Round 2 of UCL DFS group stage continues with seven matches on DraftKings, which includes a postponed Napoli match against Rangers and Manchester City taking on Paris Saint- Germain. This article looks to break down which sides are in more appealing spots and which value plays will allow for upside plays.
DraftKings & FanDuel UCL DFS Picks Today 9/14
Erling Haaland (DraftKings: $11,600, FanDuel $22)
Kylian Mbappe (DraftKings: $12,800, FanDuel $23)
Manchester City will play host to Dortmund and Erling Haaland faces off against a side he carried for the past few years. His scoring streak has not stayed in Germany since his departure, and he is averaging over a goal per match for his new club in Manchester City. Haaland averages just shy of five shots per match and handles the penalties for his club. Dortmund has a solid pairing of defenders in the backline with Niklas Sule and Nico Schlotterbeck, who is one of the premier young defenders. Preventing the pressure of Manchester City has proven too much for the elite sides of the world and they will break through. The price across the board for Manchester City is high as always and a one off of Haaland could be all that is needed to move on to the next. His wingers of Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne handle indirect sets and build a floor with drawn fouls and crossing volume. They have contributed on a number of Haaland’s goals up front, and one or the other would make a solid pairing in a lineup with the Norway international. This of course would come at the cost of another big name on the board.
Kylian Mbappe has been firing goals at the same rate as Haaland. Paris Saint Germain is on the road but with a much better matchup as implied by the odds at -650 (BetMGM) favorites. Mbappe sees over six shots per match with an on-target accuracy rate of 47%. His drawn foul rate and created chances gives him a bit higher floor but at these salaries the floor is not what you roster the elite young strikers for. Both strikers can fit in a single lineup and will cost three punt options. Mixing one or the other in a few lineups is the better route with Mbappe expected to be lower on the ownership due to the higher price and presence of Neymar and Leonel Messi, who can steal the goals from the French star. In lineups with Haaland it makes sense to get one of Messi or Neymar for exposure to the Paris Saint Germain scoring. In lineups with Mbappe, adding in De Bruyne or Foden would cover the other side of the contribution rates for the heavy favorites.
Giovanni Simeone (DraftKings: $6,200)
Giovanni Simeone is a filler for the empty forward spot should the attackers of Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain not consume the spot due to the prices. Napoli is in a solid spot against a Rangers side that looks to be missing their leader James Tavernier. Napoli has their striker up top injured in their previous UCL outing and Simeone is a high caliber finisher in his own right. He will need to find the back of the net as his shot volume is not enough and he does not draw fouls to build enough of a floor. Napoli will look to build off an impressive outing against Liverpool and secure advancement. Look for Simeone to finish on the deliveries from the talented supporting cast in Piotr Zielinski and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. Both attackers come at high prices, so Simeone is a cheaper exposure to a fun attack for goal hunting. Drawn fouls created chances and crossing volume gives the higher floors to the other two. On the other wing, Hirving Lozano provides a discount with drawn foul rates and shot volume for his own. The spread scoring and seven game slate would not require a full Napoli onslaught and a one off is enough leverage with two pieces really going for the top.
Viktor Claesson (DraftKings: $5,000, FanDuel $16)
Copenhagen has a tough home matchup against Sevilla. Any UCL matchup for them would be considered tough as they often find themselves the underdog. Sevilla has struggles in all aspects across all competitions however and see a losing streak of four losses and one draw in their last six outings. The defense is not the one of past years and this looks a sneaky spot for the Copenhagen side. Set pieces are split amongst the likes of Rasmus Falk and Lukas Lerager. Possession will not be Copenhagen’s friend in this one despite the home side advantage, so as a one-off, goal hunting makes more sense. Viktor Claesson leads the side in shot volume and goals scored. Any goal contribution would do at the given price. The pivot is newcomer Andreas Cornelius, who sat among the scoring leaders a season ago in the Turkish Super Lig. His run with this new side is still new but he can finish both domestically and for his country Denmark as past history shows.
In a cash build, the other side of this matchup makes sense with expected starters bringing cheap value in Oliver Torres for Sevilla. They will press to find the back of the net as this win is crucial for their advancement to the knockout stage. Erik Lamela and Papu Gomez would offer a higher floor with open play created chances and drawn fouls at under $5,000. Stacking does not make sense unless MME GPP in the larger field tournaments. a simple one off would be enough in a single-entry outing from either side of this battle.
Other Options: Federico Valverde (DraftKings: $5,300, FanDuel $19), Filip Kostic (DraftKings: $7,200, FanDuel $17)
Alejandro Grimaldo (DraftKings: $5,400, FanDuel $15)
Reece James (DraftKings: $6,500, FanDuel $14)
The matchup between Juventus and Benfica looks to be high scoring given the talent both teams possess. The defense is a big part of the domestic success for the clubs and for Benfica Alejandro Grimaldo handles his own both on offense and defense. He handles set shares and leads his side in created chances. Defensively his metrics would improve over the 3.27 won tackles/interceptions given the quality of the attackers coming his way in this one. His floor is enough to pay the price regardless to weather he finds the back of the net with goal contribution being the upside as he has shown a few times both this season and last in the UCL.
In cash games, it is hard to ignore the still under $7,000 salary for Reece James and Chelsea, who have a favorable run under a new head coach at home. James through open play and set shares can range well over nine crosses per match and is not shy to take his own shots from distance at over 1.5 per match. Pairing James with an attacker on a spread scoring of the English side makes sense specifically with the low salary of one Kai Havertz who needs goals but takes well over 2.25 attempts per outing. The rest of the attackers come high on the price making it difficult to put much faith in given the early hook is not something known under the new head coach. There are better plays with proven volume above at similar price ranges. As for James, he can handle his own as a one-off defender option. James ranks fourth overall in projected value at 2.55 and projected DraftKings score of 16.57 trailing only Grimaldo atop the defender list with a value of 2.93 and projections of 15.80 according to the Stokastic UCL projections.
Other Options: Borna Barisic (DraftKings: $4,100), Mohammed Simakan (DraftKings: $3,300, FanDuel $12), Jose Angel Carmona (DraftKings: $3,000, FanDuel $11).
Matthew Ryan (DraftKings: $4,400, FanDuel $9)
Odysseas Vlachodimos (DraftKings: $4,500, FanDuel $10)
Alex Meret (DraftKings: $5,400)
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