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How to spot fantasy options on Champions League ‘minnows’

The Champions League returns next week! We’ve reached the second round of group stage games.

One of the big differences between playing Champions League fantasy soccer versus Premier League or La Liga fantasy soccer is the number of teams involved. You’ve got 32 teams in the group stage, as opposed to 20 in the domestic leagues mentioned above.

There’s a natural tendency to stock your lineup with players you’re familiar with, from the best leagues. But there’s also real value to be found in players on some of the other teams — if you know where to look.cheap nfl custom jerseys

Just take a glance at the fantasy points leaderboard from the first round of group-stage games two weeks ago. Five of the top 10 players are from teams outside the big five leagues in Europe (England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France).2

Midfielder Nikola Vlasic would have finished third with 31.3 points, thanks to a goal and seven chances created for CSKA Moscow. Defender Nicolas Tagliafico was fourth with 30.3 points, after scoring two goals for Ajax. And forward Michal Krmencik was eighth with 26.8 points … he also notched a brace, for Viktoria Plzen.

Those are just three examples. Shakhtar Donetsk defender Ismaily and Porto midfielder Otavio finished ninth and 10th, and two more players from outside the big five leagues — Galatasaray’s Garry Rodrigues and Ajax’s Carel Eiting — also finished in the top 20.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

Here’s an important note about the players mentioned above. Most of them played against teams that were also from outside the big five leagues. CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen played against each other, in a game that finished 2-2. Ajax hosted AEK Athens and won 3-0.

Galatasaray hosted Lokomotiv Moscow and also won 3-0. Shakhtar and Porto both played teams from Germany, but not against superpower Bayern Munich, or even Borussia Dortmund. Shakhtar drew 2-2 at home against Hoffenheim, who are making their Champions League debut, and Porto drew 1-1 at Schalke.

The lesson here is, don’t ignore the teams from outside the big five leagues. In particular, look at the matchups that feature two teams from the outside the big five leagues, and check out which players are in good form … especially on the home teams.