This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
Although most eyes stateside will be glued to the USA-Iran matchup, Tuesday's full DraftKings slate includes a number of compelling matches and will permit for some interesting DFS optionality. Things kick off with Ecuador (42-percent to win) versus Senegal and Netherlands (80-percent favorites) versus Qatar. The winners of those games will likely advance to the Round of 16. While Ecuador could have their hands full, I expect the favorites to come out on top in that group. The aforementioned USA tilt along with England versus Wales round out the afternoon's action, and both matches should yield competitive fireworks as opportunities to advance hang in the balance there, as well.
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- 10:00 am: Ecuador vs. Senegal
- 10:00 am: Netherlands vs. Qatar
- 2:00 pm: Iran vs. USA
- 2:00 pm: Wales vs. England
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Steven Bergwijn, NED vs. QAT ($7,300): Given that any of Netherlands' top three could find the back of the net somewhat indiscriminately, I don't mind electing to go with the most cost-effective option in Bergwijn for lineup-building purposes. That said, it's tough to find a hotter player on the planet than Cody Gakpo ($10,600) – you'll just have to pay the premium for someone that's scored two goals in the first two matches. Memphis Depay ($11,100) is in the conversation if he starts, though it doesn't seem like he'll be asked to go a full 90. In any event, the Oranje will almost certainly create regular danger throughout what's projected to be the most one-sided and highest-scoring affairs on the schedule. That bodes well for the fairly-priced fantasy fortunes of box-to-box midfielder Frenkie de Jong ($4,900), as well.
Enner Valencia, ECU vs. SEN ($8,500): Valencia has been perhaps the only player with more recent World Cup momentum than Gakpo, but he's notably coming off a contest where he was stretchered off with a recurring knee sprain. He's reportedly expected to be fine for Tuesday's matchup, but there's a good chance doesn't go the full 90 and may not be fit enough to start. With that in mind, fellow forward Michael Estrada ($4,800) could see most of the team's residual attacking volume in Valencia's stead and provide a nice return at a deep discount. On the other side, Ismaila Sarr ($6,700) has seized set-piece preferences for Senegal and arguably holds the best chance of anyone on his squad for a goal contribution.
Jude Bellingham, ENG vs. WAL ($6,500): As some alternative England exposure, Bellingham doesn't break the bank and should be fresh after resting for a good portion of Friday's match and actually netted the Three Lions' first goal of the World Cup. Fire up Bellingham and usual Arsenal attacker Bukayo Saka ($7,900) in lineups Tuesday, as Saka's +225 to score while also enjoying some selective corner-kick usage. Meanwhile, Harry Kane ($9,500) will always be a popular DFS target at the tip of the English spear, but he didn't appear terribly effective or even healthy during his squad's clash with the USA. He could still tally once or twice against Wales, as he's on penalties but his fitness might be worth monitoring.
Christian Pulisic, USA vs. IRN ($9,000): USA-Iran has the feel of what might be a rather chippy, physical slugfest with quite a few fouls to boot, and the odds seem to agree considering the game holds the second-lowest expected total (2.5 goals) Tuesday. That said, if you're feeling a red-and-blue wave coming on, one could do far worse than Pulisic on set-piece duties or a very reasonably-priced Weston McKennie ($3,600) in a fixture that the Americans need to win outright in order to advance. Tyler Adams also fits nicely at $3,900 provided he stays out of the book.
Pervis Estupinan, ECU vs. SEN ($6,300): Estupinan continues to demonstrate why he's one of the most highly-regarded young players in the English Premier League and the World Cup has been a global coming-out party of sorts for the Brighton wing-back. He's been lively throughout the competition for Ecuador with 12 crosses and three chances created during two matches and that volume should resume during Tuesday's Senegal clash.
Kieran Trippier, ENG vs. WAL ($7,000): The main question is if you'll have money to spend up on the full-backs, but if you do, Trippier and Luke Shaw ($6,800) are the first options. England should get plenty of corners and their full-backs should get up the field a bit more than they did against the United States.
Antonee Robinson, USA vs. IRN ($6,300): As mentioned, USA versus Iran could devolve into a bit of a grind, and full-back Robinson might be the largest beneficiary of that particular style. While he doesn't hold a role on set pieces just yet and isn't priced all that cheaply, Robinson has been one of America's most dangerous players out on the flank and created two chances on three crosses against England. One could do far worse than taking a bit of a flier on the Fulham product, who should register enough peripherals to provide fantasy utility amongst a wide variety of match outcomes.
Virgil van Dijk, NED vs. QAT ($5,000): The towering Dutchman has the second-best odds (+500) of any defender on the slate to find the back of the net and it wouldn't be surprising to see him take advantage of his prodigious size during a contest that his side should dominate both physically and technically. Even if he doesn't score, it's likely that Netherlands comes away with a commanding victory, so van Dijk and Denzel Dumfries ($5,500) are generally safe choices, though the latter is midfield only. It should be noted, however, that neither defender figures to see a lot of clearance opportunities.
Kalidou Koulibaly, ECU vs. SEN ($3,200): Ecuador versus Senegal has the lowest-implied goal total, so if you're searching for some defensive stats, Koulibaly may well be busy again on the heels of a seven-clearance performance against a far less potent Qatar outfit.
Matt Turner, USA vs. IRN ($5,400): Although the holiday season can be a time for generosity, nobody seems to have told the USMNT's stingy, Scrooge-like defensive unit. As such, give me Turner to blank the Iranians for a second-consecutive clean sheet and propel the USA into the Round of 16. Iran may have surprised a fatigued Wales squad late into stoppage time a couple of days ago, but they simply lack the quality or depth to post consistent results against elite talent.
Andries Noppert, NED vs. QAT ($5,900): The Netherlands keeper predictably has the best clean sheet odds on this slate at roughly 54 percent and is priced accordingly. Be warned, however, it's also conceivable the hosts in Qatar try to steal a cheap response for home supporters during the waning minutes of an otherwise lopsided affair. Netherlands surprisingly have allowed the most shots on goal (15) of any squad in the group despite only conceding once, so that will be interesting to keep an eye on.