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DraftKings Picks of the Week: Champions League Last-16

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Things are about to get very serious in the Champions League indeed.

The last-16 ties wrap up this week, with eight teams hoping to cement their place in the quarter-finals. Sadly for them, only four can make it through.

Barcelona look certainties to progress having secured a 2-0 advantage in their first leg showdown against Arsenal, while Manchester City are in the same boat thanks to their 3-1 win against Dynamo Kiev last month.

The two remaining ties are finely balanced. Atletico Madrid are favourites against PSV Eindhoven but a 0-0 draw in the first leg means a place in the last eight is up for grabs. Bayern Munich and Juventus played out a 2-2 draw in Turin and the Italian side could well cause an upset as Pep Guardiola seeks to end his tenure in Munich on a high. 

But forget who's going to win the tie - the big question is; who's going to win the tie for their team? Check out our DraftKings picks for this weeks' Champions League action below. Enjoy. 

Thomas Muller, $7,700 (BAYERN MUNICH v Juventus)

There was a fine article written about Thomas Muller this month. In it, it was pointed out that the German forward 'can’t beat you with his close ball control. He can’t beat you with his pace. And he can’t beat you with his dribbling skills. He just beats you.'

That seems to sum up Muller, the ultimate utility man, perfectly. He doesn't seem to have any outstanding qualities but he's got six goals and one assist in this year's Champions League and more winners' medals for club and country than almost any player in the game.

Why does that matter? Well, his low profile means he's incredibly good value. He averages more than 17 fantasy points-per-game (FPPG) in Europe, more than Luis Suarez ($9,400) who is the second most expensive player this week, but he comes in almost $2,000 cheaper.

The second leg against Juventus should be a good one as well. The two teams played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Turin - Muller was unsurprisingly on the scoresheet - and all signs point to goals in Munich.

Well, for the home team at least. Bayern have lost just one of their last 19 home games and have scored 62 goals (more than three-per-game) in that timeframe. For his part, Muller has 19 goals in 26 appearances this term. Start him and watch him fly.

Raheem Sterling, $6,600 (MANCHESTER CITY v Dynamo Kiev)

The former Liverpool winger has endured plenty of criticism this season - some of it well deserved following his £49 million move to Manchester City. But his form has picked up of late and he's certainly a viable pick for this week's Champions League action.

The 21-year-old has particularly impressed in Europe and has managed three goals and two assists in 525 minutes of Champions League action. Or, to put it another way, he's involved in a goal every 105 minutes and racks up 10.6 Fantasy points-per-game (FPPG) in Europe.

Sterling bagged an assist in the first leg against Dynamo Kiev, a 3-1 win for Manuel Pellegrini's side at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, and he's worth a go at $6,000 for the second leg at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.

With the Premier League title seemingly out of reach Manchester City will focus their efforts on Europe and reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time, and Sterling has featured in 11 of City's last 12 games so will start.

After the drab 0-0 draw against Norwich over the weekend Pellegrini will be looking for a reaction, and there's a good chance of goals in Manchester on Tuesday. Sterling hasn't exactly been prolific this season but his pace worried Kiev last time round - his assist for David Silva in the first leg was a thing of beauty - and he's certainly worth a utility spot at least.

Koke, $5,800 (ATLETICO MADRID v PSV Eindhoven)

Atletico Madrid are a team flying under the radar this term. They're second in La Liga, four points clear of Real Madrid, and they're a good bet to make the quarter-finals of the Champions League once more.

Like his team, Koke is having a strong season without too many people sitting up and taking notice. The 24-year-old has nine assists in La Liga this term which puts him fourth on the list. Or to rephrase, he's the most creative player in Spain not named Messi, Suarez, Neymar or Ronaldo.

Now, he's not been able to replicate that form in the Champions League and he's not scored or managed an assist. Despite that, he's still averaging 12.9 FPPG and the Spaniard has only dipped below five crosses-per-game in two of his last ten appearances. That's a pretty impressive foundation of points that, if he can add a goal or assist, would represent a very good day at the office indeed.

Part of Koke's appeal is this; he averages almost 90 passes-per-game, which is the seventh highest rate in the Champions League and by far the highest in his team. Why is that telling when DraftKings don't award points for passing? Well, because it shows just how much of Atletico's attacking game goes through him. And with their tie against PSV Eindhoven poised at 0-0 after the first leg, boss Diego Simeone will be looking to his young talisman to provide the spark required to take his side into the last eight.

Who will be in your line-up this week? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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UEFA Champions League
Bayern Munich
Raheem Sterling
Manchester City

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