SOCCER

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Soccer Helper for UCL 2/24/21

The last four teams still in the Champions League that haven't played their first leg are in action on Wednesday. Here are the games, with odds from FanDuel Sportsbook:

Home Draw Away
Borussia Mönchengladbach (+850) +490 Manchester City (-340)
Atalanta (+125) +275 Real Madrid (+195)


Forwards to Target

Luis Muriel ($8,700): It's pretty surprising to see Muriel as the forward with the highest salary, but when you dig into things, it makes sense. Atalanta lost Papu Gómez during the transfer window, which opened up set pieces for others. Muriel has been getting some of these and took all six corner kicks in their last match. With this, he has over five crosses per 90 minutes, according to Rotowire. He is also a more traditional forward that is a goal threat, as he averages over five shots per 90 and has scored 14 goals in the league this season. There really isn't any other forward on this slate that has that combination of skills, especially not at the forward position. In his last five league starts, he has at least 17 DraftKings points, so he is worth this salary that might surprise you at first glance.

Gabriel Jesus ($7,500): Jesus hasn't been having a banner season, but is in a good spot here. His Man City are the biggest favorites we've seen in this round of the Champions League, going up against an overmatched Mönchengladbach team. Mönchengladbach are in eighth place in the Bundesliga and are an average defensive team at best. Jesus is a -125 favorite to score at any time, which are the best odds for any projected starter on the slate. So for $7,500, he's definitely worth considering.

Marco Asensio ($5,900): Real Madrid have been ravaged with injuries, especially to their front line. Asensio is now forced to play and has been doing well. He averages 4.86 crosses per 90 minutes, as well as over one shot and one foul drawn. That gives him a pretty high floor for a forward of this salary, putting him in play at this position.

Also Consider: Raheem Sterling ($8,400), Mariano ($5,200).

Midfielders to Target

Kevin De Bruyne ($9,500): De Bruyne is back in the Manchester City lineup, so he's back in consideration for us. We know what we get with De Bruyne, one of the highest floor and ceiling combinations in Europe. He averages 6.87 crosses per 90 minutes, 3.83 shots per 90, and 3.52 chances created per 90. We know his ceiling is high, as he had 13 goals and 20 assists last season, and has 10 assists in 19 league appearances this season. We often see his salary above $10,000 in Premier League games. With Manchester City being sizable favorites, there is an argument that even though De Bruyne has the highest salary on the slate, it should even be higher. That makes him a great play at $9,500.

Toni Kroos ($7,300): Kroos is a great floor midfielder. He gets the vast majority of set pieces for Real Madrid, which results in 5.29 crosses per 90 minutes for him. He creates nearly three chances per 90 as well. Kroos has scored at least 13 DraftKings points in his last five games, which would be a reasonable outcome for this salary. With so many Real Madrid players missing, including Sergio Ramos, Kroos could even take a penalty if Madrid got one, which adds a little bit more to his fantasy point expectation. He is the best midfielder in this salary range.

Also consider: Jonas Hofmann ($6,500), Luka Modrić ($4,700).

Defenders to Target

Robin Gosens ($5,000): Gosens is one of the most attacking full backs/wing backs in Europe. It's not often we can site goal numbers for a defender as a positive, but Gosens has an impressive seven goals in Serie A this season. Atalanta play an attacking style of soccer that they will employ even against Real Madrid, and with Madrid being so banged-up, it could work. The Italian side has scored 53 goals in 23 league matches this season, the second-most in the league. Gosens also has four assists this season, so he's involved in a lot of this Atalanta attack. Given those goal involvements, he is at a discount at just $5,000, as it's easy to see his salary being higher if he was a forward or midfielder.

Ferland Mendy ($3,800): Mendy always seems to have a low salary for a full back playing for Real Madrid. He's not the most attacking player, but he has proven to be useful in fantasy. During the group stage, he had over seven DraftKings points in four of the six games. With limited options on this two-game slate, Mendy is one of the better values, seeing as he has the second-lowest salary for any player projected to start at full back. He's definitely worth rostering as a value play.

Also Consider: Oleksandr Zinchenko ($4,800), Joakim Maehle ($4,200).

Goalkeepers to Target

Ederson ($5,800): DraftKings seems to have made an error with Ederson's salary, as Zach Steffen started the last Champions League match in which City had nothing to play for. For $100 less than what he should be, Ederson is a nice play. Mönchengladbach have scored the eighth-most goals in the Bundesliga, so their attack doesn't appear to pose much danger. City have clean sheet odds of -114, so Ederson stands out above the rest of the keepers.

Yann Sommer ($3,800): The other route you can go at keeper is playing the one with the lowest salary. The thinking here is that if none of the goalies really separate from the pack, playing the one with the lowest salary of the four starters should give you a leg up at the other positions. Yann Sommer has been one of the best goalies in the Bundesliga for the last few seasons, so it's not unreasonable for him to make a few saves, and even if he allows a few goals, still have a decent fantasy output while saving you salary.


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.