Presented by Jägermeister – Give your beer a real shot this summer
Sunday’s World Cup fantasy soccer slate features England as a big favorite in one and the other two games evenly matched. Lineup building will depend on if you believe England can dominate like Belgium did on Saturday, or if it will be closer to Brazil’s late 2-0 result against Costa Rica.
Harry Kane, England vs. Panama, $11,000 — Kane has the highest scoring odds on the slate, and considering the next options are Robert Lewandowski ($9,800) and teammate Marcus Rashford ($8,600), it won’t be easy to make a cash lineup without Kane (James Rodriguez is in the next section). Kane appeared to be the only England player that could put the ball in the back of the net in their first match and will get more opportunities as a bigger favorite against Panama. Romelu Lukaku scored a brace on three shots against Panama and Kane should be near that total.
Other Options — Robert Lewandowski, Poland, $9,800; Marcus Rashford, England, $8,600; Radamel Falcao, Colombia, $8,100
Juan Cuadrado, Colombia vs. Poland, $7,000 — Most of the extremely cheap forwards are unusable, so Cuadrado makes the list, even though he isn’t considered cheap. He was lively on the ball in the first match, racking up four fantasy points in just 31 minutes, and as long as Colombia doesn’t go down a man early, he’ll play the majority of the way against Poland. After Poland had trouble against Senegal’s speed, expect similar struggles against Colombia, and that’s exactly what Cuadrado brings to the pitch after drawing more than four fouls per match in qualifying.
Other Options — M’Baye Niang, Senegal, $6,400; Yuya Osako, Japan, $5,500; Mame Biram Diouf, Senegal, $5,400
James Rodriguez, Colombia vs. Poland, $10,000 — Some will be turned off by Rodriguez after his first performance, but there’s little to put into his 31 minutes off the bench. He should start against Poland, and Colombia will be back to normal after playing most of the Japan match with 10 men. That means Rodriguez will be on the ball a ton against a team that struggled against Senegal. He takes most free kicks for Colombia and should be closer to his qualifying numbers when he averaged more than six crosses and three shots per match.
Other Options — Jesse Lingard, England, $7,600; Kamil Grosicki, Poland, $7,500; Keisuke Honda, Japan, $6,800
Gaku Shibasaki, Japan vs. Senegal, $4,000 — After taking four corners in the first match, this is a smart place to look in the midfield, as long as Japan’s lineup doesn’t change. Shibasaki finished with seven crosses in that match and as a defensive midfielder is good for a few tackles. He didn’t play much in qualifying and that’s why his price is so low.
Other Options — Jordan Henderson, England, $4,300; Grzegorz Krychowiak, Poland, $3,800; Edgar Barcenas, Panama, $3,700
Kieran Trippier, England vs. Panama, $6,600 — Trippier probably has the highest floor and highest upside of any of the defenders and that’s why he costs so much. Even without a shot on target or clean sheet last match, Trippier still reached 10.5 fantasy points from 10 crosses (four corners). It should be a similar match for England and if Trippier connects on one of those crosses, he’ll surpass value with ease.
Other Options — Ashley Young, England, $5,600; Johan Mojica, Colombia, $5,100; Maciej Rybus, Poland, $5,000
John Stones, England vs. Panama, $3,800 — Maybe this is too much England, but they are the biggest favorite on the day and none of the other cheap defenders are truly exciting. Stones provides clean sheet potential and he’ll also get forward on corners, which is why he had three shots last match. Compared to some of the other defenders in this range, he may have the best floor of them all.
Other Options — Eric Davis, Panama, $3,700; Davinson Sanchez, Colombia, $3,300; Thiago Cionek, Poland, $3,000
Khadim N’Diaye, Senegal vs. Japan, $5,100 — If you don’t have the money to spend on Jordan Pickford ($5,900), who has the best odds for a win and clean sheet, N’Diaye is the next choice. The Senegal-Japan match has the lowest over/under and both teams would be fine with a scoreless draw after winning their opening match. Not to say that will happen, but Senegal outplayed Poland in their opening match, while Japan needed an early penalty and red card in their favor to have an edge.
Other Options — Jordan Pickford, England, $5,900; David Ospina, Colombia, $5,000
Jaime Penedo, Panama vs. England, $3,600 — This is the play if you’re desperate to save money. Penedo won’t get a clean sheet, but there’s a chance he makes up to five saves after England had eight shots on goal last match (scoring twice). Panama battled Belgium in their opener before getting taken over in the second half and if they put in the same performance, Penedo should be good for a few fantasy points from saves, as long as he doesn’t allow four or five goals.
Other Options — Wojciech Szczesny, Poland, $4,500; Eiji Kawashima, Japan, $4,400
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (username: rotozdroik) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.