Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 4/11/18
The second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals take place this week and FanDuel will offer their second UCL slate of the week on Wednesday.
Real Madrid have a huge advantage as they host Juventus. Madrid won 3-0 in the first leg due in part to a wonder goal by Cristiano Ronaldo. Bayern hosts Sevilla in the other fixture of the day, and Bayern have a 2-1 advantage after the match in Seville. For this slate, Bayern are commanding 2.0-goal favorites while Real are a 1.0-goal favorite.
In the end, the results of Wednesday's action are not likely to be a surprise as Bayern and Real should advance barring something shocking. However, there are plenty of good plays around the pitch, so let's look at players of varying price ranges.
Forwards to Target
Cristiano Ronaldo ($14,500) -- Ronaldo is far and away the most expensive player on the slate, but he is averaging an astounding 49.3 FanDuel points per game in his nine Champions League appearances. His overhead goal last week is one of his best highlights from this season, and Ronaldo has been getting better the deeper we get into Europe's top club competition. He has six more UCL goals than anyone else this season, and he has contributed two assists. Ronaldo registered a block last week to pad his stats and finish the game with 64.25 FanDuel points. He has also created seven chances in his last two UCL games. The only match in his last 10 that he failed to score was a friendly for Portugal when he came off in the 63rd minute. Ronaldo is a pretty much a must-have in cash games in a game in which Real are 1.0-goal favorites.
Robert Lewandowski ($11,500) -- Lewandowski was one of many regulars rested over the weekend when Bayern Munich clinch the Bundesliga title. The rest is likely one attributing factor that makes Lewandowski the odds-on favorite to score in front of the home crowd in the return leg against Sevilla. He continues to be one of the most in-form strikers in the competition, averaging 26.8 FanDuel points per game. He did not score last week against Sevilla, but he had a hat trick against Dortmund in his previous match. Bayern have beat their competition by a combined score of 14-1 in Champions League play at home this season. Lewandowski has eight goals and an assist in Bayern's last four home matches across all competitions.
Mario Mandzukic ($7,500) -- The former Bayern player will need to play one of his best games of the season as he is expected to start up top for Juventus with the absence of Paulo Dybala (suspended). He will likely be an outlet as Mandzukic is still good at winning the ball in the air, and Juventus will look to push at every chance as they need at least three goals to advance. Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain should interchange up top, allowing Blaise Matuidi to produce overlapping runs on the left side. Mandzukic has averaged a touch more than 20 fantasy points per game in his five UCL appearances. One of those appearances was last week when he returned from a thigh injury as a second-half substitute. He was able to play 78 minutes over the weekend, showing that he is ready to contribute to this tie. If Mandzukic does start the match on the bench, consider Juan Cuadrado or Douglas Costa if you're looking to save money.
Midfielders to Target
Thiago Alcantara ($9,500) -- Thiago is currently on an upward trajectory in the UCL in terms of FanDuel production. He has scored a goal in each of his last two matches, averaging close to 29 FanDuel points in that span. It was his header that gave Bayern the advantage heading into this leg. He is one of the top in-form midfielders on WhoScored and was also rested over the weekend in preparation for this match. In the first leg, Thiago led all Bayern midfielders in touches and was credited with four defensive actions from his advanced role. He was also successful on 92% of his passes last week, and there should be much of the same in the second leg as Bayern should dominate possession.
Ever Banega ($8,000) -- Banega has been arguably the most consistent Sevilla player during the Champions League. He has the second-highest points-per-game tally of all midfielders on the slate at 26.8. He was suspended for the first leg, and his absence was evident. Banega created 20 chances in his previous three Champions League matches while also completing 11 total defensive actions in that stretch. He has 6 goals and 4 assists across all competitions, and he's completing 87.5% of his passes. That rate climbs to 88.3% in the Champions League despite averaging almost 108 passes per match in his eight appearances. Banega also has appeal as he has taken Sevilla's most recent penalty-kick opportunities and is considered a free-kick specialist.
Luka Modric ($7,500) -- Modric is a budget option and contrarian play as his form in the Champions League has dipped of late. However, he was used sparingly over the weekend to allow him to be ready to go for the second leg, and he has recorded an assist in each of the four previous La Liga matches. There are reports that Real Madrid are going to look for his replacement this summer, so if you're into narratives, this is a chance for Modric to show he can still deliver at the highest level of European football.
Defenders to Target
Marcelo ($6,500) -- Marcelo loves to get forward, and Madrid's lead means that Juventus has no choice but to press, which should leave Juve susceptible to counter attacks. The Brazilian averages 22.6 FanDuel points per game, but he has scored over his season-long average in each of his last three Champions League outings. He also scored a goal in the first leg against Juventus. He was third on the team in touches in that match and sent in three crosses from his left-back position. He led the team in touches over the weekend against Atletico Madrid and hit the woodwork with a shot. He finished the Madrid derby with two shots, two key passes, and six defensive actions. This match sets up well for the non-stop engine of Marcelo.
Javi Martinez ($5,000) -- Martinez gets a boost as he will likely play the defensive midfielder role again. He has been in great form in that role, shielding the Bayern back line. He led the team in aerials won in the same role last week against Sevilla and will have the chance to come forward as a goal threat from set pieces. He also led the team in interceptions in the opening leg and finished with eight total defensive actions. Martinez averages 21.0 FanDuel points per game in the Champions League and has been right on that average over the last three matches. He played just 26 minutes over the weekend and should be full go for this match.
Daniel Carrico ($4,000) -- Carrico is the budget option on Wednesday as he is tied for the least-expensive expected starter along the back line. He will be expected to stop Lewandowski as one of the center-backs for Sevilla and should be busy for much of the 90 minutes. Carrico has been limited this season due to a quad injury, but he returned for his fourth match of the season over the weekend. Sevilla's defensive record had been good with Carrico in the lineup until the lopsided La Liga loss to Celta Vigo over the weekend. Carrico finished the match with 67 touches, 3 aerials won, 6 defensive actions, and a pass success rate of 82.8%. Sevilla should be under attack at the Allianz Arena, giving Carrico a safe floor.
Keeper to Target
Keylor Navas ($5,500) -- With Juventus pressing, Navas is sure to see action in front of his net. However, he could end up making comfortable saves as the opponent will likely be taking every shot, even if it is not the best scoring chance. He did make two saves in keeping a clean sheet in the first leg against Juventus. He followed that up with a four-save performance over the weekend to continue his strong season. Navas is averaging 2.4 saves per match in the Champions League and should pad that number on Wednesday. Only one keeper is being suggested given that Bayern's Sven Ulreich may not have much work to do. However, there is some intrigue with Gigi Buffon as he and Navas could trade saves. The concern is that Juventus will be stretched and Buffon will be able to hold off the Madrid attack for only so long.
Douglas Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Douglas Smith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username aquemini03. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.