Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 3/13/18
The Champions League is back for the final week of the Round-of-16 return legs, and FanDuel is offering separate two-game main slates on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
This primer will focus solely on Tuesday's matches -- Shakhtar Donetsk at Roma and Sevilla at Manchester United. United and Sevilla drew 0-0 in Seville in the first leg, and Shakhtar Donetsk comes into the second leg holding a 2-1 cushion over Roma. Oddsmakers have both home teams (United and Roma) as 1.0-goal favorites. Roma boast a slate-best 2.0-goal implied total while United own a 1.75-goal implied total.
Let's go through the four positions and look at some players to target at various price points.
Forwards to Target
Edin Dzeko ($10,500) -- After losing the first leg, 2-1, Roma have to get at least one goal Tuesday against Shakhtar Donetsk, and they'd need two if Shakhtar find a way to score one. So Roma needs to attack, and that means Dzeko is in a great spot. He's got 13 goals and 2 assists in 25 Serie A starts, and he totaled 24.75 FanDuel points in the first leg thanks to an assist.
Romelu Lukaku ($12,500) and Alexis Sanchez ($11,500) -- United are in a very similar spot to Roma in that they're at home and a 1-0 win would be enough to get them through to the quarters. If United score first, skipper Jose Mourinho could get defensive and try to grind out a 1-0 win, which makes both of these players risky. But for all the talk about United being boring this season, they've been great at Old Trafford, netting 33 goals in 15 home EPL matches. Lukaku has 14 goals and 7 assists in league play, and he owns 9 goals and 4 assists in 15 home EPL starts. Sanchez has just one goal in three EPL starts since coming over mid-season, but he'll likely be heavily involved in United's attack.
Taison ($7,500) -- If you're looking for someone outside of the top-priced forwards, Taison isn't a bad dart throw. Shakhtar bagged two goals in the first leg, and although he wasn't involved in either, Taison still scored 17.5 FanDuel points. Shakhtar would be through on a 0-0 draw, but they'd need to score at least one goal if they concede to Roma. With Roma installed with a 2.0-goal implied total, it's likely that Shakhtar will have to open up and attack at some point in this match.
Midfielders to Target
Marlos ($9,000) and Bernard ($8,500) -- It's an ugly slate for midfielders, but the duo of Marlos and Bernard could make some noise for Shakhtar. Which one you should take depends on how you think the matchup with Roma will go. If you see Shakhtar having success going forward, Marlos is your man, and he's put up at least 18.0 FanDuel points in four straight UCL outings. If you think Roma will pin back Shakhtar for much of the match, then Bernard provides a decent floor. He recorded 3 tackles, 2 interceptions and 1 clearance on his way to 18.75 FanDuel points at Napoli in the group stage, and that was a game Shakhtar lost, 3-0, and had to spend a lot of time playing defensively.
Cengiz Under ($7,000) -- Neither favorite has much to love in terms of attacking-mids. Under has started just 12 Serie A games for Roma, so he's far from a lock to start, but the 20-year-old has shown the ability to make an impact. He's registered five goals and one assist in 20 total Serie A appearances, and he blew up for 29 FanDuel points in the first leg thanks to a goal.
Ever Banega ($9,500) and Steven N'Zonzi ($7,000) -- Sevilla were unlucky not to score in the first leg as they generated 25 shots, 8 of which were on target. Their implied total is a mere 0.75 goals, but they need a goal to advance (unless this one also goes 0-0 and they win a shootout), and a 1-1 draw would put them through. Banega is pricey, but he probably won't see a ton of ownership and was Sevilla's key cog in the first leg, creating a whopping 10 chances. N'Zonzi is a totally different midfielder, but his defensive prowess should be required at Old Trafford. In a similar type of game at Liverpool in the group stage, N'Zonzi made 4 clearances, 3 tackles and 3 interceptions on his way to 22.75 FanDuel points. His ceiling is low, but his floor is pretty safe.
Scott McTominay ($6,000) -- The youngster has been carving out a place in Mourinho's starting XI, starting the first leg at Sevilla and getting another nod last weekend against Liverpool. Since he's usually a holding midfielder, McTominay would probably only pay off if United jump ahead and then decide to see out the tie with a defensive approach. But he's the slate's cheapest expected starter in midfield, and United has 1.75-goal implied total, so he's at least worth thinking about.
Defenders to Target
Antonio Valencia ($6,500) and Ashley Young ($6,000) -- Both of United's full-backs may be better bets than their midfielders to get in on any goal creation. Both players can deliver good crosses into the box in search of Lukaku, and both will likely be tasked with plenty of defensive tasks if United get a lead, giving them a respectable floor. Young did have occasional free-kick duties earlier this year, but that may not be the case with Sanchez on board. Still, both Young and Valencia are solid plays in a game in which United should see a good amount of the ball, giving them chances to get forward.
Sergio Escudero ($6,500) -- Escudero should be a busy man on Sevilla's back line. He racked up 2 tackles, 6 clearances and 20.25 FanDuel points in the first leg, and that was a match in which Sevilla saw more of the ball than United did. That's unlikely to be the case at Old Trafford, and Escudero showed what he could do in this type of match when he totaled 28.75 FanDuel points at Liverpool in the group stage.
Bogdan Butko ($5,500) -- Butko is another high-floor defender, and he should be active as Shakhtar play in Rome. He has scored at least 17 FanDuel points in each of his three UCL away matches this campaign. He didn't do much against Roma in the first leg (7.0 FanDuel points), but he posted back-to-back games of 19.5 fantasy points in the two games prior as they battled Manchester City and Napoli. This match could play out a lot like those two did as there should be periods in which Shakhtar have to absorb a lot of pressure from Roma.
Goalies to Target
David de Gea ($6,500) -- De Gea is $1,000 more than any other keeper, but with Sevilla owning a 0.75-goal implied total, he has the best clean-sheet odds. The concern here is that the floor is pretty scary since the Spaniard is unlikely to have to make a lot of saves, so if he concedes a goal, it won't be a pretty fantasy day.
Alisson ($5,000) -- Roma's keeper offers decent clean-sheet odds -- with Shakhtar's 1.0-goal implied total being the second-lowest on the slate -- and the floor is a little better as Roma's defense isn't as stout as United's. In domestic league play, Roma is giving up 10.0 shots per match at home, and they are coming off a clean sheet against Torino in their last match. Considering the $1,500 price gap, Alisson is a lot easier to stomach than de Gea.
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.