Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 9/18/19
The Champions League, the best soccer competition on the planet, is back, and FanDuel is offering plenty of contests for all of Wednesday's matches, including the two early fixtures. This article will focus on just the main slate, which starts at 3 p.m. EST.
|Wednesday, September 18th|
|Lokomotiv Moscow at Bayer Leverkusen|
|Red Star Belgrade at Bayern Munich|
|Real Madrid at PSG|
|Juventus at Atlético Madrid|
|Manchester City at Shakhtar Donetsk|
|Atalanta at Dinamo Zagreb|
If this is your first soccer DFS action of the year, there are some changes you need to take note of -- namely lineups will consist of four forwards/midfielders spots, two defenders, and one keeper and you now have $100 to build your lineup.
Per FanDuel Sportsbook, the slate's biggest favorites are Bayern Munich. At a line of -1500, they carry massive implied win odds of 93.8%. After the German giants, it's Manchester City (-340, 77.3% implied win odds) and Bayer Leverkusen (-300, 75%). Other than those three sides, no one else has implied win odds of at least 50%.
While Bayern and Manchester City figure to be popular and Leverkusen should attract ownership, too, this slate may wind up hinging on the other three matches -- in particular the Atléti-Juve and Real Madrid-PSG matchups. Those four star-laden teams offer several big-name players, and while it's not easy to pick a winner in those matches, those squads may attract decent ownership just because the UCL is the only time we get a chance to roster guys like Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard and so on. That could lead to players from the other match -- Atalanta versus Dinamo Zagreb -- flying under the radar.
Let's take a look at some players -- all across the pitch -- who should be on your radar for this main slate.
Robert Lewandowski ($24) -- With Bayern a big home favorite (-1500) versus Red Star Belgrade, they're a great team to load up on, and Lewa is atop the wish list. He's got seven goals and 12 shots on target in four domestic league matches this season. Two of those goals have come from the spot, and the penalty duties boost his floor and ceiling. Lewandowski could go nuts here, and the only blemish in his profile is that he'll likely be very popular -- possibly the slate's highest-owned player.
Sergio Agüero ($23) -- Manchester City are another heavy favorite (-340) away to Shakhtar Donetsk, and like we see most weekends in EPL play, that means Agüero is firmly in play. The Argentine has seven goals in five appearances (four starts) in the Prem, and he'll take penalties. After a shocking loss last weekend to Norwich City, Pep Guardiola's troops will be anxious to bounce back. These two teams were in the same group a year ago, and Manchester City throttled Shakhtar Donetsk twice -- 3-0 in Ukraine and 6-0 at the Etihad.
Kevin Volland ($15) -- If the masses flock to City and Bayern, Leverkusen could be a sneaky-good stack. As we mentioned in the intro, they are -300 to win at home versus Lokomotiv Moscow, not too far off of Manchester City's odds (-340). Volland has had a nice opening stretch this year, netting a goal with two assists in four starts in the Bundesliga. He has put home 14 league goals in each of the last two seasons, adding a career-best nine assists a year ago. In a match Leverkusen should control, Volland is a great play.
Duván Zapata (18) -- Up until last season, Zapata had been just slowly trending up in Serie A, scoring double-digit goals in both 2016-17 and 2017-18. He took a huge leap last year, his first in Atalanta, and is a big reason the club is in this competition as he bagged 23 goals with seven assists to help La Dea finish third in the league. Zapata has kept the good times going to start this campaign, scoring three times through three matches while registering seven shots on target. He's their clear main man, taking at least five shots in all three matches this year, and Atalanta are slight road favorites (+110) at Dinamo Zagreb.
Thomas Müller ($16) -- Can you have too much Bayern today? Maybe not. Per FanDuel Sportsbook, the most likely scoreline is a 3-0 Bayern win (+500), but a 4-0 win is just +700 while a 5-0 victory is "only" +1100. Bayern should win in convincing fashion. Müller has started his league campaign on a high note, dishing out three assists. He's fired only one shot on target, which isn't ideal, but in a match in which his side should dominate possession, Müller could open his goal account for 2019-2020.
Kevin De Bruyne ($19) -- De Bruyne has been in insane form so far this season, scoring a goal and recording five assists in five appearances (four starts) for Manchester City. After battling injuries for much of last season, KDB is back to looking like one of the world's top midfield playmakers, and he's always appealing in DFS with the way City dominate possession and get him the ball in dangerous areas. His corner duties give him extra opportunities to create chances and get assists.
Benjamin Pavard ($16) -- Pavard should spend a ton of time in the attacking half versus Red Star, and he makes for a great stacking partner with Lewandowski or any other Bayern attacker. Pavard has started all four of Bayern's league matches this season, getting a goal and an assist. In addition to the fantasy goodness he offers in attack, the three most likely scorelines, per FanDuel Sportsbook, all have Bayern with a clean sheet.
Milan Rodić ($10) -- On the flip side of that match, whoever starts in defense for Red Star will offer a high floor as they should be under siege at the Allianz. Per FBRef, Rodić, Nemanja Milunović and Miloš Degenek started in defense for them this year. The optimal thing to do here may be to check their lineup and plug in their cheapest starting defender, which should give you a solid floor and some cash to spend elsewhere.
Manuel Neuer ($16) -- There are a lot of high-priced forwards/midfielders worth paying up for on this slate, so even though Neuer has by far the top clean-sheet win odds, he may not be chalk because of his salary. As we touched on with Kimmich and Pavard, FanDuel Sportsbook has the three most likely scorelines for this match being clean-sheet wins for Bayern, and a clean-sheet victory nets Neuer 17 FanDuel points even if he doesn't make a save. The downside here is a probable lack of save volume means that if he concedes a goal, Neuer could be getting nearly all of his fantasy output via the win bonus (seven points).
Jan Oblak ($12) -- Oblak may be the world's best goalie, and with the matchup against Juventus being a coin flip -- FanDuel Sportsbook has Atléti favored but lists them at just +145 -- Oblak is merely a GPP-type play. But he's more than capable of notching a home clean-sheet win against Juve, something he did in the first leg of their Round-of-16 clash a campaign ago. Oblak has two clean sheets already in La Liga action, and he kept 24 clean sheets in 45 matches last season across all competitions.