FanDuel World Cup Daily Fantasy Helper: Monday 11/21/22
The World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the planet, and FanDuel is offering daily fantasy contests throughout the tournament.
For the first two rounds of the group stage, main slates will start at 8:00 a.m. EST and feature three matches, which are scheduled to start at 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST.
England (-310) at Iran (+900)
Over 2.5 Goals: +128 | Most Likely to Score: Kane (-110)
Senegal (+500) at Netherlands (-170)
Over 2.5 Goals: +116 | Most Likely to Score: Depay (+155)
USA (+155) at Wales (+210)
Over 2.5 Goals: +156 | Most Likely to Score: Bale (+200)
We're not likely to see a lot of goals on this slate as no match is better than +116 to go over 2.5 goals. That doesn't mean we're lacking in attacking talent.
Going by the betting odds, there are two standout sides -- England and Netherlands. England are -310 to win against Iran, and Netherlands are -170 to beat Senegal. USA versus Wales is an even affair. I expect the majority of lineups to get the majority -- maybe even all four -- of their attackers from England and Netherlands.
Let's start with England. They're one of the best sides in this tourney, but while they have a lot of fun attacking pieces, they don't always play an attack-minded style, which is why their match with Iran is just +128 to see more than 2.5 goals. With that said, England will have superior talent all over the pitch, and they have the most upside on this slate. We project them to score 2.25 goals, a slate-high mark, and they're the only side I'll stack.
Harry Kane ($21; -110 to score) will be the slate's chalk player, and he deserves to be. Kane is England's talisman and is a proven top-shelf goal-scorer for club and country. He fired in 12 goals and added two assists in seven starts in qualifying. He will handle penalties -- which boosts anyone's DFS stock -- and Kane's -110 anytime goal odds pace the slate. He checks all the boxes.
Whether you want to fade the Kane chalk and still load up on England or you want to stack an English attacker alongside Kane, the Three Lions have options.
Phil Foden ($21; +230) can be a direct pivot off Kane and is unlikely to be all that chalky due to his salary, which is a bit higher than it probably should be. Foden thrives at Manchester City but hasn't hit those same heights with England, failing to score in qualifying, although he did tally four assists.
On the contrary, Raheem Sterling ($17; +200) has been meh with Chelsea this season but usually delivers the goods when he's wearing an England shirt. He totaled two goals and two assists in qualifying, and Sterling netted three goals in Euro 2021. Jude Bellingham ($16; +700) is just +700 to score but could get forward from his midfield spot more than we're expecting, especially in a matchup like this one.
Netherlands have been rolling under manager Louis van Gaal, but Senegal -- the reigning AFCON champs who conceded just twice en route to that title -- will be a stiff challenge. With that said, our model is really into the Dutch, projecting them to score 2.02 goals. I'm not quite there. This Senegal side is rugged and tough to break down.
Memphis Depay ($20; +155) is expected to be fit, and he's the leading man for Holland. Depay was excellent in qualifying, scoring 12 times in 10 starts while tacking on six assists. But we have no idea what kind of form Depay will be in as he's played only twice for Barcelona this campaign. Cody Gakpo ($15; +230) and Steven Bergwijn ($16; +250) will likely start alongside Memphis in a front three.
Senegal's best player, Sadio Mane, is out of the World Cup due to injury. It's a huge blow to Senegal's attack. Mane's absence opens up penalty duties for someone else, and Ismaila Sarr ($16; +550) and Boulaye Dia ($15; +550) can hurt Netherlands on the counter. If you think Netherlands have gobs of the ball, Senegal's Idrissa Gueye ($11; +2700) makes sense as a punt. The defensive midfielder is an extreme longshot to get a goal or an assist, but he could pay off in fantasy due to his defensive work.
The US-Wales match is a slate-worst +156 to go over 2.5 goals, and it should be a level affair. With Netherlands and England sure to be popular, hitting on a goal from this game can be a big difference-maker. We project the Americans to win 1.05-0.80.
Wales have done pretty well at recent major tournaments, and Gareth Bale ($17; +210) has a knack for scoring big goals for them. This is likely Bale's last hurrah on a big stage, so don't be surprised if we see some vintage Bale magic in this tournament. He led Wales in both goals (five) and assists (four) in qualifying, putting up those numbers in just seven starts. He also took a team-best two penalties.
The Welsh should also give us a solid value option in either Dan James ($13; +470) or Harry Wilson ($12; +390). It's likely just one of these two starts, but whoever gets the nod will offer valuable salary relief and be a decent dart throw at a goal. James recorded two goals and two assists in qualifying while Wilson scored once with three assists.
On the US side, Christian Pulisic ($17; +350) is the headline name. If you like narratives, this World Cup comes at an especially critical time in Pulisic's career as his big move to Chelsea appears to have petered out, and this is a chance for him to prove he really is a top-class player. Pulisic will take pens, and he spearheaded the US in qualifying, logging a team-best five goals.
Jesus Ferreira ($17; +230) is a pivot off Pulisic. Ferreira's +230 goal odds are the best among the Americans. From a midfield role, Brenden Aaronson ($16; +470) notched two goals and an assist in qualification, and he will be an important creative player for the US.
England's Kieran Trippier ($15) has the best ceiling at defender due to his attacking prowess.
Trippier is in the midst of a good campaign at Newcastle United, and he typically puts in good performances for England. For DFS, he's particularly enticing because he handles a lot of free-kick and corner responsibilities, giving him extra opportunities to create chances and put shots on goal. Assuming England go with three at the back, Trippier should be bombing forward from his spot at right wing-back in a match in which England can dominate possession.
American left-back Antonee Robinson ($11) offers attacking juice at a modest salary. He was a central figure in qualifying as he totaled two goals and three assists. We can't expect him to be that kind of goal threat against better competition -- he's +3000 to score -- but he'll have chances to push forward against Wales. When he's defending, Robinson will likely see plenty of Bale, so he can accumulate a good amount of defensive stats, too.
Senegal's center-backs may absorb a lot of pressure against Netherlands, giving them nice floors. Sans Mane, Senegal's plan may be to pack it in tight defensively and play for a draw. Kalidou Kouilbaly ($13) will start in central defense, but the other spot is up in the air. If Abdou Diallo ($10) is recovered from an injury, he'll probably slot in next to Kouilbaly. If Diallo can't go, I'm not sure who would step in, but if it's a defender with a low salary, I'll be interested.
Holland's Nathan Ake ($8) is the lowest-salaried probable starter. I usually like to save salary at defender, which is why I'm mentioning Ake. He may not be all that busy against a short-handed Senegal, meaning he's objectively not a good DFS play. But if his salary helps you get the attackers you want, Ake is a fine punt who has a decent shot at a clean-sheet bonus (-125 odds).
England have the best win (-310) and clean-sheet (-175) odds. That makes Jordan Pickford ($13) super appealing. He can get 17.0 FanDuel points from a clean-sheet victory before factoring in any save points. The issues with Pickford are that he's the highest-salaried keeper and might be the chalk play. He looks like chalk worth swallowing, though.
Matt Turner ($11) and Wayne Hennessey ($10) make sense as a place to go clean-sheet hunting in what should be the lowest-scoring match on the slate. The US is +145 to keep a clean sheet while Wales are +175 to do so.
Salaried between the aforementioned keepers is Andries Noppert ($12) of Netherlands. He'll be playing behind a sturdy Holland defense, and Netherlands are -125 to blank a Senegal side that is without its best attacker.
Of the remaining two keepers -- Senegal's Edouard Mendy ($9) and Iran's Hossein Hosseini ($7) -- I have much more interest in Mendy. He's a bet-on-talent play who could be busy against the Dutch, giving him good upside via save volume. If he's in top form or if Netherland's attackers struggle to finish, he could be a smash hit at this salary.