DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Wednesday UCL Picks

DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Wednesday UCL Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

MATCHES (EDT)

THE CHALK

Erling Haaland, BVB v. ZEN ($10,200): It's weird to have a slate with Lionel Messi ($11,100) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($10,800) and not expect either of them to be all that popular. Ronaldo is understandable because he remains out with COVID-19, but Messi, the most expensive player on the slate, seems like a perfectly viable fade in his toughest match in the group stage. Barcelona are only slight favorites, and they have the second-lowest implied goal total among teams expected to win. Messi has still had an excellent floor this season, but you need a ceiling game at his salary. If there's one guy who is much more likely to reach his ceiling it's Haaland, who comes in with six goals in five starts during Bundesliga and Champions League play, including a goal against Lazio last week. Borussia Dortmund are the biggest favorite on the slate with the highest implied goal total, and Haaland's 68 percent odds to score are 20 percentage points above the next highest. Teammates Jadon Sancho ($9,300) is expected to take some of Dortmund's set pieces, which would theoretically make him the cash-game option, but Haaland could be more popular there too because of his tremendous ceiling (plus, his floor is pretty solid from

MATCHES (EDT)

THE CHALK

Erling Haaland, BVB v. ZEN ($10,200): It's weird to have a slate with Lionel Messi ($11,100) and Cristiano Ronaldo ($10,800) and not expect either of them to be all that popular. Ronaldo is understandable because he remains out with COVID-19, but Messi, the most expensive player on the slate, seems like a perfectly viable fade in his toughest match in the group stage. Barcelona are only slight favorites, and they have the second-lowest implied goal total among teams expected to win. Messi has still had an excellent floor this season, but you need a ceiling game at his salary. If there's one guy who is much more likely to reach his ceiling it's Haaland, who comes in with six goals in five starts during Bundesliga and Champions League play, including a goal against Lazio last week. Borussia Dortmund are the biggest favorite on the slate with the highest implied goal total, and Haaland's 68 percent odds to score are 20 percentage points above the next highest. Teammates Jadon Sancho ($9,300) is expected to take some of Dortmund's set pieces, which would theoretically make him the cash-game option, but Haaland could be more popular there too because of his tremendous ceiling (plus, his floor is pretty solid from shots, shots on goal and chances created).

FORWARDS

Christopher Nkunku, RBL at MUN ($6,900): RB Leipzig are underdogs away to Manchester United, but this should be a fairly close match. Nkunku has taken half of Leipzig's set pieces this season, and he's coming off an incredible match against Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga when he took five shots, created seven chances, sent in nine crosses and drew four fouls for 22.6 fantasy points. It was his fourth match in a row with at least 8.2 fantasy points, including three with at least 18.2, and the Leipzig attack should be able to do some work against Man United, even as underdogs. At the very least, the RB Leipzig players seem a bit under-priced on this slate, which could help stack Dortmund.

Joaquin Correa, LAZ at BRU ($5,900): Lazio are dealing with a full-fledged COVID outbreak, and they could have only 16 players available for Wednesday's match. Luis Alberto ($7,900) is their regular set-piece taker, but he did not travel to Belgium, which could leave Correa on corners. There is a bit of a leap of faith with that assumption, however, as Alberto has accounted for 32 of their 36 dead-ball opportunities in Serie A and the Champions League, and Correa has taken one. Danilo Cataldi took three against Atalanta on Sept. 30, but he's been ruled out due to a non-COVID illness. We also shouldn't ignore that Lazio are +290 underdogs because of the absences, so you'll have to weigh whether or not one of the best teams in the Jupiler League is better than backups from a top Serie A side.

Anthony Martial, MUN v. RBL ($5,900): Martial probably isn't in the cash-game discussion, but it seems a bit wild that he's below $6,000 when teammate Marcus Rashford is $8,100. Martial has been slowed this season by a Premier League red-card ban, but he's still a very good attacker and playing on the front line in the game with the second-highest implied goal total.

MIDFIELDERS

Bruno Fernandes, MUN v. RBL ($10,400): Given the expectation that many people could be stacking Dortmund, Fernandes could be less popular than he should be as a player with at least 15.7 fantasy points in every start this season. His monopoly of set pieces seems to be gone, but he's still creating plenty of chances, taking a good number of shots and even doing some defensive work, winning nine tackles in his last three games. There is probably no player on the slate with a higher floor, so he won't be ignored in cash games, but he may be similar to the 35-percent range that we saw Kevin De Bruyne in on Tuesday's slate, which felt low given his role for Man City, who were bigger favorites than United are Wednesday.

Raphael Guerreiro, BVB v. ZEN ($5,500): Guerreiro has taken on a bigger role of Dortmund's set pieces recently, and his price would be extremely too low if we knew he was going to maintain it as the biggest favorite on the slate. However, with Giovanni Reyna ($6,100) and Sancho also possibilities for those opportunities, maybe Guerreiro's popularity won't be as high as it should be. He took four of six free kicks this past weekend against Schalke, finishing with 21.0 fantasy points that included an assist, and many fantasy players seem likely to pair him with Haaland in cash games and GPPs.

Mykola Shaparenko, DYK at FCS ($4,900): Shaparenko was solid against Juventus last week, scoring 9.9 fantasy points thanks to two shots, one chance created, two crosses and five fouls drawn. His central midfield position doesn't provide many open-play opportunities for crosses, but his role on set pieces could be valuable in a match Kyiv are actually favored in. Another player who fits in this mold is Sergej Milinkovic-Savic ($6,600), who could have a path to set pieces, but again, he's on a fairly sizable underdog. If anything, fantasy players in his price range seem more likely to focus on Rennes' Benjamin Bourigeaud ($6,400), who takes almost all set pieces and has an extremely solid floor, though similar to SMS, he's an underdog and Sevilla are much tougher defensively.

DEFENDERS

Angelino, RBL at MUN ($5,900): Angelino's three-game goal streak ended this past weekend, but he still managed to score 17.6 fantasy points thanks, in part, to two shots, including one on target, five chances created and eight crosses. He's a big part of RB Leipzig's attack, even from a fullback/wing-back role, and his price is quite attractive given he should be on some set pieces.

Alex Telles, MUN v. RBL ($5,600): Angelino isn't the only left-back worthy of consideration in this game, as Telles could be pretty valuable as a partial set-piece taker for the favored side.  He did not play last weekend in the Premier League, so he's primed to start, possibly as a wing-back in a match that could be very up and down. If paying up for one, it seems more people are likely to go with Angelino, but you could argue both are strong plays.

Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro, LAZ at BRU ($2,500): The plethora of Lazio absences could open up a starting spot for Akpa-Akpro, who is classified as a defender but seems likely to start in central midfield. He actually started there against Bologna in Serie A action this past weekend, scoring a whopping 1.3 fantasy points (it included four fouls committed and a yellow card), but at the stone minimum salary there will surely be people who go there.

GOALKEEPER

Pepe Reina, LAZ at BRU ($3,900): There was definitely some consideration for Denes Dibusz ($4,200) as the cheaper goalkeeper in the match with the second-lowest implied total, and if you're considering him then Alfred Gomis ($3,800) should be in the discussion too since he's the cheaper goalkeeper in the game with the lowest total. Gomis hasn't had a clean sheet all season, and while Sevilla haven't been lighting up the scoreboard, he's still a pretty significant underdog. Reina is actually a bigger underdog than Dibusz, which is why he is a bit cheaper, but it wouldn't surprise anyone if Lazio hunkered down and tried to escape with a scoreless draw with almost all of their attackers sitting out.

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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.
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