DraftKings Champions League Daily Fantasy Soccer Helper: Tuesday 9/17/19
Europe's most prestigious club soccer competition returns and with it comes one of the most fun slates in daily fantasy sports. Six games at the same time, featuring some of the best teams in the world, and it's all over within two hours. Of course, it's more fun when you win, so let's look at the players that will help us do just that.
A quick note is the Lionel Messi ($11,500) was declared fit on Monday to make his season debut against Borussia Dortmund, per Goal.com. You probably don't need to me to tell you that Messi is very good at soccer and is always in play, but he is a risk for substitution given he hasn't been playing so far this season.
Forwards to Target
Mohamed Salah ($9,500): Salah and Liverpool travel to Italy to face Napoli as slight favorites at +125, according to FanDuel's Sportsbook. Salah has been doing it all so far this season, with 16 shots, 15 crosses, 4 goals and 2 assists in the 5 Premier League games thus far. He also leads the team in corner kicks. The matchup with Napoli may appear tough, but Napoli have allowed seven goals in their first three Serie A games this season. Salah has a relatively good floor with upside to score multiple goals.
Dušan Tadić ($9,300): Tadić was a huge part of Ajax's run to the semi-finals of this competition last season. He scored nine goals in 18 matches, playing in a new role as a center forward. The Southampton days of Tadić relying on crosses for his fantasy points are over, as he is now a huge goal threat, with 38 in total last season and seven in eight games this season. Ajax are the largest favorite on the slate, coming in at -230 at home against Ligue 1 side Lille.
Tammy Abraham ($7,700): Abraham has been on an absolute tear in the Premier League, with seven goals in his last three games. He now faces Valencia at home as a favorite, and the Spanish side are coming off a league match against Barcelona in which they conceded five goals. Abraham would be more of a tournament option because if goal scoring isn't there, he's unlikely to score fantasy points in other ways.
Paco Alcácer ($5,900): What we have here is a little revenge narrative for Paco Alcácer. He struggled while playing for Barcelona for two seasons before being loaned to Borussia Dortmund last year and then bought permanently. Now ahead of this game, Alcácer has spoken out in newspapers about how he was treated unfairly during his time at Barcelona. The Spaniard is not just a good play for the revenge factor though. He has been scoring goals for fun to start, with a goal in every match he has played for Dortmund and Spain this season. His $5,900 price is low because of the matchup with Barcelona, but Barcelona have conceded two goals in three consecutive La Liga matches against teams that are less dangerous in attack than Dortmund.
Midfielders to Target
Hakim Ziyech ($10,400): Ziyech is the epitome of a high floor play on Draftkings, as you may remember through Ajax's Champions League campaign last season. In the last ten Champions League matches, Ziyech averaged 4.9 shots and 4.2 crosses. Those include multiple games against Europe's elite teams, such as Juventus, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich. Now in this home match against Lille, he should feast with Ajax likely to dominate possession and scoring opportunities.
Jadon Sancho ($6,600): Sancho is another Dortmund player who seems like a value at his price. After leading the Bundesliga in assists last season, he has started off hot again with two goals and four assists in the four league games this season. He is the primary corner kick taker for Dortmund as well, giving him a decent floor. Sancho correlates very well with Alcácer as the two have connected for three goals already this season.
Daniel Parejo ($5,700): Parejo travels with Valencia to go to Stamford Bridge as an underdog, but Chelsea aren't as scary of a matchup as in the past. The Blues have allowed multiple goals in every match but one this season and that includes two goals each to newly-promoted Premier League teams Norwich City and Sheffield United. Per WhoScored, Parejo has taken every corner kick in the three matches he has started in La Liga this season. He also is Valencia's penalty taker, scoring two from the spot against Mallorca on Matchday 3.
Defenders to target
Alejandro Grimaldo ($4,800): A good place to look for a defender is for players that will get corner kicks, because they are few and far between. It gives them a floor that most defenders just don't have. Grimaldo not only checks that box, but he also takes more shots than most defenders. In the group stage last season, he had 12 in the six matches. While that might not seem like a lot, it adds upside to him if one of the shots happens to find the back of the net. Benfica face RB Leipzig in what oddsmakers are saying should be a fairly even match.
Mário Rui ($4,700): Rui is another defender with a high floor who is an option for cash games. He put in 33 crosses in the six group stage matches last year, and in this same matchup for Napoli vs Liverpool, scored 14.7 DraftKings points. For $4,700, his price tag isn't too restrictive to what he could provide for your lineup, and the matchup will lower his ownership.
Marcel Halstenberg ($3,600): Halstenberg checks a lot of the same boxes as Grimaldo, being a set-piece taker and a defender that is actually a goal threat. Halstenberg has scored one goal for Leipzig and one for Germany so far this season. New Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann has been tinkering with the formation in matches this season, with Halstenberg excelling when he is in the left wing-back role. Nagelsmann's system turned Nico Schulz into a great fantasy option last year when playing left wing-back for Hoffenheim. Halstenberg's price is way too low given all these things we know about how he has been used this season.
My general strategy for goalkeeper is to play whoever fits in your lineup. Goalkeeper is the highest variance position so spending as little salary as possible makes sense. If you want to pay up you can, but you’ll need a clean sheet and a win for it to be worth it. Paying down for a keeper that gets you -6 points sucks but hopefully the money you saved will help your other positions to save you.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. 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.