World Cup Fantasy Soccer: Top Targets, Values for June 23

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There’s a slightly different approach to Saturday’s World Cup fantasy soccer slate without one player that stands out above the rest. That should lead to balanced lineups between three teams that are all favorites, two of them by a wide margin.

FORWARD

STUDS

Eden Hazard, Belgium vs. Tunisia, $10,300 — Romelu Lukaku ($10,700) had a brace last match, but he isn’t a cash-game play as a goal-dependent forward. There isn’t much of a difference between Hazard and Dries Mertens ($9,600), only that Hazard works more with the ball at his feet and Mertens has more crosses. Tunisia gave up eight shots on goal to England, and Belgium should be near that total as an even bigger favorite. Even if Hazard doesn’t make the score sheet, he’ll be near the same numbers as last match with around a double-digit floor.

Other Options — Dries Mertens, Belgium, $9,600; Thomas Muller, Germany, $8,500; Marco Reus, Germany, $7,500

VALUES

Emil Forsberg, Sweden vs. Germany, $5,900 — Similar to Mexico last match, Sweden should get plenty of opportunities against Germany on counterattacks, and that means a lot of Forsberg on the wing. His floor is minimal as an underdog, but on the same side of the pitch as Joshua Kimmich (nine crosses last match), Forsberg will see a lot of open field. Even if Germany change their tactics, this price is too low for Forsberg given how the Germans have looked in their past few matches in addition to the Mexico loss.

Other Options — Javier Chicharito, Mexico, $6,800; Wahbi Khazri, Tunisia, $4,600; Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, Tunisia, $3,900


MIDFIELDER

STUDS

Toni Kroos, Germany vs. Sweden, $7,800 — Kevin De Bruyne ($9,900) is the top midfielder, and his price shows it. Kroos is more of the play if you go heavy at forward and need to save some money. He’s still fairly cheap and takes corners, and Germany again will have a lot of possession in front of net. Expecting another 12.8 fantasy points without a goal or assist is a stretch, but at this price, you only need about seven or eight points. Hirving Lozano ($8,600) likely will be a popular play, but the Mexico manager loves to switch up his lineups, and Lozano isn’t a guarantee for the starting lineup.

Other Options — Kevin De Bruyne, Belgium, $9,900; Miguel Layun, Mexico, $6,900; Julian Draxler, Germany, $6,800

VALUES

Lee Jae-Sung, South Korea vs. Mexico, $3,900 — There are a few places to go for a value midfielder with most of those from Sweden and South Korea. If Sebastian Larsson ($3,300) is starting he might be the better play, although there is some risk as the late match. With South Korea likely to push forward in need of a point, Jae-Sung is in a good spot to reach projected points. Playing on the right wing, he takes half the corners for the Koreans, and that gives him a solid floor even as an underdog.

Other Options — Andres Guardado, Mexico, $4,400; Victor Claesson, Sweden, $3,700; Sebastian Larsson, Sweden, $3,300


DEFENDER

STUDS

Jonas Hector, Germany vs. Sweden, $4,900 — There are some high-end defenders on the slate, and the prices for Joshua Kimmich ($7,000) and Thomas Meunier ($6,100) will require some workarounds in the rest of the lineup. Hector should return to the squad after missing last match with an illness, and he slots into the side opposite of Meunier. In qualifying, Hector’s two goals, six assists and 42 crosses weren’t far behind Kimmich, making him a steal. If Hector misses out again, Marvin Plattenhardt ($4,800) is viable, as well.

Other Options — Joshua Kimmich, Germany, $7,000; Thomas Meunier, Belgium, $6,100; Ludwig Augustinsson, Sweden, $4,700

VALUES

Lee Yong, South Korea vs. Mexico, $3,900 — Yong was a bright spot for South Korea in their first match as he got up the field and held onto the ball well with three crosses and three fouls drawn. It could be a similar match against Mexico with South Korea needing points, and that should lead to more crosses from Yong. He produced four crosses per match in qualifying and has continued that pace in the World Cup, which allows him to reach value at a low price.

Other Options — Toby Alderweireld, Belgium, $3,800; Jerome Boateng, Germany, $3,600; Carlos Salcedo, Mexico, $3,500


GOALKEEPER

STUDS

Guillermo Ochoa, Mexico vs. South Korea, $5,500 — You can save a few bucks with Ochoa, and he has about the same clean sheet odds as the other two favorites. The problem is he might not have to make a save after South Korea finished with only five shots and zero on net in their first match. But 10 fantasy points from a win and clean sheet isn’t a bad thing, especially when you can save money.

Other Options — Thibaut Courtois, Belgium, $5,900; Manuel Neuer, Germany, $5,700

VALUES

Robin Olsen, Sweden vs. Germany, $3,800 — Olsen should get a lot more work than the last match, when he didn’t make any saves. Germany will have chances in front of net, and with Sweden already on three points, they won’t have to push like fellow underdogs South Korea and Tunisia. The Germans are large favorites, but their attack hasn’t looked right in recent matches and at a minimum, Olsen will make a few saves (Ochoa made nine against Germany).

Other Options — Cho Hyun-Woo, South Korea, $4,000; Farouk Ben Mustapha, Tunisia; $3,600


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