Wednesday is a big day at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. We have a three-game WWC DFS slate in the morning followed by the USWNT in prime time. This is also the first WWC Playbook featuring teams in their second game of the tournament. I am especially interested to see the second games in Group C, which featured two of the most lopsided games so far. Spain had the most possession of any team in the first round of games. They used their 80 percent possession to generate 45 shots against Costa Rica but put just 11 on target and only three in the back of the net. Japan had a much more modest 59 percent possession against Zambia but scored a tournament-high five goals on 24 shots. My guess is that Spain will dominate possession against Zambia and Costa Rica will have the ball more against Japan, but that both favorites will win again. If that is the case, we should be able to find some nice fantasy values. 

The last game features two teams from Group B who are likely disappointed with their results in the first game. Ireland played well in the face of a partisan crowd in Australia but could not parlay that play into a result. Canada, on the other hand, wasted a soft penalty to draw against underdog Nigeria. Both of these teams will probably feel like this is a must-win if they want to advance and as such I expect a tight, defensive game.


Women's World Cup DFS Picks July 26

Courtney BrosnanIRLCAN39000.390.00
Ireland only allowed two shots on goal against a shorthanded Australia side, but unfortunately for them, one found the back of the net. Canada, for its part, only got two of 15 shots on target against Nigeria. This is obviously risky, but I thought Ireland looked good defensively and Canada looked shaky in attack, and that's the combination I want in a cheap goalkeeper.
I might pivot to Yamashita on DraftKings where she is slightly cheaper. I thought Zambia would be dangerous on the counterattack but they didn't manage a single shot against Japan. Whether that has more to do with Zambia or Japan remains to be seen, but I think Spain is slightly safer for a win and a clean sheet.
Jun EndoJPNCRC860029.561942.40
Endo started at wing back against Zambia but is listed as a forward on both sites. She took three of Japan's six corner kicks and now she faces a Costa Rica side that conceded 22 corners in its opening match.
Katie McCabeIRLCAN750015.861623.50
McCabe has another tough matchup but after she had eight crosses and a chance created against Australia, I don't see why she can't at least match that production against a more neutral crowd.
Heather PayneIRLCAN43009.441314.60
Like Endo, Payne started at wing back despite being listed as a forward on both sites. She sent in six crosses against Australia and if she can do that against Canada, she will be a nice punt play on DraftKings.
Jenni HermosoESPZAM980016.282325.80
She was second on her team in corner kicks, passes into the final third and chances created and third in shots taken. There is enough value on the slate to make Hermoso affordable, and I think she could be a must-play if Teresa Abelleira starts on the bench.
Aoba FujinoJPNCRC820026.641739.80
I have no idea why Fujino is so cheap on FanDuel. She was tied or lead the team in shots, shots on target, chances created and crosses. I love her on FanDuel but she is a strong pivot on DraftKings if you can't afford Jun Endo.
Alexia PutellasESPZAM91003.3207.50
I thought Putellas looked dangerous in her 13 minutes off the bench, with a shot on goal and a chance created. This is another great matchup for Spain but Putellas has a chance to fly under the radar after so many of her teammates starred against Costa Rica.
Sophie SchmidtCANIRL53006.021814.30
Schmidt lead Canada with four corner kicks despite playing just 20 minutes off the bench. She is a great mid-priced midfielder on DraftKings if she starts.
Teresa AbelleiraESPZAM740029.92139.60
She had an unheard of 22 crosses and 10 chances created. Its possible that has more to do with Costa Rica than with Spain but Zambia looked just as lost defensively as Costa Rica and if Abelleira does dominate the ball and set pieces again, she is super safe, especially on DraftKings.
Katherine AlvaradoCRCJPN38003.381215.90
Alvarado had Costa Rica's only corner kick, cross and chance created. Melissa Herrera may have more upside but I think Alvarado is safer on both sites.
Ona BatlleESPZAM570022.941428.60
I'll pay up for Olga Carmona if I can but Batlle had the same number of crosses and chances created and recorded an assist against Costa Rica. With so many cheap options at other positions, this is a great opportunity to pay up for a defender.
Agness MusesaZAMESP32000.5471.80
Zambia had just 14 clearances against Japan while Costa Rica had 65 against Spain. I'm going to guess that had more to do with the attack teams than the defending teams and if that is the case, Musesa is far too cheap on FanDuel.
Diane CaldwellIRLCAN280009 
I'm playing whoever starts for Louise Quinn, who is dealing with a foot injury. Aine O'Gorman is cheaper, so that would be ideal, but Caldwell had 4.88 clearances per 90 minutes for Reading this season and my guess is she will start if Quinn cannot go.
Maria CotoCRCJPN31001.621626.60
For as much as Japan dominated the scoring against Zambia, Zambia still had 41 percent of possession, or double what Costa Rica had against Spain. I'm not expecting much from any of the defenders outside of Spain but at this price, we only need Coto to get forward a few times to return value.

World Cup DFS Core Plays July 26

DraftKings Core Plays
Top TierJenni Hermoso$9,800
Jun Endo$8,600
Mid TierTeresa Abelleira$7,400
Ona Batlle$5,700
Value TierHeather Payne$4,300
Maria Coto$3,100
FanDuel Core Plays
Top TierJenni Hermoso$23
Alexia Putellas$20
Mid TierAoba Fujino$17
Katie McCabe$16
Value TierAgness Musesa7