DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: SC Freiburg v. Bayern Leverkusen Showdown Preview

DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: SC Freiburg v. Bayern Leverkusen Showdown Preview

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

 For detailed stats and odds, check out the

DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: SC Freiburg v. Bayer Leverkusen Showdown Cheat Sheet

Bayer Leverkusen come in off an incredibly disappointing 4-1 home loss to Wolfsburg on Tuesday, a match they were -140 favorites in. Despite 70 percent possession, Leverkusen were out-shot 14-9, scoring with their only shot on goal, and trailed 10-7 in chances created. Twelve corners helped them out-cross Wolfsburg 24-7 but otherwise they were thoroughly outplayed after two dominant performances following the league restart, scoring four times against Werder Bremen and three against Borussia Monchengladbach. From a completely unanalytical perspective, they simply looked gassed against Wolfsburg, and the quick turnaround to Friday isn't going to help.

Kerem Demirbay ($9,400) took seven free kicks in the match before subbing off in the 66th minute, while Nadiem Amiri ($7,800) took five in 90 minutes. And to further cloud the set-piece situation, Leon Bailey ($10,800), inexplicably the most expensive player on the showdown slate, took four in only 16 minutes as Leverkusen went all-out to try to make up the deficit. If not for a Julian Baumgartlinger's ($3,400) goal in the 85th minute, Leverkusen would have been shut out for the first time in Bundesliga play since Dec. 18. Demirbay played all 90 minutes in each of the first two games, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him sit Friday. With that, Amiri seems slated to play after taking the middle of their three games off, though his set-piece upside is pretty

 For detailed stats and odds, check out the

DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: SC Freiburg v. Bayer Leverkusen Showdown Cheat Sheet

Bayer Leverkusen come in off an incredibly disappointing 4-1 home loss to Wolfsburg on Tuesday, a match they were -140 favorites in. Despite 70 percent possession, Leverkusen were out-shot 14-9, scoring with their only shot on goal, and trailed 10-7 in chances created. Twelve corners helped them out-cross Wolfsburg 24-7 but otherwise they were thoroughly outplayed after two dominant performances following the league restart, scoring four times against Werder Bremen and three against Borussia Monchengladbach. From a completely unanalytical perspective, they simply looked gassed against Wolfsburg, and the quick turnaround to Friday isn't going to help.

Kerem Demirbay ($9,400) took seven free kicks in the match before subbing off in the 66th minute, while Nadiem Amiri ($7,800) took five in 90 minutes. And to further cloud the set-piece situation, Leon Bailey ($10,800), inexplicably the most expensive player on the showdown slate, took four in only 16 minutes as Leverkusen went all-out to try to make up the deficit. If not for a Julian Baumgartlinger's ($3,400) goal in the 85th minute, Leverkusen would have been shut out for the first time in Bundesliga play since Dec. 18. Demirbay played all 90 minutes in each of the first two games, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him sit Friday. With that, Amiri seems slated to play after taking the middle of their three games off, though his set-piece upside is pretty dependent on whether Bailey starts, as he stands over plenty of dead balls when he's on the pitch. It's really puzzling that Bailey is the most expensive player, as while his per-90 numbers are great, he's started only seven of 17 league appearances this season. Given how little he plays versus guys like Demiray, Amiri, Karim Bellarabi ($8,400), Kai Havertz ($10,200) and Moussa Diaby ($8,800), he's unsurprisingly pretty low on the player shares chart (each column is sortable):

Bayer Leverkusen

PlayerGASSOTCCCRCRNPFSTKLWINTFC
Kerem Demirbay2.0%11.6%6.6%5.4%10.7%18.6%49.4%5.3%5.5%5.6%6.0%7.4%
Nadiem Amiri2.0%4.7%8.7%9.0%13.0%15.8%36.6%4.8%10.1%4.0%4.9%7.4%
Kai Havertz20.0%11.6%11.3%13.3%15.7%4.0%5.2%6.9%9.8%4.0%0.7%6.5%
Kevin Volland18.0%16.3%16.3%16.9%9.5%6.8%0.6%2.4%5.5%2.0%1.4%5.9%
Karim Bellarabi8.0%14.0%12.7%15.7%8.0%18.6%0.0%2.8%4.6%3.3%3.5%6.2%
Moussa Diaby8.0%11.6%7.3%11.4%7.4%9.7%0.0%2.4%6.2%2.3%2.5%3.7%
Sven Bender2.0%2.3%2.8%2.4%0.9%0.2%0.0%13.4%5.9%9.6%21.6%6.5%
Charles Aranguiz2.0%7.0%2.6%1.2%6.5%1.9%1.7%7.4%10.7%9.9%6.4%3.7%
Leon Bailey10.0%2.3%6.1%6.6%5.0%9.2%6.4%1.3%4.2%0.7%1.8%3.7%
Wendell0.0%4.7%2.1%0.6%2.7%4.0%0.0%7.9%5.9%12.5%12.0%7.7%
Lars Bender4.0%2.3%3.5%1.2%5.3%3.5%0.0%5.1%3.3%8.3%8.5%5.6%
Lucas Alario12.0%2.3%9.20%9.6%3.6%0.5%0.0%1.2%3.9%1.0%0.4%5.0%
Julian Baumgartlinger4.0%2.3%3.8%3.0%3.6%0.5%0.0%5.4%7.8%5.9%6.0%5.0%
Mitchell Weiser2.0%0.0%1.2%0.6%1.5%3.6%0.0%4.0%7.2%8.9%7.4%5.6%
Jonathan Tah0.0%2.3%1.4%0.6%1.5%0.5%0.0%10.5%2.9%7.9%8.1%7.7%
Daley Sinkgraven0.00%2.33%0.00%0.00%2.07%1.91%0.00%3.10%1.63%5.28%2.12%3.10%
Paulinho6.0%2.3%1.9%2.4%1.2%0.5%0.0%0.4%1.0%0.3%0.0%1.5%
Edmond Tapsoba0.0%0.0%0.7%0.0%0.3%0.0%0.0%4.8%1.0%3.6%1.8%2.8%
Aleksandar Dragovic0.0%0.0%0.5%0.0%0.3%0.0%0.0%3.7%1.0%1.7%3.2%4.0%
Exequiel Palacios0.0%0.0%1.2%0.0%0.9%0.0%0.0%0.9%1.6%2.3%0.4%0.3%
Lukas Hradecky0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%5.8%0.3%0.0%0.7%0.0%
Panagiotis Retsos0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.3%0.0%0.0%0.5%0.0%1.0%0.7%0.3%
Florian Wirtz0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.3%0.2%0.0%0.3%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.3%
Jessic Ngankam0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.4%0.2%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%

Demirbay is surely to be popular if he starts because he takes most set pieces, and while the price drop to Amiri is significant, cash-game players are likely to consider rostering both than just Amiri. Bellarabi continues to be an interesting wildcard, but his floor just isn't strong enough because of his total lack of set pieces, and the fact that he almost never plays 90 minutes (he only got 45 on Tuesday) is a negative.

Goal searchers have to start with Havertz, who failed to find the back of the net against Wolfsburg after scoring back-to-back braces. He won't come cheaply, enough so that some people may be drawn to Lucas Alario ($8,000) if he starts, especially with Kevin Volland ($10,600) not expected to play. Havertz has the best anytime goal-scorer odds on the slate, but no one else has better odds than Alario, who is averaging 3.75 shots, including 1.54 on goal, per 90 in 937 Bundesliga minutes this season. Bundesliga.com is projecting Alario to start in a heavily rotated side that has Demirbay, Bellarabi and Bailey on the bench, a situation that could open up set pieces since Amiri is unlikely to have a monopoly.

Havertz has taken a corner somewhat recently, as we see in the free kick tracker, but defensive midfielder Charles Aranguiz ($5,800) is another candidate for those opportunities, especially since Havertz is such a big target in the box. If there is even the slightest path to set pieces for Aranguiz, you better believe he'll be owned in cash games. Joining Aranguiz in the defensive midfield could be Baumgartlinger, who will surely get the attention of game-log watchers who will ignore that he's taken 16 shots in 21 appearances this season. Then again, he's very cheap and playing for a favorite, so yeah, he'll likely be owned too. Aranguiz's potential set pieces will also likely push people away from the Leverkusen full-backs, who are in the same price range since neither of them are high-volume crossers.

The Freiburg side is a bit easier, especially with Christian Gunter ($7,600) continuing to take a majority of their set pieces. His lower price than the Leverkusen impact players could actually make him a decent captain because you can load up on the flex spots, though Gunter's upside is much more assist-dependent than goal-dependent. Nevertheless, a low-scoring game could make it work. Gunter shares set pieces with Vincenzo Grifo ($10,000), the fourth-most expensive player on the slate after scoring one goal and assisting another in Freiburg's 3-3 draw with Eintract Frankfurt on Tuesday. Grifo is a prototypical attacking midfielder who has taken multiple shots and/or created multiple chances in all 11 of his starts (he's made nine substitute appearances) this season, and he sent in 36 crosses in the past seven games. Paying up for Grifo likely takes you out of one of the expensive Leverkusen attackers, but if they rotate heavily then there might be salary to do it.

Roland Sallai ($6,800) has been a decent alternative recently, as he takes a good number of shots while drawing fouls, sending in crosses and creating chances. He's certainly more consistent than teammate Lucas Holer ($6,400), who scored in that Frankfurt game, but they both theoretically offer more upside than someone like Aranguiz, who is in their price range. Right-back Jonathan Schmid ($6,200) has been a bit up and down since the restart, and this seems like the kind of game where he'll likely be more defensive.

SC Freiburg

PlayerGASSOTCCCRCRNPFSTKLWINTFC
Christian Gunter5.6%27.3%8.2%6.7%22.8%42.7%56.6%6.5%5.5%4.5%2.9%6.0%
Vincenzo Grifo8.3%22.7%10.3%12.6%10.8%13.5%28.7%4.0%3.0%3.2%3.2%1.9%
Jonathan Schmid11.1%4.5%10.1%10.9%9.0%16.8%14.0%7.5%7.9%11.3%10.7%4.5%
Lucas Holer13.9%9.1%10.6%14.3%9.7%3.5%0.8%3.7%18.6%6.8%3.2%12.3%
Nils Petersen25.0%9.1%13.0%14.3%10.8%1.6%0.0%3.1%4.6%5.4%2.9%3.4%
Nicolas Hofler2.8%0.0%6.3%2.5%5.6%0.7%0.0%11.2%6.8%14.9%20.4%14.9%
Janik Haberer5.6%9.1%3.3%2.5%6.3%2.2%0.0%7.9%10.4%8.1%8.9%12.3%
Robin Koch2.8%0.0%7.9%5.9%4.1%0.7%0.0%12.5%4.9%8.1%13.2%8.6%
Dominique Heintz0.0%4.5%1.1%1.7%1.5%2.0%0.0%9.3%3.6%11.8%11.8%4.9%
Luca Waldschmidt13.9%4.5%8.4%7.6%3.0%0.9%0.0%2.3%2.7%2.3%0.4%3.4%
Roland Sallai2.8%0.0%6.5%5.9%3.4%6.0%0.0%1.7%8.7%3.2%1.8%7.8%
Manuel Gulde2.8%0.0%3.8%3.4%2.2%2.0%0.0%7.3%3.0%7.2%7.9%2.6%
Chang-hoon Kwon5.6%0.0%3.5%5.0%4.1%2.4%0.0%1.6%4.1%1.4%1.8%0.7%
Philipp Lienhart0.0%4.5%1.1%1.7%0.7%0.7%0.0%7.2%4.9%1.4%7.1%2.2%
Amir Abrashi0.0%0.0%1.1%1.7%1.5%1.3%0.0%2.8%3.3%3.6%2.5%5.6%
Mike Frantz0.0%4.5%1.1%0.8%2.2%0.9%0.0%0.6%1.4%0.9%0.0%2.2%
Nico Schlotterbeck0.0%0.0%0.8%0.8%1.1%0.9%0.0%1.7%2.7%1.4%1.1%2.2%
Brandon Borrello0.0%0.0%1.9%0.8%0.7%0.7%0.0%0.5%2.5%1.8%0.4%1.1%
Alexander Schwolow0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%4.9%0.5%0.0%0.0%0.0%
Jerome Gondorf0.0%0.0%0.5%0.8%0.4%0.0%0.0%0.3%0.5%2.7%0.0%1.5%
Mark Flekken0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%2.5%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.4%
Lukas Kubler0.0%0.0%0.3%0.0%0.0%0.4%0.0%0.4%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.4%
Lino Tempelmann0.0%0.0%0.3%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.1%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.4%
Niclas Thiede0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.2%0.3%0.0%0.0%0.0%

The best goal upside for Freiburg is Nils Petersen ($6,000), who has the highest anytime goal scorer odds on the team at +220. Petersen didn't start against Frankfurt but came off the bench and scored on his only shot, his first goal since Jan. 18. It was a much better performance than starter Luca Waldschmidt ($5,200), who seems unlikely to get another call up front. Petersen is basically goal or bust, but Leverkusen's defense can certainly be shaky.

That shaky defense really hurt goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky ($7,400) on Tuesday, as he made five saves but finished with only 2.6 fantasy points because he conceded four times. It seems highly unlikely that Freiburg will be able to do that, though it seemed highly unlikely that Wolfsburg would do it. And speaking of poor defenses, Alexander Schwolow ($4,800) was absolutely peppered with shots in his last game, and while he conceded three times he also made 13 saves, helping him to 20.5 fantasy points in a draw. Schwolow likely has more save upside than Hradecky in this one, and there's definitely a case to be made that he could be a better play than some random center-backs or defensive midfielders who don't do much. 

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only Soccer Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire Soccer fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew M. Laird
Andrew M. Laird, the 2017 and 2018 FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's Head of DFS Content and Senior Soccer Editor. He is a nine-time FSWA award finalist, including twice for Football Writer of the Year.
Fantrax Finds: Waiver Wire Pickups For Gameweek 22
Fantrax Finds: Waiver Wire Pickups For Gameweek 22
Fantrax Premier League Player Rankings: Gameweek 22
Fantrax Premier League Player Rankings: Gameweek 22
Fantasy Premier League Player Rankings: Gameweek 22
Fantasy Premier League Player Rankings: Gameweek 22
DFS Soccer: DraftKings Showdown Preview for Fulham vs. Tottenham
DFS Soccer: DraftKings Showdown Preview for Fulham vs. Tottenham