It’s the second leg of the Champions League quarter finals and we have some great games to break down and some big GPPs on DraftKings to devour and enjoy. Last week was a tough challenge as I missed on the Bayern-Porto match. I expected Bayern to play at an elite level, instead, it was Porto that showed me something, they showed their ability to control a match at home in front of their fans against the toughest of opponents. Unfortunately, I don’t think that translates as well on the road and I expect Bayern to rock them this week. The Madrid Derby was more even sided than I expected, as I anticipated Atletico to continue their recent domination of their cross town rivals. Barcelona and PSG renewed their group stages rivalry, but neither that match or the Juve-Monaco matches disappointed in terms of fantasy output.
This week we have more of the same, except the venues are switched. Zlatan gets to (finally) exact revenge on his previous employers at Camp Nou. Bayern are going to try to give Pep Guardiola a fighting chance at winning the Champions League. Juventus are getting on the road in an attempt to once again narrowly defeat a Monaco squad that is not known for its goal scoring, but rather its defensive stalwart-ness. And finally, the Madrid brothers get to settle the battle once and for all as to who owns Spain’s capital.
So how do we celebrate these matches? With Daily Fantasy GPPs of course! and DraftKings is offering a bunch of them that are worth your time.
So without further hesitation or delay, here are the top plays for the day.
Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus $5,500 – It’s tough to pick between the expensive goalkeepers today as they are all in “favorite” spots. Ter Stegen is in a great spot and his side Barca are overwhelming favorites to advance (-10000 according to some outlets), however, I would not be surprised if Barca let one go in. Manuel Neuer is a formidable favorite as Bayern are -300 to win this match, but the injuries in the German team make me hesitant to rely on a clean sheet there. Casillas and Real Madrid are big favorites, but the nature of the cross town rivalry has me apprehensive in rostering the Spanish keeper. Which leads me to the Italian Gianluigi Buffon going up against Monaco. Buffon has only allowed two goals to breach his line since the beginning of March, and one of those goals came against Roma in the Italian derby, and the other came while playing for Italy in an international friendly. Buffon may be the most expensive keeper on the day, but between his recent form, and Monaco’s relatively anemic offense, Buffon is the top keeper option for the day.
Danijel Subasic, Monaco $3,900 – While Buffon is my expensive choice at keeper, if you choose to go cheap at keeper in order to spend up elsewhere, Subasic is your guy. Monaco is not known for the offense, but they are very good at defense. The team builds up methodically and attacks without exposing itself. That leaves them very susceptible to broken attacks, while leaving them in prime position to control the midfield. Playing at home, Monaco should have an outside chance at advancing, however unlikely. This match also has the smallest over/under set at 2 with the odds slightly favoring the under. A 1-0 scoreline either way would not surprise me.
Other Keepers I Like: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich $5,400), Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona $5,300), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid, $4,000)
Dani Alves, Barcelona $5,400 – Defenders will be tricky to peg this week as there aren’t any cheap options that really stand out. There are plenty of injuries with the majority of the teams and the pool of defenders who are capable offensively is very slim. Even more so, the pool of defenders who are capable offensively, and in matchups that allow them success is even slimmer. By my count there are only a handful of defenders that fit into our various criteria, as such, Alves has to be one of them. With Barcelona such a heavy favorite to both win the match and advance, and with PSG going all out to try to secure a big win at the Camp Nou, Alves could take advantage of all this and venture forward. Alves has cross potential, as well as assists and goals. Moreover, he draws fouls at an elite rate. His price is high, but if you can find the savings elsewhere, Alves is worth rostering.
Phillip Lahm, Bayern Munich $4,000 – There are going to be some min priced defenders available this week, specifically, looking at Porto and Bayern, however, Lahm has the potential to be the most active defender for a Bayern squad that desperately needs a 2-0 win in order to advance to the next round. One concern however, is the potential injury to Lahm, as he is listed as doubtful ahead of this match. If he does start then he’s worth a look in your lineup as he should be part of a heavy Bayern attack as they look to score early and often.
Other Defenders I Like: Stephan Lichtsteiner (Juventus, $4,800), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid, $4,300), Layvin Kurzawa (Monaco, $3,500), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid, $4,900), Ivan Marcano (Porto, $2,000)
James Rodriguez, Real Madrid $8,700 – During the world cup, I heard an interesting story that I will assume is true, because it is awesome. I heard an announcer discuss that James Rodriguez mother was a big fan of Special Agent 007, so she named her first born after him. In comes James, James Rodriguez. Not quite as catchy a name as James, James Bond, but every bit of a flashy footballer. James played a great game last week at Atletico and was very active, and that resulted in four key passes for his squad. This matchup, without Karim Benzema, Rodiguez will have to take over some of his duties and that could result in some play making behind the forwards. With James getting more touches and potentially elite level production, his price tag of $8,700 is actually too low for his ability and potential role in this matchup.
Mario Gotze, Bayern Munich $8,600 – I know this isn’t a cheap option, but if you choose to avoid the Madrid derby, then the price tag for Gotze should be enough to woo you towards him. That would be extremely evident once you realize that Bayern are going to be missing plenty of players in this matchup due to injury, and will likely field the same squad that was unable to overcome Porto on the road last week. Gotze playing at home though, should improve his touches, and passes which would lead to better production. Most will not play him due to his subpar performance last week, which makes him a great GPP pivot from other midfielders that are similarly priced.
Other Midfielders I Like: Arturo Vidal (Juventus, $5,900), Koke (Atletico Madrid $7,300), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona $5,200), Mario Suarez (Atletico Madrid, $5,000), Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich, $4,600)
Luis Suarez, Barcelona $9,900 – He’s still scoring goals
like its his job because it’s his job, and he’s doing a great job at it. He scored another goal over the weekend in La Liga and will look to add to his already impressive tally this midweek fixture as Barcelona look to finish off Paris St Germain at home. With seven goals in his last six home games, you can’t go wrong targetting Suarez in this matchup that vegas predicts will easily feature more than three goals.
Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich $9,200 – I believe that Bayern will win just enough to advance to the next round. A 2-0 win is very much in the realm of possibility. Lewandowski only managed 3 points last week in the first leg of the match, however, he managed 35 touches in the game with seven of them coming inside the box, and 15 of them coming in the opponents final third. These are relatively small numbers but speak more to Bayern having trouble in the first leg than to Lewandowski’s ability and role in this offense. I predict that this matchup will feature more touches in the final third and more scoring from Bayern. Either of Bayern’s forwards should be in good spots, but I’ll take the risk with Lewandowski.
Other Forwards I Like: Lionel Messi (Barcelona, $12,400), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, $12,800), Neymar (Barcelona $9,800), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich, $9,300), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St. Germaine, $9,100), Carlos Tevez (Juventus, $8,200), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid, $6,300), Mario Mandzukic (Atletico Madrid, $7,400)