This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
Wednesday's slate at DraftKings is a bit different than usual, especially compared to Tuesday's slate, as it's dominated by midfielders in Kevin De Bruyne and Joshua Kimmich. That means, the popular move in cash games will be to spend down at forward, but does anyone stand out?
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Michy Batshuayi, BEL vs. CAN ($6,100): It'll be hard to avoid Batshuayi in your lineup unless you don't go with the big names at midfield. Batshuayi has the second-best odds to score on the slate and should see a decent amount of run with Romelu Lukaku already ruled out. Batshuayi should probably be $2,000 more expensive, meaning he'll be popular in all formats. Alvaro Morata ($7,800) has the best odds to score, but playing time is a concern in the Spain attack and it's not like he's that much more likely to score than anyone else.
Ferran Torres, ESP vs. CRC ($8,100): Spain are the biggest favorite on the slate and if you have money, it may be wise to roster at least one of their attacking players. They're expected to control possession and be in the attacking third the majority of the match, which will equal crosses and shots. While Morata is more likely to score, he doesn't have much of a floor as a central striker, whereas Torres is much cheaper than Ansu Fati ($9,000) and should have opportunities for a floor even without set pieces. Dani Olmo ($7,600) is also in this range and would have a role on set pieces if he starts.
If you really want set pieces, there's a chance David Junior Hoilett ($7,100) starts for Canada and he'd likely split with Alphonso Davies, at a minimum. Still, he's fairly expensive as a big underdog against Belgium and plays in the third match. For tournaments, I'd completely avoid Costa Rica, as they're not going to have much of the ball. Goals are more than possible for Japan and Canada against inconsistent back lines. There's a chance Daizen Maeda ($3,800) starts as the central striker for Japan, though he's unlikely to be an option for a full 90 minutes. If you don't want to bank on sets with Hoilett, Lille striker Jonathan David ($5,700) is intriguing because he can play up top centrally, as well as on the wing if needed.
Kevin De Bruyne ($9,500) and Joshua Kimmich ($8,700): These two are almost a packaged deal, at least in cash games where they should be musts. Both will be on majority of set pieces for their respected teams, if not all, and if you're unfamiliar with them, look at what Christian Eriksen did for Denmark on Tuesday. De Bruyne has a bit more upside as more of an attacking player, which is why he's a few bucks more expensive than Kimmich. If you only wanted one of them, De Bruyne would be the choice, but Kimmich is always a hard player to fade for club and country because of his set-piece role on a favored side.
Pedri, ESP vs. CRC ($4,300): Spain don't have a dominant set-piece taker, which means there's a chance Pedri could take a few as the game moves along. He's behind Pablo Sarabia and Jordi Alba if both of them start, but even if he doesn't take any corners, he's in the range of relevance because of price. Again, Spain are expected to be in the attacking third a good portion of this match, which means Pedri will be in an attacking role and his price allows you to make reasonable decisions at forward. Of course, if you have De Bruyne and Kimmich, Pedri will need to go into your utility spot.
Since there isn't anyone above $10,000 on the slate, it won't be too difficult to stack specific sides and the majority of lineups will look to the three favorites. Germany probably make the most sense, as they're in the early match and you can easily decide how to build your lineup from there. I don't think anyone stands out for them, though I'd probably prefer Kai Havertz ($8,500) or Serge Gnabry ($7,900) above Thomas Muller ($8,600), while Jamal Musiala ($7,000) could be most popular of them all due to a price discount.
Jordi Alba, ESP vs. CRC ($6,000): Alphonso Davies plays in an attacking role and should split sets, but $7,500 for an underdog is still a lot, even though he's listed as a defender. Alba should split corners and be up the field plenty, so he's my preferred option if you have the money. Dani Carvajal ($5,000) is on the other side if you can't afford Alba. The Belgium wing-backs look good on paper, but they seem to always disappoint with Timothy Castagne ($4,700) the only expected defender choice with Yannick Carrasco ($6,700) listed as a midfielder.
Aymeric Laporte, ESP vs. CRC ($3,700): Since I don't think there are any musts, a Spanish center-back can be used with Pau Torres ($3,900) the most expensive of them, while Laporte and Eric Garcia ($3,200) save you a bit of money. I wouldn't rely on Garcia starting in the second match of the day unless you have a plan for when Torres and Laporte start together. With better than 60-percent odds to keep a clean sheet, it makes sense to focus on Spanish defenders.
Unai Simon, ESP vs. CRC ($5,600): For unclear reasons, Simon is only $5,600. Top goalkeepers are usually $5,900 or $6,000, and Spain are favored to keep a clean sheet. It makes sense to find the money to get to him, as his odds are noticeably better than both the German and Belgium goalkeepers.
If you wanted to save money, Keylor Navas ($3,600) seems like the play. Costa Rica plan to sit back and that should lead to plenty of save opportunities for Navas. The hope is that he doesn't allow more than two goals.