Welcome to the DraftKings World Cup Round 1 recap page! 100 of the best DraftKings players from across the globe — 10 from each region — have formed 10 teams to make up the DraftKings World Cup, and for each day of the first round of the competition, you can check back here for a recap of the events and storylines. For those who need a reminder, you can read all the details at the DraftKings World Cup page.
To see how you stack up against these top dogs, you can play along in free contests on five days of the tournament to win cash prizes!
End of Round 1
Round 1 of the DraftKings World Cup came to an end on Sunday, as the week ended with the conclusion of the four-day GOLF slate, as well as the main NFL slate. Six teams have been eliminated from contention, while the top four will advance to Round 2:
Canada surged to third place in the standings and earned a Round 2 birth thanks in large part to first place finishes in each of the final three tournaments of Round 1. The MMA slate is detailed below, but Canada also managed to win both Sunday sports — GOLF and NFL.
The NFL slate in particular was a wild one, as the highest scoring game of the day — Cardinals vs. Seahawks — ended up being the late night hammer due to the NFL’s scheduling changes that moved that game into the primetime slot. The Cardinals won a shootout 37-34 in overtime, but it was the Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett would made the biggest fantasy impact. Lockett was targeted 20 times and caught 15 passes for 200 yards with 3 touchdowns, and his 56 fantasy points shook up the standings in a big way. Lockett predictably ended up in the winning lineup even though he was only 13% owned, and he was in seven of the top eight lineups as well.
NFL Ownership: World Cup vs. Milly Maker
The first two days of the DraftKings World Cup focused on just one sport at a time, but Day 3 was far busier with three different sports to play. The contests consisted of an AFL, an EPL, and an MMA slate, and it made for a hectic day with major moves in the World Cup standings.
On the AFL slate, b05bf419 of Team Ireland earned the top spot, and the top finishers were fairly well distributed with no team getting more than two Top 10s. For EPL, Senegal206 from Team Germany got first place to edge out five Top 10 finishes from Team Europe. Those five Top 10s are in large part why Team Europe (or Team Rest of Europe) now holds first place overall, narrowly ahead of Team Australia.
On the MMA card, Canada was dominant with a first place and three Top 5s, with Jgo15 beating out four participants who all tied for second with identical lineups. The winning lineup was especially impressive because it didn’t include the main event champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who was 74% owned and was played in almost all of the other high-finishing lineups. Nurmagomedov had the most notable win of the day and never really appeared to be in any trouble, but because of that he only scored 99 points, which was lower than a few of the other fighters in his price range.
Day 2 of the DraftKings World Cup featured some baseball on Friday, with an MLB World Series Showdown contest. The ZOZO Championship continued as well, and you can find more on the lineup decisions from the participants for that event in the section below. As for the MLB slate, the Dodgers beat the Rays 6-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the World Series, and predictably there were a lot of Dodgers players involved in the top lineups. The top spot was earned by Saramek — Team England’s captain — who used five Dodgers players in his six lineup slots, including Walker Buehler, and Mookie Betts in the captain spot.
Even with the highest score, Team England is actually in just 5th place after the first finalized event, since their next best participant was matthewh18 all the way down at 18th place. Team Germany only managed as high as high as 4th place — from their captain Senegal206 — but they put four lineups in the Top 10 while no other team managed more than one. As a result, Team Germany currently leads the DraftKings World Cup after two days of play, with a sizable lead of nearly 100 points.
The festivities got underway on Thursday afternoon with some golf (the ZOZO Championship), as the first event is actually a four-day event with a full PGA TOUR golf slate. There are no official World Cup leaders just yet since this golf tournament is still in progress, but there are still some insights to share in early going.
Below we can see how the choices of these world-class DFS players stack up against the rest of DraftKings users in terms of ownership.
The first thing that jumps out is that many of the World Cup participants built lineups mostly out of the mid-range, prioritizing players with salaries between $8,000 and $10,000. Several of these players are substantially more popular here than they are in large field GPPs (using the “$500K Resurgence: $100K to 1st” for reference). The most popular pick relative to the main field is Joaquin Niemann ($8,300), who got off to a modest start with a 2-under (70) in the first round. Niemann’s ownership is 33% for this event, compared to just under 16% in the main field.
All the way at the bottom of this list we find Xander Schauffele ($11,200), who was drafted by just one World Cup participant, TPPNFL from Team England. Schauffele is a reasonably popular pick in most contests this week and is 14% owned in the $500K tournament, but for whatever reason almost everyone in the World Cup shied away from him. Schauffele shot a 3-under (69) in Round 1, which puts him five strokes back of the leader Sebastian Munoz ($7,200). Munoz sits at 23% owned in this field and is making a huge impact to this point especially because of his low price tag. Munoz is one of just three golfers under $8,000 in salary that were drafted by more than 20% of the World Cup participants.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.