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Coming into Friday’s four games play, every team will have played their first game in the 2022 World Cup. On Friday, the eight teams in Group A and Group B will each play their second contest. The Wales-Iran match isn’t on the DraftKings main slate, but the three games on the slate start at 8:00 a.m. ET, including the second game for each team in Group A, leading up to the massive England-United States match at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Netherlands and Ecuador each won their first game in Group A and will face off at 11:00 a.m. ET with the winner advancing to the knockout stage and moving atop the group. Senegal and Qatar meet in the first game of the day, and whoever wins that match will still have a chance to advance as well. Senegal has the most favorable matchup on the board, according to FIFA World Rankings, since Qatar ranks No. 50, slightly behind Ecuador, who checks in at No. 44.
England is the highest-ranked team in play at No. 5, but this is a critical game for the United States, who need a strong showing to advance to the knockout stage after drawing 1-1 in their first game of Group play.
Since we’re seeing all these teams for the second time in the tournament, the stats and models have a little more to work with. There are definitely some great picks and values to consider on this three-game slate.
Inside our soccer Player Models, you’ll find median and value projections, along with our Lineup Builder and Lineup Optimizer. The Lineup Builder is great for those of you that like to hand-build your teams — or you can utilize the Lineup Optimizer to effortlessly create up to 300 lineups.
Now, let’s get into the slate!
World Cup Forward DFS Picks
Top Play: Harry Kane, $10,100
England’s 29-year-old captain took a knock on the ankle late in Monday’s match against Iran, but he will be available for Friday’s game against the U.S. He and the rest of England’s offense had a strong start to the tournament against Iran. While Kane didn’t score, he did have two assists, three crosses, and a solid 17.28 DraftKings points. He’s projected around the same number in this contest and has the highest projection among all forwards in his second straight appearance.
Kane has scored 12 goals in 15 games for Tottenham in the Premier League so far this season. The defending Golden Boot winner will look to get his first goal of this event as he takes on the Americans.
Top Value: Krepin Diatta, $7,100
Diatta from Senegal and Michael Estrada ($5,200) from Ecuador are tied for the highest projected points per $1,000 salary of all the forwards on this slate. Diatta started and played 73 minutes with two shots, two crosses, a foul drawn and 6.02 DraftKings points.
Diatta should be in an even better matchup in this game against Qatar. He and Ismaila Sarr ($7,200) are going to have to step up and carry the offense with Sadio Mane (leg) out for the World Cup. Diatta and Sarr bring plenty of speed up front, and they should be too much to handle for Qatar’s offense.
World Cup Midfielder DFS Picks
Top Play: Cody Gakpo, $9,100
Gakpo and the Dutch looked solid in their World Cup opener, claiming a 2-0 victory over Senegal. The Netherlands dominated play and finally broke through on Gakpo’s header in the 85th minute. The 23-year-old rising Dutch midfielder was very involved throughout the tame in the midfield hitting 13 crosses and assisting on three shots. He finished with a very impressive 24.24 DKFP, showing he can deliver enough to be worth this hefty price tag.
Targeting players from the Netherlands paid off in their first game, and their strong possession game and accurate passing can help their possession numbers stack up. During his time with PSV Eindhoven this season, Gakpo racked up 13 goals and 17 assists in 24 games. He should be a good source of assists and passing, making him a lower risk than many expensive plays, who have to score goals to succeed. However, as he showed in the first game, his ceiling is even higher when he finds the back of the net.
Top Value: Idrissa Gueye, $4,000
Senegal offers more value to take advantage of in the midfield, including Gueye, who had two shots, one on goal, five crosses, 35 accurate passes and a yellow card for a total of 5.2 DraftKings points. Gueye is taking the majority of set pieces for Senegal and should get plenty of opportunities.
The 33-year-old veteran moved from Paris Saint-Germain to Everton this past summer and has made nine starts for the Toffees but has yet to log a goal or an assist in EPL play.
Gueye has the highest Projected points per $1,000 salary on the entire slate and saves you plenty of salary cap space to spend on stars in other spots.
World Cup Defender DFS Picks
Top Play: Luke Shaw, $5,800
England’s two big defenders are projected to be the top two defensive options on the slate by a significant margin. Shaw and Kieran Trippier ($7,700) both typically get very involved in the offense and that was the case against Iran in the opener. Both Trippier and Shaw finished with double-digit DraftKings points and delivered on expectations. Shaw was slightly better since he had an assist on his way to 16.22 DraftKings points to go with seven crosses, a foul drawn, and 91 accurate passes.
Even after the big performance, Shaw’s salary went down $300 while Trippier’s salary went up $400. Either option is a strong play, but Shaw comes at such significant savings that he’s my top defender to play on Friday.
Top Value: Pape Abou Cisse, $3,000
Since Qatar doesn’t have much offense, Senegal again offers good value when shopping for fullbacks. Cisse played all 90 minutes in Senegal’s opener and is projected to return almost 2 DraftKings points per $1,000 of salary since he’s such a cheap option.
The 27-year-old plays his club football in Greece at Olympiacos, where he had three shots in his two appearances in the Europa League before joining Senegal for this tournament. He does get involved when possible, but in the opener, he was focused on slowing down the Netherlands. He should have a better showing in this matchup and, like Gueye, leaves you lots of salary to shop for star power in other spots.
World Cup Goalie DFS Picks
Top Play: Andries Noppert, $5,400
Noppert had a clean sheet for the Netherlands in the opener and wasn’t very challenged until late in the game. He did finish with four saves and 18 accurate passes on his way to 18.36 DraftKings points. Noppert’s performance is even more impressive when you remember that it was the international debut for the 28-year-old.
While Ecuador did score two goals in the opener against Qatar, their offense didn’t look especially sharp. Ultimately, they’ll be looking to win their next game against Senegal to advance but may not be in the same class as the Oranje in this matchup.
Top Value: Matt Turner, $4,100
Turner’s only goal allowed in the U.S.’s opener was on a penalty kick, and he finished with 4.36 DraftKings points. He had a pair of saves including an impressive one on a point-blank header from Ben Davies. Getting a clean sheet against England is highly unlikely, but he should get plenty of action and rack up saves.
Turner is projected to provide the fourth-most DraftKings points and is the fifth-most expensive keeper on this slate, and he offers the most points per salary of any goalkeeper.
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