Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 11/28/18
The Champions League, the best soccer competition on the planet, resumes this week, 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.
|Wednesday, November 28th|
|Club Brugge at Dortmund|
|Red Star Belgrade at Napoli|
|Schalke at Porto|
|Barcelona at PSV Eindhoven|
|Inter at Tottenham|
|Liverpool at PSG|
This is a really fun slate that boasts a lot of attack-minded sides. Per FanDuel Sportsbook, Napoli are the slate's largest favorite as a 2.0-goal favorite with implied win odds of 88.2%. Dortmund (1.5-goal favorite, 77.8% implied win odds) and Barcelona (1.5-goal favorites, 68.8%) are the other two big favorites, with Porto, PSG and Tottenham all listed as 0.5-goal home favorites. Dortmund, Barca and Napoli are tied with slate-best 2.5-goal implied totals.
Let's scan the slate and look at some players to target at each position.
José Callejón ($9,000) and Dries Mertens ($10,000) -- Napoli are the side to target on this slate as they are 2.0-goal home favorites in a pivotal matchup with Red Star Belgrade. When these two met up back in Matchweek 1, the match was a scoreless draw, but Napoli took 20 shots, 8 of which were on target. Mertens, Callejón and midfielder Lorenzo Insigne -- more on him in a second -- are Napoli's key cogs in attack. Callejón has been in fine form this season, recording seven assists in 11 starts across all competitions. While Callejón hasn't made the net bulge this year, he totaled 10 goals and 10 assists in 38 starts in Serie A play a campaign ago and is averaging 1.8 shots per match this season -- so the goals are coming. He's a great stacking partner with Mertens or Insigne. Mertens has posted seven goals and four assists in 13 Serie A appearances (7 starts) this season, and his steep salary could make him the lowest-owned piece of Napoli's big three.
Marco Reus ($9,500) -- Dortmund are also in a great spot -- 1.5-goal home favorites versus Brugge -- and they could go overlooked a tad with Napoli and Barcelona on the slate. But that would be a mistake as Dortmund are as good going forward as any team in Europe. They've netted 35 goals in 12 domestic league matches, including 23 in 6 home fixtures. Reus has tallied eight goals with four assists, and he should be on the ball plenty with Dortmund likely to control the match. Reus -- who has been playing in a number-10 role -- should be on the ball a lot and takes penalties for BVB, giving his DFS stock even more of a boost. If Paco Alcácer ($6,500) starts at striker, he'd be awfully appealing at a bargain price. One of Europe's most in-form strikers this season, Alcácer has a whopping 9 goals in just 262 minutes in Bundesliga play, but he's started only twice. If Alcácer doesn't start, you can roll the dice on him in an effort to be contrarian, but there's no guarantee he comes on if BVB are cruising.
Lionel Messi ($13,000) -- Since coming back from injury, Messi hasn't been in his usual dazzling form, but it's Lionel Messi we're talking about. Barca are 1.5-goal road favorites versus a PSV side they swept aside 4-0 in their previous meeting. Messi had a hat trick in that one, and with Barcelona shorthanded, he could be tasked with even more play-making duties than usual. As always, Messi is a terrifying fade, but you have to think about it. The salary is restrictive, and his likely high ownership means you can jump a lot of the field if he doesn't have a big day. Barca present other enticing options -- Ousmane Dembele ($9,500), Coutinho ($10,500) and Malcom ($6,000) -- depending on who they roll out in the starting XI. If Malcom starts, he'll be immensely popular due to his salary.
Lorenzo Insigne ($9,000) -- Despite playing up top most weeks for Napoli, Insigne is listed as a midfielder on FanDuel, which allows you to go any way you want if you are looking to stack two of Napoli's big three. Insigne has seven goals and three assists this season in Serie A, and his role as penalty taker raises his ceiling, making him the guy with the most upside on Napoli.
Jadon Sancho ($6,000) -- Vastly under-priced given his form and Dortmund being in a sweet spot, Sancho is going to be a popular value target, assuming he starts. He started Dortmund's key Bundesliga match with Bayern Munich and appears to have become a first-choice option in midfield. The former Manchester City youth player has been one of this season's breakout stars, racking up four goals and six assists in six starts (12 total appearances) in domestic league play. Sancho's passing ability makes him a quality stacking partner with any of Dortmund's other attackers. He will likely be one of the slate's most-owned players if he starts, so you have to think about fading Sancho for game-theory reasons, but given his form and BVB being in such a delightful spot, that could backfire in a big way.
Christian Eriksen ($9,500) -- Spurs pretty much have to win at home versus Inter to have any hopes of advancing out of their group. Despite allowing two late goals and falling 2-1 in the first meeting at the San Siro, Tottenham showed well, out-possessing Inter (54% to 46%) and putting more shots on target (6 to 4). Eriksen was the man of the match in that one, per WhoScored, as he netted a goal and completed 45 of 51 passes. Eriksen's class is key for Tottenham's attack, and his DFS stock would get a lift if Kieran Trippier, who is questionable, misses the match, which would likely result in Eriksen having a monopoly on free kicks and corners.
Alex Telles ($5,500) -- Porto are a 0.5-goal home favorite versus Schalke, and a win in this match would clinch a first-place group finish for the Portuguese giants. Telles has scored at least 13.0 FanDuel points in all four of Porto's UCL games this year, including a 33.5-point outburst. He should spend a lot of time getting forward from his left-back spot, and with Schalke carrying just a 1.0-goal implied total, a clean-sheet bonus isn't completely out of the question.
Thomas Meunier ($7,500) -- The Liverpool-PSG clash is this slate's headline match, but it's a tough one to get a read on. Both sides can ill afford to lose, which could result in some hesitancy from each team, and oddsmakers have made PSG a slight 0.5-goal home favorite. Meunier is a cheap way to get exposure to PSG's attack as he'll be a midfielder if they opt to play three at the back, which is the expectation. That makes him a cheat code since he's listed as a defender, and he's got mouth-watering upside, going off for FanDuel outputs of 27.3 and 34.3 FanDuel points already this UCL campaign.
Nelson Semedo ($4,500) and Jordi Alba ($7,500) -- Alba is a left-winger masquerading as a left-back, and in a match in which Barca should see a lot of the ball, Alba should be bombing forward often. The Spaniard is averaging 77.0 passes completed per game in four Champions League matches this season. He's got one goal and three assists in 12 La Liga starts, and he's a stellar stacking partner with Messi -- even though it'll cost a pretty penny -- as the two have a great connection on the pitch. Semedo doesn't offer as much going forward, but he's dirt cheap and is basically guaranteed to start at right-back given Barca's injury situation. If you envision a Barcelona clean sheet (PSV carry a 1.0-goal implied total), Semedo is a cheap way to get access to the five-point bonus, and a defensive stack of he and Barca keeper Marc-André ter Stegen ($6,000) should differentiate your lineup.
David Ospina ($4,500) -- Ospina and Orestis Karnezis ($4,000) have split keeper duties this season for Napoli, but it's been Ospina in goal for the big matches. The home date with Red Star certainly qualifies as a big match, and Ospina will have a great chance at a clean-sheet win given that Red Star carry a slate-low 0.5-goal implied total and Napoli have implied win odds of 88.2%. If Napoli concede a goal, the floor here is scary since Ospina is unlikely to be required to make many saves. But a clean-sheet win is good for 17 FanDuel points without adding on for any saves, and the cheap salary can help you pay up elsewhere. Pairing Ospina with one of Napoli's defenders -- Nikola Maksimovic ($4,500) and Mário Rui ($5,500) are cheap and expected to start at full-back, so they offer something in attack -- in hopes of doubling down on the clean sheet makes sense as a solid correlation play.
Iker Casillas ($5,500) -- Casillas offers some save upside as well as respectable clean-sheet odds, giving him a big ceiling and a not-awful floor. Oddsmakers have given a Schalke a 1.0-goal implied total, and while the clean-sheet odds aren't as good as Ospina's, they're still tied for second-best on the slate. Even if he concedes, Casillas shouldn't sink your lineup as he should be called into action a few times. Schalke average 12.8 shots per game in domestic play, and through four UCL matches, Casillas has two outings with at least 3 saves.
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.