FanDuel Soccer: Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper for Wednesday 3/11/20
This primer is for FanDuel's Wednesday Champions League main slate, which kicks off at 4 p.m. EST and includes both matches. Lineups will be announced at 3 p.m. EST.
|Dortmund at PSG||PSG (-140)||-290||Mbappé/Icardi/Neymar (-115)||Dortmund Win, 2-1
|Atlético Madrid at Liverpool||Liverpool (-180)||+106||Salah (+110)||Atléti Win, 1-0|
Whew -- what a slate this is.
As we head into the second leg, both road teams hold the advantage. Atléti are 1-0 up while Dortmund sit in front by a 2-1 score. Per the odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, the PSG-Dortmund clash should be the more fantasy-friendly affair as it's at a whopping -290 to have more than 2.5 goals. Both home teams are favored.
I'm building around Liverpool. Yes, the Reds are in the midst of their worst run of form in at least 12 months. But they're -180 to win, and we know they're capable of blitzing anyone at Anfield. In their home knockout matches over the last two seasons (a six-match split), Liverpool have outscored teams by a combined total of 14-2 with five clean sheets. The Reds have netted at least two goals -- they need at least two on Wednesday -- in four of the six matches in that split, including five against Roma, four on Barcelona and three versus Manchester City.
Atléti are tough, ragged and dark-artsy, and they will do everything in their power to make it difficult for Liverpool. But a road knockout match at Anfield is currently the toughest assignment in world football. Atléti were in a similar position a year ago -- a better position, in fact -- taking a 2-0 cushion into the second leg at Juventus, and Diego Simeone's side lost 3-0.
In the PSG-Dortmund game, we have plenty of top-shelf attacking talent to choose from, but my emphasis is going to be on getting the Reds I want and then plugging in PSG-Dortmund players, as I think the plethora of options in that match allows for more flexibility.
Let's look at some of the top plays from each match.
Atlético Madrid at Liverpool
This is undoubtedly a situation in which the Reds should be aggressive in attack as they need at least two goals, giving their front three gobs of appeal. And if Atléti manage to score one goal, Liverpool will need three, so the Reds will push forward even more. Mohamed Salah ($20, +110 anytime goal odds), Sadio Mané ($18, +120)and Roberto Firmino ($16, +190) are all firmly in play.
Of the trio, I like Salah the most. He should be on penalties -- unless James Milner ($11) is on the pitch -- and Salah's crafty dribbling ability will come in handy against an Atléti defense that will likely drop extremely deep. In the first leg, the Reds dominated possession (73%) but didn't get a shot on goal. Two of the Reds' best chances fell to Salah, who had a first-half shot blocked and missed the target on a second-half header.
This matchup sets up well for both Trent Alexander-Arnold ($15) and Andy Robertson ($13), Liverpool's sublime full-back duo. After stymying the Reds in the first leg by getting everyone behind the ball and staying narrow, Atlético have no reason to do anything differently in this one until they're forced to chase a goal (if that time comes), and at lot of the creative responsibility for Liverpool should land at the feet of Robertson and TAA.
What a pass from Alexander-Arnold
What a cross from Robertson
What a finish from Salah pic.twitter.com/Eou1JcupV1
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) November 10, 2019
Trent -- a DFS loophole -- takes corners and some free kicks, so he checks a lot of boxes. He racked up 17 crosses in the first leg and has at least 10 in five straight matches in all competitions. He's a fantasy monster. With that said, TAA usually sees a lot more ownership that Robertson does, and Robertson will send in his fair share of crosses. Both are great plays and can be stacked with anyone on Liverpool -- attackers, midfielders, fellow defenders or Adrián ($10).
Speaking of Adrián, his $10 salary is handy and the win odds are nice, but the save volume is likely going to be low. He's a solid dart throw at the win bonus.
It's hard to feel too confident about any Atlético attacker seeing as they put just two total shots on goal at home in the first leg and have netted only 31 goals in 27 La Liga matches. As we said above, the Reds have kept five clean sheets in their last six UCL home knockout matches. But Liverpool are sans Alisson, their stud keeper, and their normally stout defense has shown cracks lately, conceding two goals to West Ham, three to Watford and one to Bournemouth across their previous three EPL outings.
João Félix ($15) has been rounding into full fitness after missing the first leg. In a match in which Los Colchoneros will be trying to hit on the counter, Felix could be a vital cog as Atlético seek a crucial away goal, and at his salary, he won't see too much ownership. Be warned: the floor is very low here.
Everyone in Atlético's back line is a high-floor play as they should absorb a lot of pressure. The expected starters are Renan Lodi ($14), Stefan Savic ($13), Felipe ($12) and Kieran Trippier ($11). Goalie ownership is tough to predict on this slate, but Jan Oblak ($12) should be busy and is capable of standing on his head, though the win odds are not good.
Added time -- The aforementioned Milner may start if Jordan Henderson ($12) isn't deemed fit. Milner will likely take any pens Liverpool get when he's on the pitch, which is a big feather in his DFS cap on a small slate. Gini Wijnaldum ($10) is a cheap way to get exposure to Liverpool, and he could run forward more than usual if Liverpool get in chase mode.
Dortmund at PSG
With this match listed at -290 to have at least three goals, there's a lot to like from a fantasy perspective. Both sides have been in plenty of free-flowing matches this season. There have been more than 2.5 goals scored in 26 of PSG's last 30 games in the Champions League. For BVB, there have been more than 2.5 goals scored in each of their last four UCL games. We should get goals.
With PSG at -140 to win, Neymar ($23) and Kylian Mbappé ($22) are the obvious place to start, and both are -115 to score anytime. Neymar got Paris' goal in the first leg off an assist from Mbappé, and Neymar's free-kick, penalty and corner duties make him super appealing. Mbappé, the French superstar, has a sky-high ceiling in his own right. Facing a Dortmund side that's been far from stable defensively this season, these two could blow up.
Ángel Di María ($16) may start up top as the other member of PSG's front three, and he's at +160 to score. The Argentine hasn't shown the ceiling of the other two, but he's cheaper, has solid anytime goal odds and is a nice pivot off the likely high ownership of Mbappé and Neymar. He's also a good stacking partner with either of them.
Thilo Kehrer ($8) is the likely replacement for the suspended Thomas Meunier, and there's a lot to like about a full-back at the minimum on a team that's expected to tally a couple goals.
For Dortmund, the Erling Haaland ($19)show continued in the first leg as his brace resulted in 47.8 FanDuel points.
What. A. Hit.
Erling Haaland put everything behind this shot
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 18, 2020
The Norwegian phenom has a whopping 10 goals in UCL play this season, and he's put up a ridiculous line of nine goals and one assist in only five Bundesliga starts. He's +100 to score, though I will probably fade him for game-theory reasons.
I think this game -- a match in which Dortmund will have to play without the ball more than usual -- really suits Jadon Sancho ($16). Sancho created three chances in the first leg and looked a threat all game, totaling four crosses and two shots. He's recorded 14 goals and 15 assists in 21 domestic league starts, and his pace will shine on counter attacks. The suspension of Marco Verratti is a big blow for PSG and a boost for Dortmund, as Verratti was a key factor in the first leg, showing off his ball-winning skills with seven tackles.
BVB full-back Achraf Hakimi ($14) was a bright spot in the first leg, creating two chances in addition to some defensive work en route to 16.4 FanDuel points. He's got the pace to hurt PSG on the counter and should have to tend to his defensive responsibilities, too, giving him a nice floor.
In goal, Keylor Navas ($14) is the slate's most expensive keeper. PSG are favored, so the win odds are there, but PSG don't exactly have a great track record of playing well in all-important second legs. On the opposite end of the pitch, Roman Bürki ($9) is the cheapest expected starter. He's amassed 1.5 and 1.0 FanDuel points in his two most recent road UCL matches, and for my money, he's the worst keeper play on the board barring another PSG meltdown.
Added time -- Leandro Paredes ($9) and Julian Draxler ($12)are potential replacements for the banned Verratti. Draxler would be the more exciting option fantasy-wise as he's more prone to getting forward, assisting four goals in Ligue 1 play while Paredes has no goals or assists this season.