This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.
The 46th Copa America kicks off Friday with the host nation, Brazil, taking on Bolivia in Sao Paulo. Brazil come in as the favorite to win the tournament, with +115 odds (on DraftKings Sportsbook) to finish first and -190 to make the final, followed by Argentina at +375 and +140, respectively. Despite the injury absence of Neymar, their best player and now-former captain, there's little reason to think Brazil will struggle before the later rounds of the competition. And in the short term, their Friday opponents have the second-worst odds to win the tournament at +6600, sandwiched between perennial South American powerhouses Japan (+5000) and Qatar (+8000).
Friday's match should be a bloodbath, with Brazil a -2000 favorite, with the over 3.5 goals sitting at -105. The biggest difficulty will be deciding which attackers to target, as DraftKings' pricing has the 18-highest priced players coming from Brazil, including seven over $10,000, though not all seven will start. Gabriel Jesus ($13,300) is expected to lead the line, and his -200 odds to score are tied with Roberto Firmino ($11,600) for the best on the slate, and the latter is not expected to start. Jesus should be flanked by Richarlison, the most expensive player on the slate at $13,700, and David Neres ($11,100), who have -186 and -175 odds to score, respectively. Neres' spot in the starting XI isn't guaranteed, as manager Tite could use Philippe Coutinho ($12,700) in the front three to replace Neymar. More outlets are indicating that Coutinho will stay in the midfield, though he won't be nearly as defensive as Casemiro ($7,900) and Arthur ($6,700), who are expected to start ahead of Fernandinho ($7,300) and Allan ($6,900). Arthur could be a fairly popular play, if only because he is one of the cheapest Brazilian starters, with center-back Marquinhos ($5,800) the only one who costs less. If you have any thoughts about trying to roster Jesus, Richarlison and Neres together, you should probably throw that plan out, as the only way to do it is to pair them with the Bolivian trio of Saul Torres ($4,000), Mario Cuellar ($3,900) and Adrian Jusino ($3,800), with only Jusino expected to start (at center-back).
If he does start, Jusino is likely to be highly owned, if only because of the salary flexibility he provides for those looking to stack Brazil; and frankly, why wouldn't you want to stack Brazil? Getting two of their main attacking pieces is probably the sweet spot, and while Jesus has the goal odds, Coutinho is likely to be on set pieces. The corner situation is pretty interesting for Brazil as such massive favorites because theoretically they could get a ton since they'll be on the front foot all match, but if they're so clinical that they're scoring a ton of goals without the ball being forced out behind the end-line then we won't see that many corners.
Some possibly overlooked Brazilians include Dani Alves ($9,500) and Filipe Luis ($8,900), who are expected to be the two starting fullbacks. Alves is definitely the more attacking of the two, though pairing him with two higher-priced players likely means you're playing two Bolivians, if not three, which is why they might be fairly under-owned. Instead, fantasy players will try to convince themselves that Casemiro or Arthur could be just as good, even if the latter averaged only 0.38 shots per 90 minutes in La Liga this season. The former has the higher floor, but you're paying an extra $1,000 for a few scattered points.
The Bolivia side is a bunch of guys who you're probably not playing. Marcelo Martins Moreno, who is their most expensive player at $7,100, is expected to lead the line, and he has the best anytime goal scorer odds on the team. Unfortunately, they're +850, worse than Marquinhos (+750). Playing professionally for Shijazhuang Ever Bright, who are in the second division in China, Moreno is the only player on the Bolivian roster to play outside of South or Central America. If you're willing to take the +310 odds that both teams score (it's -455 that they won't) then Moreno is likely the guy. And if you are sitting there thinking "who takes set pieces for Bolivia?" just know they didn't win any in their recent 2-0 loss to France, and that was preceded by a 1-0 loss to South Korea, a 2-2 draw with Nicaragua, a 0-0 draw with Iraq, a 0-0 draw with the United Arab Emirates and a 2-1 loss to Iran (then again, they smoked Myanmar 3-0 before that!). Leonel Justiniano ($6,300) is expected to line up in the no. 10 role, with Alejandro Chumacero ($5,200) and Erwin Saavedra ($5,500) on the wings, and while they will be responsible for getting the ball into the Brazil half of the field, you can't really expect any of them to perform enough in a match they could easily lose 5-0.