With less than two weeks until the UEFA Champions League resumes, we’re looking at the managers who currently top the Fantasy Football Scout league in the UCL Fantasy game. This article will focus on the top 10 within our league, looking at how they’ve used their chips, their captaincy decisions and which players they’ve relied on to get them to the top.
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There are only two chips in the UCL Fantasy game: Wildcard (just like FPL) and Limitless (unlimited budget for one Matchday). Every player in the top 10 has used both of these chips in the group stage and clearly, they’ve used them well. Eight of the top 10 used their Limitless chip on Matchday Two and all scored over 80 points with it that week. In fact, every player in the top 10 scored over 80 points with their Limitless – Mo Hafiz (fourth) got 85 points on Matchday Three and Damjan (joint-eighth) racked up 90 on Matchday Six. This shows how powerful this chip can be when used right – without it, they would have very different rankings.
There’s a lot less consensus on when was the best point to use the Wildcard. The top two both used it on Matchday Four, five of the top 10 used it straight after their Matchday Two Limitless and the two who didn’t use the Matchday Two Limitless both chose to Wildcard that week instead. AlNasib, who sits fifth, chose to Wildcard on Matchday Six, having been in a strong position starting with consistent high scorers like Bruno Fernandes, Erling Haaland, Ilkay Gundogan and Angelino. This highlights that, whilst there is never a ‘right’ time to use the Wildcard, knowing when is right for your team can reap massive rewards.
Captaincy has also played a key role in getting the top 10 to where they are. Of the 60 captaincy picks across the top 10, there have only been five blanks, with none of them having more than one. Forty-four of these 60 picks have been one of Neymar, Mbappe, Ronaldo, Messi, Haaland and Lewandowski, highlighting how effective going with the popular pick can be. None of the top three managers have varied from those players when choosing their captains.
Midfield picks have been the least popular, with Salah, Felix, De Bruyne and Coman all donning the captain’s armband once, for an average of 16 points each. Interestingly, defenders have been captained seven times, with top-scoring player Cristian Romero accounting for five of those when captained for his Matchday Five and Six hauls.
Neymar is the highest-scoring captain on average – backed by five of the top 10 managers for the first time in Matchday Six, he returned 36 points. Damjan’s differential pick of Coman on Matchday Four got him 24 points to be the second-highest scoring captain on average, closely followed by Romero with 22 points on average.
From this, we learn that most of the top 10 managers stick with the consensus, the classic ‘big hitters’, and it’s got them to where they are now. Having two or more of these big hitters is a staple of all of these teams and their captaincy statistics speak for themselves.
Interestingly, every player in the top 10 started with Angelino’s 19-point haul on Matchday One. All of the top eight teams found some use for Wilmar Barrios as a cheap option for balls recovered. This aside, there’s very little consistency in the players used amongst the top 10, which demonstrates perfectly how many ways there are to skin the UCL Fantasy cat with the depth and variety of players available in the group stages. As the player pool halves going into the last 16, more of a template will likely come to the fore.
Two or three big-hitting forwards have been at the heart of every team, supported by defenders who either score high for balls recovered or have high attacking threat – ideally both. Teams very rarely find a place for more than one premium-priced midfielder, with many preferring a selection of midfielders priced between 7-9m, knowing they’re unlikely to captain a premium option like Salah or De Bruyne.
All things considered, most of the top 10 have made it there in their own, individual way. The most common path was using Limitless in Matchday Two and Wildcarding the week after, using solely premium forwards as captaincy options, but this is by no means a set rule. People will still be able to make up ground quickly with chips still to be used and a lot of football still to be played.
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