basaksehir. Mbappé has yet to score in a group game this season and his team needs him to be at the top of his game against the Turks. Mbappé only played the final 12 minutes of Saturday’s 3-1 win at Montpellier, but he still managed to get on the scoresheet. Despite not scoring in the UCL this season, Mbappé does have a couple of assists to his name in the UCL.
Antoine Griezmann ($7,300)
There has been a lot of speculation in the past few months regarding Griezmann leaving Barcelona to join Juventus. With that in mind, this is a big game for the Frenchman, who has struggled to settle into the Barcelona side since joining from Atletico. The Spanish giants seem keen to offload the World Cup winner and a goal or two in this game could persuade Juventus to provide a new start in Italy for Griezmann, who has scored in his past two UCL ties.
Others to consider: Olivier Giroud ($10,700)
Bruno Fernandes ($9,200)
Ever since he arrived at Old Trafford almost a year ago, Fernandes has been the driving force behind Manchester United. He has had a hand in plenty of goals, either scoring them or setting them up for others. And his record from the penalty spot is one of the best around. If United is to make it through from Group H, Fernandes is going to have be at his creative best at RB Leipzig. Averaging 18.5 DKFP per game, the Portuguese star certainly deserves to be considered.
Ivan Rakitic ($6,000)
Sevilla has already booked their place in the Round of 16, but they will be looking to end the group stage with a win. A 4-0 drubbing by Chelsea last week was followed by a 1-0 home defeat to Real Madrid in which Rakitic played just over an hour. The Croatian will be looking to add to his two goals and an assist in this season’s Champions League. One of his goals came in the reverse fixture and began a comeback that saw Sevilla beat Krasnodar 3-2 after trailing 2-0 in the 21st minute.
Others to consider: Christopher Nkunku ($8,900)
Kurt Zouma (3,900)
Zouma is emerging as one of the best central defenders in Europe right now and at $3,900, he’s a steal. He has the physical presence to win his fair share of battles with center forwards, and as he showed in Chelsea’s 3-1 win against Leeds, he is a major threat from set pieces in the opposition’s penalty box. Zouma already has four goals to his name this season, which would put a lot of strikers to shame. However, he has yet to score in the Champions League. A goal and a clean sheet would be the perfect end to the group stage for him and Chelsea.
Juan Cuadrado ($5,400)
Juventus defender Cuadrado loves getting forward as much as he can, which is why he goes into their final tie at Barcelona with four UCL assists. The defender provided crosses for both Weston McKennie ($4,100) and Leonardo Bonucci ($3,100) to send powerful headers past Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu to seal a come-from-behind league win over the weekend. Juventus’ matchup with Barcelona makes for an entertaining encounter where hopefully there is plenty of attacking soccer. If so, expect Cuadrado to be in the middle of the action.
Others to consider: Marquinhos ($4,200)
Édouard Mendy ($5,700)
The Chelsea keeper was beaten for only the second time in the Premier League when Patrick Bamford got the better of him in the Blues’ 3-1 win on Saturday. In the Champions League, Mendy has conceded just one goal and if he gets to play in the final group game, he will want to register a shutout. The Senegal shot stopper seems to be the final piece of the Chelsea jigsaw that should see them challenge for major honors this season.
Other to consider: Keylor Navas ($5,900)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is CharliePMullan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.