This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
Germany stand out as massive favorites in a must-win match against Costa Rica, while Japan need a result against a favored Spain side who should put out a strong XI to secure first place in their group. Germany's implied goal total of 2.71 will probably be the highest we will see in the World Cup and the prices are daring us not to play five or six German players in both cash games and tournaments.
- 10:00 am: Canada vs. Morocco
- 10:00 am: Croatia vs. Belgium
- 2:00 pm: Costa Rica vs. Germany
- 2:00 pm: Japan vs. Spain
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
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Dani Olmo ($9,400, ESP vs. JPN): The cash game move is probably going to be spending up twice at forward and one decision you will have to make is if you roster Olmo or Serge Gnabry ($9,300). Olmo has the advantage set pieces for a heavily favored Spain side, but I'd be concerned about his minutes if they get ahead early. You could try to play both, but there are not many value options and you might need some extra salary.
Leroy Sane ($8,400, GER vs. CRC): Germany must win and Sane will be one of their most fantasy friendly options if he starts on the wing. He has the second highest goalscoring odds for Germany at +105 and I expect him to rack up crosses, shots assisted, and even fouls drawn in this favorable matchup.
In tournaments, Niclas Fullkrug ($8,900) has the best goalscoring odds on the slate at -120 and if he starts, I think he will be popular after his equalizer against Spain. Thomas Muller ($8,000) has a good chance to be less utilized than his other forward eligible teammates. If you want to pivot off a German forward, Ferran Torres ($8,500) would pair nicely with Olmo.
Andrej Kramaric ($8,100), Jonathan David ($7,000), and Sofiane Boufal ($6,800) are almost certain to come in under five percent in utilization in tournaments, and on game theory alone that makes them viable pivots from Germany or Spain. There are essentially no reasonable spend down options at forward. If Yuki Soma ($3,700) starts, you could play him in a forward spot and use an option above in utility.
Joshua Kimmich ($7,700, GER vs. CRC): Kimmich will take almost every set piece for Germany in this matchup. He plays defensive midfielder but has upside, as he's taken six shots (three on target) in two games . He is a lock in cash games and if I play him in tournaments, I'm going to make a rule to roster one of the German center-backs with him.
Ilkay Gundogan ($6,800, GER vs. CRC): Gundogan takes Germany's penalties and has +140 goalscoring odds. In his matchup against Japan he recorded six shots. I don't consider him a cash-game lock, but he has a strong floor/ceiling combination at this price. If you have $500 extra, Jamal Musiala ($7,300) plays in a slightly more advanced role than Gundogan. One non-German player I'll consider for cash games in this range is Hakim Ziyech ($7,900). The implied goal total for Morocco in that game is relatively low, but the matchup against a Canadian side that has conceded five goals is favorable. Marco Asensio ($6,600) is a pivot worth considering in this price range, as well, if he starts.
Thorgan Hazard ($4,600, BEL vs. CAN): One of the most surprising things to happen in the second round of matches was Thorgan Hazard taking corner kicks ahead of Kevin De Bruyne ($8,800). It's a small sample size, but I'd expect him to at least split set pieces against Croatia. Without set pieces, De Bruyne should not be played in cash games and I will personally be avoiding him in tournaments, as well. Eden Hazard ($4,500) will likely only play 60 minutes but can get floor points based on fouls drawn. Pedri (4,300) is fine if you (understandably) can't stomach playing Eden Hazard. If Spain rotate and Pablo Sarabia starts ($4,800), I think he becomes a lock in cash games.
David Raum ($5,800, GER vs. CRC ): No matter what Germany decide to do with their formation, Raum should see plenty of action pushing forward on the left wing and I view him as a lock in cash games. At his price, he is difficult to fade in tournaments, as well. If you can find the salary, Jordi Alba ($6,400), Alphonso Davies ($6,500), and Achraf Hakimi ($6,800) all have goal/assist upside and should come in relatively low rostered.
Antonio Rudiger ($3,700, GER vs. CRC): You'll need to spend down at second defender in cash games and I'd like to find salary for Rudiger if possible. He is underpriced for his clean-sheet odds and set-piece threat, as he's taken five shots in the first two games. If Niklas Sule ($3,200) starts, he is also underpriced. If you need the salary, there is nothing wrong with scrolling all the way down to the cheapest starting defender. Maybe someone like Costa Rica's Kendall Waston ($2,600) can get three or four points on tackles and interceptions.
Manuel Neuer ($5,900, GER vs. CRC): It's tough to find the salary to spend up at goalkeeper and that likely involves spending down at your second midfield spot. If you can afford Neuer, Germany are favored to keep a clean sheet and are 10 percent more likely to keep a clean sheet than Spain.
Milan Borjan ($4,400, CAN vs. MRC): I would like to avoid taking the risk on Shuichi Gonda ($3,800) and Keylor Navas ($3,600) in cash games, so that leaves Borjan as the cheapest remaining goalkeeper. A galaxy-brain tournament idea would be to roster Navas with a six-player Germany stack, but I'd save that for Showdown contests. In a four-game slate, I prefer to avoid negative correlation like that with my goalkeeper.