Whether you’re resuming your fantasy campaign after the group stage or you’re new to the game, learning from the top managers is never a bad idea.

To that end, UEFA.com took a look at the key stats and identified some trends from the current top 1000 managers to help you find # UCLfantasy fame.

Play Champions League Fantasy
Keep an eye on all of the Juventus group stage goals

Keep an eye on all of the Juventus group stage goals

Time your chips wisely

Regardless of whether it is the wildcard or limitless chip, you can score a lot if you provide them at the right time. Before each game day, assess your squad, study the games and decide whether it is worth activating them. During the group stage, 850 of the top 1000 managers used both chips, which clearly has a good effect, although the downside of that being those left in your back pocket can improve the ranking significantly.

Key statistics

  • Overall, Matchday 4 was the most popular time to use the wildcard chip among # UCLfantasy managers, although Matchday 3 was more popular among the top 1k (271 managers).
  • Matchday 4 was also the time when most of the Limitless chips were used overall, but again the top managers thought differently. 413 of the current Top 1000 played it on the 2nd matchday

Check out all the goals in the Neymar Champions League

Check out all the goals in the Neymar Champions League

Tinkering can pay off

The top managers know that paying attention to their squad – especially during a match day – can help them stand out from the crowd. No fewer than 964 of the 1000 best managers made changes to their squad on all six match days in the group stage. Whether it’s a transfer, a manual substitution or a change of captain, the hands-on approach can often earn you points.

Watch great goals in the Champions League group stage

Watch great goals in the Champions League group stage

Key statistics

  • On every game day, over 90% of the top 1k made at least one manual switch between game days. Matchday 2 was the most popular example. 985 managers made changes before the second set of games
  • Before Matchday 6, 71.9% of the top 1k were broadcast in Neymar, who scored 18 points. This was the most popular transfer on all six match days
  • Collecting scores for transfers became more and more popular with each game day among the top 1k:
    Matchday 2: 3.9%
    Matchday 3: 7.0%
    Matchday 4: 15.9%
    Matchday 5: 18.6%
    Matchday 6: 34.2%

2020 men's team of the year revealed

2020 men’s team of the year revealed

Strikers are preferred as captains

Unsurprisingly, strikers are filled more often than other positions in #UCLfantasy, but the top 1k in particular tend to reserve the armband for their forward line. During the six match days so far, the strikers have been led by the elite managers 82.1% of the time, compared to 75.6% overall. There have been a few occasions when other positions have proven popular, such as Matchday 5 where 20% of the top 1k players commanded a defender. # UCLfantasy top scorer Cristian Romero was hugely popular on the occasion. 100 managers in the top 1k gave him the armband.

Check out all of Lionel Messi's Champions League goals

Check out all of Lionel Messi’s Champions League goals

Key statistics

  • The most popular single game day captain pick among the top 1k managers was Lionel Messi on game day one – 72.2%. This outweighs by far the most popular choice considering all managers Robert Lewandowski was on Matchday 3 – 26.6%
  • The matchday with the most changes of captain was the 5th matchday, when more than half of the top 1k managers (51.8%) changed captains

Ronaldo 2009 Stunner versus Porto

Ronaldo 2009 Stunner versus Porto

While fantasy involves an element of luck, you can increase the odds in your favor by studying the top performers and their approach. After all, some of these managers have performed well year after year, with 18 of the current Top-1k finishing in the top 1000 in each of the last two seasons. Some have done even better, like current world number 58 Raïsh Ganpat, who finished 495th and 24th in 2018/19, while Melhorquetu, who is currently 297th and 66th in 2019 proved to be at the top in terms of consistency. 20 and 17 in 2018/19.