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FanDuel Fantasy Soccer: UCL Quarterfinal 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: Quarterfinal Cheat Sheet.

MATCHES (EDT)

Tuesday, 2:45 p.m: Leicester City v. Atletico Madrid
Tuesday, 2:45 p.m: Real Madrid v. Bayern Munich
Wednesday, 2:45 p.m: Monaco v. Borussia Dortmund
Wednesday, 2:45 p.m: Barcelona v. Juventus

PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

GOALKEEPER

Jan Oblak, ATL at LEI ($6,700): Leicester City come in needing to score one to force extra time and two to win the tie, which means they'll be trying to pepper as many shots as they can against Oblak, who actually failed to make a save in the 1-0 first leg victory. The benefit of going with Oblak is that he's unlikely to get lit up, something that can't be said about the two goalkeepers below him in price, Danijel Subasic of Monaco and Roman Burki of Borussia Dortmund, who combined to allow five goals and make only two saves in their first leg matchup.

DEFENDER

Filipe Luis, ATL at LEI ($6,200): Luis comes in after some excellent attacking play in La Liga action, as he has three goals on six shots (five on goal) and one assist on five chances created in his last four matches. He's also put the work in defensively, racking up seven clearances, six interceptions, six fouls drawn and five tackles won in that span. He was fairly limited in the opening leg, though he still finished with 17.5 fantasy points, and with Atletico needing to keep Leicester out of the net to advance (or score themselves), Luis will have opportunities on both ends of the pitch.

Nacho, RMD v. BYM ($5,800): Nacho put in a solid shift in the first leg while filling in for the injured Raphael Varane (thigh) and Pepe (ribs), picking up 19.25 fantasy points thanks to seven clearances, three interceptions, two tackles and a blocked shot. He'll have ample opportunities to keep accumulating those defensive stats, with Bayern Munich coming in down one goal on aggregate while also allowing two away goals last week.

Marcin Wasilewski, LEI v. ATL ($4,100): Leicester are in a bit of a defensive crisis, as Robert Huth is suspended and Wes Morgan hasn't played since March 4 because of a back injury. Yohan Benalouane ($5,400) has filled in for Morgan, though he hasn't been overly productive and he left this past weekend's match with a cramp (apparently it's not serious). If Morgan is unable to play then Wasilewski could get the call, and his extremely low salary opens up plenty of cap space while he won't even have to do too much to make value.

MIDFIELDER

Marco Reus, DOR at MCO ($7,900): Reus was held out of the first leg because of a thigh injury, but he returned this past weekend and bagged a goal during a 45-minute stint against Eintracht Frankfurt, scoring just three minutes into the match. Dortmund need to make up a one-goal deficit, with Monaco also having two away goals in their pocket, so Dortmund will have its foot on the gas pedal. Reus has dealt with a number of different injuries this season (and last season, and the season before that, and the season before that, and the...you get the idea), but he's an electric player when he's fit, which he is now, and he could have a major impact on this match for a fraction of what his salary should be.

James Rodriguez, RMD v. BYM ($7,200): With Gareth Bale ($10,600) sidelined, there is a big hole in the Real Madrid attack that could be filled by James, who had a huge game this past weekend against Sporting Gijon in La Liga play, finishing with three shots (one on goal), five chances created and one tackle won. Granted, many of Real Madrid's regular starters didn't play, but James is still a strong fantasy option when he gets the playing time. Isco ($6,800) is another possibility to start, but his upside isn't nearly as high.

Casemiro, RMD v. BYM ($7,800): While James has the higher attacking upside, Casemiro continues to be absurdly consistent as a holding midfielder, as he won nine tackles in the first leg en route to 30.25 fantasy points. He's scored at least 22 points in each of his last five Champions League matches, with only one of those including a goal. With Bayern Munich having plenty of attacking players and needing to make up a 2-1 deficit, Casemiro should be plenty busy.

Koke, ATL at LEI ($6,800): Koke was pretty much a fantasy bust in the first leg, finishing with just 8.25 fantasy points because he failed to win a tackle, draw a foul or get a shot on goal. However, he's a much better player than that, and Atletico can kill off the tie with at least one goal, while Leicester will be needing to push, opening up defensive opportunities. Koke has two goals on eight shots (five on goal), two assists on 10 chances created, 15 tackles won, 11 fouls drawn and nine interceptions in his last six league matches; if he can even get an average number of each in this week's match, he should be able to pay off his fairly low salary.

FORWARD

Lionel Messi, BAR v. JUV ($12,100): Messi was held off the scoresheet in the opening leg, but he still finished with 22 fantasy points thanks to three chances created, five fouls drawn, two tackles and six chances created. The Juventus defense is one of the best in the world, but Messi comes in with 29 goals in La Liga play and 11 more during Champions League action. With Barcelona needing to make up a three-goal deficit, it would be surprising if Messi wasn't a part of at least one goal. Coming back won't be as "easy" as it was against Paris Saint-Germain, mostly because of the Juventus defense (one that hasn't allowed three goals in a match all season), but we don't need Barcelona to win the tie in order to get a big fantasy score from their best player.

Alvaro Morata, RMD v. BYM ($8,500): Cristiano Ronaldo is obviously the high upside play for Real Madrid, as he scored in the first leg and has bagged five goals in his last seven La Liga matches (thought he's scoreless in his last three), but his $12,200 salary puts a huge dent in the salary cap while facing off against a strong defensive team. Meanwhile, Morata has four goals on eight shots (five on goal) in his last two La Liga starts, and he has higher anytime goal-scoring odds than everyone other than Messi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($10,900), Luis Suarez ($10,100) and Ronaldo. His spot in the starting XI is far from guaranteed, especially if James gets the call, but if he's in there, he warrants serious consideration because of his price.

Thomas Muller, BYM at RMD ($8,800): Bayern Munich need to make up a one-goal deficit, and it becomes two if they allow one thanks to Real Madrid's two away goals. With Robert Lewandowski questionable because of a shoulder injury that kept him out of the first leg, Bayern will rely on Muller again to spearhead the attack. Muller has really produced in Bundesliga play of late, as he has three goals on 16 shots (seven on goal) and four assists on 12 chances created in his last six games. Lewandowski's return certainly doesn't hurt Muller's upside, as it gives him another player he can create chances for, and his salary is attractive for a second forward knowing Bayern have to attack.

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, Mondogoal: Lairdinho, PlayTheSix: Lairdinho.