Champions league round of 16 starts in less than a week. After the article abou “obvious” picks, I prepared for you an article about UCL fantasy players I think you should at least notice and consider bringing them in. It is about players that are under the radar and could easily be overlooked by casual champions league fantasy players. So do not do the same mistake and gain and advantage over your rivals simply by noticing these players that could do very well for you in the R16.
Under the radar picks
Josip Ilicic (Atalanta)
Atalanta has favourable fixture against Valancia in the R16 and we could expect some goals here. And Bosnian veteran is their main man who leads their very attacking line up in a superb way. He scored 14 goals and 3 assists in 19 matches in Serie A this season – only 3 players scored more than him during first 23 rounds of this competition. According to expected goals stats from Understat, He was averaging xG of h0.61 per 90 minutes and xA 0.35 per 90 in Seria A – that is almost 1 Expected Involvement per 90 minutes. Besides that he registered 4,56 shots per 90 minutes during his 19 matches. So if Atalanta score goals against Valencia, he will likely be involved. Classified as midfielder he is currently sitting in just 1 percent squads.
Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)
Algerian winger was very impressive this season so far. He played more regularly and collected 7 goals and 7 assists during his 21 appearances in Premier League 2019/20. He produced 0.34 xG per 90 minutes and 0.52 xA per 90 minutes in Premier League matches. He was very creative and only Kevin De Bruyne has more Key Passes per 90 minutes among Man City regular starters (Mahrez 2,78 KP per 90, De Bruyne 3.86 KP per 90). He could be great pick for your UCL fantasy team and a cheap route into Man City goalscoring machine.
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool)
Well, I guess that many of you are surprised to see Jordan Henderson among these picks. BUT. He was 5th most productive Liverpool player during this Premier League season so far with 3 goals and 4 assists (only Salah, Mane, Firmino and TAA was more productive). So, do not overlook him. With 5.47 balls recovered per 90 minutes and 5.2 million price tag he might be THAT cheap midfielder you are looking for.
Maxi Gomez (Valencia)
9 goals and 1 assist for Valencia in La Liga this season. We expect goals in the match against Atalanta and he could be involved. He is owned by 0 percent of ucl fantasy managers and could be great differential. His price tag is a bit higher 7.8m but if you are risk taker, this risk may pay off.
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
The attack of Bayern Munich is not just about Robert Lewandowski. Yes, he is their goalscorer but Thomas Muller is having a decent season too. He was very creative in Bundesliga matches and produced 11 assists and 5 goals. His underlaying stats from Bundesliga confirms his great form – he was averaging 0.38 xG per 90 and 0.59 xA per 90. If there are goals against Chelsea, we may expect couple of assists from him.
I hope I showed you some differential champions league fantasy picks that could do really well for you. Their ownership is very low, so with every extra point they gain, you will fly up through the overall ranking.