Champions League Soccer Draftkings Advice – Tuesday/Wednesday February 12th/13th, 2019
***This article focuses on daily fantasy contests run on Draftkings and Fanduel EPL slates. Both sites have fairly different scoring formats. We consider tournament tactics, statistics, pricing, and attempt to tackle this highly variable daily fantasy format so we can gain an edge on the field at-large.
Things to keep in mind:
1) The most important part of DFS soccer occurs the hour or so before the games when the lineups come out. What’s nice is that the more pro-active DFS player has an edge in this regard. Similar to baseball, we will want to make necessary switches. Furthermore, baseball lineups are far more predictable. On Draftkings be sure to save people from the later games for the utility spot if possible so you have the most flexibility possible to make changes in case that player is unexpectedly resting. Make a back-up plan if possible and leave any $ necessary.
2) We want to target players who are not necessarily goal dependent as much as possible, particularly at forward. Scoring on the whole has a lot of variance but by selecting players who normally accrue a goal’s worth of points from other stats, we can help establish a higher floor for our lineups. On Fanduel we can absorb it a bit more as they are far more generous in regards to points generated from shots, but on Draftkings we want peripheral stats.
3) Only Fanduel’s point system truly rewards defensive oriented players. We do not want central defenders on Draftkings if possible but rather want the defenders on the wings more involved on their offensive end.
4) We want players with both a high ceiling and high floor. That sounds like John Madden-esque advice but we don’t want our lineup to have to absorb any 0’s. A lot of the time this leads to a more balanced approach but most tournaments are won with forwards in the $6-9k range rather than 10k etc as those players often need to score multiple goals or points to help compensate for the paydowns. I’d only suggest more super high payups on a slate with a ton of value opened up due to injuries.
5) Make multiple lines. Scoring can be highly variant and thus rather than spend up on one big entry, create a number of small $ lines to help provide yourself some balance.
6) Check player minutes to make sure you have guys who are playing entire games and not getting subbed off mid game on a regular basis.
Tuesday-Wednesday, February 12th-13th, 2019 (2 Day, 4 Match Slate) – 1:00 PM ET
I will skip out on an article for the extremely huge and challenging Thursday Europa League slate that looks like a total crapshoot. I figured I would focus on this four match Champions League slate for the weekly article. Since there will no EPL for the next few weeks this is a good slate to acquaint ourselves with some teams normally not seen in any writeups.
I absolutely love this slate as it provides quite a contrast from the aforementioned EPL slates we’ve been accustomed to, full of heavy favorites just beating up on the lesser sides. There is a lot more balance here as these are essentially playoff games and there is a good amount of mispricing to take advantage of. Many of my favorite picks are familiar faces. However, we also have some interesting players and sides mixed in such as Roma’s star Edin Dzeko, the best team in France, Paris St. Germain, the best team in Germany, Dortussia Bortmund (BVB) and the 2nd best team in Spain, Real Madrid.
Rather than try to fit in a scrub, I’d recommend going balanced because you might need at least one goal from every spot and a good performance from the goalie to win a tournament. By using the core defensemen listed you should have plenty of money left over. Remember the 2nd set of games are on Wednesday so be sure to have backup plans for those games in case a player is scratched from the expected lineup.
The players in the Tuesday matches will likely be higher owned and I think the Wednesday games will carry lower ownership and for that reason are intriguing to stack in large field tournaments assuming the 2 Tuesday matches disappoint.
1. Manchester United (home) vs. Paris Saint Germain
2. Roma (home) v. FC Porto
3. Tottenham (home) v. Borussia Dortmund (BVB)
4. Ajax (home) v. Real Madrid
1. Paris Saint-Germain v. Manchester United (home)
Manchester United – The pricing here looks like it is based on both teams at full strength and partly on earlier season form as Manchester United was largely struggling under Jose Mourinho for the large majority of their prior Champions League play. That would be the only rationale for Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez costing more than Paul Pogba as they played bigger roles in the offense back then. Under the coaching of OGS, we’ve seen how good United has been in EPL play, not losing since a December 16th road loss to Liverpool, with the draw few weeks back vs. Burnley their only non-win during that stretch. With the home crowd behind them, I think they can pull it off.
Paris Saint-Germain – PSG would normally be the heavy favorite but will be missing 3 of their stars as forwards Neymar and Edison Cavani, as well as right back Thomas Meunier, are all out. This will leave the offense largely on the shoulders of Pogba’s World Cup teammate and French team co-star Kylian Mbappe and his PSG teammate Angel Di Maria. Julian Draxler should play a large role as well with Dani Alves a great salary saver on Draftkings for only $2,700. For DFS purposes this is a huge boost as we know where to target.
2. FC Porto v. Roma (home)
FC Porto – Porto is the away team and expected to lose this match. Moussa Marega ($6,700) who has goals in 5 straight Champions League games and Jesus Manuel Corona ($5,600) who has goals in 3 straight will both be out for this match. That will hurt and make Porto normally a very competitive team, unplayable. Alex Telles ($5,300) is the most compelling piece as a defenseman with a built in floor who should take penalty kicks but I think there are better options available for less.
Roma – Roma’s big gun is Edin Dzeko who has absolutely disgusting numbers in the Champions League with 37 points (2 goals, 1 assist, 5 shots) and 46 points (3 goals, 8 shots) in 2 of his last 3 games, as well as goals in each of his last 3 Serie A (Italy) matches. If stacking Roma you might want to add the other forward El Shaaraway to a Dzeko pairing although I prefer him on Fanduel. The primary midfield option for this team Lorenzo Pelligrini is a better play on Fanduel as well.
3. Borussia Dortmund (BVB) v. Tottenham (home)
BVB – This team is the best team in the German Bundesliga but have been struggling as of late and will be missing midfielder Marco Reus. The only thing I like from BVB is star defenseman Raphael Guerreiro who is underpriced at $5,000 and will be one of my core plays. He is one of the team’s top attacking options on a slate where defenseman with high offensive upside are severely lacking. With star Marco Reus out injured Jordan Sancho will lead the attack at only $4,700 so worth a look as a value play.
Tottenham – The Hot Spurs will remain without Harry Kane, so as always in these situations Son takes priority in the attack. Given how he said he was tired after coming back from South Korea a couple weeks ago, it’s amazing he hasn’t rested yet. Son played Sunday and has to bounce back by Wednesday so I’d just make sure to have a swap plan in play for when lineups come out. That’s just me being speculative, there’s no news reports and I would assume that they really need him right now and this isn’t a game he would sit for.
Beyond that, Eriksen is in play and he would get a considerable boost if Son is out as would Fernando Llorente but at $7,100 he hasn’t been great and there are much, much better options available.
4. Real Madrid v. Ajax (home)
Ajax – Ajax is the biggest underdog on the slate. Midfielders Dusan Tadic and Hakim Ziyech (very non-goal dependent for production) would be the main options but at $7,700 and $7,600 you can do better as these are just large field tournament options. I don’t mind Nicolas Taglifafico if you need a paydown defenseman at $4,700 or utility and he’s last man in (although at that price I’d take BVB’s Jadon Sancho).
Real Madrid – Madrid are the favorites here and led by striker Gareth Bale. Bale comes in at the hefty price tag of $10,000. He has scored goals in 3 of 5 Champions League games but has not scored multiple goals once and the shot attempts are not that high. Honestly, I think you can fade for the price as there are so many good options on this slate for less.
A lot of people are high on Karim Benzema and I would recommend at least one piece of exposure but Bale back is going to crush his usage.
As the largest favorite, that in itself puts Belgian national goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in play at goalie, and when combined with his relative skill, raises him to the top of my goalie rankings.
Draftkings Core Pieces
1. Paul Pogba – Manchester United – Midfield – $6,100 – I’d expect 70-80% ownership but Pogba at this price is a no brainer to me. He’s actually helping us save salary.
2. Raphael Guerreiro – Borussia Dortmund – Defenseman – $5,000 – With his attacking upside this is another easy play I would lock in 100%.
3. Ashley Young – Manchester United – Defenseman – $4,700 – While Young has not had many slate breaking games, he is remarkably consistent, plays a big role in the MU attack and we are used to paying at least $1,500-$2,000 more for him. Since we already have Pogba might as well lock in Young and take some more cap relief in our 2nd defenseman spot.
Draftkings Ranks Point Per Dollar
1. Kylian Mbappe – PSG – $8,600 – As mentioned above in the game breakdown, FIFA’s poster boy, Mbappe will be shouldering a large portion of the offensive load and even with Neymar and Cavani in, he is a guy who is normally in play. He is tied for 2nd in the world in goals scored, only trailing Messi and ahead of Mo Salah as is.
2. Marcus Rashford – Manchester United- $7,600 – Marcus “Smash” ford is normally close to $11,000 player on an EPL slate. Much like with Pogba let’s take advantage of the soft pricing and weave him in there.
3. Edin Dzeko – Roma- $8,400– See Roma writeup above. I would definitely get some exposure as he can break the slate. I will give Rashford the benefit of the doubt here with the lower price and Draftkings format (on Fanduel Dzeko is even better) but close. I don’t think you can go wrong with anyone in the top 3.
4. Son Heung Min – Tottenham – $8,300 – With no Harry Kane I’d usually be all over Son but scared for the price here we might need 2 goal upside and while he seems to at least get 1 every game, he hasn’t hit for multiple goals yet even with Kane out. Min is a great play and as he is playing on Wednesday with a quick turnaround leading to a greater chance of a sit, probably more of a tournament play.
5. Angel Di Maria – PSG – $8,100 – I love this play for a pairing with Mbappe as he will share part of an enormous workload, albeit on the road at Old Trafford, which is the only thing holding the ranking back. I couldn’t deny Mbappe the top spot though.
Honorable Mention: Karim Benzema – Real Madrid – $8,200 – I would’ve listed him higher if Gareth Bale was still out or limited but if he’s at full strength and starting it will hurt Benzema. If Bale is out it will be a big bump for Benzema and his teammate Luca Modric who would revert to a more defensive position. Unfortunately, we won’t have that news until Wednesday.
Honorable Mention: Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund – $4,700 – Sancho has been in good form and gets to lead the BVB attack.
1. Paul Pogba – Manchester United – $6,100 – See writeup above.
2. Kylian Mbappe – PSG – $8,600 – See writeup above.
3. Angel Di Maria – PSG – $8,100 – See writeup above.
4. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid – $10,000 – I didn’t list him at forward mainly because I think we have equally talented guys for less, as well as the uncertainty of the Wednesday start, with so much salary committed. However, Bale is in a great spot to score for the slate’s biggest favorites Madrid. Keep an eye on off he does start however as he is slowly working his way back from injury. Be ready to be able to use salary in 2 places just in case he isn’t.
5. Son Heung Min – Tottenham – $8,300 – See above for writeup.
Honorable Mentions: Christian Eriksen – Tottenham – $8,200, Julian Draxler – PSG – $5,900, Luca Modric – $6,000 – Real Madrid (If Gareth Bale Out)
1. Raphael Guerriero – Borussia Dortmund – $5,000 – See above for writeup.
2. Ashley Young – Liverpool – $4,700 – See above for writeup.
3. Dani Alves – PSG – $2,700 – If you really need savings, this is bottom of the barrel and Alves has upside for the price.
4. Aleksander Kolarov – Roma – $6,000 – Pivot off the chalk.
5. Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid – $4,600 – I think Bale will be back and might retake penalty kicks but he was previously getting them and has somewhat of a floor.
6. Nicolas Tagliafico – Ajax – $4,500
1. Thibaut Courtois – Real Madrid – $5,500 – The best goalie and playing for the biggest favorite on the slate. Highest priced as well.
2. Hugo Lloris – Tottenham – $5,000 – With a reduced and struggling BVB attack and homefield advantage, Tottenham will look to Lloris to help them get the W with Kane still out.
3. David De Gea – Manchester United – $4,800 – If we are playing United anyway, why not throw out the full stack, fade Mbappe and hope it’s a shutout W? That said I wish De Gea and Lloris were priced a lot lower than Courtois.
Fanduel 2 Game Slate
1. Kylian Mbappe – PSG – $12,000 – See writeup above.
2. Edin Dzeko – Roma – $13,000 – See writeup above.
3. Marcus Rashford – MU – $11,500 – See writeup above.
4. Stephen El Shaarawy – Roma – $7,500 – The pivot from Dzeko on Roma.
1. Paul Pogba – MU – $9,500 – See writeup above. Personally, my 1 Fanduel line will be the only place I fade him as I’m 100% in on Draftkings.
2. Angel Di Maria – Roma – $9,000 – See writeup above.
3. Lorenzo Pelligrini – Roma – $8,500 – Monster Fanduel numbers.
4. Choupo-Mouting – PSG – $5,500 – Interesting salary saver as the other forward for PSG. He may not start, we’ll see.
1. Bernat – PSG – $5,500 – Solid numbers.
2. Ashley Young – MU – $6,000 – See above for writeup.
1. Mirante – Roma – $5,000 There’s limited options on a 2 game slate.
2. De Gea – MU – $6,000 – See above for writeup.
*** Rich Masana is a real money daily fantasy player who plays on Draftkings under the moniker “JetsFan303” and on Fanduel under the moniker “JetsFan3032”. Rich is ranked in the top 5% of all players according to Rotogrinders.com. Rich does not guarantee the accuracy of all advice and reserves the rights to use different players on occasion as necessary to fit roster builds (although does not very often absent late breaking news). ***