This article is part of our FanDuel Fantasy Soccer series.
After a month of international competition, we are finally at the World Cup final for a clash between defending 2018 Champion France and Lionel Messi-led Argentina. Looking at the odds, this is about as close as you can get to a coin-flip match between two powerhouse teams.
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
CASH GAME STRATEGY
Lionel Messi ($16) or Kylian Mbappe ($15) as captain will be the question faced by the majority of fantasy players. They are tied for the Golden Boot lead with five goals, with Messi slightly more expensive, no doubt due to the fact that he also has three assists. Mbappe has been stifled in his previous two matches but that didn't help either of those teams knock off France. You could make the case for either guy, but Messi makes the most sense since he'll be on the ball more and almost everything Argentina do in the attack runs through him.
Once you've made the decision on who to select as your captain, you probably will need to figure out how to fit the other guy into your lineup, as well.
There are a lot of top-price options, including Antoine Griezmann ($13), who actually leads the field in chances created per 90 minutes at 4.06, giving him the highest per-90 floor of any projected starter. Olivier Giroud ($12) is pretty high priced for goal-dependant option with a minimal floor, which can also be said of Argentina's Julian Alvarez ($11). Both of those strikers are better left for tournaments, while Griezmann is a sneaky option for captain because of set pieces and overall activity in France's midfield.
Further down the price range, a pair of defensive midfielders stand out in Aurelien Tchouameni ($8) and Enzo Fernandez ($7). Both players have decent floors with Tchouameni leading the tournament in interceptions, while Fernandez has been the top tackler for Argentina. Both players have chipped in offensively in Qatar, giving them some decent upside from an already solid floor.
Looking at defender options, you can either go relatively high salary with the likes of Theo Hernandez ($10), whose pricing may be slightly inflated after his goal. Still, Hernandez has the highest per-90 floor at 15.82 FanDuel points of any projected defensive starter. It figures to be a relatively defensive match, so you could look to the central defenders to rack up clearances, including Raphael Varane ($5) or Nicolas Otamendi ($8), both of whom lead their respective teams in clearances.
The obvious tournament play would be to captain somebody other than Messi and Mbappe. Those guys could both be more than 40-percent captained in the main GPP, which means fading either is fairly easy, at least in the captain spot.
It probably still makes sense to keep one or both in your lineup, but captaining Giroud ($12) or Alvarez ($11) could be a strong play depending on who you might be favoring to win the match. These are going to be strong boom or bust plays with both players goal dependant and that's how you win tournaments. Griezmann's ($13) play-making ability makes him an intriguing option, as it wouldn't be surprising if he snuck in a goal and/or assist if France bagged a couple goals. If you think it'll be low scoring, it wouldn't be crazy to captain a defensive midfielder and hope they rack up 20 points of defensive stats.