FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Wednesday UCL Targets

FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Wednesday UCL Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.

MATCHES (EDT)

For detailed stats and odds, check out the FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Wednesday UCL Cheat Sheet.

FORWARDS/MIDFIELDERS

Wednesday's slate is a bit different than Tuesday's, with the two biggest favorites both playing away, though that doesn't mean there's a lack of big-name players. Lionel Messi ($23) is healthy and doesn't cost an overwhelming amount. Most cash lineups will start with him, having produced two goals and two assists from seven shots on goal and 10 chances created in his last three starts. Barcelona are dominating again atop La Liga and Slavia Prague already lost 2-0 at home to Dortmund even though they won the possession battle. Luis Suarez ($22) is in the conversation with five goals in his last four starts, but he doesn't have the same floor, while Antoine Griezmann ($19) is the GPP play after scoring and assisting over the weekend, his first positive performance in this trio.

Liverpool are the bigger favorite, yet they struggled over the weekend without Mohamed Salah, and Genk already held Napoli scoreless. Going further, Genk are a dominant home team in league play, allowing three goals and winning six of six matches. The Reds are big favorites, but it wouldn't be surprising if this match finished 2-0 and Sadio Mane ($22) didn't make the

MATCHES (EDT)

For detailed stats and odds, check out the FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: Wednesday UCL Cheat Sheet.

FORWARDS/MIDFIELDERS

Wednesday's slate is a bit different than Tuesday's, with the two biggest favorites both playing away, though that doesn't mean there's a lack of big-name players. Lionel Messi ($23) is healthy and doesn't cost an overwhelming amount. Most cash lineups will start with him, having produced two goals and two assists from seven shots on goal and 10 chances created in his last three starts. Barcelona are dominating again atop La Liga and Slavia Prague already lost 2-0 at home to Dortmund even though they won the possession battle. Luis Suarez ($22) is in the conversation with five goals in his last four starts, but he doesn't have the same floor, while Antoine Griezmann ($19) is the GPP play after scoring and assisting over the weekend, his first positive performance in this trio.

Liverpool are the bigger favorite, yet they struggled over the weekend without Mohamed Salah, and Genk already held Napoli scoreless. Going further, Genk are a dominant home team in league play, allowing three goals and winning six of six matches. The Reds are big favorites, but it wouldn't be surprising if this match finished 2-0 and Sadio Mane ($22) didn't make the score-sheet. He's failed to make the score-sheet in his last four away starts, and he hasn't surpassed 10.3 fantasy points in three of those. Roberto Firmino ($19) is similarly inconsistent and often has a floor below 10 points. Divock Origi ($16) is in play because of price, but he didn't do anything in 60 minutes at Man United. This match has one of the higher implied total, so I could be wrong, but I'm more comfortable backing Messi-led Barcelona than Salah-less Liverpool.

I'd rather throw money at the Red Bull Salzburg-Napoli match because of the way Salzburg play. They can score no matter the opponent, but that often leads to favorable situations for the opponent. And while Napoli have been a little more defensive, there's been 19 goals scored in their four league away matches. Erling Haaland ($19) is back in the squad, and he's the pick if you want to bank on goals, though Patson Daka ($13) is just as potent and is the reason Haaland won't play a full 90. Unlike the bigger clubs, almost everyone is viable for Salzburg. Hwang Hee-Chan ($18) wasn't in Saturday's squad, while both Zlatko Junuzovic ($16) and Takumi Minamino ($13) came off the bench, so all three are expected to play the majority of this match. The pricing is odd and allows you to roster Salzburg's top four players. Minamino could be in plenty cash lineups with three shots on goal and five chances created in the first two matches. Junuzovic has a solid floor as a central midfielder who takes set pieces, but I'm not sure I'd pay up for him if you weren't stacking Salzburg. It's a little less certain for Napoli because Dries Mertens ($20) has one goal and no assists in his last five appearances in all competitions. Arkadiusz Milik ($12) is a much cheaper forward and coming off a brace. Lorenzo Insigne ($17) is boom or bust and a perfect tournament option, while Jose Maria Callejon ($16) takes some set pieces and Fabian Ruiz ($11) has multiple chances created in his last four starts, and is one of the few guarantees to play a full 90. 

This slate is weird because you can roster Messi and Suarez, but also fill out your roster with players who have decent upsides and solid floors in Minamino and Ruiz. It's a bit trickier with the other matches. Inter-Dortmund could finish with four or five goals, but there's no telling how it will turn out and no one has a great floor. A viable tournament stack could be Lautaro Martinez ($19) and Romelu Lukaku ($17) at home after both braced over the weekend. It's a similar case for Lille-Valencia because both teams are unpredictable and sitting in the middle of their respective league tables. Dani Parejo ($16) and Jonathan Bamba ($15) have decent floors as main set-piece takers, but you're spending up for them in a match that could be scoreless. Normally, I'd be all over a Lyon match, but there's been four total goals scored in their last four matches, and four in Benfica's last three at home. The possible absence of Memphis Depay ($20) doesn't help, nor does the lack of stable fantasy options for Benfica.

Gabriel Pires ($10) will get some attention after hitting a floor of 36 points last match, but I'm not sure creating six chances again is realistic. I'd rather go with a previously mentioned option or take a flyer on Martin Terrier ($11) because he's at least a forward. Dominik Szoboszlai ($11) and Enock Mwepu ($11) should also be in the conversation because they play for Salzburg.

DEFENDERS

If you have money, there are intriguing high-end defenders to go after. Alejandro Grimaldo ($16) leads the list with a stable floor around 20 fantasy points due to corners and a variety of defensive stats. He's probably more consistent than Trent Alexander-Arnold ($15), who didn't make the trip for this match. Otherwise, Achraf Hakimi ($16) has played in an attacking role the last three matches for Dortmund and is worth a gamble in case he finds the back of the net again.

For the value defenders, it makes the most sense to back whoever starts for Genk, with Sebastien Dewaest ($9) and Jere Uronen ($8) the cheapest options, as Liverpool have forced the third-most clearances and blocks in league play. Barcelona are a little better at holding possession, so I'd probably go Genk over Slavia Prague in terms of defenders. In what should be another up-and-down match, Salzburg and Napoli defenders should see a lot of work with Kalidou Koulibaly ($10) the best value. Andreas Ulmer ($13) is also cheap for a corner taker who gets up the field a lot.

GOALKEEPER

As the only two large favorites, Marc-Andre ter Stegen ($16) and Alisson Becker ($15) make sense even though they're the most expensive options. Slavia Prague and Genk have already been held scoreless at home, and it'd be surprising if Barcelona and Liverpool didn't win. If you don't have the money, you could back either Jasper Cillessen ($12) or Mike Maignan ($10) in the match with the lowest expected goal total. The odds point to Maignan, but Valencia always seem to find at least one goal away, which is what they've done in recent trips to Chelsea and Atletico. Marwin Hitz ($8) shouldn't be the cheapest goalkeeper even as an underdog. Regular starter Roman Burki ($11) was injured over the weekend, and that's how Hitz should be priced. Gaetan Coucke ($9) isn't a terrible option because even though he won't get points for a win, saves should keep him in the positive. Because of the matchups, almost every goalkeeper is in play. It's usually best to go with favorites, but since a lot of these teams are almost even, you could go either way, though I'd avoid Alex Meret ($14) and Cican Stankovic ($9).

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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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