This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
The third round of World Cup group stages continues Wednesday where we will see who can advance in groups C and D. France are the only team on the slate that has clinched a spot in the round of 16, but they still need a result to ensure their group win. We could see them rotate the lineup a bit to see them get some rest for their guys and any of the mainstays who do start could get subbed early if they get a lead before half. We have four similarly-lined favorites which gives us the ability to get different pretty easily in GPPs with rostership likely spread out a bit.
- 10:00 am: Australia vs. Denmark
- 10:00 am: Tunisia vs. France
- 2:00 pm: Poland vs. Argentina
- 2:00 pm: Saudi Arabia vs. Mexico
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Lionel Messi, ARG vs. POL ($12,000): This slate once again starts with the decision between Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe ($11,800). I think it's clear that Messi is the play here, which could be my famous last words. I see clear sub risk for Mbappe whereas Messi and Argentina need a win and he likely goes 90 minutes. Yes, the price is expensive, but we should easily find some value on this slate. If you choose to stack Argentina, you could pair him with Lautaro Martinez ($7,800), Enzo Fernandez ($5,900) or Angel Di Maria ($9,100).
If you want France exposure you can certainly take chances on other starters who don't have as much sub risk, and let's be real, even their backups should control the game against Tunisia. Marcus Thuram ($9,300) and Kingsley Coman ($8,700) are both viable options in the predicted starting XI.
Raul Jimenez, MEX vs. RSA ($6,600): This is contingent on Raul starting which is news we won't have until the afternoon games. I don't expect him to play 90, which makes him a GPP-only option. He gets a strong matchup and is at a fair price of $6,600. He is third on this slate in goalscoring odds only behind Messi and Mbappe. A pivot to Jimenez if he isn't starting could be Henry Martin ($6,200) or if you have the salary, I don't mind Hirving Lozano ($8,400) or Ernesto Alexis Vega ($8,000). The other options in this range include whoever starts between Martin Braithwaite ($5,700), Andreas Cornelius ($6,700) or whoever else for Denmark in their strong matchup versus Australia.
Christian Eriksen, DEN vs. AUS ($8,300): Eriksen is probably the lock of the slate at this price in a matchup with Australia. I've already mentioned that I like Denmark's attackers and with Eriksen over a monopoly of sets we have to be salivating at a matchup with Australia. Denmark should control most of the possession and we will see Eriksen push forward and likely be involved if Denmark score. I expect a massive crossing game from him.
Luis Chavez, MEX vs. KSA ($5,700): I have already mentioned a few options for Mexico and as you can tell I really like this matchup for them. I expect Saudi Arabia to sit back and take pressure from Mexico and nab them on the counter if possible. That gives the floor plays for Mexico an even better chance to produce. Chavez has taken the majority of sets for Mexico, splitting with Vega. He makes for a strong mid-range play on this slate. If you want a pivot, Naim Sliti ($5,000) would take a majority of sets for Tunisia, if they can generate any against France. I would likely rather take a shot on Mikkel Damsgaard who hasn't shown much of a floor but gets a much stronger matchup and has upside.
Piotr Zielinski ($6,100) has been over most set pieces for Poland, but I don't expect they will see that many as Argentina like to dominate possession and Poland much rather play this one on the counter.
Joakim Maehle, DEN vs. AUS ($5,000): Both full-backs for Denmark make appeal in Maehle and Rasmus Kristensen ($4,700). They can both get forward and be involved in goalscoring. I expect a strong floor from both, but I lean Maehle, who has much higher goalscoring odds at +280.
Marcos Acuna, ARG vs. POL ($5,400): Acuna came on in the first match and started taking sets for Argentina. I didn't expect that going forward and we didn't see him take one when he started in game two. However, in a matchup that I expect Argentina to dominate possession against Poland, I really like his prospects to provide a solid floor. Other options in this range are Jesus Gallardo, ($4,900) who had a good game one and then struggled in a tougher matchup with Argentina. I think he gets back to a solid floor against Saudi Arabia.
Kasper Schmeichel, DEN vs. AUS ($5,800): I mentioned above how much I like the Denmark full-backs and they make a good stack with Schmeichel for clean-sheet upside. I don't think he will see that many shots, which is a bit of a downside. They have the third-highest clean-sheet odds of the four favorites, so much of my appeal here is for tournaments and the stack.
Emiliano Martinez ($5,900) fits much of the same mold as Schmeichel as I don't expect him to see many shots but pairs well in a stack with Acuna. If you are going to the cheaper options I like Mohammed Al-Owais ($4,400) for save upside. We have seen Mexico struggle to finish in this tournament and that could continue. On the flip side, Guillermo Ochoa ($5,300) makes some sense as well and we could see him outscoring the higher-priced options if he can keep it clean, since I expect him to have some saves.