FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Tuesday UCL Targets

FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Tuesday UCL Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.

For detailed stats and odds, check out the Fantasy Champions League: Tuesday-Wednesday Cheat Sheet.

MATCHES (EST)

3:00 p.m: Roma v. Porto
3:00 p.m: Manchester United v. PSG

FORWARDS

Edin Dzeko, ROMA v. POR ($12,500): Dzeko is the most expensive player on the slate, but he has the best odds to score and may have the most upside. After a mostly down November and December, he's found some form with three goals and an assist in his last three starts. He has multiple shots on goal in his last five starts, and the Porto back line is still unknown after the relatively easy group stage. Even then, they still allowed four goals in three away matches, including two to Galatasaray. As the biggest favorite on the small slate, Roma should be the most targeted team.

Marcus Rashford, MANU v. PSG ($11,500): It's logical to spend down on Rashford if you need the money. He was rested over the weekend and has scored in five of his last six starts. He gets slightly fewer opportunities than Dzeko and the matchup isn't as favorable, so that's the downside. Surprisingly, United have a higher implied goal total than Roma, so there will be chances. PSG have also struggled against quality teams on the road, recently losing to Lyon 2-1, drawing Bordeaux 2-2 and losing 3-2 at Liverpool back in September. The problem is that teammate Paul Pogba is much cheaper as a midfielder and has been just as productive as Rashford.

For detailed stats and odds, check out the Fantasy Champions League: Tuesday-Wednesday Cheat Sheet.

MATCHES (EST)

3:00 p.m: Roma v. Porto
3:00 p.m: Manchester United v. PSG

FORWARDS

Edin Dzeko, ROMA v. POR ($12,500): Dzeko is the most expensive player on the slate, but he has the best odds to score and may have the most upside. After a mostly down November and December, he's found some form with three goals and an assist in his last three starts. He has multiple shots on goal in his last five starts, and the Porto back line is still unknown after the relatively easy group stage. Even then, they still allowed four goals in three away matches, including two to Galatasaray. As the biggest favorite on the small slate, Roma should be the most targeted team.

Marcus Rashford, MANU v. PSG ($11,500): It's logical to spend down on Rashford if you need the money. He was rested over the weekend and has scored in five of his last six starts. He gets slightly fewer opportunities than Dzeko and the matchup isn't as favorable, so that's the downside. Surprisingly, United have a higher implied goal total than Roma, so there will be chances. PSG have also struggled against quality teams on the road, recently losing to Lyon 2-1, drawing Bordeaux 2-2 and losing 3-2 at Liverpool back in September. The problem is that teammate Paul Pogba is much cheaper as a midfielder and has been just as productive as Rashford. If you don't believe in either home team, Kylian Mbappe ($12,000) will try and do everything in the PSG attack without Neymar and Edinson Cavani. While I recommended Dzeko and Rashford, Mbappe is on the same level, but he could be more popular because of name recognition. Still, PSG are underdogs and while United haven't been good in the back, I'd rather back a home favorite.

Stephan El Shaarawy, ROMA v. POR ($7,500): El Shaarawy isn't guaranteed to start, but he's scored in three of his last four appearances. If he starts, he could either be used to fade Dzeko or in combination if the other match is too hard to trust. Otherwise, unless you spend big at both forward spots, the unreliable Anthony Martial ($8,500) and Hernani ($7,000) are also in the mix. If El Shaarawy doesn't start, Justin Kluivert ($8,000) will likely take his spot, though he could be a trap having failed to make the score sheet since December. The good news is that the midfielders are relatively cheap, so it's possible to spend on both forwards in cash games.

MIDFIELDERS

Paul Pogba, MANU v. PSG ($9,500): Pogba will probably be the most popular player on the slate since there's little reason to fade him. He's the most expensive midfielder, but there are numerous forwards above him, including Rashford, who hasn't provided as much upside. Pogba had a brace this past Saturday and has made the score sheet in his last five starts, and prior to this run, he had back-to-back braces. His floor hasn't been as good in recent matches, but it's still better than most midfielders on the slate. If you want to fade Pogba, Angel Di Maria ($9,000) is the next logical option, though he's on the road against his former team and is rarely a player to trust in the fantasy world. At the least, he has two goals and two assists in his last three starts.

Lorenzo Pellegrini, ROMA v. POR ($8,500): If you don't spend on two forwards, Pellegrini is another viable midfielder who doesn't break the bank. His numbers stand out in UCL (24.3 FPPG), and he's averaging 1.94 shots, 3.26 chances created and 2.21 tackles per 90 minutes in league play. That's good for a floor of at least 10 fantasy points, and he should be plenty active on corners if Roma control this match as expected. He's also easier to trust than the options just below him in Hector Herrera ($8,000) and Marco Verratti ($7,500), both of whom lack a decent floor on the road.

Julian Draxler, PSG at MANU ($7,500): Not many will consider Draxler because of his small per-match average in Champions League play, but that's because he only started once and appeared in four others. He's had a decent floor in recent league starts with the help of defensive stats and corners, and in his last five starts he has three assists, 17 tackles and 20 corners. That combination of floor and upside is rare in this range, as players like Ander Herrera ($7,000) and Oliver Torres ($6,000) sometimes have the floor, but not the upside. You could take a chance on Eric Maxim Choupo-Mating ($5,500) after he started as a forward last match, but his floor could easily be five points and, because of his price, could be popular.

DEFENDERS

Thiago Silva, PSG at MANU ($6,000): Against top competition, Silva's floor usually goes up 5-10 fantasy points because he's more active. That was seen in the group stage as he had a floor of at least 16.9 fantasy points in three matches against Liverpool and Napoli. In league play, it's less consistent due to the lower competition, but he averaged 7.43 clearances and 2.06 interceptions per 90 minutes in Champions League and should be equally busy at Man United, who have forced the sixth-most clearances in the Premier League. If you spend on Alex Telles ($7,000) or Aleksandar Kolarov ($6,500), you're hoping for an appearance on the score sheet, and that's hard to bet on.

Felipe, POR at ROMA ($5,500):Felipe is averaging 6.00 clearances and 2.17 interceptions per 90 minutes in UCL, and none of those matches were as difficult as this trip to Roma. In fact, in arguably his most difficult group match at Schalke, he had a floor of 31 fantasy points from nine clearances, six interceptions and three blocks. While he won't reach those numbers, it wouldn't be surprising if he hit 20 points as the biggest underdog on the slate.

Marcano, ROMA v. POR ($4,000): There's a decent possibility Marcano gets the start against his former club, which would make things more interesting. He started two of the last three league matches, providing five blocks, six interceptions and 12 clearances. If he can hit those numbers again, his floor should be at least 10 points with the best chance for a clean sheet on the slate. As the cheapest expected starter, there's no reason not to back him. You could spend a few more on one of the Man United defenders or Marquinhos ($4,500), but none of them are worth the extra money with possibly lower floors.

GOALKEEPER

Antonio Mirante, ROMA v. POR ($5,000): Mirante looks set to start for Roma after securing a clean sheet with five saves in Friday's win against Chievo. He'll undoubtedly be the most popular goalkeeper since he has the best odds to win and get a clean sheet, and he is less expensive than both Man United and PSG options. If you don't think Roma will score or will get 10 opportunities on net, Iker Casillas ($4,500) is cheaper, though more of a GPP option.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam, a 2019, 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's soccer editor. He also runs RotoWire's Bracketology, as well as writes on other various college basketball content. He has previously worked at ESPN and Sporting Kansas City, and he is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.
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