The breakdown posted on FanCaveDFS yesterday was very successful, so I’m hoping to bring more success to you readers with Tuesdays slate. There are a ton of viable players on this slate, but here are the select few that I chose to write up. Enjoy and good luck!
Sergio Aguero (Argentina vs. Nigeria, $11,500) – It’s do or die time now for Argentina, so if they have any hope of advancing to the knockout stage, their stars will have to show up. After Messi, Aguero is the next top attacker for Argentina so he can help share the load on Messi’s shoulder. Aguero played well in their first game against Iceland but struggled against a better Croatian team. Aguero was a potent goal-scorer for Manchester City in club play this year, and the pressure will be on him in front of goal in this game. The Nigerian defense is big, strong, and aggressive which could cause Aguero issues, but I am not super worried about that since Aguero has proven he can score against the best of the best. I like Aguero for cash games with some GPP appeal.
Kylian Mbappe (France vs. Denmark, $10,500) – With France already through to the next round, there could be some changes to their starting lineup, but I think Mbappe still earns the start. The teenager scored his first World Cup goal in France’s last game against Peru. Denmark’s defense is their strength but Mbappe’s speed and dribbling skills are going to challenge them. Mbappe also does pretty well at getting peripheral stats. This makes me want him in cash games and he definitely has big-game upside on Tuesday.
Mario Mandzukic (Croatia vs. Iceland, $9,000) – Mandzukic has yet to score in this World Cup, but that’s okay because Croatia hasn’t need him since they won their first two games and already clinched their spot in the knockout round. Mandzukic has also yet to put a shot on goal which is disappointing, but that has to change against a weaker Iceland team. Iceland normally play defensively so Croatia should control possession in this game, meaning more chances for Mandzukic. Iceland also has a chance to advance, so they’ll likely be pushing up the field possibly leaving their defense exposed, which also means more chances for Mandzukic. Manzukic is cheap enough to pair with another top striker, but he can also be your FWD1 if you want to punt FWD2 to get top midfielders. Ante Rebic ($8,000) is another option I like for cheap coming off his goal against Argentina. This matchup with Iceland is better for him on paper, so he is one of my top value plays on the slate.
Paolo Guerrero (Peru vs. Australia, $7,500) – With a lot of forward expected to start on this slate, I’m going to mention Guerrero quick as a punt play. Guerrero is Peru’s main goal-scorer, although there have been concerns about his fitness and form in this tournament. Peru has officially been eliminated from the World Cup, and Australia doesn’t look good to advance. The Peruvian captain has yet to get on the scoresheet in this tournament, but he’s done well creating chances and putting shots on goal. This is by far Peru’s best matchup, so I like him as a GPP punt.
Lionel Messi (Argentina vs. Nigeria, $12,000) – It’s time. Argentina will solidify a spot in the next round with a win over Nigeria unless Iceland wins, then things get sticky in the tiebreakers (but you can read about that elsewhere). Messi has been nowhere near his form from La Liga this season, but if there’s ever a time to return to that magnificent form, it will be this game. Like I said about Aguero above, Nigeria’s defense has played well (and they are playing for their spot in the next round as well), so this won’t be easy for Messi. However, his ability to put shots on goal and created chances always gives him a nice floor. His ownership should be lower given the size of the slate, so I would exploit that (plus is big-game upside) in GPPs.
Christian Eriksen (France vs. Denmark, $9,500) – Eriksen is my favorite midfielder on the slate. He has been very important for Denmark so far, and since they need at least a draw to advance, Denmark will not hold back in this one. Everything offensive goes through Eriksen meaning he get enough peripherals to have a good floor. Plus, there’s major goal/assist upside with him. Eriksen is viable in all formats, and a price less than 5 digits is something to take advantage of.
Ivan Rakitic (Croatia vs. Iceland, $9,000) – With the way they’ve been playing, it’s hard to not like Rakitic and Luka Modric ($10,000). The star duo has been absolutely dominating midfield play, and they should be able to do just that against a weaker Iceland team that will play defensively. Both players have good fantasy floors with their peripheral stats, and they have both shown goal/assist upside as well. If this was a do-or-die game for them, I would be all in. However, since they’ve already clinched a spot in the knockout stage there is no denying that they could play lackadaisical or just keep possession without pressing for goals. They are also candidates to get subbed out if Croatia is controlling the game. However, if Croatia has control of the game, it will be because of these two. Both are viable cash plays. If either gets rested, more reliance would fall on Ivan Perisic ($7,000) who would be a good play at that price.
N’Golo Kante (France vs. Denmark, $7,500) – Kante was one of the safest midfielders in EPL this year, and he’s looking like just the same in the World Cup. He’s one of the best at collecting all different peripherals stats with his non-stop activity. He has one of the safest floors under $8,000, so I like him as a cash play. His offensive upside is somewhat limited, but he gets in on the action occasionally.
Mile Jedinak (Peru vs. Australia, $7,500) – This game is full of GPP punts, starting with Jedinak. He’s scored a goal in each of Australia’s first two World Cup games and will look to continue that against Peru. Peru has played tough, only giving up 2 goals in 2 games, but since they’re eliminated from the tournament, who knows if their effort will be there. With Australia still having something to play for, Jedinak will be relied on heavily to create chances. Jedinak’s lock on penalty kicks adds to his fantasy appeal.
Nicolas Otamendi (Argentina vs. Nigeria, $6,500) – After a dud game against Croatia, I expect Otamendi to bounce back in a big way against Nigeria. Otamendi relies a lot on clearances, but Croatia was too busy running circles around him for him to get a foot on the ball. Nigeria does not have the same quality of attackers, meaning Otamendi should be a more capable defender. With the importance of this game, I expect Otamendi to be at his best shutting down Nigeria.
Lucas Hernandez (France vs. Denmark, $4,500) – There isn’t a whole lot that jumps out to me as far as mid-priced defenders go, and with the stars at forward/midfield many people will be looking for defender value, so I’m skipping right to that. Hernandez has been productive both defensively and some on the attack as France’s left back. He went 4x with a 17.6 FDP game last time out against Peru, and I expect something similar against Denmark. He’s one of the better value plays at defender.
Sime Vrsaljko (Croatia vs. Iceland, $4,500) – Perhaps an even better value defender is Vrsaljko. He’s averaging 17.1 FDP so far, but he’s still on the cheap side. Iceland is a prime matchup for defenders like Vrsaljko that like to press up the field and send in crosses. Croatia should also control the ball in this game, which will benefit him as well. With a safe floor for a cheap defender, he’s a good play in all formats.
Danijel Subasic (Croatia vs. Iceland, $5,500) – Subasic has no business giving up a goal in this game even with Iceland needing a result to advance. Croatia has dominated possession in their two games, and they are likely to do that again, meaning few chances for Iceland to attack. A win is also likely for Subasic. The only question is the number of saves he will make, but I am more focused on the CS and W since they’re a combined 17 bonus points.
Jonas Lossl (France vs. Denmark, $3,500) – If rumors of Lossl starting over Schmeichel are true, it’ll be very hard to find another GK of this caliber for this price. Although Lossl only kept 10 clean sheets in 38 EPL matches, Denmark’s defense is much better than Huddersfield Town’s was. They only allowed 5 goals in qualifying due to a stout center back pairing. With France already through to the next round, they might not come to play as they normally would. Lossl is a minimum priced, GPP punt at GK. The upside is real.