Goals from Trent Alexander-Arnold, via a superbly curled free kick, and substitute James Milner helped Liverpool put a firm foot ahead in their Champions League Playoff tie against Hoffenheim, a team that didn’t lose a game on their home ground for the entirety of last season.Although Hoffenheim pulled one back through substitute Mark Uth, Liverpool remain in a fantastic position ahead of the second leg next Wednesday. The Germans know they’ll have to perform spectacularly if they are to reach the group stage in their maiden Champions League campaign.Goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was the hero for Liverpool early on as he kept out a Hoffenheim penalty taken by former Leicester forward Andrej Kramaric.The penalty was as a result of a Dejan Lovren tackle on former Arsenal player Serge Gnarby and Kramaric played the spot kick effortlessly down the middle for Mignolet to improve his penalty saving ratio. The Belgian has now saved seven of 20, a huge 35% of spot kicks he has faced.Hoffenheim struggled to cope with the pace of Liverpool counter attacks with Mohamed Salah and Saido Mane wreaking havoc down the flanks. Salah almost went close on a counter attack only to shoot just wide around the half hour.Another counter attacking move, this time lead by Mane saw him tripped on his way into the Hoffenheim penalty box. The resulting free kick was brilliantly bent over the last man in the Hoffenheim wall, into the left bottom corner of the Hoffenheim goal by youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold. Goalkeeper Oliver Baumann could only watch as he wheeled away in delight.The game ended 1-0 at half time. And though Liverpool struggled to cope with crosses and set pieces from the joint leading scorers of set pieces in the Bundesliga last term, they held on going into the dressing room.Ermin Bicakcic had to be taken off early into the second half as he was on a yellow and Mane seemed to be having an easy ride against him on the right of the back three. In his place, came in former West Ham man Havard Nordteveit. He didn’t have it easier has Mane was having a good game.James Milner came in and had an immediate impact scoring a goal off unlucky Nortdteveit as the ball into the box flew into the top right corner via his chest.It was a nervy finish from Liverpool who had to deal with corner after corner looking unconvincing defensively, as they had done for the most part of the game.The Germans gave themselves a lifeline with three minutes of normal time left when a diagonal ball played into the box found Mark Uth. Whilst the Liverpool defense appealed for offside, the substitute maintained concentration and finished into the bottom corner with a powerful shot.Hubner had a great chance to earn Hoffenheim what could have been a deserved draw, but the defender headed high despite being unmarked on a free kick. It capped up what has been a wasteful night in front of goal for TSG.Hoffenheim could do no more as Liverpool headed into the second leg at Anfield with one leg firmly in the Champions League group stages and their record of having never lost a European qualifying game intact.Writer: Awolope [email protected] League Wrap: Heavyweights hit the deck across EuropeSeptember 11, 2017In “England”Premier League Review: Liverpool Pay The Penalty In Tottenham Draw As Kane Reaches Century Of GoalsFebruary 5, 2018In “England”UCL: Liverpool, Chelsea Lose Opening Matches As Barcelona Hold Off DortmundSeptember 17, 2019In “UEFA”
It’s already Week 17?! This year flew by, and if you’ve been checking out this column on a weekly basis, thanks for joining us along the ride. If you checked out last week’s DFS value advice, you were probably let down by Dwayne Haskins’ injury (he was balling out before getting carted off), but all three of our running backs met value and scored touchdowns (Phillip Lindsay, Adrian Peterson and Myles Gaskin). Tight end Kaden Smith, one of our tight end plays, caught the game-winning overtime touchdown in the Giants/Redskins game (and another earlier in that contest). Let’s get into this week’s options on DraftKings and FanDuel to find NFL DFS values for Week 17. But before we break down top Week 17 value plays, please note that the picks and analysis below are provided by the industry-leading DFS experts at RotoQL Find out why 100,000 DFS players trust RotoQL to build lineups. Optimize, find value plays, and increase your chances of cashing today! WEEK 17 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerNFL DFS Picks Week 17: QB sleepers, valuesRobert Griffin III: Ravens vs. Steelers (DraftKings $5,100 | FanDuel $7,000)Since the Ravens clinched the No. 1 spot in the AFC (and a first-round bye), coach John Harbaugh already announced that Lamar Jackson (rest) will not play. That means Griffin will take his spot within the league’s most powerful offense (even without a few key starters). While we haven’t seen any of him during the regular season, he will most likely possess some of the dual-threat ability that Jackson brought to the table. While the Steelers are in must-win mode and have been a solid defensive unit (especially after acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick), there’s a lot of upside in this spot based on his price tag.WEEK 17 DFS LINEUPS:DK Cash | DK GPP | Y! GPP | FD CashBrett Hundley: Cardinals at Rams (DraftKings $4,500 | FanDuel $7,000)After Kyler Murray (hamstring) left last week’s game against the Seahawks, Hundley stepped in and completed 4-of-9 passes for 49 yards and rushed the ball six times for 35 yards. At this price tag and clear dual-threat ability, there’s a lot to like, especially since it’s essentially a showcase to the rest of the NFL for Hundley, who will go up against a Rams defense that was just eliminated from playoff contention.Case Keenum: Redskins at Cowboys (DraftKings $4,500 | FanDuel $6,800)Although Hundley is the better option and will undoubtedly be chalky, Keenum is in a similar situation. After losing his starting role to Haskins, he saw playing time last week after the rookie went down with a high-ankle sprain. While the matchup is tougher than Hundley’s since the Cowboys are still in playoff contention, Keenum will be looking to show the rest of the NFL that he can still perform at a high level.MORE: Which players are sitting out Week 17?Week 17 DraftKings, FanDuel Picks: RB sleepers, valuesAdrian Peterson: Redskins at Cowboys (DraftKings $4,900 | FanDuel $6,300)Not only did Peterson pass Walter Payton for fourth all-time on the career touchdown list, but he’s scored a touchdown in four consecutive weeks. He’s still seeing a solid workload, and there’s no reason to expect that to subside as Washington will be looking to spoil Dallas’ playoff hopes.Damien Williams: Chiefs vs. Chargers (DraftKings $4,700 | FanDuel $6,400)Williams led the Chiefs backfield in Week 16 and rushed 16 times for 65 yards. He added 27 more yards on three receptions (with a touchdown). LeSean McCoy was inactive for that contest, but Williams’ involvement might be indicative of how Andy Reid will utilize his stable of backs heading into the playoffs. If that’s the case, expect a similar allotment of touches for Williams this week at what would be a major discount.De’Lance Turner: Dolphins at Patriots (DraftKings $3,300 | FanDuel $4,500)This is a deep sleeper (obviously). Since Myles Gaskin (ankle) left last game, Turner stepped in and received four carries for six yards. Although that’s not exactly encouraging, the second-year back out of Alcorn State played in four games for the Ravens last season and could be worth a look in Week 17, especially since the Dolphins have most likely moved past the idea of including Patrick Laird in their long-term plans.FanDuel, DraftKings Picks Week 17: WR sleepers, valuesJuJu Smith-Schuster: Steelers at Ravens (DraftKings $5,500 | FanDuel $5,900)After posting another dud (two catches for 22 yards) last week, no one is going to be on the Steelers’ No. 1 wideout, especially against the Ravens and with Duck Hodges throwing him the ball. However, with their playoff hopes still alive, Pittsburgh needs a big game from him. As seen in the past, JuJu has slate-breaking potential based on his overall talent. Hunter Renfrow: Raiders at Broncos (DraftKings $4,500 | FanDuel $6,000)Renfrow is coming off of the best game of his rookie season in which he grabbed seven passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. The most encouraging sign of that output was that he played just 46% of the snaps. It wouldn’t be a shock for that number to climb drastically this week, and if it does, he could have a repeat performance.Alex Erickson: Bengals vs. Browns (DraftKings $3,600 | FanDuel $5,100)Last week, due to the injuries at his position, Erickson received nine targets and caught six of them for 55 yards. At this price tag, sign me up!WEEK 17 PPR RANKINGS:Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endWeek 17 NFL DFS Picks: TE sleepers, valuesKaden Smith: Giants vs. Eagles (DraftKings $3,700 | FanDuel $5,300)Smith caught two touchdowns and turned his eight targets into six catches and 35 yards in last week’s overtime victory against the Redskins. As noted last week, his production with Daniel Jones under center has been clear due to the chemistry between the two, and he’ll be in another solid spot to produce against Philly’s exploitable defense.Tyler Eifert: Bengals vs. Browns (DraftKings $3,400 | FanDuel $4,700)Eifert caught a heroic touchdown as time expired in regulation in his last game against the Dolphins, but more importantly, he looks healthy. He should be targeted by Dalton due to the injuries at Cincinnati’s receiver position. BetQL, RotoQL’s sister product, simplifies the research process for sports bettors by equipping them with real-time line movements, value bets of the day and meaningful team trends. Check it out here!Week 17 NFL DFS values: D/ST sleepersArizona D/ST: Cardinals at Rams (DraftKings $2,400 | FanDuel $3,400) Since there’s so much variability when it comes to selecting defenses, why not take a shot on the Cardinals defense against a Rams offense that was just eliminated from playoff contention? Arizona showed up against Russell Wilson and company last week.Pittsburgh D/ST: Steelers at Ravens (DraftKings $3,000 | FanDuel $3,500)As noted above, Robert Griffin III is starting for Lamar Jackson, and key starters will be sitting out against the Steelers. Since Pittsburgh is in must-win mode to keep their playoff hopes alive, their defense becomes a strong option due to their ability to force sacks and turnovers.