Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Semifinals 5/1/18 and 5/2/18
The Champions League semifinals move to Rome and Madrid this week with FanDuel changing up their format from leg one. This week, each match is on its own slate and rosters will include only five players. The possible winnings are higher for the Wednesday slate.
Bayern travels to Madrid on Tuesday in a 2-1 hole while on Wednesday, Roma will look to mount another miraculous comeback, trailing 5-2 against Liverpool. Both matches have totals of 3.5 goals, so the lines are slightly higher than in leg one. Real Madrid is now the favorite to win the competition with Liverpool second, which may be expected after the first leg results.
You have $50 to fill out your lineup. Positions do not matter and keepers are not included, but one player's points -- a captain spot -- will be multiplied by 1.5. Let's take a look at some great options from each match, including a few that could allow space for many of the top-priced players.
Bayern Munich at Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo ($17) -- Ronaldo's scoring average is 44.2 FanDuel points per game, despite a 5.75-point dud at Bayern. It is a simply astonishing number. He will likely play high up the field, trying to press the Bayern back line on the counter. With Jerome Boateng out injured, that means Niklas Sule will have to try to stop Ronaldo. The second Madrid goal in leg one was off a mistake and finished on a clinical counter attack. Leg two sets up for plenty of counters with Bayern pressing and leaving themselves exposed for odd-man attacks. Ronaldo will be the one running into open space. Prior to last week, Ronaldo had scored in eight of his previous nine games. Ronaldo had a poor match in leg one despite having his highest number of clearances in any game in the competition, but his Champions League form has been stellar all season. Look for a rebound match and consider Ronaldo for the captain spot.
Thiago Alcantara ($11) -- Arjen Robben's injury opens the door for Thiago, a top in-form midfielder in the competition. He has averaged 21.6 FanDuel points per game in the competition. Thiago had an assist in this weekend's match in which Bayern rested many of their starters. He came out unscathed and put in a good performance in preparation for the second leg against Real Madrid. Thiago has scored three goals in the Champions League, but his 91.1% pass success rate has been impressive and matches his total in the Bundesliga.
Lucas Vazquez ($8) -- Vazquez may have an unfamiliar role on Tuesday with Nacho and Daniel Carvajal likely missing out on the match. Zidane will have a decision to make at right-back with two inexperienced players, Achraf Hakimi and Theo Hernandez, in contention. Given the magnitude of the match, Vazquez may be moved from his midfield role to right-back. He played a pivotal role in the first leg, earning an assist, creating two chances, and being credited for eight defensive actions. The 27.75-point performance was his second-best in the Champions League this season. With Bayern pressing, Vazquez should be able to rack up defensive actions points and will have no trouble getting forward when given the opportunity. Hakimi is the youngster more likely to start if Zidane opts to keep Vazquez in the midfield, and he is a very cost-effective option, much like the next player.
Niklas Sule ($3) -- Sule jumps in for Boateng and has the task of trying to slow down Ronaldo. While he is unlikely to shut out the most prolific Champions League goal scorer in history, he will have plenty of opportunities for defensive actions. He averages just under five defensive actions per match in all competitions. The last time Sule played a full match, he tied for the lead in tackles and was second in touches behind Thiago. Sule scored a goal in limited action last weekend. The small rosters mean that most players will go with players from the front six of either team in hope of getting exposure to all the goals. While he's unlikely to score, Sule's low price will give you immense flexibility with the rest of your roster. He will also come forward on all set pieces, so there's a slim chance he could head one home.
Liverpool at Roma
Roberto Firmino ($15) -- Liverpool are one goal away from the all-time single Champions League scoring record. The front three of Firmino, Mo Salah, and Sadio Mane have been in phenomenal form for much of the second half of the Premier League season, and that has carried right into the Champions League. Salah's form has sparked a lot of debate on who the top player in the world is, so it may surprise some that Firmino actually has a slightly better FanDuel average in the Champions League. Firmino had two goals and two assists, which helped push his FanDuel total to 81 points, in the first leg against Roma. He now has 28 goals and 13 assists across all competitions. Salah figures to be the top choice captain on the slate, but Firmino is a great pivot option in GPPs.
Edin Dzeko ($14) -- Dzeko was pivotal in Roma's comeback against Barcelona in the previous round and will need to act as an outlet again this week. He was man of the match in that second leg of the quarterfinals and also had a stellar performance over the weekend, scoring twice against Chievo. He averages 24.9 FanDuel points per match and has scored in four consecutive Champions League ties. He has scored more than 30 points in the last two matches, with a goal, two chances created, and two fouls drawn in each match. Diego Perotti is out, so Dzeko must lead the line if Roma wants to have any chance of mounting another historic comeback.
Kostas Manolas ($5) -- Manolas must be better against the formidable Liverpool attack. He had a rough game in leg one that may have been aided by a lingering injury. However, he was able to play 30 minutes this weekend and looks ready to go for leg two. Manolas is already a hero for Roma, having scored the clinching goal against Barcelona. That was after scoring a clumsy own goal in the first leg, showing that Manolas has the ability to rebound off a sub-par performance. Despite a rough match last week, Manolas still finished with eight clearances. That was the second time he reached eight clearances in the Champions League this season. Manolas is a low-cost option who could be very busy defensively as Liverpool look for the dagger away goal, and he will come forward on all set pieces.
Georginio Wijnaldum ($3) -- Wijnaldum gets the nod in the midfield after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a season-ending injury early in leg one. Wijnaldum has been called upon off the bench during the knockout stages, but he is still getting minutes in league play. He played the full match against Stoke this past weekend, and he showed that he can get forward by producing five shots, creating one chance, and sending in a cross. While he will play behind the front three, who expect to get the most chances, it is Wijnaldum that can turn defense into offense and start the attack. He can also follow in late and pounce on any loose balls in the Roma box. He did draw one foul, take one shot, and accumulate four defensive actions in the first leg when he replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain in the first half. Roma pressing means openings for Liverpool to counter and the potential for another high-scoring affair. Wijnaldum is another value option in line to play the majority of the match.
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.