FanDuel Women's World Cup Single-Game Helper: United States vs. England
The World Cup is here, and FanDuel is offering daily fantasy contests. Tuesday features the first semifinal between the United States and England, which begins at 3:00 p.m. EST on July 2nd, on a single-game slate with one of the richest pots during the Women's World Cup.
The United States have a 53.5% implied win probability, per FanDuel Sportsbook, and a 70.1% implied probability of moving onto the final to face the winner of Sweden versus Netherlands. The win over France tied the USWNT with Norway for most successive World Cup victories. In that one, Megan Rapinoe ($15) scored a brace for the second straight game to firmly enter the golden boot race.
Meanwhile, England's Ellen White ($14) scored for the third straight game in England's quarterfinal win to give her five goals for the tournament. England were in control for much of the quarterfinal against Norway despite an even split in possession. They had six more attempts on goal and seven shots on target. Jill Scott ($9) scored the quickest goal in England's World Cup history, well inside of four minutes.
There are only three single-game slates left in the World Cup, meaning the keepers are no longer a part of the format. Be sure to pick your captain wisely. Let's look at some players across different price points who can shine for either the United States or England.
Tobin Heath, United States ($10)
Aside from Rapinoe and White, many of the top-priced players in this match had a poor outing in the quarterfinal. Toni Duggan ($11) was taken off in the 54th minute while Alex Morgan ($14) has been dealing with an injury since the group stage. In terms of FanDuel points, Sam Mewis ($12) has had her two worst games in the knockout rounds.
Heath is coming off her best game of the tournament as her well-placed -- perhaps unintentional -- cut back led to Rapinoe's second goal against France. She has had her two best games against France and Sweden, the USWNT's toughest opponents. Heath has had at least two crosses in every match, with eight against Sweden.
With the amount of defensive attention Rapinoe is sure to get given her form, Heath should find more space. She has also contributed defensively in every match except the Round-of-16 game against Spain. Heath may be low-owned based on output to this point and being out-shined by Rapinoe, so there is leverage here as she looks to up her game. She's a risky captain pick, although a low-owned captain who produces is a dream.
Fran Kirby, England ($8)
It is likely that one of the high-priced players mentioned above will be in most lineups just given their prominence on their respective team's attack. However, Kirby fits a similar mold to Heath as she has not been the talk of England, but she has been consistent. Kirby has created five chances, drawn two fouls, and contributed four defensive actions over the last two games. Kirby also had one shot in the last match against Norway, although it was not on target.
One of Kirby or Scott will likely have to play a more defensive role against the United States, and Scott was finding success in Norway's box last match. If Scott keeps moving forward, then Kirby will likely rack up better defensive numbers. Her ceiling goes up knowing she still has the ability to get forward. Kirby will likely be lower-owned, as well. Kirby was substituted out against Norway and may still be feeling the impact of a couple hard tackles against Cameroon. If she cannot go, look for Georgia Stanway ($4) to replace her.
Lindsey Horan, United States ($7)
To continue the theme of unconventional picks, Horan has started the last two matches on the bench. However, Rose Lavelle ($9) is showing signs of wearing down and did not play very well in the quarterfinal. Horan replaced Lavelle in the 63rd minute and collected three defensive actions. Horan had two goals and six chances created in the group stage.
FTW Soccer's Nate Scott has called Horan the best midfielder alive, and she does bring a different physical presence to the game than Lavelle does. Horan will play box-to-box with Julie Ertz ($6) protecting the back line. Horan has 22 goals in 63 games in the NWSL and was the league's MVP last season. She should be rested and ready to go for the semifinal matchup. If she starts, give her a long look.
Lucy Bronze, England ($10)
There is something majestic about a Lucy Bronze shot just outside of the box. She capped off the quarterfinal win with a brilliant strike from the top of the box off of an orchestrated set piece.
A golden strike from Lucy Bronze.pic.twitter.com/Sl3zTvKeJZ
— SOCCER.COM (@soccerdotcom) June 27, 2019
It was her first goal of the tournament, but it was her second game in a row with an assist as she gets more involved offensively. She will want to get forward against the USWNT, but she will also have the defensive chore of slowing down Rapinoe. Bronze is the most expensive defender on the slate after three straight games of at least 24 FanDuel points. She has two assists, two blocks, four clearances, and eight interceptions over that span. England manager Phil Neville said that Bronze is the best fullback in the world, and this will be her stage to prove it.
Crystal Dunn, United States ($9)
Dunn's effort against France was phenomenal. She was targeted by the French, and she worked tirelessly to try to slow down some of the best attackers in the world. Her job will not get any easier against Bronze and Nikita Parris ($10). Dunn's 15.36 FanDuel points per match are second to Bronze among regular starting defenders in this match. Her 23.2 points against France is her best total of the tournament as she had seven tackles and five clearances. Her second-best defensive game came against Sweden, so clearly the converted attacker is not intimidated by the big match.
Stephanie Houghton, England ($6)
Houghton is the captain of England, and she did have a goal against Cameroon, but her number-one task in this match will be to slow Morgan. Houghton had five clearances against Norway, her highest total of the tournament. She has drawn a foul in each of the last two matches, as well. The foul drawn against Norway was in the box and led to an England penalty, showing that she can be a threat in set piece situations. The oddsmakers believe in England's defense as a low-scoring match is expected for this one. They have allowed just one goal the entire tournament, and Houghton is the leader on the back line, which will have its hands full on Tuesday. She's a high-floor option versus the Americans.
Doug Smith is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Doug 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.