World Cup Qualifying is upon us and South America kicks off the first of many WCQ slates over the next several days. There are some juicy matches on the board, highlighted by Brazil vs. Argentina to cap off the CONMEBOL slate. Let’s have a closer look at several targets at each position who could make an impact both on the field and the DraftKings leaderboards.
David Ospina – $5,100 – Colombia – Colombia currently occupy the fourth and final automatic berth, with visitors Chile sitting just one point back in fifth. The Chilean attack suffered a big blow with Alexis Sanchez suffering a calf injury at training on Monday, as their attack simply isn’t the same without the Arsenal forward. However, Sanchez did say he would play today, but it’s worth checking before the game kicks off. Even with Sanchez, Chile were held scoreless at Ecuador in their last road qualifier. Facing a daunting task at Argentina in five days, look for Ospina and Colombia to take care of business against a hobbled Chile attack.
Esteban Dreer – $3,900 – Ecuador – Ecuador have been the surprise of CONMEBOL through the first half of qualifiers, tied for third in the standings and occupying one of the automatic tickets to the World Cup. Dreer checks in as the cheapest starting goalkeeper on the board, and while a road game at Uruguay is a tall task, he could return value through saves alone. With Luis Suarez firing shots at will, the opportunity for points will be there even if Dreer does concede.
Others to Consider – Fernando Muslera (Uruguay; $5,600), Dani Hernandez (Venezuela; $5,500), Diego Barreto (Paraguay; $5,300)
Jorge Moreira – $4,600 – Paraguay – Moreira has posted a combined 25 points in his last two home qualifiers thanks to a flurry of stats across multiple scoring categories. He has seven crosses, five tackles won and 10 interceptions over that span, and should continue to churn out the fantasy points in a favorable matchup at home against Peru.
Farid Diaz – $4,500 – Colombia – Diaz swung in eight crosses in his last WCQ, and he’s put up eight DK points or more in three of his last four qualifiers. On top of his ability to pick up points through crosses, Diaz has a combined five tackles won and four interceptions in his last two games. On a slate where reliable defenders are scarce, I think a reasonably priced Diaz checks in as a worthy cash game play on the All Day slate.
Others to Consider – Dani Alves (Brazil; $5,900), Cristian Ramirez (Ecuador; $4,400), Roberto Rosales (Venezuela; $3,900)
Carlos Sanchez – $7,800 – Uruguay – Sanchez had a disappointing five point effort in his last qualifier but leads Uruguay with five assists through 10 games. His set piece monopoly gives him a solid cash game floor, albeit at a hefty price. It doesn’t hurt his case that he’ll be feeding hitman Luis Suarez, and I think the duo are worthy of stacking in both cash and GPPs.
Oscar Romero – $6,500 – Paraguay – Romero is averaging 14 DK fantasy points over the last four qualifiers, despite contributing just one goal on the scoresheet. He accumulated 13 points at Argentina in his last outing through five crosses, three interceptions, three tackles won and three fouls drawn. Those are cash game worthy numbers in my opinion, and with just two points separating Paraguay from third-place in the standings, we can expect another all-around effort from Romero.
Others to Consider – Angel di Maria (Argentina; $8,800), Christian Cueva (Paraguay; $6,800), Juanpi (Venezuela; $5,700)
Lionel Messi – $10,300 – Argentina – Argentina are currently on the outside looking in, as they sit sixth in the CONMEBOL standings. Even with 10 games to go there are rumblings about Argentina not qualifying for the World Cup being a real possibility. While that’s a bit premature, they are desperate for results. Enter Lionel Messi, who has missed the last three qualifiers with a groin injury. While a case can always be made for counterpart Neymar at home, Messi’s current form can’t be ignored. With seven goals, two assists and 130 DraftKings points over his last five outings in all competitions, expect Argentina to give Messi the keys to the car as they go in search of a big result at Brazil.
Luis Suarez – $10,000 – Uruguay – Suarez has a goal, two assists and 41 DraftKings points over his last two WCQ matches. With strike partner Edinson Cavani expected to miss out due to a thigh injury, Suarez will carry even more of the scoring burden. While Ecuador have been strong throughout qualifying thus far, Uruguay are favored to get the job done at home, and Suarez could be a big part of that.
Others to Consider – Neymar (Brazil; $10,400), Falcao (Colombia; $6,900), Josef Martinez (Venezuela; $6,200)
Pablo Escobar – $4,400 – Bolivia – Escobar went off for two goals and 25 DK points in a 2-2 draw with Ecuador his last time out, and leads Bolivia with three goals despite having only played in three of 10 qualifiers. Five fouls committed is reason for concern, but if we’re digging for value to include some of the big names above, I’m willing to look past that and give Escobar another run out against the last place team in CONMEBOL.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is MONEYMACHiNE) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.