SOCCER

Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 10/2/19

Liverpool have made a habit out of thrashing teams at Anfield in the Champions League, and they are massive favorites at home on Wednesday. Who can help you pay up for the Reds?

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 the main slate, which starts at 3 p.m. EST.

Group Stage
Wednesday, October 2nd
Inter at Barcelona
Ajax at Valencia
Chelsea at Lille
Benfica at Zenit
Red Bull Salzburg at Liverpool
Lyon at RB Leipzig


Per FanDuel Sportsbook, Liverpool are the slate's largest favorite at a line of -320, which implies win odds of 76.2%. Barcelona (-170, 63.0% implied win odds) and RB Leipzig (-160, 61.5%) are the slate's other big favorites. The other three matches are all fairly even, with no sides holding implied win odds of 50% or better. Chelsea tops the remaining teams with 48.8% implied win odds.

Forwards/Midfielders

Sadio Mané ($23), Mohamed Salah ($22) and Roberto Firmino ($19) -- Whenever the Reds are a big favorite, which is quite often these days, we want exposure to their famed front three as well as their full-backs, who we will get to in a minute. Liverpool are the slate's biggest favorites (-320) by a huge margin, and while you'll be stretching your budget to jam in two of this trident, it's worth trying to make it work because the upside here is immense. In UCL play the past two seasons, the Reds have absolutely steamrolled teams at Anfield, netting an astounding 34 goals in 12 home matches. Liverpool are a safe bet for multiple goals against a Red Bull Salzburg side that's allowed a goal per game in the Austrian Bundesliga. One thing to note: Salah's stock takes a slight hit if James Milner starts as Milner could be on penalty duty.

Lionel Messi ($24) -- Messi is a fitness question mark with a thigh issue, though he's reportedly training with the team. With how early we are in the season, it's hard to imagine Barcelona would start him if he's less than 100%, so if he's in the starting XI, we shouldn't have any hesitation about using him in DFS. Messi is Messi. Across all competitions last season, he totaled 51 goals and 22 assists in 50 appearances. Barcelona, like Liverpool, have been superb at home in the Champions League, scoring 33 goals in 11 European matches at the Camp Nou the last two seasons. Inter are a solid side, but if Messi plays, Barca should create plenty of chances. If he sits, then you can look to Luis Suárez ($21) or Antoine Griezmann ($22), though Barca sans Messi lately have been stuck in mud.

Timo Werner ($19) -- With the marquee names of Barcelona and Liverpool headlining the slate, RB Leipzig could fly a little under the radar, but they're in a nice spot as -160 home favorites -- nearly as big of a favorite as Barca is -- at home to Lyon. Werner is supremely talented, and he's got a team-best five goals in six matches in domestic league action while firing 3.7 shots per match, another team-high clip. Lyon shipped two goals against Stade Brest, a newly promoted side in France, in their last road match.

Victor Osimhen ($17) -- While the betting lines make it pretty obvious that Liverpool, Barca and RB Leipzig are teams to zero in on, the other three matches are shrug emojis. Nailing a play in one of those matches could give you a huge boost in tournaments. Chelsea are slight road favorites over Lille, but this Chelsea side have been fragile at the back, conceding 13 goals in seven Premier League matches. Lille should have chances, and Osimhen has been their main man this year, totaling six goals and two assists in seven Ligue 1 starts.

Marcel Sabitzer ($13) -- Sabitzer has been in great form this season for RB Leipzig, amassing two goals and three assists in six domestic starts and adding an assist in Leipzig's first UCL match. He's averaging 2.7 shots per match, and his salary makes him extremely useful on a slate where we will be trying to load up on Barcelona's and Liverpool's expensive studs. While Sabitzer is a fine one-off play, stacking him and Werner offers sneaky-good upside, although it'll limit how much Liverpool and Barca you can get.

Ansu Fati ($12) -- Fati, a 16-year-old phenom, has been a breakout player for Barcelona this season, and he's been one of the few bright spots on the team when Messi sits. Fati is dealing with a knock of his own, but if he's in the lineup, he's a smashing value at this price and is a better play if Messi doesn't start. If Messi is fit, Fati may be relegated to a bench role, but Fati has scored two goals with one assist this year despite making only one start, so he's capable of doing damage even if he's not in the starting XI -- though there's a chance he doesn't get on the pitch at all if Barca are seeing out a comfortable win and don't want to risk him, so tread lightly here.

Defenders

Andy Robertson ($14) and Trent Alexander-Arnold ($17) -- Liverpool's full-backs, both of whom have two assists already this campaign in EPL play, love to bomb forward, and the Reds rely heavily on them to supply balls into the box. Robertson totaled 13 assists across all competitions last year while TAA -- who takes some corners -- had 15. They are great stacking partners with the front three, and they boast decent clean-sheet odds, too.

André Ramalho ($10) and Rasmus Kristensen ($9) -- These two are the cheapest expected starters for Salzburg. Regardless of who they start on the back line, Salzburg's defenders should be high-floor plays in a match where they'll likely be under siege for much of the proceedings. On a slate with so many big-money attackers, paying down at defender is probably going to be a popular route to lineup construction, particularly if Messi plays, and these two, assuming they start, are safe choices who can free up cash for said attackers.

Milan Skriniar ($12) and Stefan de Vrij ($10) -- These two Inter defenders are cut from the same cloth as the aforementioned Salzburg defenders. Playing at Barca, Inter aren't going to see a ton of the ball, and they should spend much of the match packed in deep. That gives their defenders a high floor, and these two are their cheapest expected starters.

Goalies

Adrián ($15) -- Adrián has the best win odds on the slate, and if the masses take a stars-and-scrubs approach to lineup construction, they may not have the coin to pay up for him. A clean-sheet win would net him 17.0 FanDuel points even before you factor in saves, and you can stack him with Alexander-Arnold or Robertson in an effort to double up on the clean-sheet bonus. Or you could stack him with Liverpool defender Joel Matip at a reasonable price of $11, but Matip isn't likely to have much to do in this one, so if the Reds don't get a clean sheet, his floor is low.

Péter Gulácsi ($11) -- Gulácsi checks some boxes as a home favorite, and even if he misses out on the clean sheet, he could still have a decent fantasy day due to save volume -- as long as Leipzig win and Gulácsi gets the win bonus. A Leipzig defender-goalie stack can be fairly cheap depending on how you do it, and the cash savings will be very handy on this slate.