SOCCER

DraftKings Soccer: Champions League DFS Helper for 9/28/21

Karim Benzema and Real Madrid should have their way with an overmatched opponent. Who else should we target on Tuesday?

The second week of the Champions League group stage starts off with some of the biggest teams in Europe in action. Here are the six games, with odds from FanDuel Sportsbook:

Home Draw Away
AC Milan (+180) +210 Atlético Madrid (+165)
RB Leipzig (-220) +380 Club Brugge (+550)
Real Madrid (-1050) +1000 Sheriff Tiraspol (+2800)
Dortmund (-270) +410 Sporting CP (+650)
PSG (+200) +250 Manchester City (+130)
Porto (+390) +290 Liverpool (-140)

Forwards to Target

Karim Benzema ($10,500): With some of the other big teams in tough matchups, it’s clear we should target Real Madrid players. They are the biggest favorites by far against Sheriff Tiraspol from Moldova. They should be able to score some goals, and no one is in a better spot than Karim Benzema.

Benzema has been on fire in La Liga and has shown no signs of slowing down at age 33. He has eight goals and seven assists in seven league appearances. A small concern would be that he doesn’t go 90 minutes, but if he does get subbed off early, it’s likely because he did damage while on the pitch.

Benzema is a -170 favorite to score at any time, currently the biggest favorite on the slate (besides Erling Haaland who might not play). The forward position is loaded with stars, but Benzema clearly has the best matchup at the position.

Neymar ($8,500): It’s a bit jarring to see Neymar all the way down at $8,500, but they are in a tough matchup against Manchester City. Still, Neymar is worth serious consideration as one of the best players in the world who brings a high floor.

Neymar can hit Manchester City on the counterattack better than most players, and he’ll have Kylian Mbappé running alongside him. Neymar should be able to get some shots off, draw fouls, and will likely take corner kicks if Ángel di María is not in the lineup.

It’s tough to know exactly how the game will play out with these two powerhouses having many moving parts throughout the lineup. What we do know, however, is that Neymar will be one of the most talented players on the pitch. For this salary and that reason, he’s worth taking a shot on in tournaments.

André Silva ($6,300): Silva had a breakout season last year at Eintracht Frankfurt, and it earned him a move to RB Leipzig. Silva had 28 Bundesliga goals last season, which was more than Erling Haaland and only behind Robert Lewandowski in the league. He hasn't hit the ground running with his new club but has a great chance to turn it around in Tuesday's game.

Leipzig are one of the bigger favorites on the slate at home to Club Brugge. Silva is even-money to score in this game, making him a clear value considering the odds of other players with higher salaries. If you need a goal for a lower salary, Silva is your best bet.

Others to Consider: Erling Haaland ($11,700, if he starts), Vinícius Júnior ($7,400), Luis Suárez ($6,400)

Midfielders to Target

Dominik Szoboszlai ($8,400): Szoboszlai is a dynamic talent who joined RB Leipzig in the summer. He's just 20 years old but impressed enough at RB Salzburg to be signed by Leipzig. Leipzig is clearly a team to target, and Dominik Szoboszlai is one of their best fantasy assets.

Szoboszlai hasn't been shy about crossing the ball since joining Leipzig, averaging over eight crosses per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga this season, according to Rotowire. With Angeliño suspended, Szoboszlai should be a set-piece taker in this game. He's not just a floor player, though, as he has two goals and an assist in five Bundesliga appearances so far this year. He makes sense in this matchup with Club Brugge and makes for a good pairing with André Silva in tournaments in the hopes they can combine on a goal.

Luka Modrić ($6,200): Modrić was a clear value last time out in the Champions League. He was able to produce 9.6 DraftKings points despite Real Madrid getting outplayed by Inter for the majority of the match. Madrid getting outplayed in this game is highly unlikely.

We know that Real Madrid are likely to dominate this game against Sheriff. Modrić has taken over as the man on corner kicks with Toni Kroos missing the start of the season. That's the reason we liked him two weeks ago, and it's still true for this game. Despite decent results and a clear matchup upgrade, Modrić's salary only increased by $900. He's still a clear value and a virtual lock for cash game lineups.

Julian Brandt ($5,600): Borussia Dortmund's lineup is one of the biggest question marks on the slate. If Julian Brandt is in the starting lineup, he is definitely a value at this salary. He's listed as questionable, but Marco Rose mentioned that he is available in the same statement in which he said that Haaland and Marco Reus would be game-time decisions.

Dortmund are the second-biggest favorites on this slate behind only Real Madrid, so getting exposure to them makes sense. Brandt will likely play as a winger and should get set pieces, especially if Reus misses this match. Brandt is definitely usable in all formats at this salary.

Others to Consider: Rodrigo de Paul ($7,500), Sandro Tonali ($5,500), Nuno Santos ($3,000)

Defenders to Target

Andrew Robertson ($5,700): Robertson is much more affordable than his teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold. Robertson has provided no less than 13 DraftKings points in his four matches this season, and Alexander-Arnold has reached 15 points in all of his games. Robertson can match TAA's output if he's able to contribute to a goal. He's definitely capable of doing that, with 14 goal involvements in the 2019-20 Premier League season -- including 8 last season.

The gap in salaries is enough to take the savings and roster Robertson if you want one of these attacking full backs. Liverpool are favored on the road against Porto and have scored nine goals in two trips to the Estádio do Dragão since 2018. They should be able to have a good match in this game, and Robertson might be the best piece to use from Liverpool when considering salaries.

Theo Hernández ($5,000): Hernández is a talented young attacking full back, playing well for AC Milan in Serie A this season. He has at least eight DraftKings points in five of six starts this season, and then had a goal and an assist in a recent league game. He has a tough matchup against Atlético Madrid, but he was able to get 11.6 DraftKings points away to Liverpool. If Sandro Tonali doesn't play, Hernández could inherit set pieces, which would make him very valuable at $5,000.

Nico Schulz ($4,000): It hasn't been smooth sailing for Schulz since joining Dortmund in 2019, but what we look for when rostering a full back is definitely there. He's an attack-minded defender who gets forward like a freight train. He plays for a favored team who should be able to control the game and would allow him to get forward. For $4,000, it's hard to find someone who checks all of those boxes.

Others to Consider: Trent Alexander-Arnold ($8,500), Kieran Trippier ($5,600), Nacho ($3,400)

Goalkeepers to Target

Thibaut Courtois ($5,900): This is a clear spot where rostering the goalie with the highest salary makes sense. Courtois is $5,900 and Gregor Kobel is $5,800, yet the difference in their odds is huge. Real Madrid are -172 to keep a clean sheet in this game, while Dortmund are +144. You can basically lock in at least 10 points if you roster Courtois, and he's clearly the safest option on the slate.

Antonio Adán ($3,800): If you need a punt, you can look to Adán if Erling Haaland is not in the lineup. The Dortmund attack would be far less lethal without the Norwegian goal machine playing, and the risk of ruin for Adán would go way down. The odds for Dortmund to win have already decreased because of the uncertainty of Haaland, and if he is officially out, they will go down even further. If that's the case, Adán would be an acceptable play.


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.