SOCCER

Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 2/20/19

In sparkling form and with City a commanding favorite against Schalke, Sergio Agüero is in a delectable spot. Who else should you roster on Wednesday?

The Champions League, the best soccer competition on the planet, resumes this week with Round-of-16 action, and FanDuel is offering daily fantasy contests for the entirety of the campaign. The Wednesday main slate starts at 3 p.m. EST and includes both of the day's matches.

Here's the full main slate.

Round of 16
Wednesday, February 13th
Manchester City at Schalke
Juventus at Atlético Madrid


Manchester City are an overwhelming favorite, boasting implied win odds of 80%, per FanDuel Sportsbook. The Juve-Atléti clash is expected to be a much more even affair, with Juventus (36.4% implied win odds) ever so slight road favorites over Atlético (35.7%). While the Juve-Atléti matchup pits two of Europe's top teams -- one of these two sides have been in four of the past five UCL finals -- it's not likely to be a fantasy-friendly fixture as it carries a meager 2.0-goal over/under. On the other hand, the City-Schalke clash has a 3.0-goal over/under, with City's 2.25-goal implied total a slate-high mark by a good distance.

Let's scan the slate and look at some players to target at each position.

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.

Forwards

Sergio Agüero ($12,000) -- Everything points to Agüero being the slate's highest-owned player. That means you've got to consider fading him in GPPs for game theory reasons, but that could backfire in a big way if the Argentine produces a huge game -- something that's very much in play with Manchester City carrying a slate-best 2.25-goal implied total. Agüero is on penalties and has been in dazzling form lately, scoring eight goals -- including two hat tricks -- over his last five starts across all competitions. Agüero has netted at least one goal in seven of his last 10 appearances, which includes two cameos as a substitute. He can break this slate, but City also have several other appealing attackers if you want to fade and pray.

Antoine Griezmann ($12,000) -- Priced the same as Agüero, Griezmann is the perfect pivot. Atlético's main man has totaled 12 goals and seven assists in 24 La Liga matches while averaging 3.2 shots per match. He's red-hot right now, scoring a goal in 11 of his last 15 appearances in all competitions. In six group stage matches, he racked up four total goals while putting up at least 25.0 FanDuel points four times, including single-game outbursts of 43.2 and 56.9 fantasy points. Griezmann takes penalties and has a good shot to be involved in any open-play goal Atléti creates.

Cristiano Ronaldo ($13,000) -- It's not often you can say this, but Ronaldo may fly under the radar a bit. With Agüero $1,500 cheaper and Juve on the road against an Atlético Madrid defense that's among the best in Europe, this isn't a great spot to pay up for Ronaldo. But that makes him all the more appealing for GPPs since the masses may stay away. Ronaldo's first year in Turin has been a smashing success, as he's bagged 19 goals with eight assists in 24 Serie A matches. He's Juve's clear focal point in attack, averaging a robust 6.5 shots per game, and will handle penalty duties, as well. While Atléti have conceded just 17 goals in 24 La Liga matches, they gave up three goals at home against Real Madrid back on February 9th in their last match versus top-shelf opposition.

Midfielders

Raheem Sterling ($11,000) -- Instead of paying up for two top-tier forwards, an alternative option is spending up for one and going with Sterling -- or Leroy Sane ($10,000) if the German starts -- in midfield. Sterling has been stellar for City in EPL action, scoring 12 goals and notching nine assists in 22 starts. If you're going to fade Agüero, it makes a ton of sense to get your expensive exposure to City via Sterling (or Sane).

Bernardo Silva ($7,500) -- Silva has been immense this season, and City manager Pep Guardiola has been experimenting with lineups to try to keep the tireless Portuguese player in the starting XI now that Kevin De Bruyne is fully fit. Silva isn't a lock to start, but it's anticipated he'll be on the right wing. If so, that makes him a smashing value at his price, and he's ideal on a slate where we're going to be doing everything we can to try to fit in two high-priced studs. Admittedly, Silva, who contributes all over the pitch, is more valuable in real life than he is in DFS, but he does have seven goals and six assists across EPL and UCL play this campaign.

Thomas Partey ($6,000) -- Expected to start in a defensive midfield role for Atléti, Partey is a cap-relief option who is a little bit of a shot in the dark. Again, if we're trying to fit in two big dogs, we need to pinch pennies most everywhere else. While Partey isn't a complete dud going forward -- two goals and four assists across 18 starts in La Liga and the UCL -- most of his work is done on the other end of the pitch. Even though they're at home, Atléti may opt to play on the counter, which would keep Partey busy defensively, giving him a respectable floor.

Defenders

Giorgio Chiellini ($7,000) and Aymeric Laporte ($7,000) -- A likely popular route to roster construction will be to go thrift store shopping at defender, so paying up for either of these two is a way to differentiate your lineup, though getting the attackers you want should be the first priority. Chiellini -- Juve's rock at the back -- averaged 20.5 FanDuel points over his four group stage matches without doing anything offensively, posting at least 14.7 FanDuel points in each. In what should be a tight match at Atlético, he should have a decent floor. Laporte, who has been sublime this year for City, offers more going forward -- four goals and one assist in 32 total appearances across the EPL and UCL -- and with Schalke's implied total sitting at a mere 0.75, he could hit on a clean-sheet bonus.

Matija Nastasic ($6,000) -- Nastasic returned from injury this past weekend and played a full 90 minutes for Schalke. He should start at center-back and will have a nice floor in a match in which Schalke should be under siege. With Manchester City carrying a 2.25-goal implied total, Nastasic is an extreme long shot to get the clean-sheet bonus and isn't likely to do much in the way of attacking, but the hope is he amasses so many defensive actions that it makes up for it. He produced at least 14.0 FanDuel points in all five of his group stage outings -- with at least six combined tackles and clearances in each -- and none of those games were against sides anywhere near the caliber of City, meaning his floor could be near the 20-point range in this one.

Kyle Walker ($5,000) -- Walker will likely be at right-back for City, and he brings to the table a cheap price, a little attacking ability and good clean-sheet odds. Walker has just one assist and one goal in 21 EPL starts, but the clean-sheet bonus is five FanDuel points and stacking him with Agüero or Sterling is appealing. If John Stones ($4,500) starts at center-back for City, he'd be a worthy cheap target, as well.

João Cancelo ($4,500) and Santiago Arias ($4,500) -- Let's hit up two more cheapies since this is a spot where a lot of you may be looking to save coin, although neither is a for-sure starter. These are the two cheapest expected starting defenders. Arias, a right-back, may have some opportunities to get forward with Atléti at home, and the clean-sheet odds aren't too bad with Juve holding a 1.0-goal implied total. Cancelo, a right-back for Juve, has the same clean-sheet chances (Atlético's implied total is also 1.0), and he scored at least 19.0 FanDuel points in two of his three group stage starts.

Goalies

Ederson ($6,500) -- Ederson has by far the best win odds on the slate, and a victory is good for seven FanDuel points. He also boasts nice clean-sheet odds thanks to Schalke's slate-low 0.75-goal implied total. All that is good. The negatives are that the Brazilian is expensive and would likely post a pretty low number if Schalke find the back of the net since he probably won't be able to fall back on save volume.

Jan Oblak ($5,000) -- Both of the keepers in the Juve-Atléti clash are quite a bit cheaper than Ederson and have almost-as-good clean-sheet chances, though the win odds for both are far worse than Ederson's. Oblak and Wojciech Szczęsny ($5,500) have nearly identical win odds. Oblak is at home, is the cheaper of the two and -- simply put -- is better than Szczęsny, so he's the preferred option. Oblak posted a clean sheet in each of his last three group stage matches, going for at least 16.0 FanDuel points in each.


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.