World Cup Daily Fantasy Helper: Saturday 7/7/18
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.
Both of Saturday's Quarterfinal matches will be on the main slate, which starts at 10 a.m EST.
Let's go through the four positions and look at some players to target at various price points.
Forwards to Target
Harry Kane ($13,000) -- The current leader for the Golden Boot has scored in every match he's played so far in Russia, and England will need him to continue that streak against Sweden. While our numbers give England the lowest goal projection on the slate at 0.81 goals, they should have their fair share of chances against a defensive-minded Swedish side. As England's penalty kick taker, Kane has been flawless, and he should continue that streak if given the chance on Saturday. In a tightly contested, physical affair, Kane is the only forward on England whose strength and size match Sweden.
Mario Mandzukic ($10,500) -- With a projection of 1.44 goals and a win probability of 57.7%, Croatia is the largest favorite on this slate. That bodes well for Mandzukic, who scored his first goal of the tournament in Croatia's victory over Denmark in the Round of 16. With Kane likely to be popular, Mandzukic offers a similar outlook at lower ownership and less salary.
Artem Dzyuba ($11,000) -- At 0.85 goals, Russia actually has a higher goal projection than both England and Sweden, according to our algorithms. Fading Kane and pairing Dzyuba with Mandzukic should create a lesser owned lineup that contains the target forward on the teams with the two highest scoring projections on the slate. Dzyuba has been excellent for Russia to this point, scoring three goals in four matches, including the crucial goal against Spain in the Round of 16. He's goal-dependent, but if Russia falls behind early they will be forced to push forward, to the benefit of Dzyuba.
Midfielders to Target
Jesse Lingard ($8,000) -- While it hasn't led to many FanDuel points yet, Lingard has been heavily involved all over the pitch for England. In the three matches he's started in Russia, Lingard has a combined eight shots. With Sweden expected to sit back and defend, England should have the majority of possession, and Lingard should be able to take aim at goal multiple times from distance. His goal against Panama showed what he's capable of from outside the box, and against a resilient Swedish side, long shots might be the path of least resistance for England.
Luka Modric ($9,500) -- Croatia's talisman is having a fantastic World Cup. He has three performances of over 25 FanDuel points, with two goals on seven shots and an impressive 10 chances created. Modric is as close as it gets to a must-play on this slate, with Croatia expected to control play against Russia. Even at projected high ownership, Modric is worth considering, as much of Croatia's impressive run to this point can be accredited to him.
Viktor Claesson ($8,000) -- Claesson has quietly been one of the most consistent FanDuel point producers in Russia so far. In his four matches to this point, he has produced FanDuel point totals of 15.1, 16.9, 20.8, and 22.9. His production has come from a balance of defensive actions, gathered while Sweden sits back, and chances created when Sweden counter attack. He has created 2 chances in each match and has a combined 12 interceptions and 7 clears. Against England, Claesson should be able to continue to produce FanDuel points on both ends of the pitch. His salary of $8,000 puts him in the same neighborhood as Dele Alli ($8,500), Aleksander Golovin ($8,000), and Jesse Lingard, all of whom are likely to be more popular than Claesson.
Defenders to Target
Kieran Trippier ($6,500) -- Trippier is having an excellent World Cup for England, excelling as a wing back in their three-at-the-back formation. In his three matches so far, he has performances of 20.6, 16.5, and 30.6 FanDuel points. In those matches, he created 12 chances, and against Sweden, he should be free to continue his involvement in the final third. At $6,500, Trippier is expensive for a defender but incredibly cheap for a midfielder, which is a more accurate description of his role for England.
Andreas Granqvist ($7,000) and Victor Lindelöf ($5,000) -- If Sweden does choose to sit back and absorb pressure, both Granqvist and Lindelöf will be central to that plan. While it hasn't always been pretty, Sweden has an established identity in this tournament, and it has served them incredibly well to this point. Granqvist does have two goals this summer, but even without them, he is averaging over 15 FanDuel points per match. Lindelöf has 16 clears in his three matches, leading to an average of 12 FanDuel points per match. If Sweden rolls out the same game plan that has gotten them this far, both Granqvist and Lindelöf have an excellent chance to surpass their tournament averages against England.
Goalies to Target
Danijel Subasic ($5,000) -- Coming off an impressive performance against Denmark that saw him save three shots in the penalty shootout, Subasic is in an excellent spot against Russia. While Russia has been impressive to this point, most of that production came early on against Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Since then, they have managed just a single goal against Uruguay and Spain. On current form, Croatia is arguably better than both those sides and should be able to extend Russia's offensive struggles.
Robin Olsen ($6,000) -- Against England, our numbers slightly favor Sweden, giving them a 51.13% chance of advancing. Those odds run counter to the public perception of this match, which favors England due to their star power and well-known names. Olsen has been excellent to this point, keeping three clean sheets in four matches, only allowing goals to Germany. With the hype surrounding England, Olsen is unlikely to be popular, despite his incredible performances to this point.
Zack Bussiere is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Zack 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.