This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
|Time EST||Home (win odds)||(draw odds)||Away (win odds)|
|Tues 2:45 p.m.||Paris Saint Germain (8/13)||(11/4)||Chelsea (9/2)|
|Tues 2:45 p.m.||Benfica (11/10)||(23/10)||Zenit St. Petersburg (11/4)|
|Wed 2:45 p.m.||Gent (2/1)||(12/5)||Wolfsburg (7/5)|
|Wed 2:45 p.m.||Roma (16/5)||(11/4)||Real Madrid (5/6)|
As a reminder, it's vital to ensure your players are in the starting XI. You can check all of the confirmed starters on our Champions League lineups page, but with half of the games taking place Wednesday, it may be prudent to use the utility spots for players in those matchups.
Matz Sels, GNT v. WOB ($3,300): Coming in as the cheapest keeper on the slate, Sels provides excellent value. Gent sports a spectacular defensive record, allowing less than one goal per game domestically while allowing just over one goal per match in the group stages of this competition. Wolfsburg is without their most prolific goal scorer, Bas Dost, has scored just seven goals in their last six and taken a total of five points during that time. Speaking beyond these two individual teams, first matches in these two-leg ties often end up being low scoring affairs as the home team (especially if they are the underdog) tries to keep the away team scoreless. With away goals determining the winner in the case of a tie after two legs, it seems very likely that Gent will try to hunker down defensively.
Kevin Trapp, PSG v. CHE ($4,200): Despite being more heavily favored, Trapp is priced below Real Madrid's Keylor Navas. PSG is at home against Chelsea, a familiar Champions League interaction, as we've seen this matchup in three consecutive knockout rounds. In 2014, Chelsea went through on that all-important away goals rule, with PSG going through by virtue of the same rule last season. Chelsea has stolen an away goal in both of the last two matchups, and I don't think another instance of this is improbable with their recent offensive exploits. However, Chelsea is without Kurt Zouma and, after coming off in the first half this past weekend, John Terry is questionable too. It's unclear who would start alongside Gary Cahill if Terry misses out (the early thought is Branislav Ivanovic, but it's without doubt that this defense (who's been leaking goals all season) is going to struggle against the offensive exploits of PSG, who is unbeaten all season domestically and has just one loss away to Real Madrid on the season as a whole.
Layvin Kurzawa, PSG v. CHE ($2,800): The former Monaco player has proved a great addition for PSG, providing three goals and an assist since being transferred. He crosses the ball well and actually has been elite defensively, averaging 3.9 tackles and 3.4 interceptions per 90 minutes in Ligue 1.
Marcel Schafer, WOB at GNT ($2,700): There's a strong chance Schafer doesn't start, so I'll keep it brief and say he borders on must-use status in the event that he does.
Gregory van der Wiel, PSG v. CHE ($3,700): The Serge Aurier suspension is unfortunate, but a backup like van der Wiel leaves PSG in a great spot. In fact, in terms of crossing, van der Wiel actually figures more prominently, making up what he lacks in defensive contribution (which could be favorable for Pedro, if he once again gets the start for Chelsea on the wing following his brace against Newcastle).
Other defenders to consider: Marcelo, RM at ROM ($4,700); Ricardo Rodriguez, WOB at GNT ($3,600); Lucas Digne, ROM v. RM ($3,600); Domenico Criscito, ZEN at BEN ($2,900); Eliseu, BEN v. ZEN ($3,200); Aleksandr Anyukov, ZEN at BEN ($2,600)
Nicolas Gaitan, BEN v. ZEN ($5,200): As Benfica has been battling for another league title in Portugal, Zenit has been on standby during the Russian winter. And, though they've been training in the warmer confines of Qatar, before the break they were abysmal defensively in league play. Despite leading the league in goals, Zenit has allowed just one goal fewer than the last-place team. Benfica leads the not-to-be-underestimated Primeira Liga in goals by 13 over Sporting CP and 17 over FC Porto (a fellow group stage competitor). Despite scoring three goals in five group stage matches, Gaitan isn't much of a goal scorer himself. Nonetheless his crosses, shots, fouls drawn, tackles and ability to assist give him a great floor.
Danjiel Milicevic, GNT v. WOB ($4,200): I stand by the defensive standoff this game could turn into, but I cannot stand by this price on a player who averaged 19.3 fantasy points per game in the group stage. He's not a prolific scorer, but he crosses the ball, draws fouls and can deliver assists with the best of them.
James Rodriguez, RM at ROM ($6,200): The question over whether or not to fade Cristiano Ronaldo is going to be the fixture of study for many. His goal scoring ability is second to none. James' offensive exploits are of a more widespread nature. He scores goals, but where he surpasses Ronaldo is through his ability to cross the ball and deliver key passes often leading to assists. Taking James doesn't in any way promote fading Ronaldo, but it could put those that do at ease.
Other midfielders to consider: Vieirinha, WOB at GNT ($3,400); Miralem Pjanic, ROM v. RM ($5,500); Angel Di Maria, PSG v. CHE ($7,700); Alessandro Florenzi, ROM v. RM ($3,000); Thomas Foket, GNT v. WOB ($3,200); Oleg Shatov, ZEN @ BEN ($4,400); Andre Schurrle, WOB at GNT ($4,800); Daniel Caligiuri, WOB at GNT ($4,600)
Jonas, BEN v. ZEN ($6,500): Jonas leads the Primeira Liga in Portugal in goals with 23 in just 23 matches. He is the top goal scorer on Benfica by 11. The name doesn't elicit a lot of notoriety, but Jonas is an elite striker that can score goals in large quantities.
Hulk, ZEN at BEN ($7,500): You may not have heard of Jonas, but you should know about Hulk. In the group stage, Hulk averaged 4.8 shots, nine crosses, 2.8 fouls drawn and three key passes per 90 minutes that resulted in an average of 24.7 fantasy points per game. These prolific offenses stand a good chance to outshow the defenses in this matchup. Hulk comes with a great floor in conjunction with his high upside goal-scoring and assisting. It's worth mentioning that teammate Artem Dzyuba has the same number of goals domestically as Hulk.
Cristiano Ronaldo, RM at ROM ($10,500), Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG v. CHE ($8,500), Karim Benzema, RM at ROM ($8,000): Rather than tell you who to play of the deadly trio, if you play them at all, I'm simply going to run down the facts for you: Ronaldo has 21 goals and eight assists in 24 appearances, Ibrahimovic has 21 goals and eight assists in 19 appearances and Benzema has 19 goals and two assists in 18 appearances. Real Madrid faces Roma, who managed to get through the group stage with just six points and a minus-5 goal differential by allowing 16 goals. Chelsea fared much better, allowing just three goals in the group stage, but as earlier stated, they are going to be without some key defensive components. Not to be overlooked is the fact that Real Madrid travels to Rome while PSG hosts Chelsea.