What We Learned - UCL/UEL Recap
UEFA Champions League – First Legs
The surprise was Atletico pulling off a win against Liverpool. However, I think the bigger surprise revolved around one stat line – Liverpool had no shots on goal! We know Atletico is tough at home but stopping a powerhouse like Liverpool in this way is something to admire. I figure the return leg will be much different though. Tottenham has too many injuries to even be considered a favorite and for that reason I enjoy targeting teams that play against them. This was probably why I was high on Gulacsi in net as I thought Leipzig would win. That came true. Also, a lot of fantasy points were racked up by most of their attacking players.
Neymar ended up being the highest owned player but not my highest owned play of the four-game slate. He lucked out with a tap-in goal after a Dortmund defender flailed on a tackle against Mbappe in an embarrassing manner which allowed for a square pass to Neymar on the goal line. For the return leg though, Neymar should be owned as PSG will be at home and they need to secure a win – which only means, they need goals. Load up on him. I will be totally off of Dortmund as they should be a bit more hesitant in committing players forward. However, if Sancho’s price does not rise, he is an optimal choice.
Atalanta should easily progress through but I think Valencia will put up a good fight with their return leg coming home. For this reason, Parejo will be a popular play in my eyes if his price doesn’t jump too much. As for the Atalanta side of things, I may take a step back as the scoreline tells me they don’t need to focus on attacking that much but instead try to improve their defending, which isn’t something they’ve been strong at away from home.
Tottenham needs something to go their way but I don’t think their approach will change very much. They should play in a defensive manner like they did in the first-leg but expect some lineup changes. I would like to see Lamela on the pitch. Although for fantasy purposes that may muddy things up between him and Celso, it should give Tottenham a better chance to score. Regardless, I expect the same output on Leipzig’s side.
Atletico will be my biggest fade in the return leg, even Oblak. It was evident that he was the highest owned keeper of the first leg match-ups and it paid off. Don’t expect the same in the return leg. Instead, look to Liverpool for exposure. I don’t mind Alisson in this scenario instead. And please just load up on Arnold even though he will most likely be priced at $7K. Liverpool will also need goals so take a chance on one of the low-floor but high ceiling attackers.
UEFA Europa League – First Legs
Getafe is having a remarkable season. They are currently third in the Spanish league and just beat Ajax by a score of two. Lots of their success is due to their coach as Getafe truly has no superstar. Expect an even greater defensive display in the return leg away from home. As for Ajax, it all depends on whether Promes comes back healthy to play. He has been the true motor to this offense this year as Ziyech was to them last year. As for Ziyech himself, he has been sold to Chelsea and it looks like his mind is already there even though he still has half the season to play with his current club. He should be better in the return leg as long as Promes is out. If the latter is in, I choose Promes instead.
Manchester United honestly had an easy match but they chose to play with their bench reserves. As a result, their actual bench on this day was ten times better than what was on the pitch. I’m therefore not surprised of their draw. In the return leg, expect a more powerful United starting lineup and expect me to be on Fernandes in all my lines.
As for Inter, they probably have the softest match-up. It seemed to easy. A 2-0 scoreline should have booked themselves into the next round. Lukaku continues his goal scoring form while Martinez is still struggling after coming back from injury. The set piece takers are the most confusing but it was evident that if Eriksen gets the chance to take the majority of them, it almost counts as half a goal. They will surely remain a popular choice in the return leg.
Expect Sevilla and Celtic to play much better at home. Suso was very underpriced in the first slate, expect his price to rise above $8K. Christie might see a price decrease after his underwhelming performance – I would gladly go back to him though. Deac was the key to this slate, that penalty helped along with his price being a bit too low – in the return leg, I will look elsewhere.
The Wolves took care of business in the first leg so expect a meaningless game in the return leg. Jota was the play, not Jimenez or Traore. We also learned that Hagi reduced the floors of both Barisic and Tavernier due to his role on sets. I’m leaning more towards Braga in the return leg with Sequeira being one of my top picks. The new Barcelona prodigy, Trincao, was priced too low this time around, expect that to change next slate. Aside from this, the late slate exposure should remain the same for the second legs.