Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 5/8/19
The semifinals of the Champions League, Europe's biggest soccer competition, conclude on Wednesday 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.
|Wedneday, May 8th|
|Ajax at Tottenham|
Ajax took the first leg 1-0 at Tottenham's new stadium as the Dutch side looks to reach their first final in 23 years. Donny van de Beek ($12) was the hero, scoring the lone goal of the match and reaching more than 75 combined FanDuel points over his last two matches. He should remain a matchup problem for Tottenham in the second leg.
Ajax are now heavy favorites to advance to the final, although only slight favorites to win this match. In the history of the Champions League, only one team, Ajax in 1996, out of 17 were able to recover from losing the first leg of a semifinal at home.
Over the weekend, Tottenham lost their third straight game in all competitions by a score of 1-0. They were down to nine men against Bournemouth. Spurs have lost five of their last six matches. Meanwhile, Ajax entered Sunday's KNVB Cup final on a six-match winning streak across all competitions. They cruised to a 4-0 win to capture their first hardware since 2014.
Let's look at some players to target across the pitch at different price points.
Hakim Ziyech ($16) -- As a good-but-likely-popular captain choice, Ziyech will not go unnoticed in this matchup. He is the most expensive player on the slate and assisted on van de Beek's goal in the first leg. He has scored at least 20 points in the last six Champions League matches. Ziyech has 16 goals and 12 assists in the Eredivisie along with two goals and three assists in the Champions League. He averages nearly five shots and two key passes per match in the European competition, which is slightly lower than his staggering domestic league numbers. In Ziyech's last 10 matches at home across all competitions, he has six assists and three goals. Ziyech, who has drawn at least one foul in every Champions League match and created 11 chances in the last four matches, should continue to show off his versatility this week against Spurs.
Son Heung-Min ($12) -- It has been a tumultuous week for Son as he was suspended for the first leg against Ajax and then went off for a red card against Bournemouth.He will be available for selection and should be Tottenham's main threat going forward. Those who have watched any of Spurs' games in the Champions League know that Son is the outlet to relieve pressure as the counter attack often starts with a ball down the wing to him, even when Harry Kane was on the field. Son scored three goals in the quarterfinal tie with Manchester City, amassing more than 80 FanDuel points in that tie. He has been a consistent performer for Spurs for much of the past two seasons, even across competitions. Son averages around one successful dribble, 2.4 shots, and 85% pass success in both the Champions League and Premier League.
Lucas Moura ($9) -- Moura was hot and cold in the first leg, managing two shot attempts but shifting to more of a play-maker role in the second half. He was filling a role that Son can occupy this week, which should free Moura to get forward. Moura did find himself on the ball more in that second half, recording two successful dribbles and one key pass while also contributing defensively with two tackles. Despite Tottenham going down two players over the weekend, Moura took five shots with two on target. He was also fouled three times with three successful take-ons. This week he should be able to play in a more customary role with Son back on the field and float in and around the Ajax box, interchanging with the other Tottenham attacking threats.
David Neres ($6) -- As tempting as it was to put Frenkie de Jong ($7) back in the primer again this week, it was Neres who created problems for Tottenham in the 18-yard box in the first leg. Neres hit the post on a great offensive move by Ajax in the second half. He finished tied for second on the team in shots as he played off the shoulders of the Tottenham back line. The young winger has shown his skill against some of the best competition, scoring against Juventus and Real Madrid. Much like other young Ajax talent, he has been linked to some of the biggest clubs in Europe after his performance this season. Neres is hard to track as his smart lateral movement can be tricky for the best defenses, but he also has a low floor. He is a boom-or-bust player, but with Tottenham needing to press, the space should be available for Neres.
Daley Blind ($7) -- Blind led all Ajax defenders with eight clearances in the first leg. He added four tackles and four interceptions for an all-around solid defensive game. He finished with 25.8 FanDuel points, his best output in the Champions League to this point. Blind has 25 clearances over his last four Champions League matches. Although his other defensive numbers are similar, Blind averages more clearances in the Champions League than in the Eredivisie. He has grown comfortable in his positioning with Ajax while his experience has helped those around him. Although he is not a major offensive threat, Blind did get the opening goal in the KNVB Cup on Sunday.
Danny Rose ($6) -- The outside backs for Tottenham need to get forward in the second leg, and the Ajax defense seemed to be paying more attention to Kieran Trippier ($10) in the last match. Rose must make the most of any space he finds and increase his one chance created from the first leg. He does have three assists in the Premier League while averaging one key pass per match in the domestic league. Rose put in a solid effort on the other side of the ball in the first-leg loss, finishing with seven defensive actions, and he led all Spurs players in clearances with four. Like Blind, he also averages more clearances in the Champions League.
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.