Bundesliga DraftKings DFS Analysis For May 23rd
With the world slowly starting to get back to professional sports, we here at DailyRoto are excited to down more DFS action. The German Bundesliga, the top-flight soccer league in the country, returned last week and will again have games this week. The main slate on DraftKings is a four-game slate, all starting at the same time so we don’t have to be worried about missing late swaps.
For those who have not played the game before, soccer DFS is sort of like a mix of basketball and baseball DFS. The goals and assists that players accrue are “event-based” (like baseball) and will be largely determinative of who wins GPP’s. However, players also accrue points for crosses, shots, assisting shots, tackles won, interceptions defenders + goalkeepers are awarded points for clean sheets (shutting the other team out). The full scoring system can be found here. Those iterative scoring categories are more like basketball, where roles and stats are more projectable but let us be honest: you’re very unlikely to have a good lineup without goals and assists in said lineup.
Jadon Sancho ($10,200) – Sancho did not play last week for Dortmund in their 4-0 destruction of Schalke 04 but he will likely be one of the most owned players in cash games and tournaments this week. Sancho has a share of set pieces for the biggest favorite of the slate (Borussia Dortmund) while also having 14 goals and 15 assists this year. Sancho’s teammate Erling Haaland ($9,700) has the most outstanding goals-per-minute ratio in all of European soccer with 10 goals in just a hair over 600 minutes. However, Haaland has far less of a floor than Sancho does as an active winger. It is trite to say this but it is true: Sancho is likely a better cash game/3-man/single entry play and Haaland is better in large-field tournaments.
Kai Proger ($8,100) – Proger disappointed last week against Fortuna Dusseldorf but he is now back at home against Hoffenheim. These teams are pretty evenly matched with SC Paderborn a slight home underdog in this game. Proger has taken the second most free kicks of all players in this four-game slate and has racked up 163 crosses in 1,821 minutes this season. Despite only two goals and six assists on the year, Proger has been one of the safer floor players in the bottom-half of the Bundesliga. If you are trying to a 10,000-entry GPP, Proger may not be your best choice but he is an excellent floor option.
Nils Petersen ($5,000) – Petersen is definitely a terrible play in any sort of format that is going to reward floor. However, Petersen is the primary striker for SC Freiburg and has a pretty good goal-scoring track record. Petersen scored 15 goals in 24 games for Freiburg in 2018; for a striker on a bottom-tier team in the Bundesliga, that is well above average. This is a good introduction to some general theory for soccer GPP’s. You will need a surplus of goals to win and a great attack point goal-scoring players from slightly favored teams that are generally not thought of as “powerhouses”. Another example from this slate would be Alassane Plea ($9,000) from Borussia Monchengladbach. Plea is much more expensive and had a great game last week in a showdown slate so that could force a little bit more ownership onto him; he is still a fantastic tournament play in this slate.
Kerem Demirbay ($8,300) – Demirbay might be the most popular midfield option on the slate in cash games and tournaments and he deserves it. He gets roughly 60% of the set pieces for Bayer Leverkusen that is massively important for both them and their opponents, Monchengladbach. Demirbay scored his first goal of the season last week and should project comfortably for 10+ peripheral points in this game. As an aside, midfielders are generally the most consistent fantasy point compilers as a large chunk of the corner + free-kick takers are midfielders who also get shots and shots assisted in open play as well. Demirbay has taken 85 free kicks this season and should add to that tally in this slate.
Maximillian Arnold ($7,100) – Wolfsburg are a big underdog in this slate against Borussia Dortmund which is why the player who has taken the most free kicks in this slate is only $7,100. Unlike some of the other European top leagues, games featuring bottom-tier teams like Wolfsburg and top teams like Dortmund are still fertile grounds for fantasy points. Dortmund largely plays in a wide-open fashion that should allow Arnold the space and time to rack up crosses. Arnold has taken 103 free kicks this season with 125 total crosses and has tacked on three goals and five assists as well. While not having a great ceiling, Arnold is another solid-floor contributor that can be used as a building block piece.
Nuri Sahin ($3,600) – Sahin did not play last week and is no lock to make the starting eleven this week but if he does start for Werder Bremen, he will be the punt play du jour. Sahin has played at left-back, central midfield and defensive midfield this year for Werder Bremen this season and also has a share of set pieces when he starts. This is sort of a “do not look a gift horse in the mouth” situation. If in fact, Sahin is in the starting line for Werder Bremen, he should be a mainstay of your lineups. In only 1,257 minutes this year, Sahin has 73 crosses which for a $3,600 is rather impressive.
Other targets: Milot Rashica ($7,800), Kai Havertz ($9,100), Leoandro Bittencourt ($6,800)
Christen Gunter ($5,8000 – It is maybe not that intuitive to new players but high-floor defenders are some of the best players in soccer DFS. DraftKings very rarely prices up players like Gunter, that take a majority of their teams set pieces and free kicks at what they would be as a midfielder. Gunter has 213 crosses this season and 99 free kicks but is priced at only $5,800. His per-90-minute stats are similar to someone like Max Arnold or Kerem Demirbay. Gunter is probably the best play of the slate and is likely to be one of the highest owned players at any position. Fade with caution.
Daley Sinkgraven ($4,100) – The longer you play soccer DFS, you will learn that there are three types of defender players. There are the guys like Gunter or Trent Alexander-Arnold (from Liverpool) who are legit parts of their offenses. They take corner kicks, they send in dangerous crosses and can score a goal every now or then. Then, there are guys like Sinkgraven who technically play the same position but are not really “attackers”. Sinkgraven will cross a bit, shoot hardly ever and win some tackles/interceptions. Sometimes players like Sinkgraven fit lineup construction and he offers more of a ceiling/floor than taking a center-back.
Other options: Ramy Bensebaini ($6,400), Marco Freidl ($4,000), Kevin Mbabu ($5,200)
Koen Casteels ($4,100) – There is probably not a more tilting position in daily fantasy than goalkeeper in soccer. GKs can only get points via saves, fouls drawn (very uncommon), accurate passes (barely worth anything), clean sheets, and wins. Saves are not very common; a ceiling game is something like seven or eight total saves. Goalies also lose points for goals allowed. So you might be thinking, does goalie matter? My friends, it does not. The expensive goalkeepers have no ceiling as they are not likely to face enough shots to rack up the saves. Cheap goalkeepers come with no floor as they are just as likely to get negatives as getting over 10. Casteels is the cheapest GK on this slate, will face plenty of shots from BVB and is playing at home. Done deal!