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Fantasy La Liga: Sunday Cheat Sheet

Chris Henne

Chris is a former soccer player turned soccer handicapper and daily fantasy sports player. He's currently pursuing a PhD.


10:15 a.m: Athletic Club v. Valencia
12:30 p.m: Villarreal v. Real Sociedad
2:45 p.m: Espanyol v. Real Madrid



Athletic Club: Benat
Valencia: Daniel Parejo
Villarreal: Samu Castillejo, Manu Trigueros
Real Sociedad: Ruben Pardo, Carlos Vela
Espanyol: Victor Sanchez, Diego Reyes
Real Madrid: Toni Kroos



Kepa Arrizabalaga, ATH vs. VAL:
Just roster Kiko Casilla, right? Now now, itís not that easy this week. Kepa was brilliant in his La Liga debut and this is his chance to keep Gorka Iraizoz planted firmly on the bench. Valencia have been abysmal in the beginning of this season and Kepa has all the skill and the matchup to match or exceed Casilla this week (all being done at a discounted price and much lower ownership). Yes, Valencia have scored four goals in their opening three games, but Valencia historically have a very difficult time with Athletic Club as the hosts.


Daniel Carvajal, RMD at ESP:
Does anyone have a running tally of how often the ďstarterĒ label has been switched between Carvajal and Danilo? For the time being itís Carvajal, and he didnít have a great fantasy outing against Lisbon midweek but he is still crossing the ball and winning tackles. The attack will come back to him, and if there was ever a cake matchup to grab a goal or assist it is against the very leaky Espanyol club.

Yuri, RSO at VIL: Real Sociedad are just awesome at shutting teams when they play on the road, I donít have a more scientific way of explaining it. They have kept three consecutive clean sheets on the road, and even without the clean sheet bonus, Yuri is putting up a ton of crosses. I love a defender with a high floor and an even higher ceiling, and I actually think Sociedad will have more possession in this one, with more opportunity to hit a new high for crosses.

Victor Ruiz, VIL vs. RSO: I just mentioned how I think it is a very real possibility that Sociedad keep a clean sheet in this match, but now Iím going to point you towards the 270 minutes of one-goal soccer that Villarreal have kept up. Ruiz is way too cheap for the clean sheet potential he carries, and I do think Sociedad will control more possession, which opens up opportunity for Ruiz to pad his already decent defensive statistics, pushing him way over value.


Benat, ATH vs. VAL:
Iím surprised to say that there is a very real chance that Valencia can open their campaign winless in their first four. Athletic Club need to rebound from the disastrous effort they turned in midweek against Sassuolo, but Benat is one player who stays as consistent as Swiss transport regardless of the score. There will be plenty of crosses, and while the assists have yet to come, he is taking shots on net and it is only a matter of time before he is connecting with Raul Garcia or Aritz Aduriz to get on the stat sheet. He's a cash game staple if there ever was one.

Toni Kroos, RMD vs. ESP: Kroos is only $200 more expensive than Isco on DraftKings, and he's $800 cheaper than Lucas Vazquez, who has yet to be confirmed in the lineup. Madrid should easily control the possession in this matchup and Kroos is a wizard from set pieces. He will be a key cog in their attack, and you should not be put off by the weak fantasy performance in midweek, especially at this price where you have the chance to combine him with Vazquez and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Marc Roca, ESP vs. RMD: It seems counterintuitive to run a Madrid stack and then look at the opposing team for value plays, but come on, heís almost free! I know people with handbags more expensive that Rocaís price on DraftKings, and the kid is actually good. He has looked impressive with the junior squad and doesnít actually need to do much; a couple tackles and won interceptions will help his cause a lot. Foul trouble is the issue here, as long as he doesnít go into the book he will hit value.


Cristiano Ronaldo, RMD at ESP:
Ronaldo is good at soccer. He is questionable, but if he plays he will be in your lineup. Iím not going to waste a write-up on him. Healthy Ronaldo = winning money.

Lucas Vazquez, RMD at ESP: Gareth Bale who? We are typically handcuffed by Real Madridís salaries on daily fantasy sites, but with Ronaldo questionable and Bale almost certain to miss this match, there may be some room to stack their attack after all. Vazquez will likely slot into Baleís spot on the right side of Karim Benzema up front, and he has been a firecracker off the bench, putting up modest game totals in roughly 20 minutes of playing time. Itís still to be seen what his fantasy potential holds over a full match, but at this price itís worth a chance.

Alexandre Pato, VIL vs. RSO: With Cedric Bakambu still questionable and Roberto Soldado out, Pato should keep his place in the lineup as Villarreal transition from European competition back to La Liga play. Pato was brilliant against Zurich, and while the focus will be on his attacking output in that match, he also drew seven fouls, which is a more telling statistic about what we can expect in what is sure to be a more defensive affair than the match against the Swiss.

Willian Jose, RSO at VIL: While you are going to still need to confirm the starting lineups come kickoff time, it would be a pretty laughable bit of managing if Jose is not included in the starting XI. He was their best player last week and definitely earned his playing time; he paid his dues last season and deserves a crack at regular playing time. I donít expect many fireworks in this match, but at his cheap price it is hard to pass up the hot player with legitimate goal-scoring upside.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.