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UEFA Champions League Fantasy Picks: Round of 16, Second Leg

We've got another two-week long round to navigate, so it will be important to focus on guaranteed starters when making your selections. Here are my top recommendations as we head toward the quarterfinals.

There was nothing to separate the two powerhouses in the first leg. Which team will advance?
There was nothing to separate the two powerhouses in the first leg. Which team will advance?
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Champions League Round of 16 Schedule

Tuesday, March 8

Wolfsburg v. KAA Gent

Real Madrid v. AS Roma

Wednesday, March 9

Zenit St Petersburg v. Benfica

Chelsea v. Paris St. Germain

Tuesday, March 15

Manchester City v. Dynamo Kyiv

Atlético Madrid v. PSV Eindhoven

Wednesday, March 16

Bayern Munich v. Juventus

Barcelona v. Arsenal


Keylor Navas - Real Madrid ran out 2-0 victors in Rome in the first leg, which is just close enough that they won't want to field a weakened team for the home tie. Roma has a few goal threats, but nothing Madrid shouldn't be able to handle.

Joe Hart - While they have been inconsistent in the Premier League, the Citizens have been impressive in their Champions League campaign and face a home match against Dynamo Kiev. Following a 3-1 away win, they'll be high on confidence and have the added bonus of being able to field their first-choice CB pairing. Hart may face a decent number of shots, which could help him earn save points in addition to a possible clean sheet.

Jan Oblak - Atletico and PSV Eindhoven played to a scoreless draw in the first leg, so something will have to give here. I expect the Spanish outfit to have the better of the opportunities at home, and their defense is formidable enough that another shutout feels like a strong possibility.


Marcelo - With so many expensive options to choose from in the attacking positions, it's a good strategy to invest in cheaper defenders when possible. However, Marcelo is one of the few you should have no worries about spending some extra money for. With his attacking capabilities he almost acts as another midfielder, but with clean sheet potential.

Jose Maria Gimenez - The cheapest of the starting options for Atletico Madrid, Gimenez has actually outperformed the majority of defenders to this point. The 21 year-old has acquitted himself well and should deliver solid points yet again.

Christian Trasch - Wolfsburg and Gent played to a highly entertaining 3-2 result in the first leg, but I'm expecting a much more defensive effort from the German club at home, especially if Diego Benaglio is back in goal.

Gerard Pique - Barcelona had no problem dispatching Arsenal away in the first leg and they should have too much quality to let their two goal advantage slip away at home. Pique has experience against Premier League sides and is a goal threat from set pieces.

Nicolas Otamendi - Manchester City are a much stronger squad with Vincent Kompany back, though his center back partner offers a slightly cheaper avenue into the defense and has shown he can be equally impressive from set pieces. With rotation coming into play for the fullbacks, the Argentine is the strongest choice from the sky blues' back line.


Arjen Robben - The Bayern - Juve clash was the highlight of the first leg and should be equally exciting in the deciding match. The Dutch winger was able to get on the score sheet in Turin and will be a menace for Patrice Evra to deal with yet again.

Willian / Angel Di Maria - Two of the highest scoring midfield players this season will face off yet again as Chelsea look to get revenge on PSG. Both wide men have been excellent for their respective clubs this season and should both be under consideration in what will be a high-intensity match.

Daniel Caligiuri - With Julian Draxler and Max Kruse both doubts for Tuesday's match, Caligiuri is the safest bet for attacking returns from Wolfsburg. The 28 year-old offers pace and trickery from the wing and has the potential for goals and assists in his arsenal.

Oleg Shatov - The 25 year-old central midfielder is having a breakout season for Zenit, providing 8 goals and 8 assists in all competitions. He will be a handful for Benfica's defense, especially with Hulk and Danny drawing defenders out of position.

Nicolas Gaitan - Benfica have a real gem on their hands with this guy. Don't be surprised if some of the bigger clubs come knocking over the summer. While Zenit are a strong home side, Gaitan has the quality to unlock their defense if he's on top of his game.


Cristiano Ronaldo - As mentioned previously, the forward position is where you'll really struggle to make your selections as there are so many great options available for such high prices. Ronaldo is making sure the world knows he's still got it at the highest level, and as the focal point of the Madrid attack he is a near must-have and a strong captaincy contender.

"MSN" - You can likely only pick one of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez or Neymar. For my money, Suarez has been the star for Barcelona this season, but it's certainly hard to argue against picking any of the trio as they host Arsenal.

Sergio Aguero - Not quite in the upper echelon of the players above, Aguero is one of those players on the cusp of being a true world great. Fitness issues have kept him from making that next step, but the Argentine is fit and firing for City again, and is an excellent differential option if you're looking to be a bit different.

Antoine Griezmann - The young French striker has been extremely impressive for Atletico this season and has added 4 goals in the Champions League to go with his 15 in La Liga. If you're looking to save a bit of money instead of having two top-tier strikers, Griezmann's your guy.

Artem Dzyuba - You could go even cheaper, though, with the surprising Zenit striker Dzyuba, who sits in second place in overall scoring for strikers in the Champions League fantasy game. At less than half the price of Ronaldo, you have the opportunity to field a bargain in the attack and spread the funds throughout the rest of your team.

Which teams do you think will go through to the quarter finals? Which players are you thinking of picking up for your team? Share your thoughts in the comments ahead of the deadline. As always, good luck!