SOCCER

Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 2/19/20

Duván Zapata has been great for a free-flowing Atalanta side, and they are favored versus Valencia on Wednesday. Which other players should you target?

The Champions League, the best soccer competition on the planet, is back, and FanDuel is offering plenty of contests for the knockout rounds. This article will focus on the main Wednesday slate, which starts at 3 p.m. EST.

Round of 16 -- 1st Leg
Wednesday, February 19th
RB Leipzig at Tottenham
Valencia at Atalanta


Per FanDuel Sportsbook, Atalanta are the slate's biggest favorite, listed at -140 to win at home against Valencia. A -140 line comes out to implied win odds of 58.3%. Tottenham and RB Leipzig are both at +165 in the other matchup.

Let's look at some players to target at various price points.

Forwards/Midfielders

Josip Iličić ($15) -- Just like we all planned back in the fall, Atalanta are a first-leg favorite in a Round-of-16 Champions League match. Jokes aside, Atalanta making the Round of 16 is nothing short of bonkers, and their fans should make it a special atmosphere Wednesday -- though the match is being played at the San Siro due to Atalanta's normal home ground undergoing renovations. A surprise UCL qualifier last season via a third-place finish in Serie A, La Dea reached the knockouts in their first ever Champions League campaign by taking advantage of a fairly soft group draw. Awaiting them in the Round of 16 is a favorable matchup with Valencia, and Atalanta are the slate's biggest favorite (-140). Iličić has been really good this season, netting 14 goals with three assists in 18 Serie A starts (20 total appearances). He's got 5.8 expected assists, so his assist numbers could look even better.

Duván Zapata ($20) -- Zapata will likely start alongside Iličić as part of a front two, and you can stack them if you want to go heavy on Atalanta, a side leading Serie A in goals with 63 in 24 matches. Zapata has eight goals and five assists in 12 Serie A starts (14 appearances), missing time earlier this season with an abductor injury. He may not be 100%, so he's not a lock to start. But he's scored twice in his last five matches across all competitions, tallying three assists and 16 total shots (five on goal) in that time. He's also the only Atalanta player other than Luis Muriel to take a penalty kick this season. For the most part, Muriel has been used off the bench lately, so Zapata's spot-kick duties could come in handy. The four most likely scorelines, per FanDuel Sportsbook, have Atalanta scoring at least one goal, and the most likely scoreline -- 2-1 in favor of La Dea (+650) -- has them scoring twice. Zapata is at -115 to score anytime, the best odds of any player on the slate.

Lucas Moura ($17) -- In stunning news, Tottenham's Son Heung-Min has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. With Harry Kane also sidelined, Spurs are short on attacking options. It's hard to predict what Jose Mourinho will do, but Moura should shoulder a lot of attacking responsibility. Prior to the Son news, Spurs were +135 to win. Now, they're +165, same as Leipzig. Son had taken Tottenham's lone penalty with Kane out. It remains to be seen who will be on spot-kick duty now, but Moura might take the reins, which would boost both his floor and ceiling in DFS. Dele Alli ($15) will have to do more in attack, as well.

Timo Werner ($21) -- Werner is -105 to score in the match at Tottenham, the second-best odds on the slate and the top anytime goal odds in the Spurs-Leipzig matchup. He's been outstanding this season in Bundesliga play, helping Leipzig push for the title. In 22 domestic league starts, he's posted 20 goals with six assists. He's also taken three of Leipzig's five penalties in Bundesliga matches, converting all three, with Emil Forsberg ($16) taking the other two. Werner should see a good amount of ownership given his name recognition and Tottenham's injury woes.

Giovani Lo Celso ($11) -- Lo Celso has grown in importance under Mourinho, and he might have to do more going forward with Son out. In last weekend's EPL match, Lo Celso and Son split the corners, so there's a chance the Argentine will have a monopoly on corners in this one, giving him additional opportunities to create chances. Tottenham should offer some value due to their injury situation, so check Spurs' starting XI and go from there.

Defenders

Hans Hateboer ($10) -- Overall, there are a lot of appealing cheaper defenders on this slate. Hateboer is one of them. He plays a wing-back role in Atalanta's three-at-the-back system. That means means he's a defender on FanDuel, but he actually spends a lot of time getting forward, making him attractive in DFS. He's got three assists in 16 Serie A starts, and he can be paired with any Atalanta attacker or with Pierluigi Gollini, their keeper, in hopes of doubling up on a clean-sheet bonus. Toss in his modest price, and Hateboer is easy to like.

Eliaquim Mangala ($8) -- If you're looking to punt at defender, Mangala has a serviceable floor in a match in which Valencia should have to defend quite a bit. He'll likely start in place of the suspended Gabriel Paulista. If he doesn't start, whoever takes Paulista's spot will be a decent dart throw who should amass defensive actions.

Angeliño ($12) -- Similar to Hateboer, Angeliño is playing as a wing-back and will get forward for Leipzig when he has the chance. Angeliño has played only two matches for the German side since coming over on loan from Manchester City in the January transfer window, but in those matches, he's sent in 13 crosses while also taking some corners. On the road at Spurs, Angeliño should chip in with some defensive stats, too.

Goalies

Pierluigi Gollini ($15) -- Gollini is the slate's most expensive keeper, and it makes sense as Atalanta have the best win odds. Atalanta have allowed 31 goals in 24 Serie A matches, so they aren't the best defensively. With that said, Valencia are just seventh in the La Liga table, and they're missing Rodrigo Moreno, their starting striker, due to injury.

Péter Gulácsi ($11) -- After Gollini, things get dicey at keeper. I'm leaning Gulácsi over Hugo Lloris ($13) in the Spurs-Leipzig match, because with Son and Kane out, Tottenham don't have great firepower going forward. As of Tuesday morning, FanDuel Sportsbook has both Leipzig and Spurs at +165. With a win being crucial for goalies (seven FanDuel points), who you pick between the two should fit with the rest of your roster construction. If you're rostering multiple Tottenham attackers, plug in Lloris. If you're loading up on Leipzig, opt for Gulácsi.