This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
- 3:00 pm: Borussia Dortmund vs. Chelsea
- 3:00 pm: Club Brugge vs. Benfica
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
David Neres (BEN at BRU, $8,400): Given the odds and matchup, I think you'll want exposure to the Benfica attack, whoever may start. Neres has been deployed mostly as a central attacking midfielder in Benfica's league matches lately, especially when Joao Mario (M, $7,100) and Fredrik Aursnes (M, $3,400) start on the wings. Neres will get a floor based on shots and chances created, since teammate Chiquinho (M, $4,000) has been taking most of the recent corners. Goncalo Guedes ($8,600) is expected to start as a center forward and has anytime goalscoring odds of +220. If Goncalo Ramos ($6,700) starts, he is cheaper and would have the best goalscoring odds on the slate. I prefer Ramos to Neres if he starts, and without set pieces, I don't think Neres is a must in cash games. Salary is soft enough that it is not difficult to afford him, however.
Joao Felix (CHE at BVB, $6,400): Speculating Chelsea set pieces often makes a fool of us all, but it is noteworthy that Felix took all six of Chelsea's corners in Premier League play this past weekend. This comes with the important caveat that Hakim Ziyech (M, $8,200) did not start, but at this price, I think it only matters that he has upside to split set pieces in his range of outcomes. He's taken nine shots in two league matches for Chelsea and has the second-best goalscoring odds among players expected to start, so I think he will be very popular.
I'm not inspired by the other forward options. Sebastien Haller ($8,900) recently returned after undergoing cancer treatment and is still getting back to full fitness. If he starts, he is expensive for what I expect would be a 60-minute appearance. If Noa Lang ($5,800) starts as a winger for Brugge, he will likely take some set pieces. He's a solid GPP option, and he might be fine as a second forward in certain cash builds too.
Joao Mario (BEN at BRU, $7,100): Mario will play as a right-sided midfielder if he starts. He's been Benfica's best player of late with five goals and an assist in his last three league matches. This is a good price for one of the key players in Benfica's attack in a good matchup. Rafa Silva ($8,000) could start over David Neres and has been on the bench the last two matches after being out due to injury late in January. But if he starts, I wouldn't count on him to play 90 minutes. The price is right on Fredrik Aursnes ($3,400) if he starts, but I am treating him as a boom-or-bust option since I don't see much crossing in his game logs.
Julian Brandt (BVB vs. CHE, $6,800): Brandt is the primary set-piece taker for Dortmund and I think he is slightly underpriced even in a tough matchup against Chelsea. He has seven goals this season (two in his last two games), including one in Champions League. If Dortmund score a goal, it is likely that Brandt plays a role in it.
I'm not sure who will start for Chelsea, but Mykhailo Mudryk ($6,400) and Kai Havertz ($6,800) interest me the most in GPPs. I don't know why Havertz is midfield eligible, but he'll line up as a striker and has the same goalscoring odds as Felix. Hakim Ziyech ($8,200) should take set pieces if he starts, but you must pay up and I am worried about an early substitution for him. If you don't play Premier League DFS, Mason Mount ($7,600) has not been taking set pieces lately and is borderline unplayable at this price. If you need a cheap midfielder, Chiquinho ($4,000) has been playing as a defensive midfielder and taking most of the corners for Benfica since the departure of Enzo Fernandez.
Alejandro Grimaldo (BEN at BRU, $5,700): Grimaldo is in incredible form for Benfica since January with two goals and three assists in his past eight matches in all competitions. He's a frequent enough crosser in open play and occasionally takes corners. I think he's a no-brainer in all contest types playing on the biggest favorite of the slate. Reece James ($6,600) played 90 minutes this past weekend but did not take any corners. He is a bit overpriced without set pieces, but his open-play crossing and goals make him a threat to outscore the entire position any given week.
Raphael Guerreiro (BVB vs. CHE, $4,800): Guerreiro is another solid attacking full-back who might take a few set pieces. He takes a few corners for Dortmund and has a strong ceiling, as well, though I doubt he will repeat his recent three-assist performance against Freiburg two weeks ago. Alexander Bah ($4,500) has a strong group stage game log and is a frequent crosser in league play. Julian Ryerson ($4,000) is a solid option on the opposite flank of Guerreiro with goal/assist upside. While hunting for a center-back goal is always viable on a two-game slate, I am less likely to implement that strategy with the affordable options highlighted above.
It is always worth trying to get up to the biggest favorite at goalkeeper on a two-game slate and given the player pricing I expect Odisseas Vlachodimos ($5,400) to be the most popular option in cash games. Of course, Benfica are away from home and their implied probability of winning is just over 50 percent. While I don't think it's necessary to pay down for Simon Mignolet ($4,100), I will intentionally try to play Kepa Arrizabalaga ($4,600) and Gregor Kobel ($4,900) in tournaments in case they keep a clean sheet while Brugge score a goal against a chalky Vlachodimos.