This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
The quarter-finals are here! The World Cup is winding down, but from here on out there are some tasty matchups to take in. Part of what makes the World Cup great is that it's only every four years, but as we close in on the final it is something soccer fans will miss until 2026.
For detailed stats and odds, check out the
Want more DraftKings DFS content? Make sure to check out our daily World Cup preview show.
Neymar, BRA vs. CRO ($11,100): Brazil are the biggest favorite on the slate and because of that I have to lean Neymar over Lionel Messi ($10,300) at the top of pricing. Both guys have shown strong floor and upside, I just feel that Neymar has a bit higher upside in this matchup compared to Messi, and this is shown by the difference in goalscoring odds. Neymar is +120 to score, while Messi is third on the slate at +160. Other Brazilian forward options include Richarlison ($9,500) and Raphinha ($8,600), who make for good pairings with Neymar or pivots in tournaments.
Croatia aren't the easiest matchup even though Brazil are strong favorites, so I don't see them hanging 4-plus goals in this one. This is a theme we will see going forward in these tightly-contested matchups of the teams remaining. I think all of these slates have the potential to become more floor slates with goals harder to come by.
Cody Gakpo, NED vs. ARG ($7,700): The biggest thing that stood out to me when I first looked over the slate was the discount we are getting on Gakpo and Memphis Depay ($7,500), presumably due to matchup. Of the two, I lean Gakpo, mainly due to him taking almost all set pieces in this tournament for the Netherlands. Depay has yet to take one which just lowers his floor a bit, but he of course has lots of upside as we saw against the USA. In my opinion, this team could take out Argentina riding a wave of momentum from their best showing in the Round of 16.
Other forward options include Julian Alvarez ($8,000) if you like the Argentina side a bit more than I do, or even Angel Di Maria ($8,400) who has a bit more of a floor if he is starting on the wing. To me, the Croatia forward pieces of Bruno Petkovic ($4,400) and Andrej Kramaric ($6,000) are nothing more than low-rostered GPP darts, as they are not going to play more than 60-70 minutes and have the worst matchup on the slate.
Vinicius Junior, BRA vs. CRO ($8,200): Vinicius has been one of the best young players in the World Cup and still isn't priced up with other Brazilian studs. I would rank him second, behind Neymar, in terms of priorities on this team. Lucas Paqueta ($5,000) finally showed his upside against South Korea and is a fair price once again for GPP contests, similar to Casemiro ($4,400).
Denzel Dumfries, NED vs. ARG ($5,500): After a quiet start to the World Cup in the group stage, we saw what an attacking Dumfries can do when he smoked the slate against the USA. He was involved in all three goals and I don't think it's a chase to go back to him at this mid-range price. He will need to make an impact if the Netherlands want to pull this off. Davy Klaassen ($4,900) isn't going to play 90 minutes, but he has gotten involved in the goalscoring a lot for this team and can do so at a cheap tag here. Frenkie de Jong ($4,200) could do the same and for either of these players to get it done on this slate, you will need that from them.
Luka Modric ($5,800) usually has a decent floor as one of the main playmakers for Croatia, but this matchup does worry me a bit. There is a price break on him, which at least puts him into the conversation. His teammate Ivan Perisic ($6,200) is now priced above Modric and is tough to get to in this matchup, as well, but I would rather play one of these guys over their forward options if going to Croatia.
For Argentina, their midfielders are largely unappealing outside of GPP stacks. My favorite would be Enzo Fernandez ($5,400), but he is also the most expensive of the projected starters.
Virgil van Dijk, NED vs. ARG ($3,000): The defenders on this slate almost make me barf. There are absolutely no priorities at the position in my eyes. Van Dijk gives you a cheap set-piece threat. This seems much like the last slate Brazil was on in that I may just punt both defender spots and pay up at other positions that have good floors and upsides. Van Dijk pairs well with Gakpo for correlation on set pieces. If he is able to bang one in, it likely comes from a Gakpo pass or cross. Daley Blind ($4,600) may actually be my second favorite defender which sets up well for a full on clean-sheet stack if you wanted to go there at goalkeeper, as well.
Marquinhos, BRA vs. CRO ($3,600): This may be a first for me, writing up two center-backs. It is really just the nature of the slate. Neither Danilo ($4,200) nor Eder Militao ($3,800) are very attacking and give you any kind of floor you are excited about for Brazil and could be a little too popular on the biggest favorite. Marquinhos and Thiago Silva ($4,000) actually interest me more as Brazil can be dangerous on sets. Marquinhos has the best goalscoring odds of any defender projected to start at +550.
Typically, I am interested in the Croatian full-backs of Borna Sosa ($5,300) and Josip Juranovic ($4,300), but in this matchup and these prices I think you can do much better with your salary. I don't see Croatia controlling a lot of possession in this game, lowering their floor. To go along with that we still don't know the exact status of Sosa and we could see Borna Barisic ($3,700) start again. If he does, I suppose I would have interest there at a much cheaper tag, but I expect Sosa to start and Barisic to sub on for him in the second half.
Andries Noppert, NED vs. ARG ($4,400): If you couldn't tell above, I like Netherlands as an underdog in this game which puts Noppert into play for me. You can pair him with either or both of the above defenders mentioned for a clean-sheet stack in tournaments. Brazil have the highest clean-sheet odds on the slate, making Alisson ($5,800) a fair play. I likely won't prioritize keeper on this slate and let the rest of my lineup dictate whether I pay up for Alisson or down for Noppert. Dominik Livakovic ($3,700) is the cheapest keeper on the slate and we saw him be the hero for Croatia against Japan. He is super cheap and has a lot of save upside, but he also carries the highest probability to be lit up by Brazil.