CONCACAF qualifying has reached the Hex, which is the final round of qualifying for North America and will see three of six teams punch an automatic ticket to the 2018 World Cup. With everything to play for, let’s look at the top targets at each position for Friday’s CONCACAF slate.
Donis Escobar – $5,300 – Honduras – Escobar held Mexico scoreless in his last WCQ and now opens the Hex with Panama at home. Honduras are known for being defensively sound in their home confines, and they are in a good spot to start the final round of qualifying on a high note with a pair of home games against Panama and Trinidad & Tobago.
Others to Consider – Keylor Navas (Costa Rica; $5,400), Tim Howard (USA; $4,800), Jan-Michael Williams (Trinidad and Tobago; $4,000)
Ronald Matarrita – $5,500 – Costa Rica – The defender pool is extremely thin, and with Matarrita possessing arguably the highest upside at the position, paying up for him could be fruitful if he gets the start. The New York City FC wing back is used in a different role with Costa Rica, but he has the talent to be a difference maker earning fantasy points on both sides of the ball.
Aubrey David – $3,600 – Trinidad and Tobago – As noted above, there are not many noteworthy defenders to choose from on this three game slate. While he’s no guarantee to start, whether it’s David or another cheap wingback, paying all the way down for a starting wingback could return just as many points as one priced $1k or more. Be sure to watch for starting lineups and formations to see if any value plays emerge.
Others to Consider – Fabian Johnson (USA; $6,000), DeAndre Yedlin (USA; $5,200), Brayan Beckeles (Honduras; $4,900)
Mario Martinez – $7,500 – Honduras – Martinez was an integral part of seeing Honduras through to the Hex. He had four shots and two crosses against Mexico in his last outing, and scored the opener in a home win over Canada in the game prior to that. Martinez has been vocal this week about not dropping points at home, so we can expect another spirited effort as he pulls the strings versus Panama.
Alberto Quintero – $4,600 – Panama – While a matchup at Honduras isn’t ideal, his $4,600 price tag is. The elusive midfielder is capable of bombing down the wing to send crosses in, but also has the ability to go at defenders one-on-one. Quintero fills the stat sheet across multiple categories, and if Panama are going to make any noise on the road, there’s a good chance he will be involved.
Others to Consider – Christian Bolanos (Costa Rica; $8,300), Giovani dos Santos (Mexico; $8,200), Roger Espinoza (Honduras; $5,700)
Christian Pulisic – $7,400 – USA – Available as either a forward or a midfielder, Pulisic is in play for me if he starts. The talented 18-year-old has stormed onto the scene over the last year and already has U.S. soccer fans clamoring for more. He scored two goals and added two assists, totaling 50 DraftKings points in limited minutes over his last two qualifiers.
Romell Quioto – $6,900 – Honduras – Quioto scored the game winner in a massive 2-1 win over Canada in his last home qualifier. He hasn’t played more than 73 minutes in either of his last two WCQ’s, but in a favorable home match against arguably the weakest team in the Hex, that’s enough time for him to do some damage and put up some fantasy points.
Others to Consider – Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (Mexico; $8,400), Jozy Altidore (USA; $7,700), Alberth Ellis (Honduras; $7,800)
Miguel Layun – $7,400 – Mexico – Layun’s fantasy appeal is helped on by his share of set pieces in the Mexico attack. He’s swung in nine crosses in each of his last two WCQ appearances, and I think we can expect his usual flurry of crosses in a game that is sure to be back and forth.
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