FanDuel Soccer: Champions League DFS Helper for Tuesday 4/12/22
Chelsea (+180) at Real Madrid (+145)
Over 2.5 Goals: -134 | Most Likely to Score: Benzema (+110)
Villarreal (+1000) at Bayern Munich (-410)
Over 2.5 Goals: -270 | Most Likely to Score: Lewandowski (-250)
Despite the narrative that Bayern Munich were awful in their first-leg loss at Villarreal, they weren't that bad. Villarreal had just a 1.5-1.2 edge in expected goals (xG), per FBRef, and Bayern are still huge favorites to go through. Listed at -410 to win and -125 to score at least three goals, Bayern are the side you need to stack on Tuesday's slate.
Bayern were in a similar spot last round against RB Salzburg, coming up with a blah performance on the road in the first leg before running riot to a 7-1 win at the Allianz in the second leg. A similar type of result could be in store against Villarreal.
Robert Lewandowski ($22; -250 to score) could be $30, and he'd still be wildly popular -- even after he flopped as massive chalk in this matchup last week. Lewa is very goal-reliant in DFS, but that's not as big of a deal when you net 32 goals in 29 Bundesliga starts. He'll be on penalties, and in a match in which Bayern will have the pedal to the metal, Lewandowski's ceiling is insane. He totaled 75.0 FanDuel points in the aforementioned Salzburg second leg (three goals and an assist). He's scored 12 goals in his past nine home games, getting at least one goal in each one.
Fading Lewa is risky, but if you do it and you're right, it will give you a huge leg up on a large chunk of the field. Bayern have plenty of other top-notch options -- Leroy Sane ($20; +170), Kingsley Coman ($18; +155), Serge Gnabry ($17; +115) and Thomas Muller ($19; +160). Leon Goretzka ($14; +290) is a modest-salaried way to get exposure to Bayern.
The Real Madrid-Chelsea clash is much more evenly balanced. Real Madrid were really good in the first leg en route to a 3-1 win, a result that puts Chelsea in the tough position of heading to the Bernabeu needing to play a pretty open and attacking style. Chelsea have the talent to turn this tie around, but the longer the second leg goes with the Blues in a two-goal hole, the more they'll have to press forward, potentially leaving space for Madrid on the counter.
Karim Benzema ($20; +110) put forth a breathtaking display at Stamford Bridge last week, scoring three goals and amassing 60.0 FanDuel points. He's scored a hat trick in two straight UCL matches after doing it against PSG in the Round of 16. Benz is sure to be popular.
I have more interest in fading Benzema than I do fading Lewandowski, because I think this match might wind up being better suited to the skills of Vinicius ($18; +230). A pacey player who can thrive on the counter, Vinicius has to be licking his chops at the thought of Chelsea being aggressive and committing numbers forward in attack. He's bagged 14 goals with 7 assists in 27 La Liga starts and is capable of wreaking havoc.
I'm not totally writing off Chelsea just yet. The Blues snapped their skid with a 6-0 win at Southampton on Saturday, and while Chelsea did get overrun in the first half of the first leg, they were able to create chances and had some quality opportunities to get back into the match despite mustering only 1.1 xG.
Kai Havertz ($17; +230) appears to be locked into the striker role for the Blues. He's got the top goal odds on Chelsea, and he'll be surrounded by two of Christian Pulisic ($16; +310), Hakim Ziyech ($18; +320), Mason Mount ($19; +320) and Timo Werner ($17; +320) in a front three. Fading Real Madrid attackers and plugging in a Chelsea player alongside Bayern stacks is a way to stack the slate's go-to side but still be a little contrarian.
Bayern's Alphonso Davies ($13) is a superb play if you have the salary to get there. He's a comically good +190 to score anytime. Those are better anytime goal odds than anyone on Chelsea. I won't prioritize Davies over getting the attackers I want, but he's unquestionably a fantastic play.
Outside of Davies, defender is a place I'll look to save salary, and that leads me to Villarreal's back-line. Juan Foyth ($10), Raul Albiol ($10), Pau Torres ($11) and Pervis Estupiñán ($9) are listed as expected starters. Estupiñán (18.0 FanDuel points), Albiol (18.0) and Torres (15.4) had big fantasy days in the first leg. Their defensive duties will only grow at the Allianz. Sign me up.
Benjamin Pavard ($11), Bayern's other full-back, should get forward plenty and comes at an easy-to-like salary. While he didn't create a single chance in the first leg, he should be able to create a couple of chances in this one, and he makes sense as a lower-salary piece to Bayern stacks.
The best win and clean-sheet odds -- by a loooong ways -- belong to Manuel Neuer ($13). Neuer is -410 to win and +114 to keep a clean sheet.
He's a really good play, but there are two issues -- the salary and the likely lack of save volume. His $13 salary isn't too rich, but on a slate with this kind of attacking talent, it's not easy to get to. And with the lack of save volume, Neuer won't have much to fall back on outside of the win bonus if Bayern do concede (and they've kept only two clean sheets in their last seven games across all competitions).
It's hard to tell how the Madrid-Chelsea match will go, which makes it tough to feel good about either Thibaut Courtois ($11) and Edouard Mendy ($10). Neither are better than +270 to keep a clean sheet, so oddsmakers are expecting goals, and neither is better than +145 to get a win. Of the two, I like taking a shot on Mendy. We've seen this Chelsea defense frustrate top-class sides when they're playing well.
Villarreal's Geronimo Rulli ($7) is a viable punt. There is obviously a lot of risk with him as he could post a negative score if Bayern hammer Villarreal, which is a distinct possibility. But if Rulli can limit the damage to just two or three goals, it's possible he scores enough points via save volume that he ends up with a decent FanDuel output.