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World Cup 2022 DFS Picks: Pervis Estupinan, Akram Afif Among Top DraftKings and FanDuel Plays

Jovanni Vidal

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World Cup 2022 DFS Picks: Pervis Estupinan, Akram Afif Among Top DraftKings and FanDuel Plays

The World Cup 2022 has arrived. The action begins with a single matchup between host country Qatar taking on Ecuador. Ecuador is coming into this matchup as the slight favorite at +135 on the money line while the return for backing Qatar stands at +230. The draw sits at +220 and the win draw double chance on Qatar to simply not loose comes at -188. Ecuador come from a tough region and qualified with impressive results against the likes of Argentina and Brazil. Qatar did not have to qualify, being the host nation. They participated in the Gold Cup, which saw them hold their own against World Cup qualifiers in Mexico, USMNT and Canada. Like all showdowns one punt or the right captain can make all the difference. Let’s dive into the World Cup DFS picks for Qatar-Ecuador.

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World Cup DFS Picks For Qatar-Ecuador

Captain

Pervis Estupinan (DraftKings: $10,000, FanDuel: $7)

Akram Afif (DraftKings: $10,400, FanDuel: $12)

Ecuador is the popular team given the odds. Enner Valencia handles direct free kicks and penalties. He averages 3.19 shots per match when in the starting 11, which is expected to be the case at the start of the tournament. The lack of scoring in recent form for Valencia given the high asking price along with a heavy juiced -200 line to the under 2.5 total goals for the match keeps him as a flex play on DraftKings. On FanDuel it is the sub 10% on-target rate, which cannot elevate his production even given a scoring chance creation rate of 2.09.

The captain of choice from the Ecuador team is Pervis Estupinan. He handles the indirect sets and corners and is in great form coming out of a consistent run at Brighton in the EPL. The wingback plays an attacking role and the counters on a pressing Qatar attack will be open for the taking. Estupinan averages 4.20 scoring chances created, which leads his club and 9.60 crosses via a split of corners and open play. Defensively he does well with four won tackles and interceptions trialing only Moises Caicedo, his fellow Brighton man in the category. Estupinan is a top two play on both DraftKings and FanDuel with a projection of 15.39 and 18.46 respectively according to the Stokastic WORLD CUP 2022 projections. On FanDuel, Estupinan cannot be placed as a captain given the defender tag, the goal hunters of Michael Estrada, Enner Valencia, and Gonzalo Plata would be captain choices in mixed spurts for Ecuador-favored lineups.

The Qatar team will put up a fight in this one and put the road underperformance streak of Ecuador to the test. The pivot at the captain spot to the Ecuador team is Akram Afif. Afif contributed on 41% of the club’s overall scoring against comparable opponents to what they will face in the opening matchup. He sits with 1.78 shots per match trialing Almoez Ali and Abdulaziz Hatem while hitting target at a 50% accuracy clip. His floor on DraftKings comes from four crosses per match, which has him tied with Pedro Miguel. Even in an Ecuador-favored stack, Afif at the top is enough to differentiate GPP lineups.

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Flex

Almoez Ali (DraftKings: $8,400, FanDuel $11)

Two man stacking Qatar might be as much exposure as most lineups receive. A one-off option that makes sense without the goalkeeper of Ecuador in play is Almoez Ali. The striker has enjoyed success finishing around the front of the net for the home nation. His floor is nowhere to be found, but the upside is there, with 4.09 shots per match and a 44% on-target rate. Ali handles the Penalties for his nation and in an expected low scoring affair one goal is enough. Should the match shoot out, he is the club’s leading scorer against comparable teams and a brace is not out of the question.

Gonzalo Plata (DraftKings: $9,200, FanDuel $13)

Michael Estrada (DraftKings: $7,400, FanDuel $15)

The asking price seems high on Gonzalo Plata. The winger is one that is looked for on the attack with 2.94 shots per match. This metric is worth chances on Plata when you add the impressive on-target rate of 80%. He is not the leading shot volume man for his nation and Michael Estrada comes in at a significant discount on DraftKings. On FanDuel Plata is the play with Estrada coming at a higher price tag and heavy drop on the on-target attempts despite 3.13 shots per match. Both are goal-hunting options, and it would be one or the other in lineups depending on the site. Playing both in one lineup will cost one of Estupinan or Valencia. Valencia makes sense as the odd man out in this case.

Abdulaziz Hatem (DraftKings: $4,400, FanDuel $7)

Abdelkarim Hassan (DraftKings: $5,800, FanDuel $8)

In Showdowns the right punt option makes all the difference. Abdulaziz Hatem is here to answer the call. He is a midfielder that has taken direct set splits with Afif during the Gold Cup. The powerful man in the middle does well offensively with 2.83 shots per match and an on-target rate of 38%. Hatem trailed Ali in goals and is often looked for on the corner deliveries.

The wing back role belongs to Abdelkarim Hassan. Hassan comes in leading the club defensively with 5.80 won tackles and interceptions. These marks are expected to see a bump given the time of possession and counter punches Ecuador will look to take advantage of. Hassan and Hatem are interchangeable depending on the script the lineup is going for, whether it be an easy Ecuador win or Qatar managing to score.

Other Options: Pedro Miguel (DraftKings: $6.800, FanDuel $6), Carlos Gruezo (DraftKings: $3,800, FanDuel $9)

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Jovanni Vidal is accountant and finance analyst, with lifetime passion for fantasy sports. He has provided content and player analysis for season-long fantasy sites. He joined Awesemo to help new and current DFS soccer players learn new approaches to the game and how to succeed, with an overall goal to grow the DFS soccer sport and various league content offerings. You can reach him on Twitter @fluff_marsh.