UCL DFS Breakdown – 11/22/17

The UCL is again throwing us for a loop with 2 more 12ET games today that will not be included on the main slate on FanDuel so you can cross any players from Chelsea, Qarabag FK, CSKA Moscow, and Benfica off your list.

Target Forwards

Neymar (Celtic @ PSG, $14,000) – I led off yesterday’s article talking about Cristiano Ronaldo’s impressive stretch of 32+ fantasy point every game so far this season.  Today I start off by talking about an even more impressive stat that Neymar has scored 40+ fantasy sports in every UCL game this season (with an average of 45.1).  PSG is taking on a Celtic team that gives up 2.5 goals per game at home this week.  Neymar is the clear lead of PSG’s attack, an attack that rivals the best offenses in the world.  They’ve scored a total of 17 goals in their 4 UCL games this season.  That’s an average of 4.25 goals per game!  Just like Ronaldo yesterday, lock Neymar in.

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich @ Anderlecht, $11,500) – Much the like the PSG v. Celtic match, I expect this one to be heavily controlled by Bayern Munich.  No team has given up more goals in the Champions League than Anderlecht this year (15 in 4 games, 3.75gpg avg.).  Again, much like Neymar, Lewandowski is the clear lead of his team’s attack.  Lewandowski is also in nice form recently.  He scored 2 goals (3 in his last 2 games) and put 4 total shots on goal over the weekend.  Expect Lewandowski to feast on Anderlecht’s back line this week.

Edinson Cavani (Celtic @ PSG, $11,000) – Edinson Cavani, Neymar’s forward teammate, has been on an absolute tear recently in Ligue 1.  He has 3 straight games with 2 goals!  And he’s been no slouch in the Champions League this season either averaging 28 fantasy points per game.  It’s also worth noting that the last time he played against Celtic he scored 2 goals and racked up a total of 50.25 fantasy points.  A PSG stack is looking nice tomorrow, and Cavani has a plus matchup.  If you can’t fit Neymar in at his price, a pivot to Cavani is recommended and Kylian Mbappe ($11,000) is also in play.

Also like: Antoine Griezmann ($10,500), Anthony Martial ($9,500)

Cheap Forwards

Punts at the forward position are TOUGH to come by for this slate.  This is why those 2 12ET games are killer.

Bas Dost (Olympiacos @ Sporting Lisbon, $7,000) – Bas Dost is expected to start tomorrow at forward for Sporting Lisbon with Seydou Doumbia’s absence due to injury.  He’s had a rough go of it so far this Champion’s League season, but regardless, he’s a seasoned veteran forward playing on home turf against an Olympiacos defense that is giving up 2.0 goals per game so far.  He could be worth a shot in the dark this week, but he aware that he’s a very high-risk player.  Play him at your own risk.

If you’re looking for another recommendation for a cheap forward, wait until Olympiacos releases their starting lineup.  It’s too hard right now to predict who will be out there given the fact that their squad changes so regularly.  There could be some decent value here, but I don’t want to throw any names out there in case they do not end up playing.

Target Midfielders

Marco Veratti (Celtic @ PSG, $10,000) – Marco Veratti is the most valuable midfielder on PSG fantasy-wise.  In a game that PSG should dominate offensively, Veratti is a high-end play this week.  He has one of the most desirable soccer jobs in the world as he is given the luxury of passing balls to top-tier forwards like the aforementioned Neymar, Cavani, and Mbappe.  A ton of the offensive creativity for PSG runs through Veratti in the midfield, and I expect him to have a field day against Celtic this week.  Midfield teammate Julian Draxler ($9,500) is also a good play this week.

Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich @ Anderlecht, $11,000) – Robben will enjoy the same plus matchup this week that I wrote about above for Lewandowski.  Robben is always a big threat to provide an assist or put the ball in the back of the net himself, and he should have plenty of opportunities to do so against Anderlecht.  He’s a little pricey, but you can’t ignore the fact that Bayern could win this game 5-0 (or better), and Robben would play a big part in the win like that.  Right now, FanDuel has 6 projected midfielders starting for Bayern Munich which is ridiculous.  However, since Bayern is predicted to roll in the game, whoever starts among the group of Arturo Vidal ($10,500), Thiago Alcantara ($10,500), James Rodriguez ($10,000), Joshua Kimmich ($9,000) are also in play.

Bruno Fernandes (Olympiacos @ Sporting Lisbon, $8,500) – Fernandes is Sporting Lisbon’s most important attacking piece hands down.  Their forward situation is a mess, but Fernandes picks up some of the slack as an attacking midfielder.  Olympiacos have given up 8 goals in 4 games in the UCL so far, and Fernandes scored 1 of those goals the last time the two teams met.  In my opinion, this game is one of the bigger question marks on the slate.  It could be very low scoring or very high scoring.  Both teams give up an average amount of goals and they both score an average amount of goals.  Either way, Fernandes is the main attacker for Sporting Lisbon, and he has a solid matchup this week, so he should be worth a look.

Also like: Koke ($8,500)

Cheap Midfielders

Much like cheap forwards, I am struggling to find things I like here.  The same concept holds true for cheap Olympiacos midfielders as I explained for Olympiacos forwards.  I think there should be some value there, but it’s too hard to say who will be starting right now.

Adrien Trebel (Bayern Munich @ Anderlecht, $8,000) – Trebel is a defensive midfielder in Anderlecht’s formation.  The reason he’s averaging 22.2 fantasy points per game is because their opponents control so much of the ball that he is accumulating a lot of defensive stats.  This week will be no different.  Bayern Munich will control this game, and Trebel will be playing a lot of defense.  I’m not a huge fan of rostering defensive midfielders (especially on a team like Anderlecht), but I can’t deny that the potential for 20-25 fantasy points this week is there.

Rodrigo Battaglia ($7,000), Adrien Rabiot ($6,500), Rodrigo Bentancur ($6,500), Nemanja Matic ($6,500), and Sami Khedira ($6,000) are worth looks as deep punts if they start.

Defenders

Dani Alves (Celtic @ PSG, $7,000) – Normally I do not pay up for defenders, but Alves is an exception.  He essentially plays a midfield role for PSG, but he’s technically lined up as a defender.  With a great matchup against Celtic this week, Alves should be able to fill the stat sheet.

Mikael Lustig (Celtic @ PSG, $7,000) – Lustig will be very busy this week trying to defend against PSG.  He should see a lot of opportunities to rack up defensive statistics.  For the same reason Kieran Tierney ($6,500) is a viable play at defender.

Also like: Giogio Chiellini ($6,500), Uros Spajic ($6,000), Felipe Luis ($5,500), Kostas Manolas ($5,500), Dennis Appiah ($5,000), Layvin Kurzawa ($5,000), Dedryck Boyata ($5,000), Alberto Botia ($4,500), Leonardo Koutris ($4,500)

Goalkeepers

Alisson (Roma @ Atletico Madrid, $5,500) – Atletico Madrid have had major struggles on offense in the UCL up to this point averaging only 0.5 goals per game.  However, the put a decent number of shots on goal, resulting in saves for the opposing GK.  Alisson is not an extremely talented keeper, and he’s a little risky today.  Here’s three reasons why.  Roma does not have the best defense.  Atletico Madrid is playing at home, where they usually fare much better.  Atletico Madrid DESPERATELY needs to win this game, while it does not matter as much for Roma.

Sven Ulreich (Bayern Munich @ Anderlecht, $5,000) – Ulreich is guarding the goal today against a team who have not yet scored in the UCL this season.  If that doesn’t scream “clean sheet bonus” then I don’t know what does.  However, it is unlikely that Ulreich will get many (if any) saves.

David De Gea (Manchester United @ Basel, $4,500) – I really like De Gea today for his price.  Manchester United’s defense has been very good this season in the UCL and EPL.  They’ve only given up 1 goal in 4 games in UCL play so far.  Meanwhile, their opponent Basel, score a decent number of goals (8 in 4 games) so they’ve proven to be a quality attacking team.  However, Manchester United knows that a good result from them today will put them through to the next round.  Therefore, Manchester United will be on their A game today.  I expect Basel to be active enough to test De Gea, but will he be up to the test?

I don’t mind Rui Patricio ($4,000) today, especially for 4k.  My only worry is that the game between Lisbon and Olympiacos could turn into a shootout, resulting in a lot of lost points for Patricio.

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