Champions League Soccer Draftkings and Fanduel Advice – Tuesday/Wednesday March 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 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, March 12/13th, 2019 (2 Day, 4 Match Slate) – 1:00 PM ET
With Tottenham, Ajax, Porto, and Manchester United qualifying for the round of 8 last week, this week we have the final set of matches in order to figure out who will be joining them.
The first time around this was a tilting slate as the Barcelona/Lyon and Liverpool/Bayern matches ended in 0-0 draws, and stop me if you have heard this one before but Manchester City stacks (or at least those with Trent Alexander-Arnold one offs) won all the money.
That said, all of the statistics indicate that Barcelona dominated the 1st match. They were just a bit unfortunate as they hit the crossbar a few times and just couldn’t put the ball in the net. Perhaps the most interesting match involved Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 win over Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus in a battle of very good defensive teams and in a game where Juventus dominated possession. Liverpool/Bayern was a similar affair between defensive titans with very close stats and should be again.
That’s why I think my approach to the Draftkings slate is to make 3 lines, one a Manchester City stack, one a Barcelona stack, and one just contrarian/a mix of things with a lean towards Juventus and Bayern.
As far as the aggregate scores I don’t think they matter much this week as 2 matches are tied, Manchester City only has a 1 goal lead and I don’t think the Atleti with a 2 goal lead and on the road are necessarily a top target to begin with.
On Draftkings I think you use midfielder Javi Martinez at $3,900 as your first midfielder in and Trent Alexander Arnold at a reasonable $5,400 as your first defenseman in and build from there.
1. Atletico Madrid v. Juventus (home) – Juventus 57% win probability, Atletico 17% win probability, 26% probability of a draw. 1st Leg of this match Atletico won 2-0 at home.
2. Schalke 04 v. Manchester City (home) – Manchester City 83% win probability, Schalke 5% win probability, 12% probability of a draw. 1st Leg of this match Manchester City won 3-2 on the road.
3. Lyon vs. Barcelona (home) – Barcelona 77% win probability, Lyon 9% win probability, 14% probability of a draw. 1st Leg this match tied 0-0 at Lyon.
4. Liverpool v. Bayern Munich (home) – Bayern 45% win probability, Liverpool 27% win probability, 28% probability of a draw. 1st Leg of this match tied 0-0 at Liverpool.
1. Lyon (home) v. Barcelona
Lyon – With some of the statistics cited below under Barcelona’s breakdown, along with the challenge that playing at Camp Nou represents, I am generally off Lyon for this slate and see them as a fringe tournament play, mainly on Draftkings.
Their best player Nabil Fekir will be playing this time around after missing the first leg and does have an intriguing price on Draftkings at $6,600 where he is forward eligible. The price is not bad at $8,500 on Fanduel, so I don’t hate it there either.
Memphis Depay and Moussa Dembele did nothing last time out but if stacking Lyon as a wild gpp dart they would be the 2 that I would first add to the stack along with Ferland Mendy or Leo Dubois if going a step further.
If running such a Lyon stack, as mentioned above, I think that it is far more viable on Draftkings as the prices on Lyon over there are drastically lower all around. That said I think I’d use Fekir, maybe Dubois on Fanduel and call it a day.
Formation: 4-2-3-1 (M. Dembele)
Cash: Nabil Fekir, Dubois (Fanduel)
GPP: Fekir, Dubois (Fanduel), Moussa Dembele, Memphis Depay, Ferland Mendy
Barcelona – The 1st match the Catalans outshot Lyon 25-5 with 5 shots on goals as opposed to 2. They also dominated possession 63.1% to 36.9% and had nearly double Lyon’s amount of passes and pass completions.
It’s back to the well with Messi, who gave us his floor match last time out with 17.5 dk points on a whopping 9 shots (only 1 on goal) and 4 crosses. He is usable as a one off or as the building block of a Barcelona stack.
Beyond that we have Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez as Messi’s company up front so I would add them into a Barcelona stack (although they have one off appeal as well). Dembele suffered a hamstring injury this past weekend so if he is out, it is just Messi and Suarez and helps consolidate the Barcelona attack for DFS.
Ter Stegen and Ederson are my 1-2 in terms of goalies on this slate so Ter Stegen is a great play in all formats.
I think Jordi Albi is fine but not a necessary piece by any means. He can be added into a stack though and would be where I would go with Barca beyond the forwards. Other than that there are a lot of defensive minded/system players (and Sergi Roberto) and we can avoid most of that.
Formation: 4-3-3 (Dembele, Messi, Suarez)
Cash: Messi, Ousmane Dembele (if in, hamstring injury), Ter Stegen, Suarez
GPP: Messi, Ousmane Dembele (if in, hamstring injury), Suarez, Jordi Albi, Ter Stegen
Prediction: Barcelona breaks out for the emphatic 3-0 home win in Camp Nou.
2. Liverpool (home) v. Bayern Munich
Liverpool – The numbers for the prior match show that possession was largely split going 49.2% to Liverpool and 50.8% to Bayern. Liverpool had more shots with 15 to Bayern’s 9 and 2 on goal to 0 for Bayern. I remember one Sadio Mane high danger chance that was sent wide.
Liverpool is coming off a 4-2 win over Burnley this weekend which included 2 goals apiece for Mane and Firmino. Mane has been the most consistent of the bunch and has helped to drop Mohammed Salah’s stock a lot in the process.
Though I think that Allison is a fine play especially with price considered, there is only one apple of my eye from Liverpool and that is Trent Alexander Arnold. At $5,400 on Draftkings, he is a core play on that site and on Fanduel he makes for a strong play as well. He has had a terrific run of form and performed admirably last time out vs. Bayern, finishing with 16.3 Draftkings points/24.8 Fanduel points, which was buoyed by 11 crosses sent in.
Formation: 4-3-3 (Mane, Salah, Firmino)
Cash: Alexander-Arnold, Robertson (Draftkings), Mane (Draftkings)
GPP: Alexander Arnold, Mane, Robertson (Draftkings), Salah, Firmino, Allison
Bayern Munich – Bayern was able to grab a 0-0 draw in Anfield and hopes to be able to grab the win over Liverpool at home. As noted above, the stats were largely split the first time around.
There is still a big discrepancy in Robert Lewandowski’s price as he is $12,500 on Fanduel and $7,900 on Draftkings so I would play him over there. He can be used a one off or as part of a Bayern stack.
Javi Martinez is a core play for me on Draftkings at $3,900 where he presents great value and we need the money.
Other than that James Rodriguez and Serge Gnabry would likely be the pieces I’d add on if stacking on Draftkings. I think Mats Hummels and Sule are fine plays on Fanduel where defensive stats are rewarded.
Neuer is fine in goal but there are a lot of good options at goalie. I’d give him the nod over Allison on the single game Fanduel slate but the price difference is too much for me on Draftkings.
Formation: 4-2-3-1 (Lewandowski)
Cash: Javi Martinez (Draftkings) Lewandowski (Draftkings), Hummels (Fanduel), Sule (Fanduel), Neuer (Fanduel)
GPP: Martinez (Draftkings), Lewandowski, Hummels (Fanduel), Sule (Fanduel), Rodriguez, Gnabry, Ribery, Neuer
Prediction: I think that this match finishes 1-1 after overtime and goes to penalty shots for a dramatic finish.
3. Atletico Madrid (home) v. Juventus
Atletico Madrid – Atletico Madrid was able to pull off a 2-0 win but had lost possession 36.9% to 63.1% during the first leg of this back to back. The total shots were 13 to 14 but clearly Atletico made the most of their 13 opportunities, scoring 2 goals.
That said, along with Juventus, Atleti are more tournament options on the slate (Draftkings preferred). If using anyone it would be Antoine Griezmann who continues to act as the centerpiece of their offense. Diego Costa might be hurt so Alvaro Morata might get the spot start.
Recently Costa and Morata have been splitting time, and coming off early for one another so unless Costa is out, I’d avoid Morata and Lemar in everything but full stacks. Thankfully, this is a Tuesday game so we will have that news before anything else.
Filipe Luis is out so his backup Santiago Arias is starting for only $4,000 Draftkings and $4,500 Fanduel.
Oblak is a great goaltender, one of the best in the world, and thus he is always in play.
Formation – 4-3-3 (Lemar, Griezmann, Costa)
Cash: Griezmann, Arias, Oblak
GPP: Griezmann, Arias, Oblak, Costa/Morata (whichever starting). Gimenez (Fanduel), Koke (Draftkings)
Juventus – Juventus returns home down 2-0 so they will be aggressive from the start.
For them to mount the come back Cristiano Ronaldo has to play a huge role. He is playable as both a one off as well as the core of a Juventus stack.
Mario Mandzukic is my 2nd man in just based on price/forward eligibility on both sites. Paulo Dybala would be the 3rd.
Joao Cancelo busted the first time around but still makes for a great value play on Fanduel at $4,500
Goalie Wojciech Szczesny is only a tournament option as Atelti might play defensively and any shots may come on the counter attack where they would have advantages. That said he might also get a win and a clean sheet so the upside is there.
Beyond that, if you don’t mind holding your nose there are a bunch of low priced defensemen projected to start such as Martin Cacares ($2,800 Draftkings, $4,000 Fanduel). If he doesn’t start another cheap one will as Alex Sandro is suspended for this match.
Thankfully for Draftkings we get this lineup on Tuesday. If it makes something you want work so be it, and hope for a clean sheet and 5-6 Draftkings points, 9-11 Fanduel points.
Formation – 4-3-3 (Dybala, Ronaldo, Mandzukic)
Cash: Ronaldo, Cancelo (Fanduel), very cheap defenseman as needed
GPP: Ronaldo, Cancelo (Fanduel), Mandzukic (really nice Draftkings price), Dybala, Szczesny, cheap defenseman
Prediction: Juventus is able to get up 1-0 but can’t get the second goal needed to match as Atleti survives and essentially pulls the upset moving on the round of 8.
4. Schalke 04 (home) v. Manchester City
Schalke 04 –
Formation: It doesn’t matter. Only if you need something really cheap to fit a lineup and it’s near the minimum price.
Cash: No one.
GPP: No one.
Manchester City – Manchester City will be home at the Etihad after having to come back from a 2-0 deficit to walk out with a 3-2 win and 1 goal advantage on the road across the first leg of this matchup.
During the 1st Leg, Manchester City won possession time 66.5% to 33.5% and dominated shots with 21 as opposed to 7 with 6 on target as opposed to 2.
Aguero, Sterling, and Sane off the bench, all scored.
I’m still reeling from watching my winnings drop after a Raheem Sterling hat trick in the late game this past Saturday. City had entered the half versus Watford with a 0-0 draw but just after the half Sterling exploded. While I don’t expect 3 goals again, along with the big dog Sergio Aguero, I would start Man City stacks with those two studs and they are both viable as one off plays as well.
After that, I think both Leroy Sane and David Silva would be where I look next with Zinchenko a better Fanduel play.
As per the usual if you fade Manchester City you do so at your own risk. Especially on this slate where a lot of teams have tough matchups and they have such a big edge over their opponent.
Ederson is a top goalie on the slate, he is pretty much interchangeable with Ter Stegen in my eyes, although I’d give him the slight nod as Manchester City is facing a less potent offense.
Formation: 4-3-3 (Sterling, Aguero, Sane)
Cash: Aguero, Sterling, Sane, D Silva, Ederson, Zinchenko (Fanduel), B Silva (Fanduel)
GPP: Aguero, Sterling, Sane, D Silva, Ederson, Zinchenko (Fanduel), B Silva (Fanduel)
Prediction – The Citizens are going to drop the hammer this time and win 4-1.
Draftkings 4 Match Slate
1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona – $10,800
2. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City – $9,500
3. Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus – $10,000
4. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich – $7,900
5. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City – $9,200
6. Ousmane Dembele – Barcelona – $7,600 (if in, hamstring injury)
7. Luis Suarez – Barcelona – $8,100 (in this spot regardless but gets a bump if no Dembele).
8. Sadio Mane – Liverpool – $7,200
9. Nabil Fekir – Lyon – $6,600
10. Mario Mandzukic – Juventus – $5,700
1. Javi Martinez – Bayern – $3,900 (Core Play)
2. Lionel Messi – Barcelona – $11,200
3. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City – $8,800
4. Ousmane Dembele – Barcelona – $7,600 (if in, hamstring injury)
5. Sadio Mane – Liverpool – $7,200
6. Nabil Fekir – Lyon – $6,600
7. Mohammed Salah – Liverpool – $8,200
8. Leroy Sane – Manchester City – $8,400
9. David Silva – Manchester City – $8,200
10. Paulo Dybala – Juventus – $8,600
1. Trent Alexander Arnold – Liverpool – $5,400 (Core Play)
2. Jordi Alba – Barcelona – $5,600
3. Santiago Arias – Atletico Madrid – $4,000
4. Andrew Robertson – Liverpool – $4,200
5. David Alaba – Bayern Munich – $4,800 (if in)
6. Anyone really cheap.
1. Ederson – Manchester City – $5,900
2. Ter Stegen – Barcelona – $5,700
3. Oblak – Atletico Madrid – $4,300
4. Alisson – Liverpool – $4,400
5. Szczesny – Juventus – $5,300
Fanduel 2 Game Slate: Tuesday, 3/12
1. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City – $12,500
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus – $13,000
3. Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid – $11,500
4. Mario Mandzukic – Juventus – $9,000
5. Embolo – Schalke – $7,500 (Just punting)
1. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City – $11,500
2. Leroy Sane – Manchester City – $10,500
3. David Silva – Manchester City – $9,000
4. Oliver Zinchenko – Manchester City – $6,000
5. Paulo Dybala – Juventus- $9,500
1. Joao Cancelo – Juventus – $4,500 – Core Play
2. Benjamin Mendy – Manchester City – $5,000 (If somehow in, don’t count on it)
3. Santiago Arias– Atletico Madrid – $4,500
4. Cacares/Oczipka – Juventus/Schalke – $4,000 (min price punts)
5. Gimenez – Atletico Madrid – $7,500
1. Ederson – Manchester City – $6,500
2. Szczesny – Juventus – $5,000
Fanduel 2 Game Slate: Wednesday, 3/13
1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona – $14,000
2. Ousmane Dembele – Barcelona – $9,000 (if in, hamstring injury)
3. Luis Suarez – Barcelona – $10,500
4. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich – $12,500
1. Nabil Fekir – Lyon – $8,500
2. Sadio Mane – Liverpool – $10,000
3. Mohammed Salah– Liverpool – $10,500
4. Javi Martinez – Bayern Munich – $7,000
5. Serge Gnabry – Bayern Munich – $6,500
1. Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool – $6,500
2. Mats Hummels – Bayern Munich – $6,000
3. Nathan Sule – Bayern Munich – $4,500
4. Leo Dubois – Lyon – $4,000
5. Jordi Alba – Barcelona – $7,000
1. Ter Stegen – Barcelona – $6,000
2. Neuer – Bayern Munich- $5,500
3. Alisson – Liverpool – $5,000
*** 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). ***