Tip of the Week: Week 14 (Champions League)

The best thing we can tell you is don’t start picking your teams until 18.45pm on matchdays – it’s just too difficult.

As soon as the line-ups are announced the first thing to do is look at each of the goalkeepers playing that week, work out which are the two or three cheapest, assess the fixtures and pick one of those three. Unless you want to be seriously compromised in attack you should never be able to afford a top goalie. You also don’t need one as they rarely get the save points required anyway.

Next, for defenders look at the centrebacks facing off against the best teams such as Barca, Bayern, Real Madrid etc and find the cheapest playing that week – then pick them. Unfortunately, while they might not be the most attractive, this is something you have to do because the price of the top forwards and midfielders is so much higher than the Premier League contests it’s very difficult to build a good team without cheap defenders. We’re talking £6M and below. There is always at least one of two of them and regardless of previous performance they have to go in the team. If you have a look at their points total when playing ‘big teams’ vs playing the others you should notice they are usually good value against the former anyway so it’s not always a compromise. We’ve had plenty of occasions this season already where the cheapest defenders that week have been the highest points scorers.

Once you know what budget you have left to play with, pick your forwards. Go top, top end. Messi, Cavani, Lewandowski. All highly likely to score 30points+ (providing they aren’t up against each other) which on a Champions League night is the least we should expect for their price tag. Generally, top scores are higher for Champions League contests. Also you’ll find ownership of top players is much higher too, often over 60-70% every week for Ronaldo, Messi and the like. This makes them quite indispensable and those weeks they score hat-tricks and you don’t have them in your team – you will pay the price. If they don’t perform – at least the effect is felt by most.

With forwards being so expensive and highly sought after, midfielders are really where you will differentiate yourself and generally what makes the difference between finishing top or just top half. Midfield penalty takers are usually a good place to start there but otherwise a little look over recent form should tell you everything you need to know. Of course we all love an out of position midfielder playing upfront for the night.

Picking a Champions League team is by nature much more difficult than a Premier League team. Not only because there are unknown quantities in some of the smaller teams but also there are much less competitive matches. One sided matches are actually perfect for FanDuel because defenders have to defend and attackers have to attack – but it does mean everyone is doing the same thing. Just make sure you stock up on as many players in those positions as your team allows each week and you should find yourself in the green.

For more hints and tips or to find those cheap defenders we are selecting each week, keep an eye on our Twitter feed as we highlight the cheap but effective must haves as lineups get announced.

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