Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 2/20/18
The Champions League is in full swing, and FanDuel is offering separate two-game main slates on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
This primer will focus solely on Tuesday's matches -- Barcelona at Chelsea and Besiktas at Bayern Munich. Bayern are massive 2.0-goal home favorites while Barca are a 0.5-goal road favorite, so Bayern and their 2.75-goal implied total will be immensely popular.
Let's go through the four positions and look at some players to target at various price points.
Forwards to Target
Robert Lewandowski (12,000) -- You're going to want exposure to Bayern Munich, and paying up for their world-class striker is going to be a popular route. We're going to take a look at several Bayern options, but Lewa is the premier play on this slate, although it makes some sense from a game theory perspective to think about fading him in large-field tournaments. The Polish international has 20 goals and 1 assist in 19 Bundesliga starts. Lewandowski is more than capable of a multi-goal day with Bayern as a commanding 2.0-goal home favorite.
Lionel Messi (13,500) -- It's Messi. Champions League is the only time DFS players on FanDuel get the chance to roster the Barcelona legend, and he almost always sees hefty ownership regardless of the situation. Barca should be in for a tough match at Stamford Bridge, but they are a slight favorite with the slate's second-best implied total (1.5 goals). Messi has 20 goals and 11 assists in La Liga play, meaning he's gotten a goal or assist on exactly half of Barca's 62 league goals.
Thomas Mueller ($9,500) -- Mueller has five goals and seven assists in 19 domestic league appearances (14 starts). If you're fading Lewandowski, you pretty much have to roster Mueller or James Rodriguez in an effort to get a piece of Bayern's likely goal onslaught. But you could also stack Lewa with either James or Mueller and try to get exposure to all of Bayern's goals, although you'll be pinching pennies elsewhere.
Midfielders to Target
James Rodriguez ($10,000) -- Speaking of James, he should see his fair share of ownership, as he has found his form as of late. He's got four goals and six assists in 13 Bundesliga starts in his first season in Munich. He has a great chance to get in on the creation of a goal, and his average of 58.8 passes per game gives him a decent floor, too.
Thiago Alcantara ($9,500) and Joshua Kimmich ($8,000) -- These are the last Bayern guys to mention, I promise. Both of Thiago and Kimmich figure to see a lot of the ball as they pull the strings for a Bayern team that could see around 70% possession versus Besiktas. Kimmich has a goal and seven assists in 18 Bundesliga starts, averaging 60.8 passes per match. Thiago made his return from injury just last weekend and isn't a lock to start because of that, but if he's in the starting XI, he's a nice pivot option off James, although his lack of goal scoring gives him a much lower ceiling than the Columbian.
N'Golo Kante ($7,500) -- Kante is usually a much better real-life player than a DFS asset, but Barcelona's ability to maintain possession should keep him very busy, giving him a nice floor. He offers very little in the way of upside because he so rarely scores (only one goal in each of the past three seasons), but his floor is attractive at this price, especially in small-field contests. Kante is averaging 3.4 tackles and 2.0 interceptions per game this season in Premier League play, and he totaled at least 15.75 FanDuel points in three of his four starts in the Champions League group stage.
Willian ($8,000) -- Eden Hazard ($9,500) is Chelsea's top attacking midfielder, but in a tough matchup against a Barcelona squad that's been outstanding defensively in La Liga, it may be tough to stomach paying up for the Belgian. That's where Willian comes in. Willian has been in good form lately, and his role in set pieces adds to his value. With Bayern's plethora of superb midfield options likely hogging ownership and Hazard probably getting his fair share, too, Willian profiles as a nice tourney play. He's started in only 13 of his 26 EPL appearances this year, so make sure he's in the lineup. If he's not, you could switch your focus to the Blues' Victor Moses ($7,000) or tap into Barca's midfield with Andres Iniesta ($8,000), although Iniesta probably won't play the full 90.
Defenders to Target
Gokhan Gonul ($5,000) and Pepe ($4,500) -- Take a look at Besiktas' starting XI and strongly consider anyone who is playing on their backline. All Besiktas defenders offer superb floors -- at modest prices -- against Bayern, as they should spend the better part of 90 minutes facing wave after wave of attack inside the Allianz. Gonul leads the team's regular starters in tackles (2.4) and interceptions (1.8) per match. Pepe paces Besiktas in clearances per match (3.6) and is great way to save some cash.
Jordi Alba ($5,500) -- Alba has been in sparkling form this season for Barcelona, and he's a cheap way to get exposure to their attacks. Even though he plays left-back, Alba typically spends a lot of time bombing forward down the left wing, and he has a stellar connection with Messi. Alba has two goals and six assists in La Liga action, and he averages 2.0 tackles and 2.0 interceptions per match. He could be saddled with more defensive responsibility in this one, and his attacking prowess gives him as much upside as any defender.
Samuel Umtiti ($5,000) -- You never want to invest too heavily in Barcelona's defense since they're usually on the front foot, but they've played a more conservative style this season under manager Ernesto Valverde. Umtiti has put up 2.8 clearances, 2.2 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per match in 15 La Liga starts. He should be fairly active at Chelsea, and his average of 70.0 passes per match gives him a decent floor.
Andreas Christensen ($5,000) -- Christensen has emerged as one of the top up-and-coming center-backs in the Premier League, logging 20 total appearances (16 starts) this season for Chelsea. He's not a lock to start (though it seems likely), but he offers some cap relief if he's in the lineup. Christensen averages 3.6 clearances, 1.2 interceptions and 1.1 tackles per game in EPL play, and he should be busier than normal versus Barcelona.
Goalies to Target
Marc-Andre Ter Stegen ($5,000) -- Ter Stegen has been superb this season for Barcelona, making 2.7 saves per game in 23 La Liga starts. On the road at Chelsea, he'll be active in goal. Barca's been more solid in defense than they have in recent years, allowing just 11 goals in 24 domestic league games. The German offers a nice blend of save volume and decent clean-sheet odds.
Fabri ($5,000) -- Admittedly, this one is scary, as Bayern could light up Besiktas for a four- or five-spot, and Fabri can't be touched in small-field contests. At the same time, he should be peppered with shots, so Fabri could post a solid fantasy day even if he concedes two or three goals. He averaged 4.0 saves per game in his four group stage starts, and he may be the lowest-owned goalie on the slate, making him an intriguing GPP option.
Austan Kas is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austan Kas also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username akas247. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.