World Cup Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 6/25/18
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.
Monday's matches start the third and final round of games in group play, which means all four teams in a group will be in action at the same time. This primer will look at the main slate which focuses only on Group B. Spain will take on an eliminated Morocco side while Iran can still advance with a favorable result against Portugal. The Group A action of Egypt and Saudi Arabia facing off in a meaningless match and Uruguay and Russia playing to determine the group winner are available on the all day slate.
Let's go through the four positions and look at some players to target at various price points.
Forward to Target
Cristiano Ronaldo ($14,000) -- Ronaldo has carried over his hot play from the knockout stages of the Champions League into Russia, and he is the joint-second top scorer of the tournament. He is given the freedom to roam the pitch, and his teammates have not forced balls to him. He has by far and away the top odds to score in this match, per oddsmakers. With our projections giving Portugal 62% win odds, Ronaldo should continue to see chances to add to his tally. Portugal are not yet through to the knockout stages, and with Lionel Messi and Argentina struggling, this would be another notch in Ronaldo's belt if he can push his team past the group stage. Ronaldo is averaging 46.3 FanDuel points and will be highly owned, but he is virtually a must play right now in the form he's in. With only one other forward, Diego Costa, on this slate with a goal to his name, you look to Goncalo Guedes of Portugal as a pivot play at $7,500 if you're wanting to fade Ronaldo in large-field tourneys.
Midfielders to Target
Joao Moutinho ($9,000) -- Moutinho may be the best Portugal player outside of Ronaldo so far at this tournament. The attack has run through Moutinho, and he has been able to string passes together to allow Portugal's attack to find its legs. He has added one assist and was named man of the match against Morocco. He has also been getting box to box and contributing defensively. Through the first two matches, Moutinho is averaging 4.5 tackles and 1.5 clearances.
Ramin Rezaeian ($7,500) -- The Iranian will have to make up for the absence of Rouzbeh Chesmi. Rezaeian is averaging nine defensive actions and comes in as Iran's highest-rated player, per WhoScored, in the tournament. He has also shown talent on the ball, notching one key pass, one foul drawn, and one successful dribble each match while being tough to get off the ball. Given the need for Iran to win, Rezaeian will have to get forward. He will take up a midfielder spot on FanDuel despite playing in defense. However, he is averaging the second-most FanDuel points on this slate behind Moutinho.
Nordin Amrabat ($6,500) -- Amrabat has been Morocco's biggest threat from an engine standpoint, pressuring opposition defenders. The marauding midfielder is their highest-rated player after two matches. He is averaging 1.5 crosses per match and continues to be the outlet when Morocco need to relieve pressure. He is very much an offensive-minded player, but Spain still need to win to ensure a Group B victory. Therefore Spain will likely control the possession, forcing Amrabat back on defense, but he will leak out any chance he gets, hoping to catch the Spain backline sleeping. Amrabat is a cost-saving pivot away from Morocco's most technically talented player, Hakim Ziyech.
Saeid Ezatolahi ($5,500) -- Ezatolahi was deployed in an offensive position, but he was one of Iran's best defenders against Spain, totaling one tackle, three interceptions, five clearances, and two blocks. He will be needed to track back against Ronaldo and neutralize Moutinho. However, Iran must get forward at some point as they need a win to advance to the next stage. If they continue to employ a five-man midfield, Ezatolahi must become a part of the attack coming in off of forward Sardar Azmoun. Look for Ezatolahi to put in quite the shift on Monday.
Defenders to Target
Cedric Soares ($6,000) -- Soares is Portugal's highest-rated defender. He is averaging 14.4 FanDuel points per match, which is third-best on the main slate among defenders. He is averaging eight defensive actions through two matches. Soares also likes to get forward and has been successful in his dribbling, as well. He is averaging four long balls per match, which often land at the feet of Ronaldo. That means there is always the potential for a cheap assist. Soares will look to get crosses into the box, as well, and should contribute on both ends.
Achraf Hakimi ($5,000) -- Hakimi and the Morocco backline are going to have their hands full with the Spain front three. Hakimi improved his play against Portugal and now has the best average FanDuel production of anyone on his team's back line. The young Real Madrid defender did score twice in La Liga, and Morocco could go for it since they are already eliminated. However, it is likely that he will be needed defensively as Spain should control possession. Hakimi is averaging five defensive actions per match, leading to an 11.0-point average.
Keeper to Target
Rui Patricio ($5,000) -- None of the four keepers have had a highlight-reel performance, but our projections have Iran with the lowest goal total of the day, giving Portugal a good shot for a clean sheet. Patricio also averages 15.3 FanDuel points per match so far in the World Cup, the best among the goalies on this slate. The clean sheet and four saves against Morocco was good for a 29-point performance, and this could be a repeat with Portugal heavily favored to win and a shutout being two of the safest bets in the correct score list. Iran did not have a shot against Spain and look less an offensive threat than Morocco despite the group standings.
Douglas Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Douglas Smith also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username aquemini03. 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.