Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 11/27/18
Tuesday brings the next set of Champions League group stage matches after a three-week hiatus with FanDuel offering a six-game main slate. The slate will not include the two early matches of the day -- Athens versus Ajax and CSKA Moscow versus Viktoria Plzen.
|Tuesday, November 27th|
|Valencia at Juventus|
|Shakhtar Donetsk at Hoffenheim|
|Young Boys at Manchester United|
|Real Madrid at Roma|
|Manchester City at Lyon|
|Benfica at Real Munich|
Matchday 5 brings plenty of permutations as one may expect. Bayern can top Group E depending on the outcome of the Ajax match. Manchester City and Lyon can both clinch a place in the next round and may play for a draw given the circumstances. CSKA must win or Roma and Madrid will advance, with that match also looking like a possible draw. Valencia must win to stay in contention. There is plenty to be decided, but the knockout round is becoming clearer.
Let's look at some players at various price points.
Forwards to Target
Romelu Lukaku ($10,500) -- Manchester United are likely frustrated after a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace this weekend. The forward has not scored in seven matches, which was a goal for his country, but Saturday's match was the first time he played the full 90 minutes in a month. He is averaging more than two shots per match in all competitions, including an average of 2.3 in the Champions League. He has been successful in aerial duels and adds one clearance per match in the European competition. Young Boys allow nearly 13 shots per game and are leading the Champions League in fouls committed per match. Young Boys have allowed 10 goals, the most in the group, and average less than 45% possession through four matches.
Mario Mandzukic ($10,000) -- The Juventus forward is playing opposite Cristiano Ronaldo ($13,000) but has scored in two straight games. Playing alongside Ronaldo can be daunting, but it appears the two are finding their chemistry together. Mandzukic will be the lower owned of the two Juve forwards in a match Juventus is expected to win. Mandzukic has yet to score in the Champions League this season, but he had seven goals in the past two competitions. The timing is right for a breakout.
Joelinton ($8,000) -- Hoffenheim's Brazilian forward is having a consistently good season in the Bundesliga and leads his team with four assists. He has four league goals in 12 total appearances. Through the first four matches of the UCL group stage, the young forward has added a goal and an assist to go with 2.3 successful aerial duels per match. He is also contributing more than four defensive actions per match in the Champions League. Shakhtar allow 20 shots per match and just 12.5 tackles, indicating that they are not a high-pressure team. Joelinton should have the room to find shots and connect passes.
Midfielders to Target
David Silva ($9,000) -- Silva is the engine for Manchester City this season with Kevin De Bruyne on the sideline. He has scored a goal in four straight matches and now has eight across all competitions. He is averaging over two shots per match with an 87% passing success rate across all competitions. Silva has been called a genius this season and seems to be the team's safety blanket, popping up at all the right times. He is constantly moving and finding space to keep the attack going. That should continue against a Lyon side that have allowed eight goals in four matches.
Viktor Kovalenko ($6,500) -- Kovalenko has scored three goals for Shakhtar in the domestic league, which is good for third on the team. He played only 20 minutes over the weekend to be rested for the big match against Hoffenheim. Kovalenko has become known as a free-kick specialist, with fans of the U.S. National Team seeing this first hand three years ago as he scored a hat trick against the U.S. U-20s. Kovalenko's most recent goal was also the result of a well taken free kick against Dynamo Kyiv. Hoffenheim average 13 fouls per match and less possession than Shakhtar. Kovalenko is attack minded, making him a sneaky play in this tight fixture.
Bryan Cristante ($7,500) -- The Roma midfielder is offered for his defensive contribution in what could be a standoff in Italy. Real Madrid dominated the previous matchup, but these teams can play it safe in hopes of securing a berth in the next round. Cristante is tied for the team lead in tackles per match in the group stage and averages close to six defensive actions from his central midfield spot. He does have a goal and an assist in Serie A to go along with a pass success rate above 80%. However, it is his solid defensive contribution that brings value in a match in which neither team needs to gamble.
Defenders to Target
Marcelo ($7,500) -- Real Madrid are coming off one of their worst performances of the year, so Marcelo and company will want to put in a solid effort despite not needing much to move onto the next round. Marcelo loves to get involved offensively. He is third on the team in key passes in the Champions League this season. He has a goal and an assist in the European competition, as well. He is comfortable with the ball at his feet, and his teammates trust him as he has been dispossessed less than once per match while completing over 80% of his passes across all competitions. Marcelo is tied for the team lead for defenders with three completed crosses, as well.
Alejandro Grimaldo ($6,000) -- Grimaldo has been one of Benfica's best players all season in the back line. He is averaging 3.5 tackles, 1.5 interceptions, and 2.8 clearances through the first four Champions League matches. The left back has been slightly involved offensively, contributing over a shot per game in all competitions and a pass success rate of 82.3%. He also completes a successful dribble and is fouled at least once per match. Bayern are a heavy favorite, but they are coming in off of a 3-3 draw in the Bundesliga. However, Bayern have averaged nearly 58% possession to Benfica's 43%, so expect Grimaldo to be busy defensively.
Marcal ($4,000) -- Lyon will likely be working with similar possession as Benfica, so the back three will be busy. Marcal played in his first game in nearly a month this past weekend and earned man of the match honors. He is averaging over 10 defensive actions per match in four appearances in Ligue 1. His pass success rate is over 80%, and he does get fouled once a game. However, City average 13% more possession than Lyon in the Champions League. In the first match between the two, City had double the shot attempts while Lyon recorded 27 clearances. Marcal is not a surefire starter, so make sure to check the starting XI. Regardless, there is value across the Lyon back three.
Keepers to Target
Wojciech Szczesny ($6,000) -- After playing for his country during the international window, Szczesny got the weekend off and is rested for the match against Valencia. He has played in all four Champions League matches for Juventus, allowing just two goals. Despite Juventus going down a man in the first match of the Group Stage, Szczesny was able to hold Valencia without a goal. He saved a late penalty kick to preserve the shut out. Juventus were under constant pressure after the red card, with Valencia managing six shots on target. Szczesny should again be up to the task in front of his home fans.
Oliver Baumann ($4,000) -- The Hoffenheim keeper should be among the lowest-owned starting keepers on the slate. He has 39 saves in the Bundesliga, helping Hoffenheim claw back into sixth position. Hoffenheim have earned points from each of their last four games and are favored at home on Tuesday. Despite Shakhtar's better possession numbers, they average only 12.8 shots per game. Baumann earned the first goalkeeper assist in the Bundesliga this year over the weekend as a hopeful ball found its mark. That feat may not be repeated, but he can be a value play against the mediocre Shakhtar attack.
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.