SOCCER

Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 3/13/19

Barcelona are a healthy home favorite versus Lyon, putting Lionel Messi in a stellar spot. Who else can you trust 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 4:00 p.m. EST and includes both of the day's matches.

Here's the full main slate.

Round of 16
Wednesday, March 13th
Lyon at Barcelona
Liverpool at Bayern Munich


Barcelona are the slate's biggest favorite, boasting implied win odds of 81.8%, per FanDuel Sportsbook. Barca are a 2.0-goal favorite with an implied total of 2.75 goals. The Liverpool-Bayern matchup is expected to be much closer, with the German hosts being a slight favorite at 48.8% implied win odds. Bayern's implied total is 1.5, compared to 1.0 for Liverpool. Both of the first-leg matches in these two ties were 0-0 results.

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

Forwards

Lionel Messi ($14,000) -- We're spoiled for top-tier options on this slate, starting with none other than the great Messi. While last week's collapses by PSG and Real Madrid showed us how unpredictable the knockout rounds can be in this competition, Barcelona are a huge home favorite versus Lyon, with the Spanish giants holding a 2.75-goal implied total and 81.8% implied win odds, per FanDuel Sportsbook. Barca didn't score in a 0-0 draw in the first leg, but they controlled things after the early going, finishing with 25 shots (five on target). Barca have 11 goals in their four matches across all competitions since the first leg. Messi is awfully expensive but checks just about every box, and his role on penalties and free kicks gives him through-the-roof upside.

Luis Suárez ($10,500) -- If you're fading Messi, Suárez makes a ton of sense as a full fade of Barcelona in this spot is pretty terrifying. Barca have been superb in La Liga play, scoring 69 goals in 27 matches, including a whopping 42 in 14 home league outings. Suárez has been in poor form in the UCL, and that was no different at Lyon. But despite not scoring a goal in Europe this season, Barca's number-nine is still averaging 20.1 FanDuel points per match in the UCL thanks to a pair of assists and at least three chances created in all but one outing. With Ousmane Dembélé ($9,000) looking iffy, Suárez and Messi should shoulder most of the attacking responsibility for Barca.

Robert Lewandowski ($12,500) -- The masses will likely be heavy on Barcelona, so nailing the right plays in the Bayern-Liverpool match could catapult you up leaderboards. Bayern didn't get a shot on target in the first leg, but they were surely happy with the result, a 0-0 draw. While Liverpool's defense has been much improved in 2018-19, Bayern are in top form after a slow start to the season, and they're fresh off 6-0 and 5-1 wins in the Bundesliga. Lewandowski will lead the line for Bayern, and he netted a pair of goals in each of those two blowout victories (along with 12 total shots on target).

Midfielders

Mohamed Salah ($10,500) -- Again, the cream of the crop is available to us on Wednesday, and it opens up several avenues for roster construction. If you're building a lineup under the assumption Liverpool wins, you can start with Salah. Playing at Bayern is no small order, but it may actually suit the Reds better to sit back and try to strike on the counter. Their front three of Salah, Roberto Firmino ($10,000) and Sadio Mane ($10,000) wrecked teams doing just that a year ago as Liverpool made a run to the UCL Final. Salah's DFS outlook would get a lift if James Milner ($7,500) didn't start, giving Liverpool's star man a good shot to handle penalties.

Nabil Fekir ($8,500) -- Yes, Barcelona are big-time favorites, but Lyon -- with gobs of pace and talent -- are tailor-made to play on the counter. We shouldn't completely write them off. After all, Lyon started their UCL campaign with a win at Manchester City, a match in which Fekir notched a goal and an assist on his way to 44.9 FanDuel points. Lyon keeping a clean sheet is extremely unlikely, so they'll probably need to score at least one goal to advance. If they fall behind, they'll have to open up and attack as the match progresses.

Fabinho ($5,000),Georginio Wijnaldum ($5,000) and Arthur ($5,000) -- Finding value is imperative on this slate, and these three should all be starting. Of course, they wouldn't be dirt cheap if they had a great chance to make the net bulge, but when we're trying to pack in as many high-priced studs as we can, we've got to make some concessions. Fabinho and Wijnaldum should be very active defensively for Liverpool, and Fabinho has the ability to play a quick-hitting ball over the top of one of the Reds' attackers. While Arthur doesn't foray into the 18-yard box very often, he should see plenty of time on the ball in his controlling midfield role in a match in which Barca should dominate possession.

Defenders

Jordi Alba ($7,000) -- Alba is basically a cheat code for DFS as a left-back who spends a lot of Barcelona's matches making attacking runs. At home versus Lyon, Alba should be free to get forward, although he may be a little more judicious with his runs later in the game if Barca are protecting a lead. Alba has been one of Barcelona's best players this season, scoring one goal with seven assists in 26 La Liga games, and he's an outstanding stacking partner with Messi. Oh, and Alba's odds of getting a clean-sheet bonus are pretty nice, too, with Lyon's implied total at 0.75. For all these reasons, Alba will likely be a chalky play, so you have to at least think about fading him.

Léo Dubois ($4,000) -- Dubois is going to be a great value target if he starts at right-back as he did in the reverse fixture as Lyon's back line should be highly active. He racked up five clearances, two interceptions, two tackles and two blocks against Barca in the first leg, totaling 18.0 FanDuel points. While Dubois is unlikely to get another clean-sheet bonus, he should be able to produce a plethora of defensive actions in a match in which Lyon could spend sizeable chunks of time pinned in their own half. If Dubois doesn't play, it could be to make way for Marçal ($4,000), and any cheap starting defender for Lyon offers a nice point-per-dollar floor.

Keepers

Marc-André ter Stegen ($6,000) -- Ter Stegen has been immense this year for Barcelona, and he's got the best clean-sheet and win odds among goalies. He can amass 17.0 FanDuel points via a clean-sheet win, even if he doesn't make any saves. He finished with 16.0 FanDuel points in the first leg via a two-save clean-sheet, but his ceiling was capped due to not getting the seven-point win bonus. The floor here is a little scary if Lyon put one past ter Stegen because he's unlikely to offer much save volume, but it's hard to ignore him with Barca in such a commanding spot to get the win. He's in fine form, as well, as he reeled off back-to-back clean sheets a week ago in a pair of road victories over Real Madrid.

Manuel Neuer ($5,500) -- In truth, you can make an argument for using any of the four keepers on this slate -- even Anthony Lopes ($4,500), who offers a cheap salary and plenty of save volume. Neuer doesn't have nearly as good of win or clean-sheet odds as ter Stegen does, but he should be called into action a decent amount and is playing for a home favorite.


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.