SOCCER

Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 4/10/19

Luis Suárez, who is on fire domestically, and Jordi Alba are enticing options with Barcelona favored at Manchester United. Who else is worth plugging in on Wednesday's two-match main slate?

The Champions League, the best soccer competition on the planet, resumes this week with quarterfinal action, and FanDuel is offering daily fantasy contests for each day. The Wednesday main slate starts at 3:00 p.m. EST and includes both of the day's matches.

Here's the full main slate.

Quarterfinals
Wednesday, April 10th
Barcelona at Manchester United
Juventus at Ajax


Both matches are pretty similar as the on-paper favorites opens the tie on the road against sides not many people expected to advance past the Round of 16. While Juventus and Barcelona are both 0.5-goal favorites, Barca are carrying implied win odds of 50.0%, per FanDuel Sportsbook, while Juve's implied win odds sit at 45.5%. Barcelona's 1.75-goal implied total narrowly edges Juve's mark of 1.5 goals.

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

Forwards

Lionel Messi ($13,500) -- When Messi is on a slate, you can be pretty sure of two things: he'll likely get a goal or assist, and he's going to be highly owned. Messi has eight goals and three assists in just five UCL starts this campaign, and he's averaging a laughable 51.4 FanDuel points per game in the competition, with slate-breaking outings of 79.3 (last round), 59.6, 62.9 and 76.6 FanDuel points. His only "dud" came in a 0-0 draw at Lyon in the Round of 16, and he still totaled 26.9 FanDuel points in that one. Over his past six matches across all competitions, the Argentine has 10 goals and two assists. With Messi dropping deeper to dictate play and his monopoly on free-kick and penalty duties, no one can match his combination of floor and ceiling. The Red Devils have allowed the 10th-most goals in the EPL, and Barca's 1.75-goal implied total paces the slate.

Luis Suárez ($10,500) -- If you're not rolling with Messi, you almost have to roster Suárez unless you're building a roster under the assumption Barca doesn't score a goal. If Barcelona score and Messi isn't the one putting it into the back of the net, it'll likely be Suarez doing so. While he amazingly hasn't scored yet in UCL play this season, Suárez enters this match in sparkling form, netting a goal in two straight La Liga games and firing five shots in each. And even though he's goal-less in in Europe, he's averaging 21.2 FanDuel points per game across six UCL matches, creating at least three chances in five of those six outings. Odds are he's going to score a UCL goal at some point, but he's got a solid floor even if that doesn't happen on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo ($13,000) -- Coming off a massive three-goal, 60.0-FanDuel-point day to propel Juventus to a comeback win over Atléti in the previous round, Ronaldo is a safe bet to be pretty popular. He's put up at least 25.3 FanDuel points in five of his past six UCL games, though his explosion against Atléti is his lone match with more than 32.0 FanDuel points. Expected to be ready to roll after suffering a thigh injury over the recent international break, Ronaldo is never a bad bet to score as he'll handle free kicks and penalties in addition to everything he brings to the table in open play.

Marcus Rashford ($9,000) -- Barcelona figure to have a lot of the ball, and they usually commit numbers forward, leaving their center-backs in a lot of space. That suits Rashford perfectly -- as long as he's fit -- as neither Gerard Pique nor Clement Lenglet can match him for pace. The young striker has 25.0, 14.9 and 29.3 FanDuel points in his past three UCL matches, and he's become a regular starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Rashford is best suited for GPPs, though, as his floor is scary. Depending on how United line up, Rashford could be pretty isolated up top, and he isn't on penalties, so if he doesn't get in on the creation of an open-play goal, he's unlikely to have much to fall back on. If Rashford can't play, Anthony Martial ($8,500) would probably be the most appealing United attacker.

Midfielders

David Neres ($7,000) -- Given the top-shelf forwards on this slate, you're going to need to find some productive value plays at midfielder and defender. Neres fits the bill. The Brazilian -- who is often deployed as part of a front three -- has eight goals in 25 domestic league matches, including six goals in his last seven outings across all competitions. That red-hot stretch dates back to the shock 4-1 win at Real Madrid in the Round of 16, a match in which Neres made the net bulge on his way to 20.0 FanDuel points. Ajax are home underdogs to a sterling Juventus side, but in four total matches against Real and Bayern Munich in this season's UCL, the Dutch side have proven they can go toe-to-toe with anyone.

Hakim Ziyech ($9,000) -- There really aren't many great choices atop the midfield pricing, which is going to make it easier for people to load up on the forwards they want. Ziyech is one of the exceptions. He's got 14 goals in Eredivisie play, though he's without an assist. Like Neres, Ziyech will likely be playing as a winger, but he's listed as a midfielder on FanDuel. While he's been very quiet since the two matches against Real Madrid (one goal on one shot over four appearances), Ziyech recorded 13 total shots over the two legs versus the holders, scoring a goal in each match.

Ivan Rakitić ($7,500) -- Admittedly, Rakitić is probably overpriced as he's a better real-life player than DFS asset, but that should keep his ownership low. While he doesn't make runs into the box very often -- hanging back and covering defensively while leaving that area clear for Messi and Suárez -- Rakitić will push forward on occasion and can score from outside the box. He's got three goals and five assists in 30 La Liga appearances this season, so it's not out of the realm of possibility that he could notch a goal or assist at United. It all adds up to Rakitić being an interesting GPP-only option.

Fred ($6,000) or Scott McTominay ($5,500) -- This is a punt play. With Ander Herrera likely out, United may opt for Fred or McTominay in midfield, While neither guy offers much upside, they could push for double-digit FanDuel points thanks to their defensive work. The Red Devils saw 44% of the possession in the home leg against PSG (28% in Paris), and there is a good chance Fred or McTominay -- whoever starts -- will spend much of this match doing the dirty work in midfield.

Defenders

Jordi Alba ($7,000) -- Alba should spend a lot of the match at Old Trafford getting forward down the left side, and no other defender on the slate can match his combination of floor and upside. The Alba-to-Messi connection is well known and makes Alba a great stacking partner with Barca's number-10. That was on full display in Alba's last trip to England as he notched three assists -- two of which went to Messi -- in a 41.2-FanDuel-point effort versus Spurs at Wembley. Alba created five total chances across the two legs against Lyon in the last round.

João Cancelo ($5,500) -- Cancelo has been a hit-or-miss option in UCL play, but the thing about being hit or miss is that sometimes you hit. He's scored at least 19.1 FanDuel points in three of his five European appearances this year, including 31.8 FanDuel points versus Atléti in his last time out. Playing in Amsterdam, he may not be quite as attack-minded as usual. He'll send in crosses when he does get forward, though, and is an ideal stacking partner with Ronaldo or Mario Mandzukic ($8,500). Cancelo did sit over the weekend with a calf issue, so make sure he's in the starting XI.

Matthijs de Ligt ($4,500) -- De Ligt, Ajax's star center-back, has shown some DFS goodness with outings of 23.4 and 19.1 FanDuel points this year in UCL action. In fact, he's got double-digit fantasy points in five of seven UCL appearances, and with two goals in domestic league play, de Ligt is a factor on set pieces. Plus, he's dirt cheap.

Keepers

Marc-André ter Stegen ($6,000) -- Ter Stegen has been stellar this season for Barcelona, but he's not always a great DFS play because he rarely offers much save volume. Manchester United got one measly shot on target in the home leg of their Round-of-16 tie versus PSG, so we can't count on a big save total from ter Stegen on Wednesday. He does, however, own the best win odds on the slate -- 50.0%, according to FanDuel Sportsbook -- so we have to at least think about MATS since a win is good for 7.0 FanDuel points.

André Onana ($5,000) -- On a slate with ter-Stegen and David De Gea, possibly the two best goalies in the world, Onana has the top DFS résumé. His per-game average of 17.1 FanDuel points paces all expected starting keepers, and he's scored at least 13.0 FanDuel points in six of his eight European starts, totaling at least 17.0 FanDuel points five of those outings. He made 13 saves over the two legs against Real Madrid and has averaged 5.5 saves per game in four total matches versus Real and Bayern in this season's UCL. He should be called into action fairly often against Juventus, which compensates for his lowly 29.4% implied win odds, per FanDuel Sportsbook.