DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Wed. Champions League Picks
DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Wed. Champions League Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

Similar to the Tuesday slate, we have two early matches that will not be included in the bigger DraftKings GPP contests, which focus on the games that start at 2:45 p.m. EST. Missing out on the action is Benfica at FC Astana (live from Kazakhstan!), which kicks off at 10:00 a.m. and Wolfsburg at CSKA Moscow, which begins at noon. However, we still have plenty of talent to focus on, including the one giant question whenever Real Madrid plays: should be pick or fade Cristiano Ronaldo?

Here are the odds from Paddy Power as of 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24:

Home (win odds)(draw odds)Away (win odds)
Atletico Madrid (3/10) 4/1 Galatasaray (11/1)
Borussia Monchengladbach (11/8) 5/2 Sevilla (19/10)
Juventus (5/4) 23/10 Manchester City (23/10)
Malmo (10/1) 9/2 Paris Saint-Germain (2/7)
Manchester United (1/2) 3/1 PSV Eindhoven (13/2)
Shakhtar Donetsk (16/5) 27/10 Real Madrid (5/6)

Ronaldo isn't the only higher priced player to target, so here are a number of value plays that will make it easier to fit them all in.

Goalkeepers:

You'll understandably have to pay up for the bigger favorites, as Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak ($4,400), PSG's Kevin Trapp ($4,200) and Manchester United's David De Gea ($3,900) lead the way. All are solid choices and should at least get the five-point win bonus.

If spending less at goalkeeper is the focus, Juventus' Gigi Buffon ($3,700) is worth a look, though the $200 up to De Gea is worth it. After that, it's the real budget options, with Fernando Muslera ($3,000) facing off against an Atletico Madrid side that has scored three times in their last four games combined, including getting shut out against FC Astana in their last Champions League match. Jeroen Zoet ($3,000) is also a somewhat appealing option against Manchester United, who are welcoming Wayne Rooney back after his illness, and the Red Devils have actually looked less fierce with him on the pitch than without.

Unfortunately, the upper-tier goalkeepers are there for a reason, so relying on a cheap one Wednesday seems unlikely to pan out.

Defenders:
Gregory van der Wiel ($2,900)
With Serge Aurier out due to injury, van der Wiel is likely to get the start at left back, where he's shown in the past to be a very capable crosser and contributor in the attack. If you want to chase clean sheet points, Marquinhos ($2,500) should help playing in place of the suspended David Luiz, though finding crosses is much more worthy of your time.

Mariano ($2,500)
Mariano has gotten the start at right back in the last two games in place of Coke ($3,100), and he's been a solid contributor in the attack, sending in 11 crosses last weekend in a loss to Real Sociedad and 10 in the match before against Real Madrid, when he also picked up an assist.

Alex Sandro ($2,400)
With Juventus expected to use a three-man back line, Sandro, who has an assist in both of his last two games, will be utilized as a wingback in place of the banged up Patrice Evra ($3,200).

Alvaro Arbeloa ($2,800)
Likely starting in place of the injured Marcelo, Arbeloa provides excellent exposure to a heavy favorite for $1,900 less than the man he's replacing. Dani Carvajal ($3,400) has more upside, but you'll pay for it.

Marcos Rojo ($2,900)
Rojo's playing time has been up-and-down this season, but he provides solid value if he gets the start. He sent in 12 crosses in United's last Champions League tie, and as a heavy home favorite against PSV Eindhoven, there's certainly decent clean sheet potential on top.

Filipe Luis ($3,100)
Atletico Madrid are the heaviest home favorites Wednesday and Luis is a decent crosser, though Juanfran ($4,100) is the more active in attack, hence his $1,000 salary increase.

Others to consider:Marcio Azevedo ($2,400); Vladimir Rodic ($2,800)

Midfielders:

Toni Kroos ($4,700)
Kroos doesn't get involved in the attack a ton, but he takes corners and the occasional free kick if Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't think he can score (which, admittedly, doesn't happen often).

Koke ($5,600)
Koke scored his second goal of the season last weekend against Real Betis, though his fantasy value is firmly tied to his crosses, of which he's sent in 25 in his last four club matches in all competitions.

Angel Di Maria ($7,500)
Di Maria had a monster effort in the reverse fixture, thanks to one goal on four shots (three on target) and 16 crosses. He's been a bit limited in subsequent matches, but he still crosses plenty and is part of an attack that includes Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.

Jesse Lingard ($2,700)
Lingard has been getting consistent starts for United, and while he doesn't cross much, he's taken 10 shots in the last three games (five on target), with a goal and an assist over that span. Because of the relatively low floor because of his lack of peripheral stats, he's a risky cash game play but has definite GPP upside.

Others to consider:Kevin De Bruyne ($5,500);Juan Cuadrado ($4,700); Alex Teixeira ($4,700); Jesus Navas ($4,800); Andres Guardado ($3,600)

Forwards:

Two goals in six games. Zero assists in his last seven. Back-to-back league losses, including a humiliating 4-0 rout to his biggest rival. That's where we find Cristiano Ronaldo, who costs a modest $10,200, $1,500 more than the next highest player. More people will have him than fade him because of his tremendous upside (there may not be a player with more), and the hat trick he bagged against Shakhtar the last time they played certainly looked nice, giving him 47 fantasy points. But Madrid are struggling, Ronaldo is reportedly trying to get his manager fired and his team is missing two huge defensive pieces in Sergio Ramos and Marcelo due to injury. You're paying for upside but it wouldn't shock me if GPP-winning lineups were Ronaldo-less.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($8,300)
I love a good narrative as much as the next guy but I try my best to ignore them when building fantasy lineups. Thankfully, PSG's matchup allows me to play the star striker of an overwhelming favorite who will be playing against his old club on their field. Ibrahimovic has actually struggled quite a bit in Champions League play this season, though he battled a few injuries that slowed him down. Now fit, Ibrahimovic was been dominant of late, scoring five goals and assisting on two others in his last four matches for club and country (his three goals for Sweden in two matches sent them to Euro 2016). With a colossal mismatch, don't overthink the selection.

Paulo Dybala ($4,300)
A goal in both of his last two matches, Dybala has also sent in 23 crosses in those games, making Alvaro Morata ($5,400) the odd man out in the two-man front line for Juventus that is spearheaded by Mario Mandzukic ($6,300), who is very goal-dependent for fantasy points.

Yehven Konoplyanka ($4,500)
Konoplyanka picked up two assists in Sevilla's 3-2 win over Real Madrid before the recent international break, and he sends in a ton of crosses, as evidenced by the 11 he had in last weekend's match against Real Sociedad after he came on in the 61st minute. That's right, 11 crosses in 29 minutes. He sent in nine during that Madrid match and 22 in the two home-and-home Champions League against Manchester City. He's got an excellent floor thanks to those, though he hasn't scored a goal in a month.

Luuk De Jong ($4,600)
The matchup against Manchester United at Old Trafford isn't ideal, but De Jong has been in excellent form, scoring a goal in five consecutive matches in all competitions, including a goal and an assist against Wolfsburg in their last Champions League game. However, it's worth noting De Jong doesn't do much outside of scoring, so his floor is very low.

Antoine Griezmann ($6,500)
Griezmann is in a bit of a goal drought, as he's scored just once in his last six club matches. Nevertheless, he's still the heart of the attack and will likely take multiple shots to justify his seemingly modest price tag (compared with the upper tier, at least).

Others to consider:Sergio Aguero ($8,000), Memphis Depay ($7,200), Lukas Podolski ($5,100),

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Andrew M. Laird plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: kingmorland, DraftKings: andrewmlaird, Yahoo: Lairdinho.
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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 Senior Soccer Editor and a fantasy football contributor. He is a seven-time FSWA finalist, including twice for the Football Writer of the Year Award.
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