Wednesday’s slate of UCL group games is a chance for players to be heroes in leading their teams to the Round of 16. For those who miss out, it’s a chance for their star players to impress bigger clubs ahead of January’s transfer window just as RB Salzburg’s Erling Haaland did 12 months ago when he joined Borussia Dortmund. We take a look at the studs and value options to consider from each position for your DraftKings roster.
Romelu Lukaku ($11,400)
Of the seven goals Inter has scored in this season’s Champions League, Lukaku has scored four of them. Two came in a tie at Borussia Monchengladbach, which the Italian side won 3-2 to keep alive their hopes of progressing. Lukaku hasn’t scored against Shakhtar in this group so far, but if he can in this contest it could see the Serie A side advance to the knock-out stage for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign.
Mergim Berisha ($8,400)
Watching RB Salzburg in the Champions League has been a lot of fun this season with a total of 25 goals scored in their five fixtures. Berisha has been one of their standout performers with four goals in his past three ties. This is a big game for Berisha — if he can find the net a couple of times it might help his side progress out of the group stage for the first time since the 1994-95 season. With the transfer window opening in January, it’s a chance to shine and impress some of the bigger clubs in Europe and earn a big money transfer.
Others to consider: Lars Stindl ($7,800)
Ivan Perisic ($8,100)
It’s been almost a decade since Inter has featured in the Champions League Round of 16, but they need to beat Shakhtar at the San Siro and for there to be a winner in the other tie in their group if they are to stay alive. World Cup winner Perisic would love to add a UCL winners medal to his resume and his form in this game will be crucial. Perisic had a productive match at the weekend with six crosses and an assist in Inter’s 3-1 win over Bologna.
Achraf Hakimi ($7,000)
There’s nothing better for fantasy purposes to be able to draft a goalscoring midfielder. Hakimi fits that category and he goes into Inter’s final group game in great form. Two goals in his side’s 3-1 win against Bologna on Saturday took his season tally to three. Hakimi’s crosses will be just as important as he will be expected to create chances for the forwards ahead of him.
Others to consider: Marcos Llorente ($6,400)
Sergio Ramos ($6,100)
You never know what to expect from Real Madrid’s veteran defender Ramos. But one thing is for sure, he makes the game interesting. Few players have been sent off as many times in their career as Ramos has, but to balance that out, few defenders have scored the number of goals he has. Real needs Ramos to be on his best behavior as they look for the win to secure their place in the Round of 16. Ramos already has five goals for club and country this season and no red cards ... yet.
Oleksandr Zinchenko ($4,400)
With the pressure off of Manchester City because of its early qualification from Group C, this is a great opportunity for Zinchenko to shine and work his way back into Pep Guardiola’s plans for a regular place in the side. The Ukrainian has only made one appearance in the Premier League this season and with the first Manchester derby of the season coming up on Saturday, Zinchenko will want to do all he can to feature in the contest at Old Trafford. Against Marseille, Zinchenko should not be too busy defensively, which should allow him to attack more.
Others to consider: Danilo D’Ambrosio ($6,000)
If Manchester City can keep a clean sheet at home to Marseille, it will be their fifth and Ederson’s fifth too. The Brazilian keeper has only been beaten once in the group and that was in the opener against Porto. Since then, it’s been 436 minutes and counting since he was picking the ball out of his net. Ederson played in the previous game even though his side had already secured their place in the next round and he should feature again.
Others to consider: Jan Oblak ($4,800)
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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.