Most of us playing the FIFA World Cup Fantasy game know who the best and most essential players are.
The likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar andKevin De Bruyne, for example, will be in most of our teams, and with good reason. However, the real edge in most fantasy games comes when selecting those cheap gems and under-the-radar picks.
These are players who are not only good fantasy options but can also act as enablers to boost other areas of your squad.
There are more than a few good value picks in theWorld Cupfantasy game, which I will analyse in this article.
Please note I will only be focusing on suggestions for the group stage because we get unlimited transfers before the round of 16, and therefore, there is no need to look too far ahead.
Starting between the sticks, there are quite a few viable starting options at the price point of $4.0million. The best among them areVanja MilinkovicofSerbiaand hisUruguaycounterpartSergio Rochet.
Serbia have two tough games in the group againstBrazil(their opener) andSwitzerland, with their one favourable fixture being the middle one againstCameroon.
This is why I prefer Rochet and think he is the best $4.0m keeper in this game.
Uruguay are a good defensive team four clean sheets in their last five matches and have two fixtures againstSouth KoreaandGhanaeither side of their meeting withPortugal, so could very well keep two clean sheets in the group phase.
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Saad Al Sheeb(Qatar),Aymen Dahmen(Tunisia) andMohammed Al-Owais(Saudi Arabia) are also at $4.0million and are expected to be starters for their countries, but there is not much point in opting for them when we have Rochet and Milinkovic available, who play for much better teams.
The NetherlandsRemko Pasveer ($4.5million)looks like the best goalkeeper at his cost and is $0.5m underpriced in my opinion. The Dutch have had a very favourable draw, playingSenegalEcuadorand the hosts. I can see Louis van Gaals side keeping at least two clean sheets in Group A.
However, although Pasveer is expected to start, there is a small chance thatJustin Bijlow ($4.5million)could get the nod from Van Gaal, so this is one to keep an eye on in his press conferences.
Ronald Araujo ($3.5million)faces a race against time to be fit for Uruguay, having been out with a thigh injury since mid-September. If he manages to make it, the 23-year-old looks like an absolute bargain. He is a sure starter when fit and has some attacking threat from set pieces, too. He scored four La Liga goals forBarcelonalast season.
Elsewhere,Borna Sosa ($3.5million)is a likely starter forCroatiaand looks the safer bet of the two at that price point. He plays left-back and has two very good fixtures againstMoroccoandCanadato begin Group F, so isnt just a cheap playing option.
The 24-year-old has genuine clean-sheet potential Croatia kept an impressive seven in their 10 qualifying games and is also a very attacking full-back, scoring one goal and racking up eight assists for Stuttgart in 28Bundesligaappearances last season and already reaching the same number in the latter category across all competitions in this one.
Rasmus Kristensen($4.0million)is one of the best options at his price.Denmarkenjoyed a very fruitful qualifying campaign, winning nine of their 10 games and scoring 30 goals, and are a good side both defensively and going forward.
Kristensen is likely to play right wing-back in Qatar and has an attacking threat, too. Although he has only managed one assist this season for new clubLeeds United, he did score 10 goals and record eight assists for Red Bull Salzburg in 2021-22, so has huge potential. He does, however, face competition for a starting spot from Daniel Wass, who is classed as a midfielder in this game.
Denmarks Rasmus Kristensen has competition for his place but is an interesting option for your defence (Photo: Lars Ronbog/FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)
Therefore, their team-mateJoakimMaehle ($4.5million)is the safer bet at $0.5m more. The left-back has plenty of attacking threat and was actually the joint-top scorer for the Danes in qualifying with five goals. More recently, he provided three assists during the six Nations League group matches.
Denmark have a solid defence, keeping a very impressive eight clean sheets in their 10 qualifying games. They have two very winnable fixtures against Tunisia andAustralia, either side of facing defending championsFrance.
Ricardo Rodriguez ($4.5million)of Switzerland is also worth a shout as a playing defender who is on penalty duty. However, I feel he only has one helpful group fixture. The Swiss play Brazil and Serbia in matchdays two and three, which are tough games, so he is good as a one-game punt against Cameroon on matchday one.
Rodrigo De Paul ($5.0million)looks like a fine option at his price and is nailed on to start for a very goodArgentinaside who are unbeaten in 36 matches going back to July 2019. They will be strong favourites to qualify from Group C, with fixtures againstSaudi ArabiaMexicoand Poland.
Now at Atletico Madrid, De Paul has 49 goals in 365 club games, so knows where the net is, and he has good assist potential, too, with 51 in a career thats also seen him play for Racing Club back home, Valencia in Spain and Italys Udinese.
Mario Pasalic ($5.0million)looks great value as well. He is expected to start on the right side of midfield for Croatia and scored an impressive 13 goals (plus seven assists) forAtalantalast season. Croatias fixtures in matchdays one and two are as good as they come against Morocco and Canada, who are both among the 13 lowest-ranked teams in the tournament.
Richarlison($7.5million)could end up being a steal at that price and is a decent alternative to Brazil team-mate Neymar. He is likely to play up top for the side who are the bookies favourites to win this World Cup.
Although he has been a squad player forTottenham Hotspursince arriving from Everton in the summer his international record speaks for itself, with 17 goals in 38 caps (14 of which came from the bench). Richarlison scored six times in the eight games he played during qualification, which may well have cemented his place in coach Tites starting line-up for Qatar.
He does haveArsenalsGabriel Jesus($9.0million)as competition but Richarlison can play wide as well as centrally, which will add to his minutes on the pitch.
With Romelu Lukakuin the squad but having played only half an hours football since August because of injury,BelgiumsMichy Batshuayi ($6.5million)looks really appealing. He is expected to lead the line during Lukakus absence in the early stages of the World Cup and as mentioned above, their first two games dont get much better as they take on Canada and Morocco.
The 29-year-old hit an impressive 14 goals and racked up five assists last season in 33 league games on loan at Besiktas and, having leftChelseapermanently, has scored eight in 13 across all competitions this season having returned to Istanbul with new club Fenerbahce.
Follow the latest World Cup news, analysis, tables, fixtures and morehere
(Top photos: left to right, Richarlison, Joakim Maehle, Michy Batshuayi and Rodrigo De Paul; Getty Images)
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Abdul Rehmanis an experienced Fantasy Premier League Pundit. He has played the game for over 15 years and has finished in the top 1k on four occasions, and he also has six top-5k finishes to his name. Ranked in the top 20 overall FPL managers according to the Fantasy Football Scout Hall of Fame, Abdul has also appeared on the Official FPL Show and Premier League Fanzone.