SOCCER

FanDuel Soccer: Champions League DFS Helper for 2/23/21

The Champions League, the best soccer competition on the planet, is back, and FanDuel is offering plenty of contests for Tuesday's and Wednesday's knockout stage matches. This article will focus on the main Tuesday slate, which starts at 3 p.m. EST.

Round of 16
Tuesday, February 23rd
Bayern Munich at Lazio
Chelsea at Atletico Madrid


Per FanDuel Sportsbook, Bayern Munich (-150) is the slate's biggest favorite, with Atletico Madrid (+165) in second. Chelsea (+190) and Lazio (+380) round out the two-game slate as underdogs. From an odds perspective, this slate centers on Bayern, but their 60% implied win percentage leaves the door open for Lazio to make some noise at home.

Bayern enters Tuesday coming off their first loss since the middle of January, and have gone two games in a row without a win for just the second time this season. Lazio, meanwhile, sits fifth on the Serie A table but has taken seven wins from their last eight league fixtures.

Atletico sits three points clear at the top of La Liga with a game in hand on second-place Real Madrid but enters Tuesday in the midst of a two-game winless streak after suffering their second league loss of the year on Saturday. Chelsea finds themselves in fifth place in the Premier League after an up and down campaign, but are in the middle of a great run of form with six wins and two draws over their last eight fixtures. Buckle up, both of these matches have the potential for fireworks!

Here are some players to target at various salary ranges.

Forwards/Midfielders

Robert Lewandowski ($23) and Leon Goretzka ($14), Bayern Munich -- Just because it's obvious, doesn't mean it's not true. If Lewandowski is on a slate, he is in play and worthy of serious consideration regardless of his slate-leading salary. Always in the conversation for best striker in the world, Lewandowski has only failed to score in one of his last 12 matches and has a combined 14 goals over that stretch. He is averaging an absurd 32.7 FanDuel points per game over that stretch and has recorded a combined 15 shots and 5 chances created in his four Champions League appearances this season. Fade him at your own risk.

Outside of Lewandowski, Bayern offers several excellent attacking options including Leroy Sane ($21) and Kingsley Coman ($19) but Goretzka offers an enticing combination of upside, lower popularity, and value at his salary of $14. With Thomas Muller ruled out for Tuesday due to COVID-19, Goretzka has a good shot at making his first appearance start since late January after missing some time due to COVID. In his first appearance since the missed time, Goretzka played 45 minutes on Saturday, recording four shots and creating a single chance. Relative to Bayern's other options, he could fly slightly under-the-radar as he makes his return to the heart of Bayern's attack on Tuesday.

Joao Felix ($17) and Marcos Llorente ($13), Atletico Madrid -- Chelsea has tightened things up on defense since Thomas Tuchel took over, but the quality of their opposition has been far from difficult. In their last three matches against even decent opposition, they shut out Tottenham but conceded two goals to Leicester City, three to Manchester City, and three to Arsenal. Enter Felix, who made his first start since returning from COVID-19 isolation on Saturday and managed four shots with three on goal. His season has been inconsistent but his talent is undeniable and he's always a threat for a goal or two on the big stage. In his six Champions League appearances this season he has combined for 21 shots, 10 on goal, 3 goals, and 7 chances created.

Llorente has been an exceptionally consistent producer of FanDuel points this season, operating on the right side of Atletico's 3-4-2-1 and 3-1-4-2 formations. He has failed to record double-digit FanDuel points just once over his last nine appearances and has goals in two of his last three matches. At his salary, he offers an excellent way to gain exposure to the second-largest favorite on the slate and will likely go overlooked in favor of some bigger names on Tuesday.

Defenders

Marcos Alonso, Chelsea ($12) -- Alonso has returned to form under Thomas Tuchel, notching four starts since the end of January and recording FanDuel point totals of 28.2, 12.1, 23.8, and 13.8 in those contests. He will have a difficult task on the road against a notoriously stingy Atletico side on Tuesday, but his salary offers excellent value for his role on the left side of Chelsea's 3-4-2-1 formation. Alonso should be involved on both ends of the pitch, a role consistent with his recent production. He has a combined seven shots, two on goal, four chances created, five tackles, and three interceptions over his last two fixtures. Chelsea may struggle to find the back of the net on Tuesday, but Alonso is capable of producing a high floor performance from his involvement alone.

Mateo Musacchio, Lazio ($5) -- At the very bottom of the player pool sits Musacchio, who moved to Lazio from AC Milan at the end of January. Since arriving he has made four appearances and two starts, with his most impactful FanDuel points performance (12.8 FanDuel points) coming in his most recent game on Saturday. At the minimum salary, he offers excellent value on Tuesday against a Bayern side that should keep Lazio's backline unbelievably busy. If he gets the start, he is an excellent option for lineups looking to stack high-salary stars.

Goalie

Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich ($13) -- Despite Bayern's dominance in the competition, Neuer has been extremely busy during Munich's Champions League fixtures this season. In his five starts, he has recorded FanDuel point totals of 20.0, 19.5, 26.0, 34.5, and 26.0 with a combined 27 saves and 2 clean sheets with 4 goals conceded. Neuer may be less popular on Tuesday, as well, with people likely opting to save some salary to pay up for forwards and midfielders. Outside of Neuer, the keeper position offers a coin flip between Atletico's Jan Oblak ($10) and Chelsea's Edouard Mendy ($9) in their tightly projected battle, while Lazio's Pepe Reina ($7) offers salary savings and should be incredibly busy against Bayern.