Well the first week of Champions League football on Draftkings has concluded and some great lessons were learned. The biggest of all was how important home field advantage is. Whether it be piling on home favored teams, fading road favorites, or getting value from underdog unknown home sides.
The biggest mistake I made on match day one was picking up too many players on away sides that I thought were significantly better than the home side; Porto, Barca, Chelsea, Ajax. It was the toughest slate all year so it is no surprise I struggled a lot. Two massive factors that changed many of my lineups and ended up burning me badly were Shakhtar playing in a neutralish venue, and Jackson Martinez being sat. Once I heard Shakhtar were playing away from home I dropped all their players and loaded up heavily on Porto in some lineups. Come match time when Martinez was dropped for the starting LU I had to scramble and adjust too many lineups and it costly badly. To add insult to injury Brahimi, who I was bullish on, missed a PK and then Martinez came on to spite me with two stoppage time goals. Lesson Learned, be wary of road favorites.
I vowed I would not make this mistake again on match day two, and made sure to avoid some of the heavier road favorites. There were two exceptions for this; one was Ronaldo, who for his price, was a must have this week because he can just so easily score multiple goals on that RM side. I avoided the Juve/Atletico match all together as I thought it would be a stale mate (it was). Vegas had the over under at 2.5 -140 which is a huge indicator it would be low scoring. In addition to that both teams are extremely stingy defensively so I would of been shocked had the total been 3 or more. Liverpool has basically looked fairly woeful since the sturridge injury, so I've been avoiding them like the plague all together in every competition. Their fantasy work horse sterling has also started to look fatigued so it may be a good time to start fading him. I did load up heavily on Madrid in one lineup, because I had to account for the fact they are basically a hand picked FIFA ultimate team that can go off for 4+ goals in any given game. The other exception for this resided with Dortmund who were just too underpriced (Aubamayang and Schmelzer/Piszczek), to ignore in at least one lineup. Dortmund is also a team that I feel can thrive on the road better than any other team, mainly due to their high tempo and ability to dictate the pace early on in the game. That gamble definitely paid off abit and accounted for my second best lineup @ 133 pts.
Which brings me to the home teams. When I saw the preview on rotogrinders completely ignoring the Malmo, Arsenal, and Bayer game I knew I had to make a lineup stack with them. Bayer's front 4 were woefully underpriced and I talked myself out of stacking them too heavily because I was ending up with 5k+ left over. Malmo has a very very good home defensive record, and Olympiakos never performs well away from home so I grabbed a defensive stack from them (Olsen ended up the highest scoring GK I believe). I wanted to fit Rosenberg in, but ultimately couldn't as it would of meant dropping Kiessling who was basically in all but one of my line ups. Arsenal I had Sanchez/Welbeck/Ozil together in one line up, and unfortunately swapped Welbeck out of two other of my lineups to get Bale/Sterling Exposure in my flex spot (oops!). I actually wanted Calhanoglu instead of Ozil but that would of left me with almost 6k in the bank, so I talked myself into Ozil. The other mitigating factor was I assumed Kiessling would be on PK duty, and had I known Calhanoglu had PK duty I would of bit the bullet and kept him instead of ozil. That combination basically cost me winning everything and taking home about 5k additional unfortunately. I was so excited when Kiessling got the penalty, then devastated when I found out Calhanoglu was taking it. Bayer front four is going to be a must have vs Zenit as well I imagine as they just score goals for fun.
I feel a lot more confident after the second day in my ideology for picking come next week and will try to have a preview up for both slates by Monday night typically. Hope you had as much fun as I did this week and stay tuned Friday for the weekend EPL preview!