Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Championship League (CL) Round of 16 starts today. Two matches are scheduled for today and two for tomorrow.
Round of 16, 1st leg - Tuesday, February 14:
Benfica – Borussia Dortmund
Paris Saint-Germain – Barcelona
Round of 16, 1st leg - Wednesday, February 15:
Our recommendations for your DFS fantasy lineups are below. The standard lineup of each DraftKings contest has one goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, two forwards and one utility player.
We want to point out that the first choice players listed below fit under the $50,000 DraftKings salary cap.
Goalkeeper (choose one): Our top choice, Keylor Navas (Real Madrid, $5,600), second choice, Roman Burki (Borussia Dortmund, $5,100, not much cheaper than Navas, use him only if you are desperate for the extra $500).
Defender (choose two): After scoring 21 goals in the group stage, Borussia Dortmund will keep Benfica defenders busy. Plenty of opportunities for tackles from Eliseu (Benfica, $3,600, Draftkings shows him out, but he will play) and Victor Lindelof (Benfica, $2,800). Other options include Maxwell (Real Madrid, $3,600) or Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid, $4,400).
Midfielder (choose two): Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund, $7,600, kept out most of the game this past weekend, likely kept fresh for this match?), Julian Draxler (PSG, $5,600). Alternatively, you could go with Marek Hamsik (Napoli, $5,600) or Andre Schurrle (Borussia Dortmund, $6,100).
Forward (choose two): Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid, $8,000), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, $10,900). Other good choices are Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munchen, $8,800) and Neymar (Barcelona, $9,900).
Utility (choose one): Kostas Mitroglou (Benfica, $5,800, scored twice this past weekend), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona, $6,000).
You must have noticed that not all of the above names are top players. Where is Lionel Messi? The reason is simple: there is a mix of salary levels to allow you to fit your lineup under the dreaded salary cap. Messi will cost you $11,200, making it difficult to field a balanced team.
DraftKings qualifies several players at both forward and midfielder. Unfortunately, that may not help your salary cap, as all of these players are quite expensive. However, one strategy is to pick relatively inexpensive defenders to limit your salary exposure. Potentially, you could scroll all the way down the player list and field the least expensive defenders, even if they may not be featured on the pitch by their teams. By following this strategy, you may be able to accommodate the best strikers on your fantasy team.
Follow Pasko on Twitter @varnica123. His essays about sports in ancient Roman times can be found at SportsInAntiquity.com