With so many premiums on offer in FantasyBet.com’s Champions League Fantasy game, bargains have never been more important. Luckily for you, Clarke Hutchison has examined the best value midfielders for Fantasy Champions League 2019/20, discovering some outrageously underpriced assets in the process.
The Best £7.0-8.0m Midfielders For UCL Fantasy 2019/20
Ajax were once again forced to let go of some of their big names after smashing expectations and narrowly missing out on the final last season. Surprisingly, their players remain great value and offer solid investments for at least the group stage fixtures.
Dusan Tadic is the obvious name here with a staggering 38 goals and 24 assists last season. The problem is that he’s classified as a forward, which means he receives a point less for every goal and/or clean sheet. The £1.0m cheaper Hakim Ziyech is a great alternative. He’s scored four times in his last four Eredivisie matches and takes the majority of free kicks and corners.
Van De Beek is another Ajax midfielder who has already impressed, with two goals and three assists in three Eredivisie appearances. He recently suffered a hamstring injury, but if he recovers in time, he’s definitely worth a look. Last season’s run to the semi-finals saw him contribute five attacking returns.
We have seen what Lucas Moura can do on the European stage last season, scoring five goals overall and a hat trick to push Tottenham into the final. He hasn’t been involved in as many minutes as he’d like in the Premier League so far, and will hope to be one of Pochettino’s key men in this tournament. He is captain material in group matches versus Olympiacos and Crvena.
Julian Draxler will be hoping to show some consistency this time out, having frustrated with irregular bright spells amongst poor performances in the past. He’s been more central for PSG this season, but missed the last couple of matches with a knock. The timing of the international break is in his favour, as he should recover in time for the weekend or at least for the UCL opener.
I’m expecting Willian to be another player who benefits from his lack of minutes in league football this season. Frank Lampard has had a tough start to his managerial role at Chelsea, which gives all the more reason to rotate for this competition. The Brazilian winger is extremely volatile for fantasy points but, if you time it right, the upsides are huge.
The Best £6.5m Midfielders For UCL Fantasy 2019/20
Other than Ronaldo from Juventus, a lot of people are looking at Miralem Pjanic for attacking returns. The classy playmaker is decent value, but he plays very deep for his side and doesn’t contribute with many returns. He is one of those players whose fantastic ability doesn’t translate to fantasy points regularly enough.
Toni Kroos is a similar case. He takes corners and shares set-piece duty at Real Madrid, but is relied upon to recycle the play and initiate forward moves rather than being the man playing the final pass. He rarely ventures into the opposition box and if he scores it will likely be from a long-range effort.
I’ve always been a fan of the Miranchuk twins in fantasy football. Unlike his brother, who will likely feature in my forwards article, Anton Miranchuk is classified as a midfielder. He has contributed to two of Lokomotiv Moscow’s last four goals and will be hoping to do some more damage in his opening fixture vs. Leverkusen before facing Juventus and Atletico.
Watching a lot of RB Leipzig last season, Marcel Sabitzer was someone who was often right on the edge of racking up multiple fantasy points. It looks as though he will easily surpass his total return of five goals and six assists last season with three goals and as many assists in his first four fixtures in 2019/20. With Lyon and Benfica, there should be plenty of goals in Group G.
The Best £6m Midfielders For UCL Fantasy 2019/20
Surprisingly, Frenkie de Jong easily has the highest ownership in this price bracket. This despite failing to record any attacking returns and picking up two yellow cards in his 986 minutes of UCL football last season. It’s a trend that has continued into this campaign. The Barcelona man only has a yellow card to show for his three appearances. A brilliant player, but not so good for fantasy points.
Pizzi has a 15 times lower ownership than de Jong at the time of writing, despite a 63% goal involvement for Benfica this season. Indeed, the midfielder has scored a massive seven goals and picked up three assists in five appearances. He is also the designated penalty taker and is in a favourable group alongside Zenit, Lyon and Leipzig.
Atletico Madrid are top of La Liga at the moment – in fact, their most recent win was a fight back from a two goal deficit. Vitolo was the super sub, coming off the bench at half time and scoring to bring the game level seven minutes later. A week earlier he performed similar heroics, scoring the winner 10 minutes after being substituted on. Maybe he has earned a place in the starting XI.
A player who always seems to perform on the big stage is Marlos. The Brazilian born Ukraine international has six attacking returns in six league fixtures this season. In 2017/18, Shakhtar Donetsk smashed expectations and reached the round of 16 ahead of Napoli. Marlos was fundamental to their success with two goals vs. Feyenoord and two assists vs. Man City in their last two group fixtures at home.
The Best £5.5m Midfielders For UCL Fantasy 2019/20
Bayer Leverkusen’s top-scorer in 2018/19 is priced at just £5.5m! Kai Havertz is massively underpriced and this is worth taking advantage of. Yes, he’s in a very difficult group with Juventus and Atletico, but with three goals and assists in the Europa League and 17 goals in the Bundesliga last season, I’d back him versus Lokomotiv Moscow at the very least.
I already mentioned Marlos in the previous price bracket, but Taison is another investment full of potential from Shakhtar Donetsk. He is £0.5m cheaper than his teammate, but has had an even more influential impact this season with six attacking returns in his four league fixtures. Taison also looks to have pinched penalty taking duties from Marlos, scoring their latest spot kick while Marlos was still on the pitch.
James Milner played a lot of minutes (901) as Liverpool became Champions of Europe for the first time since 2005. Again, I expect him to be a regular figure in their midfield having played a bit-part role in the Premier League. He loves a big game and grabbed two goals versus PSG and an assist against Napoli in the group phase last season.
I wouldn’t usually recommend a player who is classified as a midfielder but actually plays in defence, but Daniel Wass is an exception. Since switching from CM to RB, he now seems nailed on in the starting line-up, playing every minute for Valencia this season. His output hasn’t suffered either. He notched an assist and three key passes in his last fixture. Wass is one of the best direct free kick takers in Europe which is always another plus point.
The Best £4.5m-£5.0m Midfielders For UCL Fantasy 2019/20
Daniel Parejo at £5.0m was unexpected. The experienced midfielder scored both of Valencia’s goals at the weekend to secure their first La Liga win of the season and is usually one of their fantasy players priced in the higher tier. In his two league fixtures he has five key passes and five shots and is in a relatively favourable group with Chelsea, Lille and Ajax.
Lucas Tousart is the most popular midfielder to warm the bench in the UCL game this season. However, I would be wary of selecting him. He was subbed at 65 minutes in week 3 of Ligue 1, before featuring off the bench in week 4 for Lyon.
I would advise selecting Florentino instead. For £4.5m, he will probably be on your bench anyway, but what you’re looking for is someone who will definitely start. Unlike Tousart, Florentino has started every Benfica match this season. He is in the evenly matched Group G with Zenit, Leipzig and Lyon and a solid option for an emergency two pointer if called upon.