World Cup Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 6/30/18

After scoring his first goal of the tournament, Lionel Messi will once again look to lead Argentina to a deep run in the World Cup. What other players should we target on the first day of the Round of 16?

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.

With the knockout stage upon us it is important to note that extra time goals and points accrued will count toward a player's total and goals allowed will negate a clean sheet while penalty shootouts will not count toward a player’s fantasy production.

Let's go through the four positions and look at some players to target at various price points.

Forwards to Target

Cristiano Ronaldo ($13,500) -- According to Vegas, both matches possess an over/under of two goals with the under being the slight favorite according to the payouts. Our projections, however, have both matches scoring over two goals, but if the Vegas odds are correct goals may be at a premium and finding that goal-scorer could prove vital. Ronaldo has taken four or more shots in each of Portugal’s three matches, including seven on target, and while he doesn’t create much in the way of peripherals -- three chances created -- he is the focal point of an attack that our projections have scoring 1.47 goals. Ronaldo has scored four of Portugal’s five goals this World Cup, and he has the best odds on the slate (+125) to find the back of the net against Uruguay.

Antoine Griezmann ($11,000) and Kylian Mbappe ($9,500) -- According to our models, France is projected to score the most goals on the slate (1.75) and Griezmann has taken more shots (nine) than any French player at the World Cup. Griezmann should offer the highest floor for any player on the French side as he has sent in nine crosses and created two chances in his three matches. Despite not playing a full match during the group stage, Griezmann still has the best anytime goal scorer odds of any French player (+175). Mbappe did not start France’s final group match against Denmark, although he came off the bench and created one chance, but has scored once while taking three shots on target in his first two matches. Mbappe does have the third-highest odds (+220) to find the back of the net on the French side while Olivier Giroud ($8,000) -- who could be a sneaky tournament play -- offers the second-highest odds (+200).

Midfielders to Target

Lionel Messi ($12,500) -- As the second-highest priced player on the slate, Messi offers the second-best odds to find the back of the net (+150). He was able to score his first goal of the tournament in the final match of the group stage as Argentina needed a win over Nigeria to advance. A crucial decision for DFS players could come down to Messi or Ronaldo, and while Ronaldo has a high ceiling, Messi could offer a higher floor as he generally possess the ball -- and adds more peripherals -- than Ronaldo. Messi has sent in seven crosses and created seven chances in his three matches, and if goals turn out to be hard to come by on the slate, those other stats could help Messi be a safer cash game play than Ronaldo.

Ricardo Quaresma ($8,000) -- Making his first start of the tournament in the final match of group play, Quaresma scored 1 goal on 2 shots, sent in 11 crosses and created 1 chance. Quaresma is no guarantee to see the starting XI, but if he does get the nod he should be able to send in a large number of crosses as the main set-piece taker for Portugal, and while those don’t directly correlate to points on FanDuel they do offer the possibility of turning into chances created, which should offer a solid floor for DFS players.

Defenders to Target

Nicolas Otamendi ($7,000) -- As mentioned above, our models have France scoring the most goals on the slate, which could mean plenty of action for Otamendi. During the group stage (which is an extremely small sample size), France allowed the fifth-most clearances per 90 minutes (4.43) to defenders -- the highest total among teams still in the tournament. Otamendi has made eight clearances in two of the three group matches while making three tackles and two interceptions in each of the final two matches. He has taken four shots during this World Cup -- which offers upside at the position -- but has only placed one of those shots on target.

Raphael Varane($6,500) and Djibril Sidibe ($4,500) -- According to both our models and the Vegas moneyline (+147), France is projected to win this pick'em, and that could bode well for the French defenders as this slate could be very low-scoring and clean sheet points may become extremely important. Varane has scored over 15 FanDuel points in 2 straight matches while making at least 5 clearances in every match and taking a shot off target in 2 of the 3 group matches. If DFS players are looking for more of an attacking option in the French defense, Sidibe -- if he starts -- could be that guy. In the final match of the group stage, Sidibe made his only start and sent in six crosses and created three chances but was unable to pick up a large number of defensive actions.

Goalies to Target

Hugo Lloris ($5,500) -- With France being the largest favorite on the slate -- +140 on the moneyline -- Lloris has the best possibility of the keepers to claim the clean sheet bonus. France has allowed just one goal this World Cup while holding their final two opponents in the group stage -- Peru and Denmark -- scoreless. Argentina, on the other hand, has scored only three goals this tournament and against their toughest opponent of the group stage, Croatia, they were held without a goal. Any time a keeper is facing Lionel Messi, a clean sheet is hard to count on, but he should see save opportunities and if he can keep a clean sheet he could produce huge fantasy numbers.

Rui Patricio ($5,000) -- Portugal (+188 on the moneyline) enters the pick'em match against Uruguay (+174) as the slight underdog, and they allowed four goals during group stage -- three in the wild match against Spain. According to our models, Uruguay is projected to score the fewest goals (1.06) of the four teams on the slate and is actually an underdog to Portugal. Uruguay scored five goals in group stage, including three against Russia, however, Group A was arguably one of the weakest groups in the tournament. The other benefit to playing Patricio is that DFS players may not be rostering many, if any, Uruguayan attackers, so they do not have to worry about playing an attacker against their keeper on a small slate.

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.