Teams in the 8 Champions League groups will face new opponents for the final time in the group stages this week before challenging their group mates in the reverse fixtures to finish out the groups. With unfamiliar opposition, how will the teams fare? Let's take a look at the fixture list for Matchday 3:
Tuesday, October 20
Zenit St Petersburg v. Olympique Lyonnais
BATE Borisov v. FC Barcelona
Dynamo Kyiv v. Chelsea
Dinamo Zagreb v. Olympiacos
FC Porto v. Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Valencia v. K.A.A. Gent
Wednesday, October 21
Atletico Madrid v. Astana
Juventus v. Borussia Monchengladbach
Galatasaray v. Benfica
Malmo v. Shakhtar Donetsk
Paris Saint-Germain v. Real Madrid
Official UCL & Goal Fantasy Picks
If you're playing the Official UEFA Champions League fantasy game or the Goal.com game, you'll need to set your lineup to account for games from both Tuesday and Wednesday. Here's who I think you should be looking at to put up big numbers:
Iker Casillas - Porto have one of the most favorable match-ups this week as they host struggling Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Casillas is still one of the top keepers in the world, and should be a strong bet for a clean sheet against the Israeli side, who have failed to score in their opening two Champions League matches.
Jaume Domenech - With Mat Ryan out injured, Valencia have turned to the young Spaniard to keep the ball out of the net. Bargain-priced and with a winnable match against Gent, he is a great option to help you spread the wealth throughout the rest of your squad.
Jan Oblak - Atletico Madrid have been inconsistent so far in Group C, but a match against Astana should be a good opportunity for the Spanish club to get back to winning ways. Oblak will be key to their hopes of keeping a clean sheet along the way.
Dani Alves - I usually stay away from expensive defenders playing on the road, but the Barcelona fullback has the potential to put up points on both sides of the ball in every match. BATE have been surprisingly good so far, but the Catalan club should have more than enough quality to deal with them, even without Lionel Messi.
Andrea Barzagli - Juve have gotten off to a flying start in Group D, but their defenders are far from bargain-priced, which is to be expected. Barzagli is the cheapest of the bunch and has put up the most points among the Juventus backline, so he should be looked to as a potential bargain as the Italian giants host a Monchengladbach team yet to claim any points.
João Cancelo - The 21-year-old fullback has been excellent for Valencia in European play this season, and is a bargain-priced option to cover the potential clean sheet against Gent. The youngster is another defender capable of delivering strong attacking returns, and I like his chances of outscoring his value for Matchday 3.
Yaroslav Rakitskiy - Don't let Shakhtar's place in Group A put you off looking at their players (at least for the time being) - they've had to face off against Real Madrid and PSG so far. A contest against Malmo should afford them an opportunity to put up a vital 3 points. I've got a hunch he'll contribute with a goal or assist in this one, but a clean sheet seems more likely.
Alex Teixeira - Another Shakhtar player you should have your eye on is attacking midfielder Alex Teixeira. Donetsk has a history of getting the best out of Brazilian players, and the 25-year-old is no exception. Expect him to be involved in the attacking build-up against Malmo, with the strong possibility of a goal.
Julian Draxler - Wolfsburg are bottom of Group B, but only on goal differential with all four clubs on 3 points so far. Eindhoven have conceded the most goals in the group so far, and Draxler has been the brightest attacking talent for the German side. I expect an all-action encounter here, with Draxler at the heart of the attacking play for Wolfsburg.
Angel Di Maria - A match against Real Madrid isn't usually a good place to look for investment, but PSG are playing at home and Di Maria is facing his former team for the first time since his move away from Real Madrid. Since leaving the failed experiment in England, the Argentine has rediscovered some of the form that made him such a highly regarded player in world football. I'm excited to see his level of performance as he tries to prove that Real made a mistake in letting him leave in the first place.
Karim Bellarabi - Leverkusen have been an exciting team to watch in the Champions League this year, having scored five goals across their opening two matches. Bellarabi has had a breakout season on the right wing in the Bundesliga, and I think he'll bring that form to Europe against a Roma side that has been very disappointing.
Luis Suarez - As long as Lionel Messi is out, you should be looking to Suarez to put up the points for Barcelona. He'll cost you a pretty penny, but he's worth it. If you can fit him in, you should definitely be looking to him as a potential option for the captain's armband as well.
Antoine Griezmann - The German-sounding Frenchman playing in Spain has, perhaps unsurprisingly, been one of the best attackers in Europe this season. Look forward to an all-action display against Astana, and perhaps another multi-goal performance like he had in Matchday 1.
Alvaro Morata - The former Real Madrid striker has hit the ground running in Serie A and is an exciting prospect for Juve as they bid to keep their perfect record going in the Champions League. I am expecting a comfortable win for The Old Lady in this one, with Morata in amongst the goals.
Javier Hernandez - Wherever he goes, Chicharito scores goals, and he has continued scoring in the Bundesliga and Champions League with Bayer. With Stefan Kiessling likely missing out through injury, Hernandez should lead the line from the start against Roma, who have had trouble in defense. I like his chances to score here.
Draft Kings Daily Fantasy Picks
Here's how our friends The Daily Fantasy Sports Gods see Tuesday's slate:
Iker Casillas (Porto, $5,500)- Home against Maccabi Tel Aviv need we say anything further... Should be a lock for the win and the clean sheet bonus points.
Bernd Leno (Leverkusen, $5,000)- Bayer Leverkusen is an excellent football club that flies under the radars of the average football fan. They are lead by a brilliant manager named Roger Schmidt who preaches possession and creativity and his side player Barcelona on the road better than any team we've watched at Camp Nou in at least a decade.
Mikhail Kerzhakov (Zenit, $4,700)- Usual starter Lodygin was benched midweek for his recent poor performances leaving the door open for Kerzhakov to grab the win and hopefully the clean sheet. It's very difficult for teams to make the long midweek journey to Eastern Russia and Lyon are in for a long and chilly evening on the pitch.
Other plays to consider: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich, $5,200), Jaume Domenech (Valencia, $5,300).
Joao Cancelo (Valencia, $4,600)- Home matchups in the Champions League are always must-win situations and Tuesday will be no different for Valencia against a middle of the pack Gent squad that should be overmatched. We expect plenty of crosses, a clean sheet, and maybe even an assist for this underrated machine.
Maxi Pereira (Porto, $4,600)- As previously mentioned, Porto are a very intimidating home team with an outstanding crowd backing them at all times. Maccabi will be entering a very hostile atmosphere in what has already proven to be a rather overwhelming return to Champions League Football for the Israeli powerhouse. We expect Pereira to be firing in plenty of crosses for the big guy up front, Aboubakar, as well as the clean sheet and win points.
Wendell (Leverkusen, $3,800)- Roma is coming in playing well, but we cannot stress enough how tactically sound and defensively organized Leverkusen always play especially in must-win home matchups. Their group is the Champions League equivalent of the "group of death" as it contains Roma, Barcelona, and Bate when only two teams advance, making this three points and the home victory even more pivotal for this highly capable German squad.
Other plays to consider: Gaya (Valencia, $4,400), Bruno Martins Indi (Porto, $4,300), Josip Pivaric (Dinamo Zagreb $4,300).
Karim Bellarabi (Leverkusen, $7,400)- We know, we know, back to another Leverkusen player... Bellarabi is one of the most underrated superstars in the entire world and anyone who has played FIFA knows his speed and offensive capabilities are utterly insane and we don't foresee Roma rising to the occasion and slowing him down. Like Porto, Leverkusen have a tremendously loud and patient fan base and we expect the adrenaline and crowd will fuel Karim to far exceed his value, especially paired up front with Chicharito.
Willian (Chelsea, $6,100)- With the disastrous start to The Special One's Premier League campaign looming largely over the London club it's become very obvious the Champions League is Chelsea's number one priority. Jose benched his best player, Eden Hazard, over the weekend purely to motivate him to step up his game and although he may perform, Willian has simple been playing his football to the tune of a Mozart symphony.
Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia, $5,000)- The staple of Valencia's creativity and one of the most consistent plays of the UCL season thus far. I don't know what else this man needs to do in order for DraftKings to raise his price, but ride the excellent value while you can.
Other plays to consider: Andre Andre (Porto, $5,400), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona $7,200), Oscar (Chelsea, $6,800).
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, $10,900)- You'll have to go back almost two full months to find the last game in which Mr. Wonderful hasn't scored in a match. The most in-form player in the world right now, Lewandowski is going to march into the Emirates and score for Bayern Munich tomorrow simply because he can. We, the public, don't get to see a football player scoring as at-will as Robert has (2 more this past week for Poland) and to fade him tomorrow would just be silly, pay up.
Neymar (Barcelona, $10,800)- As previously mentioned, the defending champs are in the group of death for this year's first round of matchups which makes every game a must win. Someone has to fill the massive cleats of Lionel and we think after his weekend four-goal performance Neymar is just as likely to produce as Lewandowski tomorrow, you need to play one of them.
Vincent Aboubakar (Porto, $8,000)- Porto absolutely loves to crisply pass the ball up the field, kick it out to their versatile wings and backs, and loft beautiful crosses
into the box all for their giant striker with tree trunks for arms; Vincent Aboubakar. You know by now we expect Porto to trounce and here's the man that will apply the necessary firepower. Very nice value considering the favorable matchup and lone striker formation.
Other plays to consider: Hulk (Zenit, $9,900), Thomas Muller ($9,800), Yacine Brahimi (Porto, $9,000), Hakan Calhanoglu (Leverkusen, $7,700)
Here's a sample lineup we're considering for Tuesday:
Casillas | Wendell, Cancelo | Bellarabi, Feghouli | Aboubakar, Hulk | Yarmolenko
We'll be back tomorrow with another DFS post from The Gods. Until then, follow them on Twitter for team news and last-minute lineup adjustments!
Be sure to let us know who you're planning on picking up for your team, and how you think the results will pan out in Matchday 3. As always, best of luck!