MLS Fantasy: Who do the fantasy gods consider the Most Valuable Player in MLS?
The final week of the regular season is upon us, so it's only a matter of time before end-of-season awards are handed out.
Instead of giving you my top choices for MVP at each position, we're going to do this strictly by the numbers. The four players below may not be the consensus choice, but they are No. 1 at their position for a reason.
They've delivered consistently all year long and have likely helped you win several matches in your head-to-head leagues. They might've even helped you squeak out a win in the Fantasy Cup.
With that said, here are the No. 1 players in MLS Fantasy by position. Are any of them worthy enough to be named 2013 MLS MVP? Tell us in the comments below.
No. 1 player in MLS Fantasy (by position)
Mike Magee (MID)
- Goals: 20
- Assists: 3
- Recoveries: 95
- Key Passes: 64
- Minutes played: 2,703
The fantasy numbers say one thing and fans say the same. "Magic Mike" is highly regarded as the Most Valuable Player in MLS 2013. His 20 goals have him tied for the league lead and his six game-winners (three with Chicago, three with LA) are the second-most in MLS.
Magee isn't a true playmaker, but since being traded to Chicago, the Fire have relied heavily upon him to deliver consistent service from corners and set pieces. He's tied for seventh overall in key passes (64) — one behind Dillon Powers, two behind Thierry Henry — and tied for 13th in successful crosses (40) with the likes of Landon Donovan.
From a fantasy standpoint, Magee will likely be the No. 1 player at the end of the regular season. With one game left, he has a seven-point lead on Higuain and a 19-point lead on the next closest player.
There's only one thing holding him back from locking down this award in real life: Chicago not qualifying for the playoffs.
Federico Higuain (FWD)
- Goals: 11
- Assists: 9
- Recoveries: 149
- Key Passes: 118
- Minutes played: 2,592
The Argentine playmaker is No. 2 overall in total points and No. 1 among forwards. He's upped his stats from a year ago and contributed on nearly half of the Columbus Crew's goals in 2013 (20 of 42).
Higuain is first in key passes (118), tied for second in assists (9), fourth in successful crosses (65) and tied for seventh in goals (11). His stats aren't mind-blowing, but he accumulates points, and that's why he's the No. 1 forward in MLS Fantasy.
The main knock against Higuain is that he doesn't score enough goals from open play. Six of his nine goals have come via the spot (penalty) and he's missed two as well.
He can rack up points, but is he truly MVP worthy?
Tally Hall (GK)
- Saves: 95
- Shutouts: 9
- Recoveries: 396
- Goals Conceded: 40
- Minutes played: 2,970
Goalkeepers are almost never in the conversation for MLS MVP, and this year it's no different. While Tally Hall ranks No. 1 among goalkeepers in MLS Fantasy, it's not by much — Luis Robles sits just two points behind him.
The big thing Hall's got going for him is playing time. He hasn't missed a game all season, and that's the main reason he leads all players with 396 recoveries.
He doesn't lead goalkeepers in clean sheets, saves or goals conceded, so there's no reason to consider Hall a MVP candidate. He's been productive as a fantasy player in 2013, but that's about as far as it goes.
Jose Goncalves (DEF)
- Goals: 2
- CBIs: 289
- Recoveries: 233
- Clean Sheets: 13
- Minutes played: 2,970
Goncalves might end up winning the 2013 Newcomer of the Year award, but is he also a MVP candidate? A year after finishing ninth in the East with 17 losses, New England currently sit in the fifth and final playoff spot with one game to go.
The Portuguese newcomer is first in recoveries (233) and tied for the league-lead in clean sheets (13) among defenders. Goncalves also ranks ninth overall in CBIs with 289. He's been a mainstay at the back for the Revolution, but is he MVP caliber?
Who do you think should be crowned 2013 MLS MVP? Tell us in the comments below.