FanDuel World Cup Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 6/22/18
The World Cup is now in full swing, and FanDuel is offering daily fantasy contests every day, 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 doesnt include the 8:00 a.m. EST match between Brazil and Costa Rica.
On this two game slate, according to Bovada, both Serbia and Iceland are the slightest of favorites in pick'ems against Switzerland and Iceland, respectively.
The biggest disparity between the Vegas odds and our game projections comes in the Switzerland-Serbia match as Switzerland have a 45.6% win probability, per our numbers, as opposed to a 33.9% implied probability from Bovada. In the other match, we see Iceland as marginal favorites, with a 39.3% win probability over Nigeria.
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 two matches do not overlap.
Let's go through the four positions and look at some players to target at various price points.
Forwards to Target
Aleksander Mitrovic ($9,500) -- On a slate devoid of a truly elite side, the forward pool is lacking in big names. There are better, more reliable, and more expensive options available in midfield and defense, which may lead to low ownership on the highest-priced forwards on this slate. If that happens, Mitrovic becomes an interesting option against Switzerland. In a tight match against Costa Rica, he produced two shots on goal, once chance created, as well as three tackles and two clearances. On a slate that might be low on goals, the points he accumulates through his defensive actions have added value.
Odion Ighalo ($7,500) -- The tide of support is well and truly behind Iceland after their heroic draw against Argentina in their first match. That support could lead to them being popular on this slate, and Nigeria going under-owned in what should be a tightly contested match. With an implied goal total of 1.04 goals, Nigeria are only slightly behind Iceland's projected goal total of 1.18 and are certainly capable of getting their first goal in Russia during this match. If they do, Ighalo has an excellent chance of being involved. Additionally, following his man of the match performance against Argentina, Iceland's goalie, Hannes Thor Halldorsson, could be a popular play. If he is, Ighalo would be a great leverage play off that potentially high ownership.
Midfielders to Target
Xherdan Shaqiri ($10,000) -- At his price, Shaqiri is not only the most expensive midfielder on the slate, but the most expensive player at any position. After his 22.5-FanDuel-point performance against Brazil it is easy to see why. He created three chances, drew two fouls, and produced an assist in Switzerland's gutsy draw with the tournament favorites. While Serbia are no pushovers, they should certainly surrender more chances to Shaqiri. At 1.30 goals, Switzerland have the highest implied goal total on the slate, which bolsters Shaqiri's outlook on Friday.
Gylfi Sigurdsson ($9,000) -- It was difficult to tell since Argentina controlled most of the match, but Sigurdsson offers one of the highest floors of any player in the World Cup. Against Argentina, he produced 15.4 FanDuel points, mainly from defensive actions, and against Nigeria he should be able to unlock his upside with more chances in the final third. With a firm grasp on set pieces, Sigurdsson will be key for Iceland's chances in this match. With the lack of other expensive options, Sigurdsson will likely be among the two highest owned players on the slate, but his central role makes him well worth it.
Victor Moses ($7,500) -- Sticking with the theme of favoring Nigeria for large field tournaments, Moses offers a cheap option in the midfield to pair with more expensive, lower-owned forwards. Moses plays a more attacking role for Nigeria than he does for Chelsea, and he managed to create two chances and draw five fouls against Croatia. Against Iceland, Moses should have more opportunities in the final third, especially with Nigeria likely needing three points to have any chance of advancing to the Round of 16.
Defenders to Target
Aleksander Kolarov ($7,500) -- With his role as Serbia's set piece taker, Kolarov's upside is obvious. Against Costa Rica, he was largely relieved of his defensive responsibilities, but against Switzerland he should have more opportunities to accumulate points on both ends of the pitch. It is a little worrying that Kolarov only sent in two crosses in a match Serbia controlled, but on a two-game slate, there isn't another defender with his share of set piece responsibilities. Due to the lack of expensive forwards, and the free kick he scored in Serbia's opening match, Kolarov is likely to carry heavy ownership. For large-field tournaments, he is certainly worth fading.
Ricardo Rodriguez ($5,000) -- With the introduction of the video assistant referee (VAR), there has ben an increase in the number of penalty kicks called at this World Cup. The watchful eye of VAR combined with the pressure of a World Cup is proving difficult for some defenders and leading to an increase in opportunities from the spot. On a slate without a clearcut favorite, there shouldn't be many defenders who are constantly busy on Friday. With that in mind, Rodriguez might offer the highest upside of any due to his expected role as Switzerland's penalty kick taker. He also sent in five crosses against Brazil last week, a number that could rise against a weaker Serbian side.
Goalies to Target
Yann Sommer ($5,000) -- At 1.01 goals, Serbia have the lowest projected goal total on the slate, and Sommers is coming off a match against Brazil in which he made three saves and only allowed on goal. He should have an easier time against Serbia, and, of any goalie on the slate, he has the best odds of getting a clean sheet and a win.
Francis Uzoho ($4,500) -- While Iceland managed to get on the score sheet against Argentina, they are far from an offensive powerhouse. Uzoho's outlook isn't that different than Iceland's goalie, but he should carry lower ownership. Fading Iceland and pairing Uzoho with Ighalo is an intriguing route to take for large-field tournaments on Friday.
Zach Bussiere is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Zach Bussiere also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zbuss1. 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.