DraftKings Soccer: European Championship Daily Fantasy Helper for Saturday 6/12/21
Euro 2020 finally kicks off… in 2021. It’s been a long five years since the last edition of this tournament thanks to the pandemic, but we’ve finally made it. Saturday has the first slate with multiple games on it, so let’s look at them with odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook:
|Wales (+300)||+200||Switzerland (+110)|
|Denmark (-260)||+320||Finland (+750)|
|Belgium (-120)||+230||Russia (+370)|
Forwards to Target
Romelu Lukaku ($9,900): Lukaku has been a goal-scoring machine since joining Inter in 2019. He has 47 goals in 72 Serie A games and finished second in goals this season behind only Cristiano Ronaldo. He is also a proven scorer for Belgium with 60 goals in 93 caps. Even more impressively, he has 47 goals in 51 appearances since 2016. He has shown skills in an international tournament before, as he scored the third-most goals in the 2018 World Cup. With the talented playmakers Belgium have on their team, he should have plenty of opportunities to score. He is a -105 favorite to score at any time, the best goal scoring odds on the slate. His salary doesn't really reflect this, considering players like Haris Seferovic ($9,200) and Mario Gavranovic ($9,100) have goal scoring odds of +200 or worse and don't give you that much of a salary discount. This makes Lukaku clearly the top option among high-salary forwards.
Kasper Dolberg ($7,100): Denmark are the biggest favorites on this slate, playing against a Finnish side that has qualified for its first ever major tournament and is coming off a loss to Estonia in their last match. When you add that to this being in Copenhagen, it makes the Danes likely to win this match. The problem with Denmark for fantasy purposes is the lack of a true goalscorer. We can look to Dolberg as an option, even if his numbers aren't very impressive. He'll likely be the traditional center forward for the team, whereas the other forward players who are likely to start are more wingers or wide forwards. Dolberg was a decent goalscorer in his time with Ajax, and that's comparable to the level of competition he will face in this match. He's +150 to score at any time, so his $7,100 salary is reasonable compared to those odds.
Yussuf Poulsen ($6,200): Poulsen is another Dane you can take a shot on in tournaments. He hasn't been a great goalscorer for the past two seasons in the Bundesliga, but he did have a 15-goal season in 2018-19. He is a handful to deal with in the air and is able to cause problems for any defense. This should be especially true for the Finnish defense, who lack the experience at the top level of the game. If Denmark are able to win handily, Poulsen could easily contribute to a goal or two and is definitely worth playing at this salary.
Also Consider: Dries Mertens ($8,600), Gareth Bale ($8,000), Artem Dzyuba ($7,300)
Midfielders to Target
Xherdan Shaqiri ($8,900): Shaqiri is a player who is much more important for his national team than for his club side. He started just five league games for Liverpool this season and didn't score a goal. When he plays for Switzerland, he's relied upon as the main creative piece. We saw this play out at the World Cup in 2018, when he averaged more than three shots and nearly six crosses per 90 minutes, according to Rotowire. He should be the man who gets the majority of the set-piece duties for the Swiss, which he didn't for Liverpool, so he has a much higher floor than we are used to seeing when he plays for the Reds. With Kevin De Bruyne out for Belgium, Shaqiri and this next guy seem to be the best options at the top of the midfield salaries.
Christian Eriksen ($8,200): It could be argued that Eriksen, like Shaqiri, plays a much bigger role for his country than his club these days. He did appear 26 times for title-winning Inter this season, but you wouldn't say he was one of their most important players. He is very important for Denmark, though, as the playmaker who makes the team tick. He's always been renowned for his ability on set pieces, which should help him rack up fantasy points in this matchup. A pairing of Eriksen and Poulsen makes sense, as Eriksen could look for the big forward on a set piece. Eriksen actually has the best odds to score for any Dane, because he is likely to be the penalty taker. For this salary and his role on the biggest favorite, Eriksen is arguably the best play on the board on Saturday.
Thorgan Hazard ($6,100): With Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne out, Belgium will be looking for an attacking midfielder. One candidate could be Eden's younger brother, Thorgan. He suffered from injuries and certainly did not have his best season for Dortmund this past campaign, but he did recover enough to play down the stretch. In the previous season, he had seven goals and 13 assists in 33 league matches. He offers upside at a friendly salary as someone who will have a bigger role than what was expected when the salaries were first released. Belgium will take on a Russia team that they beat twice in qualifying (3-1 at home and 4-1 away). Russia had a good run in the 2018 World Cup, but some of that was down to a weak draw and luck. They have a squad that is nearly entirely made up of players from the Russian league and doesn't feature much elite talent. There's reason to believe Belgium will still win this game fairly easily despite missing two of its best player, and Hazard for just $6,1000 should look good in that scenario.
Daniel James ($5,500): James is a midfielder who will actually play more like a forward for Wales. He hasn't shown great form for Manchester United, but his pace can cause problems for any defense. Wales being an underdog to Switzerland sets up nicely for him, as he can use his pace to cause damage on the counter. He's a low-salary midfielder who could be worth playing for some salary relief.
Also Consider: Yannick Carrasco ($7,500), Harry Wilson ($6,300), Leo Dendoncker ($3,300)
Defenders to Target
Ricardo Rodríguez ($5,900): Rodríguez was a favorite of many DFS players in the 2018 World Cup. He took set pieces and averaged a whopping 9.5 crosses per 90 minutes. He hasn't shown the same form for his clubs since then, but if he does get on corner kicks again, he can definitely be a fantasy asset. He is likely to be the only defender on this slate to have a role on set pieces, and with an overall lack of options at the position, Rodríguez is certainly among the best plays at defender.
Thomas Meunier ($5,300): Meunier occasionally flashes attacking upside and instinct, such as when he had three goals and three assists in a game for Belgium in 2017. Now, that's not totally relevant to him today, but it does show that there is some willingness to get forward as a defender. It could even be more pronounced with Eden Hazard and KDB out of the lineup. Meunier bagged a goal with two assists in the 2018 World Cup, and he tends to attack more for Belgium than he has for PSG or Dortmund in the past few seasons. Playing Meunier with Lukaku as a stack for Belgium is a strategy that has merit.
Fabian Schär ($2,600): Without many good options at the position, we can look for a punt. Some teams will be playing players as wing-backs who do not have defender eligibility on DraftKings, and with only three games, it really limits our choices. So we can use Schär for just $2,600. He's on a team that's favored, so a clean sheet is possible. He also has scored seven goals in his last three seasons at Newcastle, which is not terrible for a center-back. He is likely to be the lowest-salaried player who starts, so he offers a lot of cap relief.
Also Consider: Daniel Wass ($5,600), Kevin Mbabu ($5,200)
Goalkeepers to Target
Yann Sommer ($5,100): Sommer has been a consistent goalkeeper for years now for both Switzerland and Borussia Mönchengladbach. He's on a Swiss team that should be reasonably solid defensively and is favored to win in this match. Wales aren't the scariest team for a keeper to face, unless Gareth Bale is able to roll back the clock and play at his best. Sommer has the lowest salary for a favored keeper, so he's a pretty good value relative to others at the position.
Lukáš Hrádecký ($3,700): Finland is known for producing goalies in hockey. The same might not be true in soccer, but Lukáš Hrádecký is still a decent option. Yes, he plays for the biggest underdog, but he should see see a lot of shots and could make a lot of saves. Denmark don't have a clinical striker who we should fear, so they likely will need a lot of shot volume to win this game. Even if Finland lose, Hrádecký could be a good option at goalkeeper due to save volume. For $3,700, he is a gamble you can take to spend up at other positions.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.