Champions League Daily Fantasy Helper: Wednesday 2/14/18
This primer will be focusing on Real Madrid hosting Paris St. Germain and FC Porto playing host to Liverpool. Both matches are pick 'em games with PSG and Liverpool favored to advance after the second leg.
There is plenty of star power in these two matches with Cristiano Ronaldo carrying the hefty price of $13,500. However, there are some value plays available. Let's look at some players at various price points.
Forwards to Target
Neymar (13,000) -- PSG are right behind Manchester City as favorites to win the entire competition, and the front three of Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, and Neymar are the main reason. Neymar left Barcelona to chase after the title of best player in the world, and he will be across the field from one of the best to ever step on the pitch in Cristiano Ronaldo. There have also been so many rumors that Neymar will one day end up at Real Madrid that they are turning into a "where there is smoke there is fire" story. That should provide plenty of motivation for Neymar in front of the Madrid crowd. Neymar had six goals and four assists in the group stage and is averaging just over a goal per game. He did not score his last time out, but he did hit the woodwork twice. Neymar scored 10 goals in the six previous games, and he should be able to produce against a Real Madrid team that does not have a clean sheet in its last 10 matches.
Karim Benzema ($9,500) -- Benzema can benefit from the attention paid to Ronaldo. After showing some sluggish La Liga form, Ronaldo has scored seven goals in his last four matches, so PSG will be focused on him, which could leave Benzema to fill in the open spaces. Benzema should play in the middle of a front three with the speed of Gareth Bale on his right side. Benzema will likely be low-owned in a fixture that features two teams that can score. There have been more than 2.5 goals scored in PSG's last 13 UCL matches and in 18 of Real Madrid's last 19 UCL contests. Benzema had two goals and one assist in the group stage. He has also been durable playing a full match in three of his last four games.
Tiquinho Soares ($7,500) -- Soares has been in form for Porto and looks set to start against Liverpool with Vincent Aboubakar a game-time decision. Getting a chance to step in over the last two games, Soares has scored three goals in that span. There have been more than 2.5 goals in seven of Liverpool's last eight UCL games and five of Porto's last six UCL fixtures. Even with the addition of Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool's only clean sheets in their past 10 matches (across all competitions) have come against teams fighting relegation in the Premier League. Porto is at home and must take the attack to Liverpool, and Soares will be in a good place to capitalize.
Midfielders to Target
Mohamed Salah ($11,000) -- This one may be the biggest no-brainer of the day even though Salah is the most expensive midfielder on the slate. Salah now has 22 goals in the Premier League and 30 across all competitions. He had five goals in the group stage. He has a goal in four straight games and 10 goals in his last 10 games across all competitions. He averaged a touch more than 34 FanDuel points per game in the group stage and has shown no sign of slowing down in the Premier League.
Marco Verratti ($9,500) -- In the group stage, Verratti averaged the fourth-most FanDuel points per game among midfielders on this slate. He takes advantage of lining up behind Mbappe in the attacking PSG formation. He has been very effective in the Champions League, tallying two goals and two assists in the six games in the group stage. His passing has been phenomenal as he is averaging over a 90% success rate in both Champions League and Ligue 1 play. Verratti tallied 34 defensive actions in the group stage, as well, showing that he is valuable on both sides of the ball. He will likely have defensive responsibility against Real Madrid, giving Verratti plenty of chances for tackles and blocks in addition to his work when PSG have the ball.
Giovani Lo Celso ($5,000) -- Although he plays for PSG, as well, the price is just too hard to pass up. Lo Celso should play in the middle of the second bank of three for the French outfit and help with shielding the back line. He played only 67 minutes in the group stage, but he has been given more playing time of late. He continues to impress the more he is on the field and has even added a couple goals, both of which have come in the last three matches. All of that is even more impressive that he is not playing in his preferred place on the pitch as he's usually more of an attacking-midfielder. Lo Celso is averaging just over three defensive actions per game in Ligue 1 play, but he will have a pivotal role in shutting down the Real Madrid attack. This could be a breakout game for the young Argentine.
Defenders to Target
Alex Telles ($6,500) -- Telles is a star at outside back, but he gets overlooked playing in Portugal. He averaged 23.4 FanDuel points per game in the group stage, which included at least once chance created in each match -- plus a goal on the final day of the group stage. Telles leads the team in assists and seems to hit quality crosses with ease. His offensive abilities, speed, and engine are often praised even when he has a subpar defensive performances. Telles did have 42 defensive actions in the group stage and was not booked once. However, the naturally left-footed defender should be able to get involved with the ball at his feet on his home field against a Liverpool defense that's been known to concede.
Marcelo ($5,000) -- Marcelo is sure to be busy against Mbappe and Cavani. He scored more than 17 FanDuel points in both matches against group winner Tottenham in the fall and should be able to match that number against one of the tournament favorites. The left back did tally an assist in the group stage and also managed more than a shot per game. Marcelo has three assists and a goal in his last four games across all competitions. He can press Mbappe and Verratti and make them put in an effort defensively, which can do nothing but help Real Madrid's chances in the first leg.
Andrew Robertson ($4,000) -- While Telles will be getting forward on the Porto left side, Robertson will be putting in a captivating shift on Liverpool's left side. He did not play in the group stage, but he has become the first-choice left-back for manager Jurgen Klopp. He is also priced at the lowest point of all defenders, so his inclusion can help you pay up for another stud. Robertson does have one assist in the Premier League, but it is his defensive ability that will likely bring points in the match against Porto. He is averaging five defensive actions per match in domestic league play. He has also won over a lot of Liverpool fans with his work rate, especially after a lung-busting run when Liverpool were ahead of Manchester City 4-1 last month, and he should be in for a busy day in Portugal.
Douglas Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Douglas Smith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username aquemini03. 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.