Champions League Chatter

I will try to weigh in on the midweek Champions League slates to provide some insight into the games and some potential good picks.  I also review the games and expand on any lessons learned from them.

Champions Leauge: Gameweek 2 (Tuesday Slate)

The main tournaments DK has this week are below:

$200 bi - 15k prizepool - 3k first
$27 bi - 15k prizepool - 2k first
$12 bi - 10k prizepool - 1k first
$5 bi - 7k prizepool - 1k first
$2 bi - 5k prizepool - 500 first

Game Slate (favored teams decimal odds listed):
Roma @ Man City (1.7)
Ajax (2.5) @ Apoel 
Barca (2.15) @ PSG
NK Maribor @ Schalke 04 (1.33)
Chelsea (1.73) @ Sporting Lisbon
Athletic Bilbao (1.85) @ BATE Borisov
FC Porto @ Shaktar Donetsk (2.6)

Brutal slate at first look with only 2 home favorites and one of them being against tough opponents (Roma @ City).  Unfortunately I've had a hard time finding data on many of the non popular teams, so I'm most likely going to be waiting till an hour before the game to build lineups so I'll know whos playing.  The research I have been doing is going to http://formation-y.com/en/ucl.html and looking at all the teams and using the Squawka Comparison matrix as well as who scored to compare data from players in the favorable positions that I like to pick.  

The only game that has a team playing that was in a huge blowout is BATE who hosts A.Bilbao.  

Roma @ Man City (1.7)
This could be a tough game and I'm actually tempted to just completely fade it as I think Roma is very good defensively so it could be low scoring all together.  City at home is typically very very good, so Picking up some of their players could be a decent play.  Jovetic (6.7k) looks like he is cleared to play and I could see Aguero (9.4k) getting a rest here.  Dzeko is similarly priced at (9.4k) and looks likely to get the start.  In the midfield I quite like Navas(6.6k) if he gets the start and there is always Silva (8.1k), but like I stated in my last article I'm going to shy away from expensive midfielders and load up more on luxury strikers.  

On defense if Caballero(3k) gets the nod ahead of Hart(5k) he might be a must have at a bargain price.  On defense depending who starts city has some good options in Kolarov (4.5k) and Zabaleta (3.7k) but I'd personally look to other games to grab defenders.

From Roma I'd probably just fade them as I wouldn't be keen on taking anyone from any team playing on the road vs Man City.

Ajax (2.5) @ Apoel 
Shockingly Apoel held Barca to only 1 goal in their first champions league match, which could be an indication they might offer some value on defense.  They did however concede 18 shots so it is likely Barca was unlucky to not score more.  Ajax meanwhile is coming off a good draw at home to PSG and has a decent record in the Dutch league to start the season.  Schone (5.8k) and Sigthorsson (5.3k) both look like they could make an impact and have stats that indicate there may be some value there.  In defense and midfield I'm not sure I would take anyone from this game though.  Games with close odds either way are typically games I avoid especially if the road team is a slight favorite.

Barca (2.15) @ PSG
I'm very tempted to load up on Barca players as they've been one of the best defensive teams around the globe to start the year.  Alves(4.9k) and Messi (11.2k) will probably be must haves for this weeks slate as they have such a high production.  Neymar (10.1k). is also an option but it is unlikely you will be able to afford him and Messi.  Also they are on the road so going overboard with exposure is likely unwise.  PSG I would stay away from altogether as Zlatan looks to be injured, and that would leave Cavani(8.3k) as the only offensive option.  Given Barca's defensive record to start the season though I'd just stay away altogether.

NK Maribor @ Schalke 04 (1.33)
This game has the home team as a heavy favorite, which is something my strategy revolves highly around.  I'm thinking whoever starts as Schalke's striker is likely a must have  whether it be Choupo-Moting (6.4k) or Huntelaar (7.5k).  Draxler (4.9k) may warrant a look as a value midfielder but his stats don't really back it up.  On defense if you need to slot in a cheap defender Fuchs (2.6k) is a great option.  On Maribor Ibraimi(3k) has some great stats and is dirt cheap if you need a cheap midfield option, but since they are on the road I might avoid them all together.

Chelsea (1.73) @ Sporting Lisbon
This is an interesting match, Chelsea has been a fantasy gold mine so far this year, but they definitely lose some of their attacking prowess when Costa isn't playing.  So far it looks like Mourinho has chosen to rest Costa for their CL games, and when Chelsea play away from home they tend to be more defensive.  That means this is a good game to pick up Ivanovic(4k), and possibly fade their midfielders/forwards in Willian(6.1k),  Cesc (9.2k), and Hazard (9.6k).  For Sporting Nani(7k) looks like an appetizing pick up as his stats from their first game are really good as he scored very highly in fantasy.  With Chelsea looking to line up defensively he could get a lot of time on the ball in their half so he might be a must have. 

Athletic Bilbao (1.85) @ BATE Borisov
BATE got blown out by porto last week so this is a game I'm considering targetting for some really inexpensive options even though Bilbao has had a poor start to their league season. Ibai (3k) looks to be my value pick of the week and at 3k he won't need to produce much to earn his spot.  Aduriz(5k) and Munian (6k) offer some decent forward options, but if you are taking Ibai you won't have room for them on your team.  On defense De Marcos (3k) offers a good budget option for those tight on money and it could be a good place to try an get a shutout.

FC Porto @ Shaktar Donetsk (2.6)
Shaktar is typically very good at home so I'm tempted to not pick against them even though Porto has start off well and offers some really strong attacking options.  Brahimi (7.4k) had a monster haul last week with a hat trick and Martinez(8.4k) seems to like scoring quite a bit.  Queresma (3.4k) offers another good budget forward option if you decide not to pick up Ibai.  On Shaktar Teixeira(4.6k) and Costa(4.2k) offer good potential mid field options, and on defense Srna (3.6k) and Pyatov (3k) could offer a good stack option.

Sorry this wasn't more detailed, but I don't have much info on many of the teams and it is a pretty hard slate with so many of the better teams on the road.  Hope this helps in some capacity and you are able to make some informed picks.