World Cup Daily Fantasy Helper: Tuesday 6/26/18
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.
Tuesday's main slate will feature the final games of Group C and D. In Group C, France has already secured their place in the Round of 16, and they will face Denmark, who can advance with a tie. Australia will meet Peru, and they need a win and help in order to move into second place. According to Bovada, the French are 0.5-goal favorites over Denmark, while Peru is slightly favored in a pick'em over Australia.
In Group D, Croatia has secured first place, but second place in up for grabs, with the three other teams still alive. Croatia will face Iceland while Argentina does battle with Nigeria. With Croatia set to rest their stars, they are only 0.5-goal favorites over Iceland. Argentina needs a win and an Iceland draw or loss to guarantee their spot in the Round of 16, and they are 1.0-goal favorites over Nigeria, despite the turmoil reported at their camp.
As always, it is imperative to check starting XIs when they become available.
Let's go through the four positions and look at some players to target at various price points.
Forwards to Target
Paolo Guerrero ($7,500) -- Peru's record to this point paints a much harsher picture of their time in Russia than they deserve. They were the better side in their loss to Denmark, and losing to France, one of the favorites, by a one-goal margin is an admirable result. Facing Australia will provide Peru with their weakest opponent to date, and they will want to go out on a high note for their final match of the tournament. Our models project Peru to score 1.50 goals, the third-most on the slate. Despite the motivation factor favoring Australia, Peru should have the lion's share of chances on Tuesday, which puts Guerrero in an excellent spot.
Sergio Agüero ($11,500) -- Argentina has been a trainwreck so far in Russia. Their struggles have been well documented, their confidence is low, and yet they are still alive going into their match against Nigeria. One win could get them on track, and despite their terrible performance to this point, they are still favorites in this match. Our numbers project Argentina to total 1.68 goals with a win probability of 68.6%, both the highest on the slate. Agüero has scored their only goal of the tournament so far, and with goal differential potentially coming into place, Argentina should have their foot on the gas for the full 90 minutes.
Midfielders to Target
Lionel Messi ($12,000) -- There's still time for Messi to right Argentina's ship just before it crashes into the rocks. This situation is very similar to when Argentina was going into the last round of World Cup qualifying needing a result to make it to Russia, and in that match, Messi produced a hat-trick to secure their berth. If he does the same against Nigeria, all might be forgotten, and the team can reset going into the knockout stages. Messi hasn't shown it to this point, but he is one of the best players to ever play the game. And since his poor form may cause his ownership to be reduced in a must-win match, he is hard to pass on.
Gylfi Sigurdsson ($8,500) -- Even in their defeat to Nigeria, Sigurdsson produced a solid 19.5 FanDuel points, and it could've been a much bigger day if he converted his penalty kick. He is central to everything Iceland do, and with Croatia resting their starters, he has a good chance to score his first goal of the tournament on Tuesday. In their last match against Nigeria, ownership on Iceland players was high across the board, and after their disappointing result, ownership may swing the other way on this slate. Even going against a tougher opponent in Croatia, Sigurdsson shouldn't be avoided. His role is too valuable, and with Iceland needing a result to advance, he should constantly be looking to put shots on net.
Wilfred Ndidi ($7,500) -- Despite the Argentines' bad form going into this match, Nigeria should expect Argentina to provide a much stiffer test than Iceland did. Nigeria will have to sit in and defend much more than they did against Iceland, which should allow Ndidi to accumulate points through his defensive actions in the midfield. To this point, Ndidi has produced nine tackles, six clearances, and five interceptions. It remains to be seen if the Super Eagles will opt for the more defensive 4-2-3-1 they rolled out against Croatia or if they go with 3-5-2 they used to defeat Iceland. But Ndidi has performed well in both, and he is much better suited for this matchup against Argentina than Nigeria's more offensive-minded midfielders are.
Mile Jedinak ($7,500) -- Due to this role as Australia's penalty taker, Jedinak has scored in each match he's played in Russia so far. Prior to VAR, relying on a penalty kick was difficult to justify, but the increase in spot kicks makes Jedinak's role a valuable one. We project the Aussies to score 1.05 goals, and they should find some success against Peru on Tuesday. The Socceroos will likely need to win by multiple goals to have any chance of bypassing Denmark for second place in the group, which should lead to them pressing forward every chance they get.
Defenders to Target
Leon Balogun ($6,000) and William Troost-Ekong ($4,500) -- Nigeria is going to be forced to spend a large part of the 90 minutes defending. Argentina has produced only one goal to this point, but they did keep the back line of Iceland busy during their draw. Against Croatia, Nigeria sat back in a 4-2-3-1, and it's likely they will do the same against a more talented Argentina side. If that is the case, both Balogun and Troost-Ekong will have ample chances to accumulate points through defensive actions on Tuesday.
Nicolas Otamendi ($6,500) -- Due to Argentina's style, Otamendi spends more time around the opposing team's final third than most center-backs do. Through two matches, he has taken four shots, and with Argentina likely to dominate possession against Nigeria, he could add a couple more on Tuesday. Otamendi is no stranger to offensive involvement as he scored 4 goals and had 10 shots on goal for Manchester City in the Premier League this past club season. Even with a win over Nigeria, Argentina will potentially have to compete with Iceland on goal differential. Due to that, they should be expected to continue pressing for the duration of the match. That hasn't worked out for them so far, but without a change in manager, their style is unlikely to shift for what could be their final match in Russia.