FanDuel World Cup Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 6/19/18
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.
This article will focus on FanDuel’s main slate, which doesn't include the match between Columbia and Japan.
Let's go through the four positions and look at some players to target at various price points.
Forwards to Target
Robert Lewandowski ($12,000) -- Poland’s all-time leading scorer (53 goals), Lewandowski is the focal point of the Polish attack. Lewandowski has scored at least 29 goals in three straight seasons for Bayern Munich, and he led European qualifying with 16 goals. Lewandowski should see plenty of opportunities from long balls and crosses, and he has the best chance of finding the back of the net in this match, according to the anytime goal odds. Listed as a pick’em by oddsmakers, our projections have Poland scoring 1.83 goals and earning the three points relatively easily, making Lewa a superb play.
Sadio Mane ($9,000) -- Despite having the lowest projected total on the slate, according to our models, Senegal is a pick’em against Poland. Mane scored 10 goals while adding 7 assists this season for Liverpool during the Premier League campaign, and he added another 10 goals and 1 assist in Champions League play, including a goal in the final against Real Madrid. If Senegal has any hope to reach the knockout stage -- 10.05% chance, per our models -- Mane will need to have a great tournament. However, Keota Blade ($8,000) could be a good leverage play in large-field tournaments as Mane’s name recognition will likely increase his ownership. Keita recorded eight goals and five assists in 23 Ligue 1 matches with Monaco this season, and he could be involved in a few set-pieces for Senegal.
Midfielders to Target
Aleksandr Golovin ($10,000) -- In what is basically a must-win match for Egypt, the Egyptians may need to break their defensive shell and push up the pitch -- a healthy Mohamed Salah will help -- and that could open up more of the pitch for Golovin. Golovin sent in five crosses, created five chances, recorded two assists and scored one goal in Russia’s first match against Saudi Arabia -- although Saudi Arabia is the second-worst squad in the field, according to our models. Russia enters the match as a 0.5-goal favorite and have an implied total of 1.25 goals, and while Fyodor Smolov ($8,500) will be looking to find the back of the net for the first time this World Cup, Golovin is playable in all formats and should have opportunities to add to his great performance in Russia’s first match.
Piotr Zielinski ($8,000) -- Poland’s top goal-scoring option is clearly Lewandowski, but a majority of his chances come from crosses and long balls, and Piotr Zielinski could be the one setting him up. Zielinski should share set-pieces with Kamil Grosicki ($6,000) and Jakub Blaszczykowski ($7,500), and while both those players can create for Lewandowski, Zielinski -- in the center of the pitch -- should take more shots than Grosicki and Blaszczykowski as he scored four goals in Serie A with Napoli this season.
Defenders to Target
Kalidou Koulibaly ($5,000) -- Koulibaly mans the center defense for Napoli in Serie A, and he featured in five Champions League matches this season. Koulibaly racked up 114 clearances, 55 tackles and 40 interceptions in 35 appearances during the Serie A campaign, and he should have plenty of opportunities to pick up defensive actions against a Poland squad that will look to send the ball into Lewandowski. Koulibaly is no slouch in front of the net, either, as he scored 5 goals on 17 shots for Napoli.
Ilya Kutepov ($5,000) and Yuri Zhirkov ($5,000) -- As mentioned above, this is basically a must-win match for Egypt, and and that could bode well for the Russian back line -- with or without Mohamed Salah. Zhirkov showed the most ability to get forward in the attack in Russia’s first match as he picked up six crosses -- although zero chances created -- and took one shot off target. While those categories are worth zero points in FanDuel’s new scoring system, it tells us Zhirkov was involved in the attack. Center-backs always seem to do well on FanDuel, and Kutepov could be that play for Russia as Egypt should be looking to attack. As the favorite, both players also have clean-sheet equity, which is a nice bump to their value.
Goalies to Target
Wojciech Szczesny ($5,000) -- According to our numbers, Senegal is the third-worst squad in the World Cup, with a nERD of 1.50. That ranking, along with Senegal’s 0.60 game total, per our game projections, bodes well for Szczesny’s chances of picking up the clean sheet and win bonuses. With Sadio Mane on the pitch, Senegal should have a few opportunities, so there's a decent floor here in addition to a nice ceiling.
Khadim N'Diaye ($4,500) -- If you are looking for save upside, N'Diaye -- or whoever starts for Senegal -- could be your dude. The Senegalese keeper could face a large number of shots from Poland, especially with Lewandowski in front of the net. With the win and clean sheet bonuses unlikely, N'Diaye will need a big performance in net, something he is capable of as he made nine saves in four matches during the Confederation of Africa (CAF) World Cup qualifying while conceding just one goal.
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.