Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 9/19/18

Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio have become vital cogs in Real Madrid's attack with Cristiano Ronaldo no longer in the picture, and they're in a sweet spot at home versus Roma. Which other players should you target?

The Champions League, the best soccer competition on the planet, is back, and FanDuel is offering daily fantasy contests for the entirety of the campaign. Wednesday's main slate starts at 3 p.m. EST and will not include the two 12:55 p.m. matches.

Here's the full main slate.

Group Stage
Wednesday, September 19th
Roma at Real Madrid
Juventus at Valencia
Bayern Munich at Benfica
CSKA Moscow at Viktoria Plzeň
Manchester United at Young Boys
Lyon at Manchester City

A few of Europe's powerhouse clubs will be in action Wednesday, with the Roma-Real Madrid clash pitting two of last season's semifinalists. Manchester City are the biggest favorites (2.0 goal) with the slate's top implied total (2.75 goals), while Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Juventus are also in play. All in all, there's no shortage of top-shelf options across the board, so hitting on the right studs as well as finding solid value plays will be pivotal.

For those who last played DFS during the 2017-18 UCL campaign, FanDuel has made some changes to their scoring system, so make sure you're up to date on how the new settings impact things.

Let's go through the four positions and look at some players to target at various price points.

Forwards to Target

Sergio Aguero ($13,000) -- Aguero has started all five Premier League games this season for Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola preferring him over Gabriel Jesus ($11,000) as the first-choice striker. Aguero has three goals and two assists in domestic play, averaging a whopping 5.0 shots per game, and as long as the knock that caused him to come off at the weekend isn't too serious, the Argentine will be one of the highest-owned players on the slate. This is a superb spot for City as they are healthy 2.0-goal favorites, biggest on the slate, with 84% implied win odds, per Betfair, at home against a Lyon side that's dropped two of their first five matches in Ligue 1. If Jesus starts alongside or in place of Aguero, the Brazilian would be a solid option, as well, and City as a whole will be awfully popular given their slate-high 2.75-goal implied total.

Cristiano Ronaldo ($14,000) -- Ronaldo bagged a brace for Juve over the weekend, his first two goals with his new club, and he returns to Spain midweek for a European match at Valencia. Despite not scoring in his first three games for the Italian giants, Ronaldo has quickly become the attacking focal point for Juve, as you'd expect, averaging a laughable 8.0 shots per game through four Serie A matches. Over the last seven years, Ronaldo has run wild in UCL play, notching 92 goals in 83 appearances, and with Juve a 0.5-goal road favorite, this is a nice spot for the Portuguese legend. The price is extremely restrictive, but that could scare some people away, making him even more appealing in GPPs.

Gareth Bale ($11,000) -- Bale, who is listed as a forward this year instead of a midfielder, has become Real Madrid's main man with Ronaldo out of town. He's started the year in fine form, totaling 3 goals and 2 assists in four La Liga matches while averaging a team-high 4.0 shots per match. Real Madrid are a 1.5-goal home favorite versus Roma, and the holders have a mouth-watering 2.5-goal implied total with 71.9% implied win odds. Bale is probably a tad under-priced when compared to the other top-shelf forwards, and he's a great way to get exposure to a high-powered attack that's playing at home.

Memphis Depay ($9,000) -- We're spoiled with top-shelf forward options -- Robert Lewandowski ($12,000), Karim Benzema ($11,500) and Alexis Sanchez ($10,500) are also on the board -- but Depay makes sense as a contrarian play, although Lyon are in a tough spot on the road at the Etihad. Lyon's implied total is just 0.75, and while there's a decent chance Depay does nothing noteworthy, if Lyon do score, he'll likely be involved. He's got one goal and two assists in four Ligue 1 starts this season, and he's tied for the team lead in shots per match (3.4). As a bonus, he typically handles corners and free kicks, boosting his ceiling. Another nice alternative to the pricey forwards is Valencia's Rodrigo Moreno ($9,000). The Spaniard is pacing his side in shots per game (3.0) in La Liga play, and Valencia have a 1.0-goal implied total in their home match with Juve.

Midfielders to Target

Marco Asensio ($8,000) and Isco ($8,500) -- In the most recent international break, Asensio put on a top-class display against Croatia, and he's second on Real Madrid in shots per match (2.8). While Asensio has yet to make the net bulge in domestic play, his always-go-for-it attacking style is a perfect fit for DFS, and with the masses likely spending big at forward, his modest salary should make him pretty popular. Isco may not start, which is obviously a huge blow to his value, but he's a creative force for Madrid and usually makes things happen when he comes on. If he's a sub, he won't see much ownership, and he could be a tourney-winning play if he lights it up in a cameo appearance.

David Silva ($10,000) and Raheem Sterling ($11,500) -- With Kevin de Bruyne sidelined, Silva has become even more involved for Manchester City, netting two goals thus far in the EPL and averaging 71.0 passes per game. City see 64.9% possession in domestic league play, and they should have a lot of the ball at home against Lyon. As we mentioned with Aguero, City have a 2.75-goal implied total, and that gives Silva a great chance at contributing a goal or assist. Sterling has racked up three goals for City in this season's EPL action, and he totaled four goals with one assist in eight UCL appearances (five starts) last season.

Pizzi ($7,500) -- Benfica's midfield maven, Pizzi is in dazzling form to start the year, scoring six goals with two assists in eight total appearances across Liga NOS and UCL qualifiers. He offers both a safe floor and sky-high ceiling, putting him in play in all formats, even in a rough matchup with Bayern Munich. In four Liga NOS outings, Pizzi is averaging 64.5 passes per match, including 3.0 key passes, and he's taking 3.0 shots per game. On top of that, he is Benfica's penalty taker as well as being the point man on corners. All in all, Pizzi is the key man for Benfica, who carry a 1.0-goal implied total, and the price is nice.

Defenders to Target

Benjamin Mendy ($7,000) -- FanDuel's scoring system makes attacking full-backs extremely valuable as they do their bit going forward as well as being eligible for a five-point clean-sheet bonus (if they play all 90 minutes). Lyon has a 0.75-goal implied total, so a clean sheet is certainly in the cards for City, and Mendy offers tons of upside. He's got four assists in four EPL appearances this campaign, but a knee injury has his fitness in question. If he plays, Mendy will likely be the highest-owned defender -- maybe by a good bit -- so he's a fade candidate in GPPs if you want to avoid the chalk. If Mendy sits, midfielder Fabian Delph ($6,500) would likely start in his place, though Delph isn't nearly the DFS monster that Mendy is.

Marcelo ($7,500) -- Marcelo is perfect for DFS. He loves to get forward, and he plays for a powerhouse team that has a lot of the ball, allowing him to bomb forward from his left-back spot as much as his heart desires. At home against a Roma side that's given up seven goals through four domestic league games, Real Madrid, 1.5-goal favorites, should boss a lot of the play. The Brazilian is the slate's most expensive defender, but he's always enticing when Real are comfy favorites.

Nikita Chernov ($4,500) -- With so much star power on this slate, you're going to have to pay down somewhere, and doing so with one of your defenders isn't a bad idea. Defenders on CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzeň are pretty much universally cheap, and this fixture boasts a lowly 2.0-goal implied total. With the match listed as a pick'em, both sides have decent clean-sheet odds. CSKA Moscow has given up just three goals through seven Russian Premier League matches, and Chernov is one of the cheapest expected starters on the slate (among all positions). In six starts, he's averaged 1.4 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 3.3 clearances per match. CSKA is on the road, so he should be busy, and the cap relief is a welcome sight.

Goalies to Target

Ederson ($6,000) -- Ederson is a top option as City have the best shot at a clean sheet (Lyon's implied total is 0.75) as well as the top win odds (2.0-goal favorite with 84% implied win odds). For keepers, a win is worth 7 points and a clean sheet is worth 10, so even if he's not called into action for a save (which are 3 points per stop), Ederson could amass 17 FanDuel points if he notches a clean-sheet win. Ederson has two clean sheets in five EPL matches, including a 3-0 win over Fulham last weekend.

Thibaut Courtois ($4,500) -- Goalie is a lot more important in the new scoring system, so no longer should we pay down, say a prayer, rely on save volume and hope for the best. But Real Madrid's presumed starter, Courtois, is pretty heavily underpriced. With Real a 1.5-goal favorite, he's got a great shot at the seven-point win bonus, and that in and of itself makes him a great play at this price. On top of that, Courtois is pretty darn good, and this Madrid defense is more than capable of keeping Roma off the scoresheet.

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.