SOCCER

DraftKings Champions League Daily Fantasy Soccer Helper: Wednesday 10/23/19

Lionel Messi is ready to run wild in the Champions League. Who else can we get a big game from?

The second half of Matchday 3 kicks off on Wednesday with six games on the main slate on DraftKings. These games project to be more evenly matched than some of what we saw on Tuesday, with only Liverpool and Barcelona favored to win over three results. Other games include close matches on paper with Inter Milan playing Borussia Dortmund and Benfica playing Olympique Lyon. So which players should we target for this slate?

Forwards to Target

Lionel Messi ($11,000): With Barcelona being a -220 favorite according to FanDuel Sportsbook, you have to look at Lionel Messi as an option. He has returned to full health this season and has a goal in back-to-back games in La Liga. There's a good chance that will continue here, as Messi has -190 odds to score a goal at anytime. He also takes some corner kicks, adding a small amount to his already high floor. There isn't much to add as if you follow soccer, you know how good Messi is. He is worth paying up for as a player with potential to break the slate if you don't have him in your lineup.

Dries Mertins ($9,300): It's always tough to wade through which one to roster between Napoli's three headed monster of a forward line. Between Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and José Callejón, they all have pretty solid outlooks on a game-to-game basis. This season, Mertins leads the team in goals and shots per game, per WhoScored.com. He also gets a share of corner kicks, as those duties are shared throughout the squad depending on who is in the lineup. Napoli travel to Austria to face Red Bull Salzburg, who have played two high-scoring games thus far in the Champions League with eight goals and seven goals in them, respectively. An open game like that would benefit Mertins.

Adel Taarabt ($5,400): A value play at forward would be Adel Taarabt of Benfica. Taarabt is having a career rejuvenation after flaming out at other clubs. In the first two group stage games this year, Taarabt has averaged 11 fantasy points without scoring a goal or getting an assist. Now they host a Lyon side that have won one game since August 16th. Taarabt's floor is fairly high and for his price is one of the safest options for fantasy points, regardless of position.

Midfielders to Target

All of the forwards listed above are also midfield eligible and the first midfield-only player on the DraftKings slate is Pizzi ($7,300), so keep that in mind when building rosters.

Daniel Parejo ($7,100): Parejo is the main man for Valencia when it comes to taking corner kicks. He gets a near monopoly of the opportunities on set pieces, and that also includes penalty kicks. He has six goals this season, and four of them are from the penalty spot. The floor and upside you get from someone that does both of these things is pretty rare for only $7,100. Valencia are on the road to play Lille, but the oddsmakers suggest that this will be a fairly even game. Even when Valencia got beat handily by Ajax last match, Parejo was able to put up 13 DraftKings points. If this game is more competitive and Parejo gets a goal or assist, he will rack up a lot points to go with his points from crosses.

Jonathan Bamba ($6,100): On the other side of that Lille-Valencia match is Jonathan Bamba. Bamba has impressed in the Champions League this season in tough matches against Ajax and Chelsea. He had seven shot assists in the two games and one actual assist. He also gets some corner kicks and likes to take shots as well. Lille are favored to win for the first time in the Champions League this season, and Bamba could be the one to unlock the defense and get on the scoresheet in this match.

Defenders to Target

Alejandro Grimaldo ($5,500): Grimaldo is the exact type of defender we want to roster. He gets a lot of crosses, 19 in the first two group stage games. He gets forward, with four shots and six shot assists in these two games, as well. His price at $5,500 is lower than defenders who are don't have all of these things going in their favor. Benfica are likely to win against Lyon in this match, and Grimaldo can contribute to the attack like most other defenders cannot.

Kevin Malcuit ($4,600): Malcuit is one of the few fullbacks left standing for Napoli after several injuries at the position. He filled in off the bench in Matchday 2, and had six crosses in the 57 minutes that he played. He has only made three starts this season, but there are reasons to be optimistic about his fantasy value. His statistical profile suggests that he likes to cross, and that backs up what we saw in the small sample we have of his play. With three fullbacks injured, it's unlikely that Malcuit will be substituted barring an injury. He could be a value at $4,600 if what we know about him plays out in this match.

Goalkeepers to Target

Odisseas Vlachodimos ($5,100): Benfica's goalkeeper is in play as he faces a Lyon side that is in a bit of a bad state right now. They fired their manager earlier this month and have failed to score in three of their last four matchups. This is a play against a struggling side and will give us a chance at a win and clean sheet.

Samir Handanović ($5,000): Handanović for Inter Milan has the benefit of facing Dortmund without their top two goal scorers from last season. Marco Reus and Paco Alcácer will both be missing this match. Inter have been in good form this season, sitting in second in Serie A. Inter are also favored in this game at home, and without the threat of those two goalscorers, has little blow-up potential to sink your lineup.


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.