Skip to Content

10 Players Going Under the Radar in World Cup Fantasy (Differentials)

Building the strongest fantasy team possible ahead of the World Cup tournament is a tough task.

It can be easy to copy other fantasy football players when selecting your own squad.

However, there would be very little sense of competition if everyone picked similar teams. It also limits how high you can finish in the global rankings.

High-end players are important but so are budget players and less spoken-about players.

We have a look at the best value players that are going under the radar in World Cup fantasy.

These players are selected by less than 10% managers and are therefore differential players.

Lautaro Martinez

  • Position: Forward
  • Price: $8m
  • Fixtures: Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
  • Picked by: 7%

There is some talk surrounding who will lead the line for Argentina during this tournament.

Julian Alvarez getting the number 9 shirt has added to the doubts surrounding the position.

Lautaro Martinez has started 18 of his last 20 games for Argentina which proves he is likely to retain his spot.

Scoring 9 goals across those 20 games will help his case as a goal every two games is a good record for any striker.

He has a similar record for Inter Milan this season, scoring 8 goals in 21 appearances while also providing 5 assists.

With an xG of 7.7 in Serie A and the Champions League, Martinez has actually over-performed in front of goal.

Argentina are one of the favourites to win the World Cup and with an easy group to-boot, Martinez, if he starts, should be among the points.

Richarlison

  • Position: Forward
  • Price: $7.5m
  • Fixtures: Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
  • Picked by: 3%

Brazil are the favourites to go all the way and win the World Cup.

Surprisingly only 3% of World Cup fantasy players have backed their supposed starting striker.

Richarlison is coming back from an injury and does lack match fitness.

The Tottenham frontman started 6 out of 8 qualifying games indicating he is a favourite of Tite’s.

Scoring 6 goals in the 8 games he played, he cemented a place in the starting lineup going forward.

A lack of match rhythm and an emergence of strong Gabriel Jesus form may have caused doubt but it is likely the manager will stick to his guns.

Richarlison can play in wide areas as well as a central position and this adds potential minutes in the tournament.

Two goals and two assists for his club this season make poor reading but he will be looking to prove his doubters wrong.

He is certainly one to keep an eye on in a group where Brazil could hand out big defeats to lesser opposition in the group stages.

Memphis Depay

  • Position: Forward
  • Price: $8.5m
  • Fixtures: Senegal, Ecuador, Qatar
  • Picked by: 5%

Update: Depay will not start MD1.

Netherlands are overwhelming favourites to top their group and advance into the knockout rounds.

An attacking side that creates a lot of chances screams fantasy football points.

Memphis Depay is the main striker for Louis Van Gaal heading into this winter.

1.45 goal contributions per 90 minutes saw Depay put in an impressive showing during recent Nations League games.

The former Man Utd star was vital as his side reached the round of 16 in Euro 2020.

He made 4.71 shot creating actions per game during the tournament.

Three goals and one assist from four games is a solid return for a team that ultimately underperformed.

We can also expect Depay to be at the front of the queue for any penalties also. He has a 76% penalty conversation rate.

There are very few attacking players that represent better value than Depay.

$8.5 million is not a high price to pay compared to other forwards such as Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe.

Serge Gnabry

  • Position: Forward
  • Price: $9m
  • Fixtures: Japan, Spain, Costa Rica
  • Picked by: 2%

Serge Gnabry represents an all-action forward who is playing under a manager that he is familiar with.

Gnabry has now played under Hansi Flick for club and country and he clearly has the trust of the manager.

Scoring 8 goals from an xG of 5.2 domestically this season, Gnabry is playing out of his skin in Germany.

Many fantasy players have backed his teammate, Leroy Sane, for this tournament.

We explored possible upsides to including Sane in our best midfielders to pick in World Cup fantasy article.

21% of managers have selected Sane compared to only 3% showing faith in Gnabry. This means there is a greater upside to picking Gnabry.

However, Gnabry is listed as a forward whereas his Bayern Munich teammate is a midfielder.

It is unfair to be listed as different positions as they play on either wing. This is the likely reason for such a discrepancy in selection rates.

Gnabry has an xA of 0.33 per game and this shows he is more than just a goal scorer.

The 27-year-old will be out to prove a point following a poor performance at Euro 2020.

Another player flying under the radar for Germany is David Raum.

He, and many others, have only just been added to the game, so their pick % will be low.

Ilkay Gundogan

  • Position: Midfielder
  • Price: $7.5m
  • Fixtures: Japan, Spain, Costa Rica
  • Picked by: 4%

Sticking with Germany, Gundogan is a likely starter and is also on penalties.

Furthermore, he is a goal scoring threat in open play as well as from set pieces. Making late runs from deep has become a hallmark of his game.

Scoring many goals by arriving at the right time in the box should really increase his value in World Cup fantasy.

Possibly his final international tournament, Gundogan will be hoping to go out on a high and get as far as possible.

Staring 4 of the last 6 games for his country, it is expected that he will partner Joshua Kimmich in midfield.

Being involved in 4 goals from midfield this season shows there is still life in the 32 year old.

Other than Spain, the opposition should not prove to be too much for Germany to handle.

This means they could have plenty of high-scoring players in fantasy football. There may be an element of luck finding their best performer, though.

Nicolas Tagliafico

  • Position: Defender
  • Price: $5.5m
  • Fixtures: Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Poland
  • Picked by: 3%

Tagliafico has made 15 appearances for Lyon this season, playing 1327 minutes.

Regular first-team football will have him ready for the biggest tournament of his life.

There is competition for places in the Argentina defence.

Rotation has seen the 30 year old miss out on matches for his country occasionally.

Starting 4 of the last 5 games, however, shows he has a chance of starting.

Favourable fixtures for Argentina mean that Tagliafico should hope to rack up clean sheet points.

The full back even has an xG of 1.3 for Lyon this season and will hope to contribute in an attacking sense.

His side will likely control games and this will allow him to attack regularly. An xA of 0.21 per game will hold him in good stead.

Tagliafico also features in our best defenders to pick for World Cup fantasy article.

Raphinha

  • Position: Forward
  • Price: $8.5m
  • Fixtures: Serbia, Switzerland, Cameroon
  • Picked by: 1%

The Barcelona man has started in 4 of Brazil’s last 5 games.

Tough competition for places in the attacking positions will be affecting his selection percentage.

An inconsistent start for his new club this season has seen him score two goals in 18 games.

Underperforming slightly compared to his xG of 2.8, he does get into the right positions.

A player that likes to shoot from range and is technically skilled enough to do so might come in handy against lower-block teams.

As favourites in the competition, Brazil will look to put opponents to the sword and there should be plenty of opportunities for Raphinha to contribute.

Having so much quality around him means that assists can come more naturally also.

If Raphinha hits the ground running in this tournament, he could be a shrewd addition to your fantasy team.

There is a lot of premium forwards to choose from, so selecting Raphinha means you’ll have to sacrifice a big-name player elsewhere.

At a meagre 1% pick percentage though, the former Leeds man could be the biggest differential player in World Cup fantasy.

Brenden Aaronson

  • Position: Midfielder
  • Price: $6m
  • Fixtures: Wales, England, Iran
  • Picked by: 1%

An exciting young player in the Premier League this season looks to be going unnoticed.

Brenden Aaronson has been tireless in an attacking midfield role for his club.

With 51 shot creating actions over the course of 14 games, Aaronson is the main creator for his club. A similar role will be expected for his national side in Qatar.

England will be tough opponents while Wales and Iran will likely sit deep against the USA.

Aaronson could be the key to unlocking such defences as he has done for Leeds this season, having an xA of 2.9.

There are always break-out stars in international competitions and Aaronson could be one to look out for.

To accommodate the higher-priced stars in your team, a cheaper midfielder can always be sensible to loosen up your budget elsewhere.

Nathan Ake

  • Position: Defender
  • Price: $5m
  • Fixtures: Senegal, Ecuador, Qatar
  • Picked by: 2%

Ake has played as a central defender in 5 of the last 7 matches for his country.

Adding versatility to his side, Ake can play in a back three or as a left back.

The Netherlands have kept clean sheets in their last two fixtures and have a favourable group.

At least two clean sheets from their group games will be the aim and thus, plenty of defensive points could come Ake’s way.

He is, however, unlikely to provide any real attacking threat with an xG of 0.1 for Manchester City this season.

A cheap option with the chance of multiple clean sheets can be a sensible option to pursue in World Cup fantasy.

Olivier Giroud

  • Position: Forward
  • Price: $7.5m
  • Fixtures: Australia, Denmark, Tunisia
  • Picked by: 1%

Giroud has been in brilliant form for AC Milan this season.

9 goals in all competitions, including 4 Champions League goals, prove Giroud is comfortable on the big stage.

He did not start a single game at the Euro 2020 tournament but has started the last four games.

He scored in three of those four games also and it will be hard to drop him from the starting lineup.

France have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to attacking depth.

Read More: Top 10 World Cup Fantasy Football Tips

Kylian Mbappe will be the first name on the team sheet but the question is about who his strike partner will be.

Karin Benzema is the obvious shout but he is not long back from an injury and may be lacking match sharpness.

Giroud has played many games with Mbappe and the pair link up very well.

The opening game could be one for Giroud while Benzema could take a seat on the bench while he returns to full fitness.