UCL Fantasy R16: Which teams to focus on?

The round of 16 of Fantasy Champions League starts on 13th February.

It is the time when you should start to think about which players you want in your UCL Fantasy team.

We have unlimited transfers for 1st leg of R16 and increased budget by 5.0 million, so there is a lot of different combination of players for our teams.

This article is part of the series: UCL Fantasy Round of 16: Tips, Best Pick, Captain and Team Selection

Which players/teams to focus on?

We think that when picking your R16 squad, you should think long-term.

You probably know that after the 1st leg of Round of 16, you can make 3 free transfers and after the 2nd leg of Round of 16 (before the 1st leg of the Quarterfinals) you can make 5 free transfers.

Basically, after you make your draft for R16, you can make up to 8 transfers before the start of the Quarterfinals. That sounds like a lot, but in fact, it is not.

Hear me out.

The math…

Imagine that you pick 15 players randomly to, for example, 1000 UCL fantasy squads,

From the statistical point of view, in the whole sample (1000 teams) approximately 50 % of players get eliminated (because only 8 of 16 teams will progress to the Quarterfinals).

So, on average, every team from this 1000 of UCL Fantasy squads would lose 50 % of its players after the 2nd leg of R16.

In average, every team from this 1000 teams would have only 7.5 players left that progress to the Quarterfinals.

It means, that if you pick all your 15 players randomly (in specific from a random team), you will have 8 free transfers to replace 7.5 eliminated players before the Quarterfinals.

Yeah, it is enough but what if somebody gets injured?

What if you want to make some tactical transfer?

With this approach, there is basically no room for tactical changes, only for replacing eliminated players.

That’s why you should focus on players that are most likely to progress to Quarterfinals when selecting your R16 UCL Fantasy squad.

In order to help you with that, we converted bookies’ odds of progressing to the Quarterfinals for all teams into probabilities.

We used our Odds to probability calculator.

Odds of progressing to UCL Quarterfinals

You can find these probabilities in the table below.

TeamTo Qualify Odds
Man.City95.45 %
Bayern88.31 %
Arsenal82.17 %
Real Madrid76.7 %
PSG64.1 %
Barcelona64.1 %
Dortmund57.98 %
Inter Milano52.78 %
Atl.Madrid47.22 %
PSV Eindhoven42.02 %
Real Sociedad35.9 %
Napoli35.9 %
Leipzig23.3 %
FC Porto17.83 %
Lazio11.69 %
FC Kodaň4.55 %

Our advice is:

When picking your UCL Fantasy R16 squad, focus mainly on teams from the top half of the table as they are most likely to progress to Quarterfinals.

Let’s move right to this calculation.

Expected number of players in Quarterfinals

As an example, imagine, you have 3 players from Man City, 3 players from Bayern,  2 players from Arsenal, 2 player from Real Madrid, 1 player from PSG, 1 player from Barcelona, 1 player from Dortmund, 1 player from Inter and 1 player from Napoli in your R16 draft.

That is:

3*0.95 + 3*0.88 + 2*0.82 + 2*0.77 + 1*0.64 + 1*0.64+ 1*0.58 + 1*0.53 + 1*0.36 = 11.42 expected players for Quarterfinals.

So, in this case, you would use only around 3-4 transfers to replace eliminated players for Quarterfinals.

And you could use the other 4 transfers for tactical decisions.

Of course, this approach works best in a large sample size.

So, with only 16 teams, the variance could be big and if, for example, Man City gets eliminated, you would lose 3 players.

But the probability of Man City getting eliminated is just 5 %.

So you have to think not just about probabilities but about the variance, too.


In conclusion, you should consider the probability of a team progressing to the next round when selecting your R16 UCL Fantasy squad.

Focus on players that will likely progress to the next round and you will have a lot of free transfers for tactical changes.

Do you have something to add to this topic?

Leave your notices or questions in the comment below.

We will be back soon with other interesting UCL Fantasy stuff for the R16.


Matej Šuľan

Fantasy Football enthusiast with two top 1k finishes in FPL. Best FPL overall rank: 119th in 2019/20 season. Five top 500 finishes in UCL Fantasy, best overall rank: 23rd in 2018/19 season. Founder of Fantasy Football Reports.