By Ultan Corcoran@UltanCorcoran

UEFA Champions League Fantasy tips: Bundesliga players to consider

As UEFA Champions League action returns to calendars of the Bundesliga’s five representatives in Europe’s most prestigious competition – Bulinews brings you some new content for the onset of UEFA Champions League Fantasy Football with a German twist for the 23/24 campaign.

Check out our player suggestions from Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, and Union Berlin who range from the essential to the differential and could help you steal a march on the Fantasy UCL leader boards. Don't forget to join our very own league at the bottom too!
For those of you fantasy fanatics who are familiar with Fantasy Bundesliga and the likes of Fantasy Premier League, point scoring in Fantasy UEFA Champions League is much the same – points are obtained when your players score goals, assist, keep clean sheets, and make saves, while aiming to avoid red cards, own goals, or giving away penalties.

However, there are two unique differences: for every 3 Balls Recovered by a player (in the form of duels, interceptions, and challenges), 1 point is rewarded which places far greater importance on cheaper defensive minded players like centre-backs and defensive midfielders. Furthermore a 3-point bonus is given out to one player in each game for receiving the UEFA Player of the Match Award.

That’s said enough of the rules and into the best players that the Bundesliga has to offer:

The current German champions have been handed a favourable group for this Champions League campaign. Group A consists of Manchester United, Copenhagen, and Galatasaray. While the Bavarians will open and close their group stage fixtures against the English side, there is no reason to suggest Tuchel’s side can’t win every game.

With Manuel Neuer recovering from injury, Sven Ulreich (€4.5m) remains between the sticks. With a 72.7% save rate this season, he makes for an excellent cheap goalkeeper choice. Moving into defence Alphonso Davies (€6m) and Kim Min-Jae (€5m) are the standout options. The Canadian full-back boasts 3 Bundesliga assists so far with an impressive 0.89xA/90 and averaging 3 duels won per game. Meanwhile, the Korean who arrived from Napoli over summer averages over 7 duels won per game.

UCL Fantasy favourite, Leroy Sane (€9m), has shown a rich vein of form in finding the net 3 times domestically. Jamal Musiala (€8.5m) is back from injury and is expected to start on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, Joshua Kimmich is preferred to Leon Goretzka (€6.5m each) due to his set-piece taking responsibilities. Finally, Harry Kane (€10m) seems essential after his blistering start to life in Germany – 4 goals and 1 assist is hard to look past when he boasts a mighty 1.09xG+A/90.

Edin Terzic’s side have found themselves drawn in Group F’s ‘group of death’ this year. Facing monstrous opponents like Paris St.Germain, AC Milan, and Newcastle looks daunting. It might be a season to avoid their assets. However, there are a few options worth considering if you are a fan of the black and yellow clad team.

Gregor Kobel (€5m) has been totemic for Dortmund over the past year. At times the shot stopper has won games almost singlehandedly. One would suspect he is in for a busy six group games if BVB are to progress. While clean sheets may be hard to come by, points for saves made always add up over time. At 34 years of age, Mats Hummels (€5m) is aging like fine wine – his average of 11 duels per game compliments his 2 goals in four Bundesliga games so far.

Julian Brandt (€7.5m) has been pivotal to Dortmund’s attacking successes with a goal and 2 assists. In the forwards, Donyell Malen has bagged 3 goals thus far, while new signing Niclas Fullkrug is expected to start on Tuesday night in Paris. Both cost a reasonably priced €7.5m each.

Despite being drawn with reigning champions Manchester City, Leipzig will have high hopes of advancing from Group G. Many will tip Maco Rose and his ‘Roten Bullen’ to make it out in 2nd place ahead of Red Star Belgrade and Young Boys Bern. With some potential for real bargains in the RB side, the trick will be to avoid their assets in Matchdays 2 and 5 when they face Pep Guardiola’s star-studded squad.

Janis Blaswich (€4.5m) looks set to remain as Leipzig’s first-choice goalkeeper, even with Gulacsi slowly returning from injury. In defence, there is little to split the full-back pairing of Benjamin Henrichs and David Raum (€4.5m each). The latter boasts one more assist so far [1G 2A] and some set-piece duties, however Henrichs averages both 2 more shots and duels entered per game respectively.

More centrally, Xavi Simons has set the Bundesliga alight with 3 goals and 4 assists in four matches. At €6.5m he could prove to be a fantastic offensive option for an affordable price. Dani Olmo (€7m) is absent through injury but definitely one to watch when he returns. Up front, Lois Openda (€7.5m) has made himself at home in Saxony with 3 goals and 1 assist. The Belgian is likely to play every game, while Benjamin Sesko (€7.5m) could partner him more often than not.

What a time to be an ‘Eiserner’. Their maiden Champions League voyage places them in Group C with Real Madrid, Napoli, and Braga. While undoubtedly a difficult draw, Urs Fischer’s team are no mugs. The Berlin club who may still be an unknown quantity to many have the ability to spring surprises. Matchdays 2 and 5 will be the optimal time to target their players who will face a less intimidating Braga side home and away.

Union is known for their defensive solidity, and their assured goaltender Frederik Ronnow (€5m) epitomises that. The Dane boasted the highest save percentage of any Bundesliga keeper last season (77.5%) and prevented a whopping 8.3 goals in that time. Wingbacks Josip Juranovic and Robin Gosens (€5m each) are equally dangerous – the latter perhaps more likely to score with 3 goals thus far and averaging one more duel entered per match. However, be mindful of Fischer’s regular wing-back rotation. It is hard to separate their centre-halves, but Robin Knoche (€5m) stands out having contested the most duels and potentially Union’s designated penalty taker.

There are slim pickings in midfield. Brenden Aaronson (€6m) has offensive quality although the American youngster is yet to cut his teeth at such a high level. Perhaps the returning Lucas Tousart is best suited to both defence and attack at €5m. With 4 goals in as many games, Kevin Behrens (€7.5m) is Union’s marquee forward. The experienced Kevin Volland (€6m) is also an interesting option although not expected to start against the Galácticos.

Feel free to join our very own Bulinews UCL League here!
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