SOCCER

Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 11/27/19

Barcelona haven't been at their brilliant best this year. Should you fade them Wednesday with so many other good sides in appealing spots?

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.

Group Stage
Wednesday, November 27th
Napoli at Liverpool
Dortmund at Barcelona
Ajax at Lille
Inter at Slavia Prague
Red Bull Salzburg at Genk
Benfica at RB Leipzig


Per FanDuel Sportsbook, this is a slate in which we have a clear favorite in five of six matches. Liverpool (-260) are the slate's biggest favorite, with RB Leipzig (-220), Barcelona (-185), Red Bull Salzburg (-175) and Ajax (-120) also sitting as favored sides. The only match that doesn't feature a team with better than 50% implied win odds is the Inter-Slavia Prague tilt.

Here are some players to target at various price points.

Forwards/Midfielders

Lionel Messi ($24) -- Barcelona, especially Messi, are usually wildly popular when they're at home. Messi is sure to see a big ownership number here, but the rest of the side may not be all that popular given their meh form. In their last UCL match, Barca sputtered to a 0-0 home draw with Slavia Prague. That scoreless draw broke Messi's streak of scoring or assisting in 13 straight home UCL group stage matches in which he started. Dortmund are far from an easy matchup, but Messi -- who has eight goals and five assists in just seven La Liga starts -- is easily the top play on the slate and offers a massive ceiling every time he steps on the pitch, especially at the Camp Nou.

Erling Haaland ($21) -- To say Haaland has been in good form this year would be a wee bit of an understatement. The 19-year-old has basically locked up a big move with seven goals across four UCL matches. He's averaging an absurd 41.0 FanDuel points per game in European play, including slate-breaking outputs of 55.6 and 65.6. He's been just as electric in domestic play, proving too good for the Austrian Bundesliga, netting 15 goals with four assists in 10 starts. Red Bull Salzburg are a -175 favorite at Genk, a side Haaland netted a hat trick against earlier in the competition, and the only concern with Haaland is in regards to his fitness, though he did practice fully leading up to this match. If Haaland is out, Salzburg would offer value somewhere in attack, depending on how they set up.

Timo Werner ($20) -- Werner is on pace for a career-best season for RB Leipzig, who are the second-biggest favorites (-220) on the slate as of Tuesday afternoon. They're at home against Benfica, and Werner makes a ton of sense in this clash. He's got 12 goals and four assists in 12 Bundesliga starts, scoring eight more goals than anyone else in the side. He hasn't scored in UCL play since the first round of group stage matches, but he netted a brace in that one -- which was at Benfica -- on his way to 48.0 FanDuel points.

Mohamed Salah ($20) -- Liverpool are a slate-high -260 favorite for their home fixture with Napoli. These two met up in last year's group stage, and Napoli provided a stiff challenge both times, winning 1-0 in Italy and losing 1-0 at Anfield. This season, Napoli prevailed 2-0 at home, so Liverpool being this big of a favorite tells you how much oddsmakers respect this Reds team -- as well as how big of an impact Anfield can have. Salah is expected to be fit for this one after sitting out at Crystal Palace over the weekend, and he's bagged six goals with three assists in 11 EPL starts. Salah should handle penalties unless James Milner is on the pitch.

Hakim Ziyech ($17) -- We're certainly not short of quality top-priced options on favored sides. Ajax have been just as free flowing in attack this season as they were in last year's UCL competition. They're only -120 favorites at Lille, which could cause them to fly under the radar a bit, so if you're looking for a possibly lower-owned team to stack in GPPs, here ya go. Ziyech handles some corners and free kicks and has created at least two chances in all four of his UCL matches this season. Domestically, he's got five goals and 10 assists in 13 starts. Dating back to last season, Ajax have had zero issues going on the road in Europe, and they've racked up seven combined away goals versus Valencia and Chelsea so far in this year's group stage.

Defenders

Nicolás Tagliafico ($15) -- Tagliafico has scored at least 13 FanDuel points in each UCL match for Ajax, and if you're stacking the Dutch side, he's a great guy to build around. He rocked Lille in the reverse fixture, totaling one goal, one assist, eight tackles and eight interceptions in a sublime all-around showing that resulted in 68 FanDuel points. While we can't expect that kind of production again, he should offer a high floor from his defensive actions as well as good upside in attack.

Trent Alexander-Arnold ($15) -- Alexander-Arnold might be the most important creative kog for Liverpool, and he and Andrew Robertson ($14) are cheat codes in DFS. Alexander-Arnold is the safer bet of the two due to his corner and (sometimes) free-kick duties. Trent has created six chances across Liverpool's two home UCL matches this season, and he's got one goal with three assists in 13 EPL starts. He's a great stacking partner with any of the Reds' attackers or midfielders.

Júnior Firpo ($9) -- Barcelona will be without Gerard Piqué (suspension), Nélson Semedo (injury) and Jordi Alba (injured), three of their usual starting defenders. Firpo should step into Alba's left-back spot, and while he's not as stellar going forward as Alba is, Firpo had three goals and four assists last season in a solid campaign at Real Betis. With Barcelona at home, they figure to see a lot of the ball, and Firpo is a cheap way to get exposure to someone who will spend time in attacking areas for them.

Goalies

Alisson ($14) -- Liverpool's keeper has the best win odds on the slate with the Reds a -260 home favorite over Napoli. Liverpool haven't been as air tight at the back of late, going 10 matches without a clean sheet, but that's not all bad for Alisson's DFS outlook as he has been asked to make more saves. Speaking of a clean sheet, two of the three most likely scorelines, per FanDuel Sportsbook, include a Reds clean-sheet win. As long as Liverpool win, Alisson should turn in a solid DFS outing.

Péter Gulácsi ($12) -- Gulácsi is the second-biggest favorite, and the few bucks in savings could come in handy. As a reminder, RB Leipzig are -220 favorites at home against Benfica. Leipzig has kept a clean sheet in two of their last four matches domestically, and Gulácsi has put up at least 22 FanDuel points twice in four group stage outings. A multi-save win is firmly in play here, and he doesn't need a clean sheet to have a good day. Each of the three most likely scorelines, per oddsmakers, are Leipzig wins, with two being clean sheets.