Champions League

UCL Fantasy: Panel thoughts for GW1

The Chaaaaaampionssssss!

The pinnacle of European football returns next Tuesday as the Champions League gets underway, which also means the return of its increasingly popular fantasy counterpart! The basic rules of the game have been summarised by Skonto Rigga here and, in a series of Community Articles to come over the coming months, a panel of ‘experts’ (they wish!) will provide their opinions on the pressing issues and offer tips on how to succeed.

On the panel are Fantasy Football Scout’s own Geoff, and Community Members and seasoned UCL players Darth_Krid, Stats Don’t Lie, JK, AK, FFFrog and Pirlo’s Pen.

Who is the best option in each position?

Each panellist was asked to name the one player per position that they think is the most important for our Matchday 1 squads. Two goalkeepers were often provided, because of the game’s substitution rules.

Goalkeepers

Geoff – Mikhail Kerzhakov looks like a solid 4.5m pick, though I’m not yet set on a Goalkeeper pairing. I’ll be hoping to find a solid but very cheap pair, and in this position more than others will be hoping to find guidance from others.

Darth_Krid – Just like in FPL, there’s no need to spend a premium on a keeper, especially with the option to substitute players and get two bites of the budget cherry. That being said, Barcelona’s Neto (5m) looks a great steal in an easy group as regular Marc Andre Ter Stegen will miss the group stages after surgery. In the other fixture ‘block’ I like Olympiacos’ Jose Sa (4.5m) as he is the undisputed #1 and is not likely to lose his place unlike some of the other injury deputies at this price point.

Stats Don’t Lie – With the ability to make substitutions during a matchday, premium keepers face a real uphill battle to justify their price. A 4.5m rotation pair looks to be the best bet here to give you the most chance at a CS. Personally I’m looking to pair Kerzhakov with Sa of Olympiacos. Both have manageable groups and are nailed in their defensively sound teams, and don’t take up valuable slots in teams that present many other options.

JK – With regular keeper Pierluigi Gollini injured Atalanta’s Marco Sportiello has a chance to establish himself. With Midtjylland up first it’s a great chance for the 4.5 priced keeper. Pair him with Kerzakhov of Zenit to rotate across the two days.

AK – This is the area where I am looking to maximise value while paying bare minimum. Although it’s important in this game to have two starting Goalkeepers, playing on different Matchdays so you can switch them out if need be. Adrian (4.5) is in my team as Alisson nurses an injury for Liverpool. Zenit’s Mikhail Kerzhakov (4.5) rotates nicely with Adrian and Zenit seem to be reliable at the back, having conceded only 6 goals in 10 games so far in Russian Premier League.

FFFrog – As I mentioned in my article, I’m going to recommend two players in a 4.5m rotation. Liverpool’s Adrian looks set to start the first four games and he plays on the day after Zenit’s Mikhail Kerzakhov. Their rotation leaves your keepers playing against Midtjylland, Brugges and Lazio until GW4 and the substitution system means you have two good shots at that goalkeeper spot each week.

Pirlo’s Pen – I can’t see many of the premium GK’s offering any great value early on, so I have decided to go cheap here. For 9m, you can have Jose Sa & Kerzhakov, which will give you a GK on both days of fixtures.

Defenders

Geoff – Sergio Ramos (6.5m) is a clearly solid pick, but I’m hoping for big things from Alphonso Davies. It’s nice to have a bit of Canadian content, and he has some attacking threat with clean sheet potential. At 43% ownership, he’s a nice entry into the Bayern defence.

Darth_Krid – Love him or hate him, you just can’t ignore him. Sergio Ramos (6.5m) is a polarising figure but what isn’t in dispute is the fact that he plays for a Real Madrid side which conceded the fewest goals and kept the most clean sheets in Europe’s top five leagues last season. Oh, and add to the fact that he’s on penalties in the world of VAR where they’re handed out like sweets, it’s impossible to overlook him in what looks like a fairly navigable group for the Spanish champions.

Stats Don’t Lie – Mr Marmite himself, I simply can’t go without Sergio Ramos. Nailed on in a great defence, prolific scoring record, pens, 40% owned. As much as I hate him as a footballer, he’s nailed in my team.

JK – He was a great pick last year, he’s changed clubs but he’s still a great pick. Achraf Hakimi has a goal and two assists from his opening three league matches showing that the Moroccan remains a terrific force at both ends of the pitch.

AK – The first name on my teamsheet, Sergio Ramos (6.5). A Defender who plays for the best defence in the top five leagues and has penalties in his locker. If all that weren’t enough, he also has a massive goal threat from set pieces as we have seen over the years. Fantasy Gold.

FFFrog – At 5.5m, Atalanta’s left wing back Robin Gosens is nailed in my team. 9 goals and 8 assists last season in the league have been followed up with a goal and 2 more assists this term, and with games against Midtjylland and Ajax and Liverpool’s currently leaky defence, there’s going to be points at both ends for the flying German.

Pirlo’s Pen – The UCL defender of the season Joshua Kimmich is still classified as a defender in this game, and he can often play in midfield. With 2g & 3a last time out, I expect him to add to this.

Midfielders 

Geoff – Ansu Fati is the second most owned midfielder (32%) for good reason, at only 8.0m. Doubling up with Philippe Coutinho (9.0m) looks like a solid strategy.

Darth_Krid – With most points in this version of the game coming from the forwards and the defence, the midfield is all about bargains. There aren’t too many to be found in the midfield this year, but I really like RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo at 6m. He scored three goals in last year’s competition and plays as an attacking midfielder for last season’s surprise semi-finalists. With debutants Istanbul Basaksehir first up, it’s a prime fixture for him and the team to pick up where they left off.

Stats Don’t Lie – With my darling of last season, Josip Ilicic, still likely unavailable, Ansu Fati is the man that has gone straight into my team. The next prodigy of the Blaugrana has got off to a great start under Ronald Koeman, netting 3 goals in his first 3 league games this season. Barcelona find themselves in one of the easiest groups in the UCL and I’m backing Fati to build on his promising start.

JK – At just 8m Barcelona’s Ansu Fati has so far outshone his more illustrious team mate this season and begins with a home tie against likely group whipping boys Ferencvaros.

AK – Barcelona’s Ansu Fati is the first name on my team sheet in the midfield. He’s started all 3 games in the league on the left wing and has scored 3 goals already. Priced at just 8m, Fati could make a mockery of his price as Barcelona have two very weak teams in their group.

FFFrog – Bayern’s Serge Gnabry is 10m and as Spurs saw last season he is capable of a hat-trick any week. He has 3 goals already this season in Bayern’s steamroller offense and he’ll be looking to build on his 9 UCL goals from last season early on.

Pirlo’s Pen – I have gone for Ansu Fati. With a kind price tag and a home game against minnows Ferencvaros, I can see him doing well here.

Forwards

Geoff – While Robert Lewandowski is probably the best forward pick, I will almost certainly pair him with Erling Braut Haaland. Formerly one of my favourite picks in Eliteserien Fantasy for Molde, he has a great scoring record and excellent Group Stage fixtures.

Darth_Krid – It might not be very original, but the first name in your forward line can only be Robert Lewandowski (12m). Robbed of a Ballon d’Or only by a nonsense decision to not award it, the Polish striker is fresh from scoring 15 goals in last season’s iteration and is the penalty-taking frontman for the reigning champions and arguably best team in the world. A no-brainer.

Stats Don’t Lie – This is probably the most difficult position to pick my players for due to the plethora of fantastic options, particularly in the premium bracket, but I can’t look past the value presented by Atalanta’s Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez. The 8.5m magician is a central hub for all things good in one of the most exciting attacks in Europe. Having recorded 4g and 2a in three league games thus far, and with 10+ assists in each of the last four seasons, this is a player I simply can’t see my team without.

JK – Starting at home to a Mönchengladbach side that has started slowly Romelu Lukaku is in fine form with 4 goals in his opening 3 Serie A matches as well as scoring against England and twice against Iceland.

AK – I can’t look past Robert Lewandowski (12m) even with a tricky fixture first up. He’s the main goal threat for the reigning champions and is also on penalties. The Polish striker scored an incredible 15 goals last season and came close to breaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of most goals in a season (17). It’s even more impressive when you consider the fact that knockout rounds were reduced to one-legged ties, meaning he played two fewer games than he would have in a normal season.

FFFrog – Picking a Bayern player in both midfield and attack isn’t very original, but when a team is this good it seems a no brainer. Lewandowski got 15 goals last season in 11 games, is on penalties and scored 4 against Hoffenheim in the last Bundesliga game fresh from winning European Player of the Year.

Pirlo’s Pen – Sometimes it’s wise to keep it simple, and for me the best asset in the game again has to be Robert Lewandowski. With 5g and 2a in 3 games in the Bundesliga, he’s going into the Atleti home game with serious form.

Commenting and future articles

So there we have it! Whilst the panel are in general agreement in some areas, with a few key differences, there is much to dig through.

We’ll look to do some Hot Topics in the coming days on the key points, and Community Articles about UCL will be the best place to discuss the Champions League fantasy game. All FPL-related content will be removed from the comment section here, so we can have a focused discussion on the key UCL topics!

 

135 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Noah’s Ark
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 11 days ago

    How’s this bunch look?

    Martinez
    Trent, Robertson, Mings
    Salah, Son, Rodriguez, Trossard, Pereira
    Kane, Dcl

    Forster, Brewster, Amartey, Ferguson 0ft 0itb

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Drop one pool (TAA for me), consider fire sale on Hamez, Trossard and Pereira. Bench week. Other than that, its OK. Have you a WC?

      1. Fit_to_drop
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Bench weak I meant to say.

  2. pundit of punts
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Limitless chip activated.

    Oblak - Navas
    TAA - Kimmich - Ramos - Marquinhos - Chilwell
    Salah - Mane - Sterling - Muller - Bruno
    Lewandowski - Mbappe - Haaland

    Thoughts? 🙂

    1. Stats Don\'t Lie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Wow! Definitely putting that limitless to good use. I'm a bit worried about rotation at pool against minnows...

    2. Paulybaby123
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Looks good! Mane and TAA likely to be rested by all accounts tho. I have Jota and Robertson and Salah (c). Activated my limitless too. Also have Zapata instead of Mbappe, likely to both score well! Looks great!

        1. pundit of punts
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Any links on this?

            1. pundit of punts
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              Cheers

    3. UCL Matchday 2 transfers and captains
      Darth_Krid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Which players are you looking to bring in for UCL Fantasy this week? Are you planning on using one of the chips, or playing the fixtures a little? One move I'm definitely making is the injured Alphonso Davies out for the returning Sergio Ramos and then perhaps look at a Fati replacement with Barca's tough Juve fixture.

      1. Stats Don\'t Lie
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        I definitely have to sell Coutinho since he has been ruled out. Eyes set on getting in the main man somehow. Whether it's with transfers or via a chip is yet to be decided

      2. Baines on Toast...
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        I made my team with 5 minutes left last week so I've wildcarded this week and have no idea what I'm doing

        1. Geoff
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          😀

      3. The Train Driver
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        105 points last week, 144th in the world, doing LWC with 3 pool, 3 PSG, 2 Man City, Haaland. Not sure if capping Lewa or Salah. Hard to know how Klopp will line up.

        1. Stats Don\'t Lie
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Idk if you've seen the lineup leaks, but might want to rethink that...

          1. The Train Driver
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            What are the leaks?

        2. Geoff
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Wow, well done. I think you've gotta cap Lewa

        3. Hy liverpool
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Salah might not start.. Go with lewa or jota

          1. The Train Driver
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            I will risk Salah and get TAA and Robbie with him I guess...

        4. St Pauli Walnuts
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Can I have a go on your PS5 mate?

      4. CROCosta
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        I am on wildcard this week with lwc planned for gw5, here is my current draft:
        Trubin - Mendy
        Kimmich - Gomez - Hummels - Mazraoui - Felipe
        Di Maria - Coman - Casemiro - Tete - Barrios
        Lewa(c1) - MBappe(c2) - Tadic

        1. Stats Don\'t Lie
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Pretty nice draft that!

      5. Recoba
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Coutinho Davies out for a couple Bayern as I need players today and we’ll see lineups, not keen on Liverpool rotation risk

      6. lugs
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        limitless chip activated

        Oblak
        TAA, Robbo, Kimmich, Trippier
        Salah(c), Sterling, Muller
        Lewandoski, Suarez, Haaland

        Bounou, Havertz, Rashford, Chillwell

        Salah cap, but if he doesn't play or is a fail i'll switch the armband to Haaland for tomorrow

    4. Paulybaby123
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Playing limitless this week! Wildcard possibly next gw to maximise teams playing poor opposition

      • Long ago I drew a walrus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Contemplating wildcard to set up for Gw 2,3,4 then limitless in Gw5

        1. CROCosta
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          yeah i am doing this as well, got the wc draft ready?

          1. Long ago I drew a walrus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            Not yet! Going to wait for team news post 5pm to see if Gnabry starts

            1. Geoff
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 5 days ago

              I like this move, but I think I'm waiting one more week for my WC

          2. Long ago I drew a walrus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 5 days ago

            On the deadline, once again.

            Onana / Mendy
            Kimmich / Hummels / Lodi / Florenzi / Mazraoui
            Bruno / Tolisso / Jota / Tete / Barrios
            Lewandowski (c) / Mbappe / Antony
            1.0 ITB

        2. Stats Don\'t Lie
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Yeah, I'm strongly considering it

        3. Nice to Finally Michu
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          I'm thinking -4 this week, WC to set up for GW 3,4,5, then limitless in 6

      • Long ago I drew a walrus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Hello fellas, I'm back to share some more findings from the last few days (and hours!) of research which might be useful for y'all.

        --- Lokomotiv vs Bayern

        As the first match of MD2, we get to have the Bayern team before the deadline! This is crucial because Bayern fans are calling for some heavy rotation amidst fixture congestion. There have even been calls for Neuer to be rested, so really nobody is safe, apart from Lewandowski who scored a hat-trick in 60 minutes at the weekend before coming off for a nice rest. He's essential, everyone's going to have him, everyone's going to captain him. Behind him, Muller continues to be a machine and will probably start, but on the wings it's not clear who will start from Gnabry (lacking match fitness), Sane (only recently back from injury) and Coman (played lots of minutes recently and received a heavy challenge over the weekend). Likely they will all get their minutes managed. Tolisso is pretty much 100% going to start as he's suspended domestically but Goretzka and Kimmich could potentially get surprise rests. Likewise, fans have been calling for Hernandez to be protected in the aftermath of the Davies injury so Alaba could potentially start at LB to surprise a few. Watch out for these.

        --- Atalanta vs Ajax

        Many on the net are predicting a goalfest in this one, as Atalanta who score 4+ goals every game face off against 13-goal Ajax. Atalanta come into this one with dodgy home form (yet another home defeat over the weekend) whilst Ajax have a great away record, unbeaten in 9 away matches in the CL. Whilst most of us own Gosens and Hateboer for the attacking threat, I'm cautious of a lack of CSs to come for Atalanta as they have a double-header against Liverpool to follow this match. Atalanta rested most of their first teamers over the weekend, captain Gomez started that match but is expected to start again as he's a bit of a machine, likewise Zapata will probably lead the line again. I've seen several people call for Ilicic to return, though, something to be wary of if for some reason you own Muriel. Their first choice keeper is also back from injury so be careful of selecting Sportiello in goal. For Ajax, Tadic up front should start after coming off for a rest at 4-0 over the weekend, but he's grossly overpriced so I'm looking at 6.0 Antony and 5.0 Traore. Antony is their record signing who has 4 goals and 2 assists in 6 games this season, he missed the Liverpool game due to injury but he's now back and should start after coming off for a rest over the weekend as well. Traore hasn't been a nailed on starter for Ajax but 5 goals and 3 assists in one match usually means you keep your place. Antony the safer pick, but Traore is cheaper and in the no. 9 spot.

        --- Liverpool vs Midtjylland

        Twitter leaks predicting rotation of the entire front 3 for the Pool - regardless of whether you trust it or not, it's logical for Klopp to manage their minutes considering this is the easiest match of the group stages without a doubt. Consensus around the web seems to be Mane will definitely be rested, if not Salah and Firmino also. I actually see Diogo Jota as the most secure starter for this match and beyond as he has proven over the weekend that he can play alongside as well as in place of the front 3, and as a kindly priced midfielder in the game should be a great option. Shaqiri, Minamino and Origi are suggested to start tonight but it's hard to say what their involvement will be going forwards. In defence, TAA and Robbo probably go off for a rest after 60 mins but Gomez should play the full 90 and after an 11 point haul in MD1, could be a good bet for another one tonight. Alisson's return unfortunately means Adrian as an option is dead already but thanks for the 7 points.

        --- Istanbul Basaksehir vs PSG

        PSG rested most of their starters against Dijon with Neymar unfortunately playing the full 90, not saying he won't start but surely a fresher Mbappe is the better option. Mbappe also has a formidable away record and scored twice in about 15 minutes of game time over the weekend. Di Maria, Florenzi and Navas also expected to return. Istanbul won 5-1 over the weekend so they're not necessarily relegation candidates any more but they have an injury crisis of their own, I am told they have no recognised right backs for this game so don't be surprised if PSG go rampant down the left. PSG don't exactly play with a rigid attacking formation though so they're likely all good options.

        I think this is getting too long so let's leave it at that, good luck folks!

        1. Nice to Finally Michu
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 5 days ago

          Great effort and thanks for alerting me to Neymar playing the full 90. Traore is in my considerations. As is Jota but i'm not sure Pool will score enough to justify the pick.

          I expect Hernandez to play from Bayern and if Sane starts he could be a massive differential captaincy option

      • pundit of punts
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        Went in with this limitless team -

        Oblak - Mendy
        TAA - Robertson - Kimmich - Marquinhos - Chilwell
        Sterling - Muller - Di Maria - Bruno - Jota
        Lewandowski - Mbappe - Haaland

        Good luck all. 🙂

      • The Train Driver
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Another good gameweek thus far. 6th in the world right now with Mbappe (C), Di Maria, Haaland and Navas left to play -13. Used my LWC and probably using my wc next week, not sure yet...

        1. pundit of punts
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 4 days ago

          Wow

          Well done

          1. The Train Driver
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 4 days ago

            Thanks!

        2. Long ago I drew a walrus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 4 days ago

          Congrats man! Second consecutive 100+ score for you I see.

          All things considered I'm a bit disappointed with 77 on wildcard but hopefully I can also get another 100 from limitless in the future.

          1. The Train Driver
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 3 days ago

            Thanks, on my wc now but so hard to pick a team, so many options. It was much easier with a LWC

            1. pekmez
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              28 days, 22 hours ago

              share with us your thoughts

      • CROCosta
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Captain Mbappe or DiMaria for differential potential was afraid to go against the masses yesterday with Kimmich vs Lewa but considering going differential today, I am a bit worried about Angel playing full 90 though