How ball recoveries can boost your #UCLfantasy team

A rule change for this season means ball recoveries bring in useful points; who excelled in this area on matchday one?

LOSC's Benjamin Andre (right) goes in for another tackle at Ajax on matchday one
LOSC's Benjamin Andre (right) goes in for another tackle at Ajax on matchday one ©AFP/Getty Images

There have been a couple of changes to points scoring in #UCLfantasy this season and chief among those is the introduction of ball recoveries, where every three balls recovered will earn your player an additional point. With a number of players hitting double figures for ball recoveries on matchday one, there is plenty to be gained by selecting those who excel in this area.

UEFA.com runs the rule over the top ball-winners in the first round of matches.

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Player Club
Position Price Balls recovered

Benjamin Andre

LOSC Lille Midfielder 5.0 12
Thiago Alcántara Bayern Midfielder 7.0 12
Sebastien Dewaest Genk Defender 4.5 11
Joël Veltman Ajax Defender 4.5 11
Lucas Tousart Lyon Midfielder 4.5 11
Rúben Dias Benfica Defender 4.5 11
Simon Deli Club Brugge Defender 4.5 11
Boubakary Soumaré LOSC Lille Midfielder  5.0 11
Antoine Bernede Salzburg Midfielder 4.5 11
Willi Orban Leipzig Defender 4.0 11
Emir Dilaver Dinamo Zagreb Defender 4.5 11
Ismaily Shakhtar Donetsk Defender 4.5 10
Thomas Delaney Dortmund Midfielder 6.5 10
Jonathan Tah Leverkusen Defender 5.0 10
Marten de Roon Atalanta Midfielder 5.5 10
Sven Bender Leverkusen Defender 5.0 10
Yassine Meriah Olympiacos    Defender 4.5 10
Ljubomir Fejsa Benfica Midfielder 5.5 10
Nikola Moro        €6.0m    10 Dinamo Zagreb Midfielder 6.0 10

Nineteen players recorded at least ten ball recoveries on matchday one – ten defenders and nine midfielders – with LOSC's Benjamin André and Thiago Alcántara of Bayern top of the pile with 12 recoveries each. That was enough for an additional four #UCLfantasy points, the same amount of points a forward would receive for scoring a goal, so it's clear to see the benefits of selecting a couple of ball-winners in your side.

Perhaps the most striking takeaway from this list is how cheap these players are. Over half of those featured come at a bargain-basement price of €4.5m or, in the case of Leipzig defender Willi Orban, even cheaper. Even the most expensive player on the list – Thiago – would not break the bank at €7.0m, so there is clearly a lot of value to be had in these defensively minded players.

With such budget-friendly options now offering a viable route into regular points, the addition of ball recoveries could be a game-changer for #UCLfantasy squad selection. Will any of these players feature in your team on matchday two?

NOW PICK YOUR TEAM FOR MATCHDAY TWO

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