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FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: UCL Semi-Final Targets

Andrew M. Laird

Andrew M. Laird, a four-time FSWA Award finalist, is RotoWire's Senior Soccer Editor and an editor for the site's NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, CBB and DFS content.

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

MATCHES (EDT)

Tuesday, 2:45 p.m: Real Madrid v. Atletico Madrid
Wednesday, 2:45 p.m: Monaco v. Juventus

PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

GOALKEEPER

Keylor Navas, RMD v. ATL ($6,400):
Navas is the cheapest goalkeeper on the slate because of a perceived lack of save opportunities, but he made just one fewer save than Jan Oblak ($6,900) when these two teams met just last month. Additionally, Navas made five saves in a clean sheet victory over Atletico Madrid back in November, while Oblak made four but allowed three goals. With so much firepower on the slate, it's tough to justify paying more than Navas.

DEFENDER

Lucas Hernandez, ATL at RMD ($5,400): Lucas is the cheapest expected starting defender, as Atletico Madrid are dealing with a number of injuries along the back line. He had a solid nine clearances, two interceptions and one tackle during last weekend's 5-0 win over Las Palmas, and facing off against Real Madrid should provide plenty of opportunities for more defensive stats.

Leonardo Bonucci, JUV at MCO ($5,900): Bonucci has scored more than 30 fantasy points twice in his last four Champions League matches, a pretty impressive return given that he only had one goal and no assists. Monaco force the most clearances per game among teams on the slate, and Bonucci has had the ball at his feet quite a bit lately, as evidenced by his 105 completed passes in last Friday's 2-2 draw with Atalanta during Serie A play. His upside is fairly minimal, but his lower salary should make up for it.

Alex Sandro, JUV at MCO ($6,000): For a more attacking defender, Sandro provides some salary savings over teammate Dani Alves ($6,600), but both have shown plenty of upside during domestic and European play this season. Monaco's defense is arguably the worst of the four, and with Juventus trying to nab an away goal, there's little reason to think Sandro will be locked into his own half for the entire match, even with how good the Monaco attack has been this year.

MIDFIELDER

Casemiro, RMD v. ATL ($7,800): Casemiro is the fourth-most expensive midfielder on the slate, but he also has the safest floor thanks to his plethora of defensive stats. He has scored at least 22 fantasy points in each of his last six Premier League matches, and while his upside isn't that high, the first leg of these matches figures to be lower scoring, so there's less likelihood that a number of midfielders outscore him because there aren't likely to be many scoring goals.

Isco, RMD v. ATL ($7,100): If you're looking for an attacking midfielder from Real Madrid, Isco provides solid access with significantly more goal upside than Toni Kroos, who is the most expensive midfielder at $8,500. Isco's playing time has been sporadic this season, but he figures to get a start in place of the injured Gareth Bale ($10,100), and he comes in with five goals in his last five La Liga starts, including four in his last three. In addition to the goals, Isco also created 11 chances and won seven tackles in those starts, giving him a decent number of peripheral stats in case he doesn't find the back of the net. If Isco doesn't start and James Rodriguez does, he makes for a solid play as well at $100 less.

Bernardo Silva, MCO v. JUV ($6,700): Thomas Lemar is coming off one of his best games of the season, as he had one goal on seven shots (two on goal) while creating five chances and drawing four fouls Saturday against Toulouse. However, he is $1,400 more than Silva, who has two assists, five shots (one on goal), five chances created and four fouls drawn in his last two domestic games. Lemar's upside is higher because he's on set pieces, but Silva has shown he can produce on the other wing and he brings some salary savings. Juventus have arguably the best defense in the world, and with likely few goals to go around for Monaco, peripheral stats will be key.

FORWARD

Cristiano Ronaldo, RMD v. ATL ($13,400):
Ronaldo is the most expensive player on the slate, but he's also the one with by far the highest upside. He has just one goal and one assist in his last four La Liga matches, but he's taken 27 shots over that span, including eight on goal. He has the best anytime goal-scoring odds among the four teams, and he bagged a hat trick at Vicente Calderon Stadium when these teams met back in November (he was held scoreless in their most recent meeting, though he created two chances).

Paulo Dybala, JUV at MCO ($10,300): While Juventus are away from home, they are facing off against the worst defensive side left in the competition. An away goal would be a huge boost for Juventus, and while Gonzalo Higuain ($10,700) has the higher expected goal odds, Dybala brings a much more solid floor thanks to his ability to create chances (10 in his last four Serie A matches, including nine in three) and his role on set pieces with Miralem Pjanic.

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: Andrew Laird, TheSix: Lairdinho.