Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 4/30/19
The semifinals of the Champions League, Europe's biggest soccer competition, start on Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST. FanDuel is offering single-match contests for both semifinals.
The single-match setup is different than the usual full-roster format. You pick just five players, four of which are forwards or midfielders, with the fifth spot being a defender, and there's a captain slot that earns 1.5 times the points.
|Tuesday, April 30th|
|Ajax at Tottenham|
This is the more unlikely semifinal, with Tottenham surviving a wild quarterfinal against Manchester City despite being without Harry Kane. Ajax have become the darling of the competition by playing beautiful football and knocking out Juventus and Real Madrid.
FanDuel Sportsbook has this as a very even match up, with Tottenham favored to win the first leg at their new home. However, Ajax are the slight favorite to advance to the final and face the winner of the Barcelona-Liverpool matchup. Tottenham lost their first match at their new home this past weekend, falling to West Ham, while Ajax won 4-2 over Vitesse last Tuesday in their previous match.
Let's look at some players to target across the pitch at different price points.
Dusan Tadic ($15) -- To say that Tadic has had a breakout season is an understatement. As of April 13th, he had played in 48 matches and been involved in 50 goals. He is averaging 26.9 FanDuel points per match in the Champions League, the best mark on this slate. He has created 17 chances in the four knockout-round matches thus far, including three straight matches with five chances created. Tadic scored twice and added an assist over the weekend to add to his prolific numbers. Tadic's 24 goals pace Ajax by eight. Tadic and Hakim Ziyech ($16) are the key attacking players for Ajax, and both are great choices for the captain spot.
Christian Eriksen ($14) -- With Son Heung-min suspended for the first leg and Harry Kane's status up in the air, Eriksen must step up and be the key cog for the Tottenham attack. Eriksen, a former Ajax player, is not getting as much attention for flashy goals this season, but he is still averaging slightly more than 23 FanDuel points per game in the Champions League. He has scored more than 25 points in two of his four knockout matches this season, notching an assist in three of those four outings. Eriksen actually had a string of five games in a row across all competitions in which he recorded an assist. A player who occasionally takes over set-piece situations, Eriksen has created 11 chances in the last four Champions League matches, and he should be at the heart of most of what Spurs do.
Lasse Schone ($10) -- It will be hard for Schone to top his free kick against Real Madrid in the Round of 16. He has become known as a dead-ball specialist -- just look back to his 35-yard free kick against Feyenoord in 2017. Being over the ball in set-piece situations is a huge boost to a player's DFS stock, and Schone created six total chances in the quarterfinal tie with Real. Schone is a consistent player who has four goals and five assists in the Eredivisie and completes nearly 90% of his passes across all competitions. His defensive numbers are better in the Champions League than they are in the domestic league as he averages 4.3 defensive actions per match. Schone did get an assist this past weekend, but make note that he does get substituted off frequently and may not be a good captain choice.
Frenkie de Jong ($6) -- At this price, there is a chance that de Jong will be the highest-owned player on the slate. However, his per-match average of 9.35 FanDuel points may scare off some people. The 21-year-old does have three goals and three assists in the Eredivisie, but those numbers do not tell the whole story. He is a relentless player who averages close to five defensive actions per Champions League match. He is successful on over 90% of his passes and is the conductor of the free-flowing Ajax system. He has played more passes than any other Ajax player in each of the knockout stage games and was bettered just once in the four matches by an opposing player. De Jong has already secured a move to Barcelona and could meet his future team in the final if he keeps up his current level of play.
Kieran Trippier ($11) -- Trippier is the most expensive defender on the slate due to his marauding runs down the wing. He was a star in the tie against Manchester City, scoring more than 20 FanDuel points in both legs. He created two chances in each match and had a total of 16 defensive actions. Trippier is averaging four key passes per match in the Champions league; it helps that he also takes some set pieces. Schone, de Jong, and Tadic generally play through the middle, so Trippier should find room on the wing when Tottenham are in possession.
Matthijs de Ligt ($7) -- De Ligt is averaging slightly more than 15 fantasy points per game due largely to his 36.9-point outburst in his last match. He scored his first goal of the Champions League in that one and had 10 clearances. That was his high-water mark for clearances this season among his nine matches in European competition. He does have three goals and an assist in the Eredivisie, but defense is his game. Across all competitions, he averages 4.0 clearances, 1.2 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, and nearly one block -- all while fouling less than once per match. De Ligt was voted top defender of 2018 and has drawn the interest of pretty much all of the massive clubs around Europe. He is the youngest player to start internationally for the Netherlands since 1931 and already wears the armband for Ajax. He is a solid defender who will be needed to fend off the initial push by Tottenham at home, and his salary is very welcoming on a slate where we need to load up on players who can get goals.
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.