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2018 FIFA World Cup Russia: Round of 16 Pre-Deadline Chat

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The transition from the group stage to the knockout rounds marks a crucial time for readjusting your fantasy teams. What decisions are you still pondering before the Round of 16 begins?

Marcelo - Brazil - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Will Marcelo be able to get up on the right side of the bed for Brazil’s clash with Mexico?

It’s been a wild ride so far, and this roller coaster called the 2018 World Cup looks to get even crazier as we traverse a big turn.

Some questions for you:

  1. Japan and Mexico each lost game-3 of the group stage, but they backed into the knockout stage courtesy of results elsewhere (thanks to Colombia and South Korea, respectively). Are you dropping any of their players or keeping away from adding them due to the change in momentum? Or instead are you banking on them to regain form?
  2. There are several injuries to key players such as Brazil’s Marcelo, Colombia’s James Rodriguez and Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku. Have you dropped those players? Or are you still holding on, waiting for late-breaking news on their progress? Are there any other injuries you are worried about? Time is running out for these decisions!
  3. Which trends from the group stage (loads of penalty kicks, plenty of own goals, a paucity of clean sheets and barely any nil-nil affairs) do you expect to continue in the knockout phase? And what ones do you think will end?
  4. The left half of the draw looks brutal. At least that’s what “everyone” is saying. Is that reality or an illusion? Are you going with players on teams you think will dominate the right side, or staying true to your favorite stars from the powerhouses on the left?
  5. On that note, are you taking a long-term or short-term approach? In Dream Team, are you using a lot of transfers now or holding on to as many as you can in the bank? In the FIFA game, if you are planning on using your wildcard ahead of the quarterfinals, are you focused entirely on players who will do well in the Round of 16? If you’ve already burned it (or want to hold on to it for the semis or finals), is your eye to the long haul?
  6. What star players and favored teams do you think will live up to expectations? Who is “fixture-proof”? Whom do you see faltering against tougher opponents? Who among the lesser-known players and less regarded teams is ready to shock the world, and thus provide brilliant differentials for your fantasy sides?

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What last-hour (or last-minute) fantasy team management are you mulling over ahead of the Round of 16? How confident are you in your approach? What questions do you still have? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and please be sure to share any late breaking news as well!

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