FanDuel World Cup Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 12/9/22
The World Cup is the biggest sporting event on the planet, and FanDuel is offering daily fantasy contests throughout the tournament.
This main slate will feature both of the day’s matches, which are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST. Knockout matches are a little different than all other matches. If a match goes to extra time, FanDuel contests continue through the conclusion of extra time. Nothing from a penalty shootout will be factored into scoring.
Brazil (-280 to win) vs. Croatia (+700)
Over 2.5 Goals: -128 | Most Likely to Score: Neymar (+115)
Argentina (+120) vs. Netherlands (+250)
Over 2.5 Goals: +140 | Most Likely to Score: Messi (+180)
Brazil are the side you want to stack on this slate. They're -280 to win and -213 to go over 1.5 goals -- both of which are slate-best marks by a mile. Argentina, the other favorite on the slate, are +120 to win and +125 to score at least twice.
Coming off a sparkling display against South Korea, Brazil are going to be massively popular. One way to stack Brazil but be a little different is to fade Neymar ($21; -115). It's obviously a risky move. Neymar will be on penalties and is a slate-leading -115 to score as well as an overwhelming -250 to score or assist. Neymar is a great play, but on a two-game slate, it's hard to find ways to be different. Fading Neymar and picking two other Brazilian attackers is a way to separate from the crowd while also getting plenty of exposure to the slate's big favorite.
Brazil offer three other quality attackers in Richarlison ($20; +155), Vinicius Junior ($19; +195) and Raphinha ($18; +240). Richarlison has been superb this tourney, scoring three times. Vinicius has tallied a goal and two assists while creating six total chances. Raphinha has created eight chances and has been a little unlucky -- or bad at finishing -- to go without a goal thus far despite generating 1.2 expected goals (xG), per FBRef. Pairing Vini and Raphina gets you access to big-time upside while also dodging the likely Neymar and Richarlison chalk.
The Argentina-Netherlands clash is an evenly-matched affair, and there's a chance it's a bad matchup for DFS. It's just +140 to go over 2.5 goals.
Lionel Messi ($22; +180) has the best goal odds in the match. No one else is better than +280 to score. But, as scary as it is to say, I'm leaning toward fading Argentine legend. Messi's salary makes it tough to use him alongside two of the aforementioned Brazilian forwards, and I prefer Neymar to him on this slate. Plus, I think Argentina could struggle to create chances against a Dutch defense that's been solid.
However, Messi is Messi, and he's averaging 36.2 FanDuel points per game in the World Cup, scoring at least 31.3 in all four games. His floor/ceiling combination is unreal. If it at all seems like Messi will go under-rostered due to the masses loading up on Brazil, I'll prioritize finding a way to jam him in.
Julian Alvarez ($17; +290) and Angel Di Maria ($16; +410) are more salary-friendly ways to get a piece of Argentina. Di Maria is expected to return after having to sit in the Round of 16. He's the next-best creative force on the team aside from Messi. While Di Maria's +410 goal odds are an eyesore, he's a more enticing +165 to score/assist. Alvarez has netted a goal in each of his two starts -- even if one of them was a gift from Australia's keeper.
Croatia are -125 to score once while the Netherlands are -200 to do so. The Dutch are the more live underdog, but both Argentina and Brazil have been outstanding in defense all tourney. The most xG Argentina have allowed in one match is 0.6. They've kept three of their four opponents to 0.3 xG or fewer. No side has generated more than 0.5 xG in a match versus Brazil.
Holland's Memphis Depay ($15; +280) has team-best goal odds and an easy-to-like salary. He's put five shots on goal, including three last time out against the United States. Cody Gakpo ($17; +410) is a fun GPP play. He probably won't get a ton of love with his salary up close to Brazil's and Argentina's stars, and Gakpo has been one of the best players of the tournament. He's posted at least 17.2 FanDuel points in all four of the Netherlands' matches, scoring three times and creating nine chances.
Among Croatia's expected starters, Andrej Kramaric ($14; +500) has the top goal odds. Luka Modric ($11; +800) is a sweet value option. He's put three shots on goal over the past two matches, and if Croatia have to start chasing the game, he could push forward more than usual.
I want to save salary at defender so I can get the high-salary attackers I want. Normally that leads me to center-backs on underdogs, but the salaries on those guys aren't as low as they usually are.
Croatia's center-back duo of Dejan Lovren ($13) and Josko Gvardiol ($12) are salaried up a bit. They offer high floors, though, in a match in which Croatia will likely absorb a lot of pressure. Gvardiol has registered at least 14.3 FanDuel points in three straight matches while Lovren is averaging 17.3 FanDuel points for the tourney and is a threat on set pieces.
Holland's center-back trio of Virgil van Dijk ($11), Jurrien Timber ($10) and Nathan Ake ($10) come in at a little lower salaries than Croatia's pair. All three are averaging between 10.3 and 13.1 FanDuel points per game. They're decent options.
Eder Militao ($8) and Marcos Acuna ($9) are value full-backs from the two favorites, but they don't offer much attacking juice. Militao played right-back for Brazil last time out and is +370 to score/assist. Argentina's Acuna is +550 to score/assist.
Daley Blind ($13) and Denzel Dumfries ($14) are worth mentioning. They went off against the US, with Dumfries totaling a goal and two assists while Blind had a goal and an assist. But that was the first time either had notched a goal or an assist in the World Cup, and they created only a combined two chances over the prior three games. I'll pass.
Brazil are -110 to keep a clean sheet and -280 to win, which makes Alisson ($13) the guy to zero in on if you're after a clean-sheet win. As I mentioned above, Brazil have yet to concede more than 0.5 xG in a match. Alisson is coming off a five-save day against South Korea, but those were his first saves of the tourney across his two starts. His save volume figures to be low once again.
Emiliano Martinez ($11) is +135 to keep a clean sheet and +120 to win. Argentina's defense has been just as stingy as Brazil's. Martinez has conceded three goals in the tourney, but two were top-class finishes and the other took a big deflection.
In lineups where I fade Messi and use an attacker from the Netherlands, I will likely roster Andries Noppert ($9), who correlates well with that build. The salary savings are nice, and the save volume should be there. He's made at least three saves in all four matches.
Croatia's Dominik Livakovic ($7) is a dart throw who is tough to get behind with the way Brazil are playing up front. But if you're going light on Brazil's forwards, you can take a shot on him. He's made three saves in back-to-back games and should be busy on Friday.