June 12th: Brazi, Peru and Ecuador Fight for Quarterfinal Spots in Copa America

Usually for Brazil, the third match in group play at a major tournament is just for show. That’s not the case this time, though, as Le Selecao likely need at least a draw to advance and a win would put them atop Group B in the Cop America Centenario.

Brazil has the inside track, entering this match leading the group on goal differential and backed with a strong tally after tearing apart Haiti 7-1 in its last match. Peru also has four points after drawing Ecuador 2-2 in the last match. Despite currently being in third on two points, Ecuador may have the inside track to second place as it closes group play against a Haitian side that’s long on effort but short on results and already elminiated.

These picks cover the matches for June 12, using a 4-4-2 formation and salary cap of $90,000 as part of Fan XT’s Daily Fantasy rules for the Copa America tournament.

Goalkeeper: Alisson, Brazil ($7,310). While some may have been aggrieved by Brazil conceding to Haiti and ruining the goalkeeper’s chance at a clean sheet, facing a continental rival in Peru with something at stake means there won’t be a lack of focus. Alisson has done what he’s needed to, and with the uncertainty of who will be starting between the sticks for Ecuador, Alisson becomes the pick by default.

Defenders: Arturo Mina, Ecuador ($7,080). With only two matches, there’s plenty of flexibility to be had, and while one could again throw Brazil’s entire back line into a DFS lineup, Mina provides a better chance at clean-sheet bonus points with Ecuador needing a victory to have any chance of advancing.

Dani Alves ($7,560), Filipe Luis ($7,940) and Marquinhos ($8,880), Brazil. Alves and Luis looked like Le Selecao of old against Haiti, pumping in crosses from the wings as they were able to flow forward at any speed they liked. While there will be less of that against Peru, the pair of outside backs should have the confidence to at least push forward and create some havoc on the wings. As for Marquinhos, he’s the best defender remaining and can be afforded despite the hefty price tag.

Midfielders: Antonio Valencia, Ecuador ($7,500). Valencia has been a solid player in both of Ecuador’s matches thus far, and the hedge is that he’ll be able to find goal-scoring chances for himself as well as set up opportunities for teammates Miller Bolanos and Jefferson Montero.

Philippe Coutinho, Brazil ($9,000). Given his play at the Copa America thus far, Coutinho almost seems like a bargain. The Liverpool man had a hat trick against Haiti and has been a threat with nearly every touch on the ball. He’s obviously not going to get as much space as Haiti afforded him against Peru, but Coutinho is full of confiedence and there’s no reason to believe he’ll slow down with a quarterfinal spot at stake.

Willian, Brazil ($9,000). The Chelsea star has yet to find the back of the net or register an assist, but it’s not out of lack of effort. Willian has lined up 10 corners, provided seven crosses and taken three free kicks. He’s still dangerous lining up any free kick inside 25 yards and after everyone on Brazil got their offensive run going against Haiti, it feels like he’s primed to deliver.

Renato Augusto, Brazil ($7,470). Augusto was the beneficiary of Coutinho running rampant against Haiti as he notched a brace. He’s done a little bit of everything in the first two matches and also has found pockets of space on the wings to send in crosses. Augusto has emerged as a low-risk, high-reward pick for his relatively cheap price tag.

Forwards: Gabriel, Brazil ($7,750). Those who read this space and gambled on playing the 19-year-old phenom versus Haiti were rewarded with a goal as he came off the bench. The hedge is to use him again over Jonas, though one would think coach Dunga may feel it’s time to let the Santos striker play from the start. Additionally, it’s believed Bayern Munich are sending a scout to this match to see if Gabriel is worth the £24 million reserve clause his Brazilian club placed on him ahead of a possible transfer to Europe.

Enner Valencia, Ecuador ($7,690). The West Ham striker helped Ecuador rally from an early two-goal deficit in the last match, starting the comeback with a goal in the 39th minute. It moved him into a tie for ninth on the country’s all-time scoring list with 15 goals in just 27 matches. With Valencia and La Tricolor needing a multi-goal victory to have any chance of advancing, Valencia will be at the center of everything and could climb a few more rungs of Ecuador’s all-time goal-scoring ladder.