There are only 3 UCL games left this season, and today we find out one of teams that will be playing in Kiev in the UCL Final on May 26th. Bayern is in Madrid today taking on Real after a 2-1 home loss last week. Tomorrow, Liverpool will travel to Rome to try and seal their spot in the final after a 5-2 win in England against Roma in the first leg. For the smaller slates, I like to do team-by-team breakdowns, so that is what follows.
If Bayern are going to advance, they will need Robert Lewandowski ($11,000) to show up big time. This is not a great spot for him though, and I think there are better options to pay up for at forward. Therefore, I will not be playing him today. However, he’s one of the most talented strikers in the world, so I can’t tell you not to play him. Thomas Muller ($9,000) has struggled in the knockout stage this year with only 1 shot on goal and 5 chances created. He’s off my radar on this slate. It’s a James Rodriguez ($9,000) revenge game today, if you’re a believer in that kind of narrative. In 77 games for Real Madrid since 2014 James has 28 goals, but since starting his loan with Bayern he has not been nearly that productive. With no Arjen Robben today, extra duty will fall on Franck Ribery ($8,500), Thiago Alcantara ($8,500), and Joshua Kimmich ($7,500). My preference would be Ribery and/or Kimmich. With such a small slate, paying up for elite attackers is a top strategy making it difficult to get higher priced defenders. Luckily, Bayern can provide some salary relief that the position. Rafinha ($4,500) scored 22 FDP last week against Real Madrid, and will be a solid play this week as well. Niklas Sule ($4,000) will definitely be a population option as a minimum priced player expected to start. I am avoiding GK Sven Ulreich ($5,000) on this slate.
Ronaldo. Yes. Play him. Cristiano Ronaldo ($14,000) holds the record for most UCL semifinal goals in his career with 13 total. That is double what the next player has, which is 6 by Robert Lewandowski. You’ll be sorry if you don’t play him on this slate. Casemiro ($9,000) is a cash game monster, so if you’re playing cash games I recommend looking at him. Other than him, I am not a big fan of any Real Madrid midfielders. After being unimpressive in the group stage, Marcelo ($7,000) seems to have kicked it into gear lately. He is averaging 28 FDP in his last 5 UCL games which is why his priced jumped $1,500. If you’re playing up for a defender, I would tell you to play him. However, he’ll be tough to roster with high-priced FWDs and MIDs. Sergio Ramos ($6,000) and Raphael Varane ($4,500) should be busy again today. Ramos is generally the safer play, but Varane has has nice fantasy performances lately and he’ll save you $1,500. Achraf Hakimi ($4,500) is expected to start for Real Madrid today, but due to lack of regular playing time and very minimal experience in big games, he is hard to trust in my opinion. Keylor Navas ($4,500) is the cheapest GK on the slate, so he will come with a fair amount of ownership. GK has been a dart throw in UCL lately, so just go with your gut.
Liverpool hold a 5-2 aggregate lead right now, and they’ll travel to Roma for the 2nd leg on Wednesday as they try to advance to their first UCL Final in a little over a decade. Mo Salah ($11,000) is making his return to Rome, where he spent 2 seasons with Roma just prior to playing for Liverpool. He is my favorite Liverpool play on this slate. Roberto Firmino ($11,500) is my favorite GPP forward. Roma will need to press for goals (as they need a 3-0 or better to advance), which could leave them vulnerable on defense at times. Sadio Mane ($10,000) and James Milner ($8,000) are off my radar in this game. Liverpool’s last starting midfielder, Georginio Wijnaldum ($5,500), is solely on my radar as a salary relief piece. Virgil van Dijk ($5,500) is a nice play at defender in this game. He should be busy with Roma pressing on the attack, and his price is pretty fair. Andrew Robertson ($5,000) is a viable defender as well. I expect Loris Karius ($6,000) to get a decent amount of points from saves in this game, but I am not expecting a clean sheet from him. His price is high for a reason. I just don’t think I’ll be paying that much for a GK on this slate.
After going down 5-0 to Liverpool last week, Roma pulled back to massive away goals giving themselves some light for the second leg. Edin Dzeko ($10,500) is one of my favorite plays of the slate. Roma will be pushing hard for goals, and Dzeko is their top goal scorer. I expect a good showing from him tomorrow. With Diego Perotti injured, it looks like Patrik Schick ($6,000) will get a start for Roma. At that price in this game, he looks like a good option. Roma’s midfielders have not been great for fantasy this season. However, Radja Nainggolan ($7,500) and Daniele de Rossi ($7,500) are both viable in my eyes. They’ll need to be involved if Roma hope to win this game, and they both fairly priced. Cengiz Under ($6,500) and Alessandro Florenzi ($5,500) will provide some value in Roma’s midfield. Florenzi posted 16.5 FDP last game, which is 3x value. Under is a talented young attacker with the skills necessary to succeed in this game. He’s a good GPP play if he starts. Aleksandar Kolarov ($6,500) should be busy as well today. The wing defender will have the liberty to join the attack, while still maintaining defensive responsibilities. This combination usually leads to a lot of peripheral stats with goal/assist upside. Federico Fazio ($5,500) had a big game last time against Liverpool with 25 FDP. I do not think he can get that high again, but he’s in a good spot though. Juan Jesus ($4,500) is Roma’s value defender on this slate. He had a productive game from a fantasy standpoint last week, and is in a spot to replicate that again. I am guessing Alisson ($5,500) will be a popular GK on this slate since he’s facing Liverpool. But, like I said earlier, GK is a dart throw on this slate. Choose whoever your gut says or whoever best fits your build.