Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 2/13/18
The Champions League is back, and FanDuel is offering separate two-game main slates on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
This primer will focus solely on Tuesday's matches -- Tottenham at Juventus and Manchester City at Basel. City are 1.5-goal road favorites while Juve is a 0.5-goal home favorite.
Let's go through the three positions and look at some players to target at various price points.
Forwards to Target
Sergio Aguero (13,000) -- City are going to be immensely popular, which has been the case on a weekly basis in Premier League DFS, so be prepared to swallow some chalk with Aguero. But it's hard to pass over an in-form striker who leads the line for a huge favorite on a two-game slate. City's implied total of 2.25 goals is a full goal more than the second-best clip on this slate (Juve at 1.25 goals). Aguero just thrashed Leicester in his last outing, netting four goals. With City playing sans Gabriel Jesus, David Silva and Leroy Sane, the Argentine will be counted on to provide end product and link-up play in this one. It makes sense to entertain fading Aguero in large-field tournaments, but he's a must in smaller contests.
Gonzalo Higuain ($10,500) -- Juve will be without Paulo Dybala, which elevates Higuain's status. Other than Dybala and Higuain -- both of whom have 14 goals and 3 assists this season in domestic league play -- no other Juventus player has more than 6 Serie A goals, so Higuain should be the focal point in attack. Tottenham boast a stout defense, giving up a mere 24 goals in 27 Premier League matches this campaign, but Higuain's status as the top dog on a favorite is tough to ignore.
Mario Mandzukic ($9,000) -- Mandzukic has always been a man for the big occasion, and he could be relied on more heavily by Juve with Dybala out. In Serie A play, Mandzukic owns four goals with three assists, and he's started in 20 of Juve's 24 league matches, also coming on as a sub twice. He's a nice pivot off Higuain, and he's $1,500 cheaper, too.
Midfielders to Target
Kevin De Bruyne ($11,500) and Raheem Sterling ($11,000) -- KDB has been one of the EPL's best players this season -- maybe the best -- as he's got 7 goals and 14 assists in 27 starts in league play. He averages 73.3 passes per game, including a sparkling 3.1 key passes, and should be on the ball plenty in this one. Sterling has emerged as a true goal threat this season, bagging 15 goals in 21 starts (25 total appearances) while adding 6 assists. Sterling is likely a must-own player for anyone who is fading Aguero.
Ilkay Gundogan ($8,000) and Bernardo Silva ($7,000) -- Yes, more City players. It's hard to avoid such a large favorite on a two-game slate, and both Gundogan and Silva deserve a mention because there's a good chance they'll start thanks to City's injury woes. If they do start, both players will likely see a good amount of ownership as they are severely underpriced on a side that's expected to roll. Both have been used off the bench primarily in EPL play. Gundogan has two goals and an assist in seven starts (19 total appearances) while Silva has scored twice with four assists in nine starts (25 total appearances).
Son Heung-Min ($8,000) -- Son is an enticing pivot off Spurs star man Harry Kane, who will likely be pretty popular despite a brutal road matchup against a Juve side that's conceded just once in their last 16 matches in all competitions. Son isn't a lock to start, but if he does, he's shown good form this year. He netted three goals in the UCL group stage, and Son has tallied eight goals and four assists in 20 EPL starts (26 total appearances). He offers decent upside at a modest price and is unlikely to be a highly-owned player. If Son isn't in the starting XI, that means Erik Lamela ($6,500) probably is, and Lamela offers nice savings and could be one of the cheapest starting non-Basel midfielders on the slate.
Sami Khedira ($6,500) -- Khedira has been close to an every-week starter for the Italian giants, logging 16 starts through 24 Serie A games. Like Higuain, Khedira gets a lift in value with Dybala absent. The German international has scored six goals this year in domestic league play, the most on Juve outside of Dybala and Higuain. As long as he starts, he's a nice value option who offers a good ceiling.
Defenders to Target
Eder Balanta ($6,000) and Marek Suchy ($5,000) -- Basel's back line should be under siege for much of the contest against City, which gives their defenders a nice floor. In the group stage, Balanta averaged 5.0 clearances, 2.3 tackles and 2.0 interceptions per match. Suchy put up 5.5 clearances and 2.2 interceptions. Depending on how Basel sets up, both guys should be safe targets, but make sure to check Balanta's status as he's dealing with a thigh issue.
Danilo ($5,500) or Fabian Delph ($5,500) -- Whoever starts as City's left-back will likely be the cheapest way to get exposure to City's starting XI outside of center-backs, and City's full-backs often spend a lot of time deep in the opposing final third. Danilo has recorded two goals and one assist in 15 total EPL appearances (8 starts) this campaign, so it's not unfathomable that he could get in on the creation of a goal, and his 50.7 passes per match give him a respectable floor. Delph has been sidelined since January 14th with a knock, but he produced FanDuel outputs of 19.0 and 27.25 points while playing four matches in the group stage.
Jan Vertonghen ($5,500) -- Vertonghen will anchor Tottenham's backline with Toby Alderweireld expected to miss the Juve clash. Spurs haven't been the underdog on too many occasions this season, but one such instance was a UCL group stage match away to Real Madrid. In that affair, Vertonghen totaled 26.75 FanDuel points thanks to 7 tackles, 4 clearances and 2 interceptions. He could be in for a similar night Tuesday in Turin.
Austan Kas is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austan Kas also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username akas247. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.