World Cup DFS Breakdown – 6/22/18

Forwards

Aleksandar Mitrovic (Switzerland vs. Serbia, $9,500) – The lack of big name/high-priced players on this slate rivals that of any slate I’ve ever seen.  However, there are still good plays in this slate, starting with Serbian striker Mitrovic.  Mitrovic was highly involved in Serbia’s attack in their opening game against Costa Rica.  While he didn’t find the scoresheet, he was still productive with 2 shots on goal (4 total) with a few other peripheral stats.  After a win in their first game, Serbia would clinch a spot in the knockout round with a win against Switzerland and give themselves a possibility at finishing first in the group.  They’ll be hungry for a good result, and in what is a positive matchup for Mitrovic as Serbia’s main striker against a less aggressive defense (compared to Costa Rica), Mitrovic is a good player to target in GPPs.

Alfred Finnbogason (Iceland vs. Nigeria, $8,500) – After his performance in Iceland’s first match against Argentina, Finnbogason will surely be a popular play on this slate.  The Nigerian defense struggled, as expected, against Croatia in a 2-0 loss.  While Iceland is not the same caliber team as Croatia, I can see them creating dangerous chances in this game.  Iceland’s confidence should be near an all time after their 1-1 draw against Argentina.  If they can scratch out another good result against Nigeria, they’ll put themselves in solid position to advance.  I expect Finnbogason to see several good scoring opportunities in this one against a Nigerian defense that allowed 12 shots and 16 crosses to Croatia.  He’ll come with a little higher ownership than other forwards, making him a better cash play than GPP.

Midfielders

Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland vs. Serbia, $10,000) – Shaqiri stuffed the stat sheet full of peripherals on his way to 22.5 FDP against Brazil.  He did not put any shots on goal, but given the attacking machine he is for Switzerland, he should be able to get some shots off against a weaker opponent this time out.  Shaqiri remains the main man on the field for the Swiss, and like I mentioned in my first article with him, he is currently showcasing his talents ahead of a move away from Stoke City this summer.  Shaqiri is one of my top options in all formats and he should be very affordable on this slate.  Steven Zuber ($9,000) is more of a GPP dart on this slate, even after his goal against Brazil.  Zuber will have some chances to score, but with Switzerland’s style of play, the chances are not many.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Switzerland vs. Serbia, $9,000) – Along with Shaqiri, Milinkovic-Savic is one of my top cash options on this slate.  He looked like Serbia’s brightest player in their opening win against Costa Rica with 2 shots, and 3 chances created.  Switzerland’s midfield and defense aren’t great, but they are well-organized.  Milinkovic-Savic is in another spot to control the game in the midfield for Serbia, which leads to a promising fantasy outlook.  He does well at collecting peripheral stats on FanDuel, and his goal/assist upside is real.

Victor Moses (Iceland vs. Nigeria, $7,500) – It seems like this slate is already full of safe, fairly-priced players and Victor Moses fits that description as well.  We already knew he would be extremely involved in Nigeria’s attack before the tournament, and he was exactly that in Nigeria’s 2-0 loss to Croatia.  He tallied 3 shots and 12 crosses (for you DraftKings players).  While he wasn’t especially threatening, his value with peripherals stats is unmatched on this slate at a nice price.  With Iceland expected to sit deep, Moses should have plenty of opportunities in this game.  Alex Iwobi ($7,000) was disappointing his Nigeria’s first game, but he’s in a good bounce-back position as a GPP play.

Defenders

Aleksandar Kolarov (Switzerland vs. Serbia, $7,500) – Kolarov is the clear number one option at defender on this slate.  After scoring a masterful free kick in Serbia’s 1-0 win, Kolarov will look to build on his success in a slightly easier matchup.  Attacking upside is what Kolarov is all about, and he should be able to do that in this game.  His crosses and other peripherals were lacking in the first game, but he should be able to do better.  With his goal/assist/cross upside, he’s definitely a top option on the slate, and he is affordable with few expensive players on the slate.

Kari Arnason (Iceland vs. Nigeria, $6,000) – Arnason cleared everything that came near him in Iceland’s first game against Argentina.  Luckily for FanDuel players, FanDuels gives points for clearances.  With Iceland’s defensive style, Arnason should be in line for another game with a lot of clearances.  He’s facing a weaker attack as well, so additional peripherals are possible.  Also, a clean sheet could be in the works with Nigeria’s scoring difficulties.  Iceland has a trio of defenders for $5,000 that are all worth GPP punts in my mind.

Branislav Ivanovic (Switzerland vs. Serbia, $5,500) – Ivanovic was actually very impressive in his 2018 World Cup debut.  He’s a very active wing defender, so peripherals come often.  He also is an attacking-focused defender, so there is attacking upside with his crosses, chances created, and shots.  Against the Swiss, who generally sit in deep, Ivanovic is a mid-priced defender to target.

Goalkeepers

Vladimir Stojkovic (Switzerland vs. Serbia, $4,500) – Stojkovic had a great fantasy game against Costa Rice in the opener, and looks good to do the same again.  He had to make 3 saves, but got the win and clean sheet which is huge on FanDuel now.  With another win and clean sheet probable, Stojkovic is my top option on the slate and he is also the least expensive.

Francis Uzoho (Iceland vs. Nigeria, $4,500) – Uzoho is my high-risk, GPP-only goalkeeper on this slate.  He had a tough go of it in Nigeria’s first game against Croatia giving up 2 goals and only making one save.  However, Iceland is not nearly the attacking team that Croatia is.  Iceland should be able to put some shots on target, forcing Uzoho to make saves and upping his fantasy score.  Also, I can’t say a clean sheet and win are probable, but they are possible.  Therefore, Uzoho has some upside but he’s risky.  He’ll also come with low ownership, so he’s a GPP option.

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