Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 9/17/19

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will look to continue their hot start from the Premier League as the Group Stage of the Champions League kicks off.

The Champions League, Europe's biggest soccer competition, returns on Tuesday for the 2019-20 session. FanDuel will be offering plenty of contests featuring the six Tuesday matches, which begin at 3:00 p.m. EST.

Group Stage
Tuesday, September 17th
Valencia at Chelsea
Lille at Ajax
Liverpool at Napoli
Barcelona at Dortmund
RB Leipzig at Benfica
Genk at Red Bull Salzburg

The format will be what has now become the norm on FanDuel soccer contests and is employed in this season's Premier League competitions. Lineups will consist of four forwards or midfielders, two defenders, and one keeper. Player pricing ranges from Antoine Griezmann at $25 down to a grouping at $8.

Red Bull Salzburg, Chelsea, and Ajax are the biggest favorites on this slate. Benfica versus RB Leipzig is a virtual toss-up according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Let's look at some players at various price points who will have an impact on Tuesday's slate.


Mohamed Salah/Sadio Mane, Liverpool ($22)

Two of the front three for Liverpool are priced at the same number for the first match of the group stage and both have a team-high four goals through five Premier League matches. Liverpool have recorded 15 goals and maintain 58.3% possession, which are both good for second in the Premier League. Salah is averaging more shots per game than Mane and has great odds to score. However, Mane is not far behind and provides more key passes per game. Napoli have allowed seven goals in three matches, which is tied for the second-worst mark in Serie A.

Dusan Tadic, Ajax ($20)

Tadic had a breakout season last year, and it has continued this season. He already has five goals and five assists in just five games with Ajax, scoring four goals in each of their last three matches. He had 38 goals for Ajax last season as they made an impressive run to the semifinals of last year's Champions League competition. Tadic had six goals and four assists in last year's matches and averaged over 25 FanDuel points per game. Tadic is often the penalty kick taker for Ajax as well and has converted two of two this season. His 2.2 goals and assists per 90 minutes lead all the usual Ajax starters by a wide margin.

Pizzi, Benfica ($18)

Pizzi is the leading scorer in Liga NOS having tallied six times in five games. As of September 12, he had a direct hand in more goals than any other player in Liga NOS. The 29-year-old attacker is coming off a 13-goal, 18-assist season, but he has yet to find the goal in European competition. Last season was his most prolific to date, but his hot start shows he is ready to at least match those numbers. Pizzi was five for six on penalty kicks last season and is two of three this year. He has nine shots on target in the domestic league thus far. That is more than double the next player on Benfica, so clearly he is the main threat in front of next for the Portugal side.

Marcel Sabitzer, RB Leipzig ($14)

Sabitzer is the team leader in assists in the early going in the Bundesliga. They all came in the opening game of the season, but he has recorded 20 crosses on the season, including 10 against Borussia Monchengladbach in matchweek three. Chances created are worth three points on FanDuel, so those crossing numbers are encouraging. Leipzig are coming off their toughest match of the young season as they drew with Bayern Munich. Sabitzer showed he could play a different role recording four tackles and two interceptions while still managing two shots on goal. He has a total of 13 tackles and interceptions this season.

Takumi Minamino, Red Bull Salzburg ($14)

Salzburg are decimating the rest of the Austrian Bundesliga and much of the damage is being done by Minamino's teammate Erling Haaland ($17), but Minamino is 10th in the league in goals plus assists per 90 minutes. He also scored for Japan as they recently started qualification for the 2022 World Cup. It was his seventh goal for Japan after scoring his sixth in a friendly against Paraguay just days before the start of qualification. Minamino has now scored in three straight matches despite playing the full 90 minutes in only one of them. In five of the last six matches featuring Minamino, Salzburg have scored at least four goals.


Jerome Onguene, Red Bull Salzburg ($13)

There are plenty of good options priced above Onguene, but finding a player that may not be high owned on the backline can make a difference. He has played every minute of the five games he has appeared in this season. Onguene has contributed an assist while committing only four fouls. Salzburg are undefeated in Austria this season allowing only six goals in seven matches. Two of the matches Onguene has started have resulted in clean sheets for Salzburg. Salzburg's opponent, Genk, have not been impressive in Belgium to start the season as they have allowed nine goals while scoring only 10 and currently sit in eighth.

Perr Schuurs, Ajax ($10)

An Ajax clean sheet is a very likely result in this match, so any one of their defenders have appeal. Many will gravitate toward Nicolas Tagliafico ($14) for his recent goal-scoring form. However, Schuurs offers a price break as the 19-year-old started at center back in Ajax's last match and also tallied a goal. He has been impressing since the preseason with his positioning and passing skills as he tries to replace the departed Matthijs de Ligt. Schuurs has played the full match in all three of his games and committed only three fouls.

Jose Gaya, Valencia ($8)

Gaya is fourth in La Liga in tackles per match with three appearances this season in La Liga. Two of the past three matches Gaya has started, including for Spain in a European qualification match, have ended in clean sheets. Valencia were just beat handily by Barcelona, but Gaya contributed two key passes and two tackles without committing a foul. Valencia have only averaged 44% possession in La Liga, so they will likely be under pressure at Chelsea. With Gaya being priced at the bottom of the barrel, that helps his value.


Andre Onana, Ajax ($12)

Ajax are the biggest favorite on the slate and, as mentioned previously, the odds have a shut out in the cards. He averaged over 14 points per game in last season's Champions League. Onana has one clean sheet this season in his four wins with a 1.00 goals-against average. Those numbers are a little worse than last season, but Lille have been average in Ligue 1 with 12.4 shots per game and seven goals scored. Lille have only put a fourth of those shots on target.

Peter Gulacsi, RB Leipzig ($12)

Leipzig are in first in the Bundesliga and Gulacsi has a 0.75 goals-against average. He has a clean sheet and an 82% save percentage. Gulacsi had a clean sheet in nearly half of his Bundesliga matches last year. Both teams are expected to score in the match with Benfica, so playing Gulacsi means counting on saves. Benfica do generate 13 shots per game, but only 4.2 of those are on target. Four saves would be 12 points for Gulasci and in a match so up in the air those are decent numbers. However, Leipzig have allowed just three goals and have yet to lose so form wins out.

Doug Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Doug 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.