Through two days, every game of the World Cup knockout stage had a big favorite going in, and all of those teams won. In fact, only Argentina won by fewer than two goals. That changes Monday, as a Croatia side that was relatively unimpressive in the group stage faces a Japan side that finished atop a group that included Spain and Germany.

While the first two World Cup DFS slates of the knockout stage were all about trying to unearth the value plays that would allow you to play as many top tier players as possible, that is less of a priority on Monday. Of course we would love to load up on Brazil’s attackers but it could be equally important to hit on the correct mid-tier players from Croatia, Japan and South Korea.


2022 World Cup DFS Soccer Top Plays

Shuichi GondaJPNCRO43009.47914.17
Croatia was held scoreless by Morocco and Belgium and I see no reason why Japan couldn't do the same thing. Japan allowed just three goals in a group with Spain and Germany.
He got a win and a clean sheet without recording a single save hin his two starts. In such a small slate, I don't mind the idea of locking in a likely win, especially with the other game essentially being a toss-up.
Ritsu DoanJPNCRO540011.391820.67
Doan has scored on both of his shots on goal, which probably won't continue, but he has been quite impressive considering he has played just 131 minutes across three games. He has three chances created and two crosses, and I like him on both sites.
Junya ItoJPNCRO75008.131512.33
Ito is safer than Doan, and he is too cheap on FanDuel. Ito had over 18 FD fantasy points in both of his starts, against Germany and Spain. This isn't a great matchup but it shouldn't be any worse than those two.
Andrej KramaricCROJPN780011.371917.43
I don't want to overrate his two goals against Canada, because everyone scored against Canada, but between his four crosses and forward eligibility, Kramaric is a reasonable play on DraftKings or if you want to chase a goal.
Son Heung-MinKORBRZ870014.051514.27
He is still searching for his first goal but he did have 18 crosses, six chances created, eight shots and an assist. He is arguably the safest forward on DraftKings and he won't break the bank.
Even if you are afraid of his ankle injury, I do not see how you could possibly bench Neymar on FanDuel at his price. I'm probably playing him on DraftKings as well but there are reasonable pivots on his same team.
Richarlison was great against Serbia but scored literally zero FD fantasy points in 73 minutes against Switzerland. Feel free to chase that if you want but I'll gladly take Raphinha at a cheaper price. Raphinha's averages are hurt by only playing 11 minutes against Cameroon, when he still managed four crosses and two chances created.
Luka ModricCROJPN710010.051412.40
You can certainly pivot to Ivan Perisic on DraftKings, but Modric has been more consistent and he should be on penalties. Modric has three shots, three chances created and 17 crosses in this tournament.
Lee Kang-InKORBRZ52009.42139.30
He was quiet against Portugal with just two crosses and one shot, but won the Golden Ball at the 2019 Under-20 World Cup, and his ceiling is as high as anyone's. Brazil is dealing with a lot of injuries and Kang-In is talented enough to take advantage.
Vinicius JuniorBRZKOR760015.112120.10
He is the cheapest Brazil attacker on DraftKings but his teammates are all listed as forwards. On FanDuel, only Richarlison is more expensive. With five crosses, six chances created and one assist in two games, I like his combination of safety and upside.
Takehiro TomiyasuJPNCRO35000.6993.45
Only four teams have allowed more clearances per game than Croatia. Tomiyasu has been quiet so far in two games off the bench but he is a proven defender with a good matchup at a cheap price.
Brazil doesn't typically send in a ton of crosses, but Danilo had four in the opener against Serbia as well as one shot. He is pretty reasonably priced and I like the matchup.
Kwon Kyung-WonKORBRZ27002.8985.20
His averages look bad because he played one minute against Ghana but he had double-digit FD fantasy points againts Portugal. I see no reason why he wouldn't do that again if he starts Monday.
Kim Moon-HwanKORBRZ38006.921113.33
There aren't many good defenders on the DraftKings slate, so we may as well play the one who had 12 crosses and three chances created in the group stage.

2022 World Cup DFS Soccer Core Plays

Draftkings Core Plays
Top TierSon Heung-Min$8,700
Mid TierVinicius Junior$7,600
Ritsu Doan$5,400
Value TierKim Moon-Hwan$3,800
Shuichi Gonda$4,300
Fanduel Core Plays
Top TierNeymar$19
Mid TierJunya Ito$15
Luka Modric$14
Value TierTakehiro Tomiyasu$9
Kwon Kyung-Won$8

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