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Several big names take center stage Wednesday, and with a spot in the Round of 16 on the line, we can expect some big fantasy soccer performances. Let’s take a closer look at the top targets and values on this World Cup slate.
Neymar, Brazil vs. Serbia, $11,900 — Brazil are through to the Round of 16 with a win or a draw versus Serbia, but if they slip up, Serbia would leapfrog Brazil and punch their own ticket to the knockout phase. Neymar has been piling up video game-like numbers across the board, and he comes in confident after opening his World Cup account in his most recent game. Expect Brazil’s main man to be right back at it again Wednesday.
Other Options — Thomas Muller, Germany, $8,700; Gabriel Jesus, Brazil, $8,200; Timo Werner, Germany, $8,000
Emil Forsberg, Sweden vs. Mexico, $6,500 — Forsberg never got going against Germany, but if Sweden are to stay alive, they’ll need him to be active against Mexico. He got off four shots in the opener against South Korea, and he also is capable of swinging in some crosses from the wing to add to his fantasy appeal.
Other Options — Aleksandar Mitrovic, Serbia, $6,700; Marcus Berg, Sweden, $5,800
Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland vs. Costa Rica, $8,900 — Switzerland advance with a win or a tie and — considering Shaqiri’s performances against Brazil and Serbia — he’s back in play against Group E cellar dwellers Costa Rica. Shaqiri rattled off eight shots and bagged the game-winner against Serbia, and with what’s at stake, he looks set for another hefty fantasy haul.
Other Options — Philippe Coutinho, Brazil, $9,000; Toni Kroos, Germany, $8,500; Marco Reus, Germany, $8,300
Christian Bolanos, Costa Rica vs. Switzerland, $5,100 — Bolanos has yet to start, but I’ll be keeping an eye out for him when starting lineups are announced. He stands over set pieces, and if he gets a full allotment of minutes, he can turn in a double-digit performance through shots and crosses alone.
Other Options — Blerim Dzemaili, Switzerland, $5,400; Viktor Claesson, Sweden, $4,600
Joshua Kimmich, Germany vs. South Korea, $6,900 — Germany are through to the next round via a number of scenarios, but I expect them to come out firing from the opening whistle to make no mistake about their spot in the knockout round. Kimmich has been racking up crosses this World Cup, with a combined 22 through the first two group stage games. It’s a steep price to pay, but Kimmich has a great matchup against South Korea, and he should be active again to see Germany through to the Round of 16.
Other Options — Marcelo, Brazil, $6,600; Ricardo Rodriguez, Switzerland, $5,600; Aleksandar Kolarov, Serbia, $5,300
Andreas Granqvist, Sweden vs. Mexico, $3,800 — Let’s get it out of the way: Granqvist is here for his tournament-winning upside — as seen by his 19-point game in Sweden’s opener. He’s a center back that takes penalty kicks for Sweden but — if they fail to get a spot kick — he might not give us many points elsewhere. Sweden will be scrapping for a result, and I don’t think it’s too far fetched they earn another penalty kick in this game.
Other Options — Cristian Gamboa, Costa Rica, $4,600; Niklas Sule, Germany, $3,600
Manuel Neuer, Germany vs. South Korea, $5,900 — Germany are the biggest favorite on the board by a wide margin, and Neuer stands a good chance at a clean sheet, too, against a South Korea attack that has just one goal in two games.
Other Options — Alisson, Brazil, $5,700; Yann Sommer, Switzerland, $5,500
Robin Olsen, Sweden vs. Mexico, $4,500 — Sweden are in need of at least a draw versus Mexico in order to keep their World Cup alive. Mexico have looked lively in attack but have a much easier path to the next round, so they might not be playing nearly as motivated. He comes at a nice discount compared to the high-end keepers, and with Sweden playing for their tournament lives, I think he turns in a serviceable fantasy score.
Other Options — Keylor Navas, Costa Rica, $4,000; Vladimir Stojkovic, Serbia, $3,800
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