FanDuel World Cup Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 6/15/18
After a four-year wait, the World Cup is back, and FanDuel is offering daily fantasy contests for the entirety of the tournament. For those who played DFS during the Premier League season, FanDuel has made some changes to their scoring system, so make sure you're up to date on how the new settings impact things.
The slate’s first match is a clash between Uruguay and Egypt, and a lot of key decisions for DFS players could hinder on the health of Egypt’s Mohamed Salah. As always, it is imperative to check starting XIs when they become available and make changes throughout the day -- late swap is available -- as the three matches do not overlap.
Uruguay are a 1.0-goal favorite over Egypt with a slate-best 1.5-goal implied total while the other two matches have a 0.5-goal spread. The biggest disparity between the Vegas odds and our game projections comes in the Spain-Portugal match as Spain have a 1.75 projected total, per our numbers, as opposed to a 1.25-goal implied total on Bovada.
Let's go through the four positions and look at some players to target at various price points.
Forwards to Target
Luis Suarez ($12,500) and Edinson Cavani ($11,500) -- According to our models, Uruguay have the field's fifth-best odds (86.53%) of advancing to the knockout stage as Group A is arguably the weakest group in the field. Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo ($13,500) is clearly the top forward on the slate, but his price is a bit restrictive and his ownership could be high due to his name recognition for new DFS players who try their hand at the World Cup. Uruguay, however, is the largest favorite on the slate, and our projections have them scoring 1.44 goals. Suarez and Cavani have a knack for finding the net as both players finished within the top-three in goals in their respective domestic leagues during the club season. Both forwards are a bit goal-dependent, with Suarez likely to offer the highest floor among the pair, making him the preferred play of the two in cash formats.
Diego Costa ($9,500) and Iago Aspas ($8,500) -- In the marquee match of the day, Spain, the 2010 World Cup winners, will look to bounce back after their shocking exit in the group stage four years ago as they face Portugal, who won the 2016 UEFA European Championship. According to oddsmakers, Spain is a 0.5-goal favorite and have an implied team total of 1.25 goals. However, our game projections have La Roja scoring 1.75 goals, the highest number on the slate. Regardless of the projections, Portugal have a great back line, and the skilled Spaniards will need to play well to create chances. Who Spain will play up top is a mystery. In addition to these two, Rodrigo Moreno ($8,500) is an option, as well. Costa seems to be the most likely to finish the chances generated by Spain's midfielders -- especially if Spain line up with a lone forward -- while Aspas, if he starts, will look to continue his form from a great club year with Celta Vigo as he finished fourth in goals during the La Liga campaign.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh ($7,500) -- In what could end up being the most intriguing match on the slate, as both squads know they will likely need three points to have any hope to advance to the knockout stages, Jahanbakhsh could see a plethora of opportunities in what may wind up as a fairly wide-open match. Jahanbakhsh led the Eredivisie with 21 goals this season while finishing with 12 assists, third-most in the league. Sardar Azmoun ($9,000) could be the highest-owned Iranian player, but Jahanbakhsh should see more opportunities with the ball, and as the main set-piece taker, he's in play in all formats.
Midfielders to Target
David Silva ($10,000) -- As mentioned with Costa and Aspas, Spain have the highest projected total on the slate, according to our projections, and Silva will be a key piece in their attack. Though he probably won’t take every set piece, Silva will be one of the leaders for set pieces, which could give him a number of chances created with the upside of an assist. The City midfielder is not just a provider as he found the net 9 times -- on 54 shots -- for the Citizens in EPL play this past year.
Hakim Ziyech ($8,500) -- If the Moroccans want to have any hope to advance to the knockout rounds (we give them a 27.23% chance of doing so), they will likely need to defeat Iran by multiple goals. Ziyech totaled 9 goals and 15 assists for Ajax this season while averaging 4.9 shots per 90 minutes.
He should also take most of Morocco’s set pieces, and in a must-win match, Ziyech should see plenty of chances to score fantasy points.
Bernardo Silva ($8,000) -- A much cheaper option than Ronaldo, Silva scored in two of his final three club starts for Manchester City, totaling 25 shots in 35 appearances. Silva could see an uptick in scoring chances from the right side as clubs focus in on Ronaldo. If Ricardo Quaresma ($8,500) is rested, Silva could feature on corner kicks for the Portuguese, which could lead to a few chances created. Ronaldo is always the top play for Portugal, but he'll always be highly-owned. Silva is a great way to get exposure to Portugal while differentiating your lineup.
Defenders to Target
Diego Godin ($7,000) and Jose Maria Gimenez ($5,000) -- Teammates at Atletico Madrid, Godin and Gimenez will look to continue their form from this season as they helped Los Colchoneros boast La Liga’s fewest goals allowed in each of the last two seasons. Without Salah, Egypt may find themselves in a defensive shell, which could allow Godin and Gimenez to pick up the pivotal clean-sheet bonus -- especially as the largest favorite on the slate. Gimenez picked up one goal in three starts during the 2017-18 international friendly campaign and added 1 goal in 23 appearances this season with Atletico Madrid. He offers more upside of the two, but the appeal for this duo stems from their defensive prowess and clean-sheet odds. We have Egypt scoring 0.72 goals, the fewest on the slate.
Achraf Hakimi ($5,500) and Mehdi Benatia ($4,500) -- The Moroccan captain, Benatia is the centerpiece of a squad that did not allow a single goal in qualifying and has a good chance to pick up a clean sheet against an Iranian squad that enters the match as a 0.5-underdog -- although both squads will need a win. Our projections have Iran’s projected total at 0.93 goals. Morocco is far from loaded going forward, so Hakimi and Benatia -- both of whom play for top clubs in Europe -- should be ripe for a large number of defensive actions while Hakimi could see space down the right side as he totaled 30 crosses in nine appearances with Real Madrid this season.
Goalies to Target
David de Gea ($6,500) -- Easily the top keeper on the slate and possibly the best goalie in the world, de Gea won the Golden Glove award this season with Manchester United as he picked up 18 clean sheets in the Premier League (22 in all competitions). Portugal has an implied team total of 0.75-goals, per bookmakers, and we give them a projected total of 1.03 goals. Ronaldo is always a threat to score -- especially from set pieces -- but the Spaniards have a solid defense, anchored by center-backs Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, so de Gea is more than capable of getting a clean sheet. We give Spain a 60.7% chance of winning the match, and goalies get a seven-point bonus for wins in the new scoring system.
Fernando Muslera ($5,500) -- Entering the slate as the keeper on the largest favorite, Muslera could face an Egyptian squad that is not at full strength. Without Salah, Egypt may have a difficult time putting pressure on Muslera -- and will likely play with 10-men behind the ball -- but if he can keep a clean sheet he may be in line for a big fantasy output with both the clean-sheet and win bonuses. If Salah does play, Muslera may be a risky option as the Premier League Golden Boot winner will clearly boost the Egyptians' chances at finding the back of the net. As of now, we give Uruguay 63.0% win odds, tops on the slate, and project Egypt for 0.72 goals, giving Muslera the best clean-sheet odds among all keepers. At $5,500, that's pretty darn appealing.
Ben Fisher is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Ben Fisher also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Gvsubrickwall . While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.