SOCCER

DraftKings Daily Fantasy Soccer Helper for UCL 3/16/21

Toni Kroos and Real Madrid are looking to advance to the quarterfinals with a good performance on Tuesday. Who else should we target on this Champions League slate?

We've got more Champions League knockout round action. Here are the two games, with odds from FanDuel Sportsbook:

Home Draw Away
Real Madrid (+105) +270 Atalanta (+230)
Manchester City (-450) +500 Mönchengladbach (+1100)

Forwards to Target

Luis Muriel ($8,800): Muriel let us down last time out in the Champions League. He had just 3.3 DraftKings points before getting substituted in the 56th minute. The circumstances for that match and this second leg should be very different. Atalanta went down to 10 men in the 17th minute and had to defend for their lives. This game, they'll have to attack a lot more if they want to advance. Muriel would be the best player to use if Atalanta can find some goals, as he leads the club with 16. He's also tied for the team lead with seven assists. He's earned a share of set pieces with Papu Gómez no longer with the club. Muriel basically does it all more so than any player on this slate, so even with Atalanta being underdogs, he's still viable at $8,800.

Gabriel Jesus ($8,000): With Manchester City being huge favorites, you're going to want pieces of them where you can fit them in. Jesus is one of the forward options, and he's the one with the best anytime goal odds of players in the projected starting lineup. He also has the lowest salary for a Man City forward-eligible player in that lineup. Jesus had a goal in the first leg and had a goal on Saturday, so his form is decent. If City are able to dominate like the odds suggest, Jesus has a good chance of scoring a goal.

Marco Asensio ($6,600): Asensio is likely to start in Real Madrid's front three. He hasn't been in good goal-scoring form this season, but he averages 4.83 crosses per 90 minutes, according to Rotowire. That makes him the only player with any kind of floor for this salary and puts him in play in all formats.

Also Consider: Riyad Mahrez ($8,600), Raheem Sterling ($8,300), Marcus Thuram ($4,800)

Midfielders to Target

Kevin De Bruyne ($10,000): De Bruyne rested on the weekend, so he should be good to go in this game. This match sets up well for him, as Manchester City had more than 60% possession in the first leg. City having a lot of the ball should allow him to do his thing. With more than three shots, three chances created and six crosses per 90 minutes, his thing is accumulating fantasy points without having to score or assist a goal. That's not to say he is unlikely to score, as his goal scoring odds are good at +120. You could argue that his $10,000 salary is too low given how big of favorites Man City are in this match. That makes him tough to fade in any lineup build, as he is probably the best play on the slate.

Toni Kroos ($7,800): In a way, Kroos is like a less exciting version of KDB. He leads La Liga in chances created and corners taken. He has less goal-scoring or assist upside than De Bruyne does but likely has the second best floor on the slate. He played well in the first leg, notching 15.3 points. With at least 11 DraftKings points in his last eight starts, Kroos is someone we can rely on when rostering him. The knock against him would be that he has lower upside for someone at this salary. That doesn't come into play as much on a two-game slate. If there aren't too many goals scored, a player like Kroos -- who generates a lot of his value from crossing -- won't have to match too many players who get high point totals through contributing to goals.

Also Consider: İlkay Gündoğan ($7,600), Luka Modrić ($5,600), Francisco Valverde ($3,600)

Defenders to Target

Robin Gosens ($5,200): This slate features two of the more unique defenders in daily fantasy soccer. Gosens is one of them. He plays as a left-wing back, which is the type of defender we like to target. However, he doesn't cross often, averaging just 2.23 per 90 minutes. Instead, we can play him for goal upside. Gosens had nine Serie A goals last season and has nine so far this campaign. He also creates goals, with 13 assists across the last two seasons. He had a poor game in the first leg against Madrid, but that was his worst start fantasy-wise since the calendar flipped to 2021, so some of that has to be chalked up to the fact that Atalanta played the majority of the game down a man. Gosens should have his chance to rectify that poor showing and get forward often enough to have a chance to score a goal.

Sergio Ramos ($4,000): The second defender who is unique is the infamous Sergio Ramos. The thing that makes him unique is also his goal-scoring ability. He had 11 goals in La Liga last season, as he helped Real Madrid win the title. He does so with his strong aerial ability off corner kicks but also because he is Madrid's main penalty taker. He took over the role after Cristiano Ronaldo left the club and has scored 17 penalties without missing one, according to transfermarkt.com. His goal scoring odds are +310, much better than some other players with higher salaries. So Ramos is definitely a play you can make and hope for a goal, which is not something you can realistically say for many players at $4,000.

Aymeric Laporte ($3,200): Laporte is a punt play at defender should he get the start. There aren't many great plays at the position, so the opportunity cost of playing a defender who has very little upside isn't too high. If you roster Laporte, you're hoping for something like he did in the last leg, when he completed 102 passes and picked up the clean-sheet bonus for 5.5 DK points. That would do quite nicely if it allows you to fit in the other players with high salaries.

Also Consider: Ferland Mendy ($4,600), Joakim Maehle ($4,300)

Goalkeeper to Target

Pierluigi Gollini ($4,400): Real Madrid struggled to break down Atalanta in the first leg despite playing with a man advantage for nearly 75 minutes. This means that Gollini is unlikely to give up too many goals in this game, which is really all you need to consider him on this slate with just four keepers available. Note that if Marco Sportiello ($4,300) starts, he's a fine option, as well, as we are playing the situation rather than the each particular goalkeeper's talent.



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.