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Thursday 21st Sep 2017

UEFA Championship League Stage Group Matchday 2 games are scheduled for today and tomorrow. Our recommendations for your fantasy lineups are below.

Note that DraftKings offers UEFA Championship League Stage Group contests for both days. Hurry up, DraftKings contests for today lock at 2:45 PM Eastern Time.

Recommendations for your lineup are based in part on the odds set for each game. Oh boy, those English bookmakers can be very wrong sometimes. They certainly did not foresee the trashing of Club Brugge by the Foxes during their first encounter. I must ask, will they ever be right about Leicester City? Those odds, which were pointing to a draw, made me stay away from that game two weeks ago.

The standard lineup of each DraftKings contest has one goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, two forwards and one utility player.

Lineup suggestions for Tuesday, Sept. 27 matches   

Goalkeepers: choose one from: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Robin Olsen (F.C. Copenhagen)      

Defenders: choose two from: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), my top choice, Mariano (Sevilla), Kamil Glik (Monaco)     

Midfielders: choose two from: Sami Khedira (Juventus), Adrien Silva (Sporting CP) Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Forwards: choose two from: Luciano Vietto (Sevilla), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)

Utility: choose one from: Islam Slimani (Leicester City), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)

Lineup suggestions for Wednesday, Sept. 28 matches    

Goalkeepers: choose one from: Petr Cech (Arsenal), Marquinhos (PSG)

Defenders: choose two from: Adama Traore (Basel), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Eliseu (Benfica), Thiago Alcantara (Atletico Madrid)

Midfielders: choose two from: Angel Di Maria (PSG), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Gaston Pereiro (PSV Eindhoven)   

Forwards: choose two from: Edinson Cavani (PSG), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)

Utility: choose one from: Luis Suarez (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

You must have noticed that not all of the above names are top players. The reason is simple: there is a mix to allow you to fit your lineup under the dreaded salary cap. Due to an interesting twist, DraftKings qualifies several forward players as midfielders as well. Unfortunately, that may not help your salary cap, as all of these players are quite expensive. However, one strategy is to pick inexpensive goalkeepers and defenders to limit your exposure and end up with four capable forwards.

Should you follow this strategy, here are some inexpensive defenders to consider:

Tuesday, Sept. 27 matches: Paulo Oliveira (Sporting CP), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla)

Wednesday, Sept. 28 matches: Hector Moreno and Joshua Brenet (both with PSV Eindhoven)

Alternatively, you could field the least expensive defenders, even if they may not be featured on the pitch by their teams. You may be able to accommodate both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain on Tuesday and Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski on Wednesday.

Follow Pasko on Twitter @varnica123. His essays about sports in ancient Roman times can be found at www.SportsInAntiquity.com

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