The Dawg Pound: Macro-managing World Cup DFS (Part Deux)

The Dawg Pound returns on this Monday morning to help us all gather our thoughts before the games begin on Thursday! (Please check out my previous posts to gather more information about World Cup DFS.)

As promised here’s the basic rundown of what’s to come at the Dog Pound:

More on playing the matchups (today’s post),
How the table/standing will affect our choices (coming soon!),
Monitoring position eligibility (coming soon!).

(I had so much to say on the first topic that I am limiting this particular blog post to just that.)


More on playing the matchups.

I think the easiest way to present my thoughts on favorable matchups is going to be taking a look at the general Odds to Win the World Cup itself:

For the purposes of this article, I am going to divide the entire roster of teams into 3 tiers: Top, Middle, and Bottom. I am going to consider the 40/1 and better teams the “top tier,” 100/1 – 200/1 the “middle tier,” and anything higher than that the “bottom tier.”

(I understand that this is grossly oversimplifying things, but I want to use 3 basic categories to make my point. We can argue which teams should go in which tiers all day. And there should probably be more than 3 tiers anyway. But this is an exercise in general process more than any specific.)

For the purposes of DFS, I am going to include my thoughts on who/what we should target when these various tiers play each other. This is just a generalization, and there will certainly be exceptions to these suggestions:

Top vs Top – USE WITH CAUTION. I mentioned this in the previous blog post, but when the top teams play each other in the group stages, there’s usually a mentality that a draw is a perfectly good outcome. Top teams are usually happy with a point, and will take a more cautious approach to their tactics. These games will usually be low-scoring. We will generally be looking to other matchups to use and exploit. These matchups will still be useful for GPP’s though, as any one of these matchups could end up being 2-0 or 2-1, but ,many will end up 1-0 or 0-0.

Top vs. Middle – Mixed bag. For the most part, the Top team is going to have a lot of possession, and more shots on goal. The Middle team will be happy to soak up pressure (let the other team have that possession, as long as it’s primarily in the midfield zone) and try to create chance on the counter attack. All positions on the top team are in play, as they should have more scoring chances, and limit those of the opponent. We should also consider forwards and midfielders from the Middle tier team as well, but I would avoid goalkeepers and defenders on the Middle team.

Top vs. Bottom – Now we’re talking! These are the matchups we want to exploit. Every single player on the top team is a good choice. And we’ll generally be avoiding any player on the Bottom tier team. That being said, these are the games that are most likely to feature a “parking the bus” strategy. Those bottom teams are going to have 9-10 outfielder players behind the ball, defending. The Top teams will still prevail more often than not, but these are the games where at least 1 or 2 bottom teams will sneak a 0-0 or 1-1 game and be ecstatic. Nonetheless, the top teams’ players are going to be strong options.

Middle vs. Middle – I personally think these will be the highest variance matches of the tourney. Some games will be 0-0, but some will higher scoring shootouts (as always, relatively speaking – 3-2 would be considered a shoot-out). All players are in play for GPP, but forwards and midfielders are preferable for cash games.

Middle vs. Bottom and Bottom vs. Bottom – I’m running out of space, so I’ll group these together. These will generally be the games that the underdogs/minnows feel they have a chance of stealing a draw or a win, so a lot of these games will be more free-flowing than matches involving the favorites. These are the games that will win a lot of GPP’s. In general I would avoid the defensive players in these games, but all forwards and midfielders are in play.

In conclusion, this is a greatly oversimplified way of understanding the types of matches that will be played, but it’s an exercise in how we should approach our targets for World Cup DFS. The next blog will address how standings will affect matchups, and monitoring position eligibility. After that, it’s on to the matchups, and we’ll finally get some specific targets!

One love – PD

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  • Mhesters

    I hadn’t put much thought into this part but what you say makes a lot of sense. You will probably say this later but, in terms of pool play there is generally a favorite, two other teams with a chance to advance and one that is fodder. This isn’t true for a “group of death” where all four teams could advance and there is no clear number two.

    It is often the game between 2 and 3 that decides advancement and where it isn’t that it can be goal differential which means two and three need to limit the damage against the top team and run wild against fodder. Knowing which games to target is huge. Rather than overall odds though it might make more sense to look at odds of advancement to the knockout rounds because that could be more indicative of how each team goes about pool play. I haven’t looked at this too closely so feel free to say I am nuts.

  • pdidawg82

    SC World Cup Bracket Champion

    • Blogger of the Month

    Definitely not nuts. I think we’re both kind of saying the same thing. I thought overall odds would just the be the easiest way to rank the teams and put them into general categories. I have tried to stress that individual matches and groups will be the most essential part of planning, but this is just a logical early step in our target process. But yes, my next article is going to address standings/the group table and how that will affect performance. That will speak more clearly to your point, I think.

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