Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 4/3/18
The Champions League is back for the first legs of the quarterfinals. FanDuel is offering separate two-game main slates on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Here, we're going to focus on Tuesday's action.
Bayern Munich are going to be the slate's most popular team as the Germans are 1.0-goal favorites with a 2.0-goal implied total against Sevilla, who sit in sixth in La Liga and are the weak link on this slate. Juventus hosts Real Madrid in the slate's other match, and that one is a pick'em with a 2.5-goal implied total, meaning Bayern's implied total is 0.75 more than either Real's or Juve's.
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) -- With Bayern in such a delightful spot, Lewandowski may end up being the slate's highest-owned player, but he's a terrifying fade. Lewa bagged a hat trick against Dortmund at the weekend, and he's totaled a whopping 26 goals and 1 assist in 22 domestic league starts. He's been superb in the Champions League, as well, netting five goals with one assist in seven matches, and that includes a two-goal, one-assist outing in the Round of 16 against Besiktas in which he finished with 62.0 FanDuel points.
Thomas Mueller ($10,500) -- Mueller is an intriguing pivot off Lewandowski. He's in stellar form, recording a goal and an assist in the 6-0 thrashing of Dortmund last Saturday as well as two goals and two assists over the two legs against Besiktas. He's got seven assists and nine goals in 19 domestic league starts. It would be extremely difficult to fit in both Lewa and Mueller, so it's an either/or proposition with Bayern's two top goal scorers. Going with Mueller would allow for a stack with one of Bayern's stud midfielders, something that would be super restrictive salary-wise with Lewandowski.
Gonzalo Higuain ($11,000) and Paulo Dybala ($10,500) -- Juventus' two most dangerous frontmen probably won't see a lot of ownership as people flock to Bayern's forwards or Cristiano Ronaldo ($13,000). Juve own a 1.25-goal implied total and are playing at home in a rematch of last season's UCL final. Dybala has the better floor, going for at least 16.0 FanDuel points in all seven of his European appearances this campaign, and he's scored a goal in four of his last seven outings across all competitions. Higuain netted three goals and added an assist last round versus Tottenham, playing a part in all four of the Old Lady's goals in the tie. He's got 15 goals and 5 assists in 27 Serie A starts this year and will handle penalties, giving him an enticing ceiling.
Luis Muriel ($7,500) -- Sevilla have a 1.0-goal implied total, so oddsmakers expect them to score. Muriel played as a lone striker in Sevilla's last La Liga match at home against Barcelona, taking eight total shots and scoring a goal. In domestic play, Muriel leads the team with seven goals in 15 starts (24 total appearances), adding one assist. It's not a given he'll start versus Bayern, but whoever Sevilla plays in a forward position will likely be a cheap and contrarian option.
Midfielders to Target
James Rodriguez ($8,500) -- James has found his footing in his first season in Munich, and he's been red-hot of late. Domestically, he's scored five goals with nine assists in 15 starts, going off for a goal and two assists in 65 minutes last time out versus Dortmund. He hasn't made the net bulge yet this campaign in the Champions League, but he still has FanDuel outputs of 31.50, 28.75 and 19.50 points in five starts in UCL play. Teammate Thiago Alcantara ($9,000) probably has a higher floor due to passing volume, but James has a better chance to get on the scoresheet and is a superior GPP option. Also, don't sleep on Franck Ribery ($8,000). He could fly under the radar a bit, but he's shown he has plenty left in the tank. The Frenchman has five goals and one assist in 14 domestic league starts, including a one-goal, one-assist outing in 69 minutes in the destruction of Dortmund.
Marco Asensio ($7,500) -- Asensio got the nod in Real Madrid's pivotal leg-two match at PSG in the previous round, and if he gets the start again at Juventus, he'll likely be the cheapest attacking player in Real's starting XI. The youngster has a terrifying floor due to his lack of defensive work, but he's an ideal GPP play because he's all attack, all the time down Real's left side. He's got six goals and four assists in 15 La Liga starts, and he narrowly missed a goal in the aforementioned PSG match, knocking one off the woodwork.
Steven N'Zonzi ($7,000) -- N'Zonzi is a solid-floor, low-ceiling play who should be among the slate's cheapest starters in midfield. He has no goals and one assist this season in La Liga play, so don't expect anything in that regard. But he's a defensive workhorse in front of Sevilla's back line. He put up 14.0 and 17.0 FanDuel points in the two legs against United, and Bayern should be on the attack a lot more than United was. N'Zonzi racked up 22.75 FanDuel points at Liverpool in the group stage, and he totaled 3 tackes, 2 interceptions and 3 clearances at home against Barcelona last weekend. Sevilla absorbed a good amount of pressure in those two matches, and they should be in for a similar match versus the German giants.
Defenders to Target
Sergio Escudero ($6,500) -- Escudero has been a DFS stud when Sevilla has played a big dog in the UCL this campaign. Here are his FanDuel totals in Sevilla's four matches against Liverpool and Manchester United: 27.0, 20.25, 24.75 and 28.75. Escudero racked up 12 clearances and 7 tackles over the two legs against United, and he offers the best floor on the slate among defenders.
David Alaba ($7,000) -- Alaba is a cheap way to get exposure to Bayern's attacks when you compare his salary to the cost of Bayern's midfielders. Even though he plays full-back, Alaba will likely spend a good amount of time getting forward down the left side in a match in which Bayern should have the possession edge. Sevilla is better than Besiktas, but Alaba showcased his all-around game in the previous round, creating six chances across the two legs and recording an assist, putting together FanDuel outputs of 21.75 and 28.0. He should be fully rested after playing only a half against Dortmund, and he was able to tally an assist and created two chances in those 45 minutes.
Sergio Ramos ($6,000) -- Ramos displayed a solid floor in the two matches against PSG in the Round of 16, going for 17.25 and 22.75 FanDuel points. He did that without getting any points from goals, assists or chances created. Ramos should be busy defensively in Turin, and on top of that, he's a threat on set pieces, totaling three goals with one assist in 20 La Liga starts.
Goalies to Target
Keylor Navas ($4,500) -- Navas is the cheapest expected starter, which automatically makes him attractive, but he's kept just one clean sheet this season in UCL action. He did, however, make three saves in both of his outings against PSG, and he recorded a three-save clean sheet at Las Palmas last weekend. Oddsmakers have all four teams scoring at least one goal, so the best play on a slate with this much star power may be to save all the coin you can at goalie and hope for the best.
Sven Ulreich ($5,500) -- Goalie scoring usually doesn't vary too much, so if you don't want to pay up between the posts, no one will blame you. But if you're chasing a clean sheet, Ulreich is the best bet. Sevilla have the slate's lowest implied total (1.0), and Bayern have kept four clean sheets in their last six matches across all competitions. On top of that, Sevilla have a mere 39 goals in 30 matches in La Liga play.
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.