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MLS Fantasy Advice: Which forwards deserve an AT&T All-Star nod from fans? The numbers don't lie...

MLS Fantasy, Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips

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USA Today Sports

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Vicente Sanchez and Joao Plata started off hot, but injuries cooled them down. Fabian Espindola has been consistent all along, but recent injuries and suspensions have seen his stock dip. Robbie Keane and Thierry Henry have been a bit quiet for the most part, while the 2012 Golden Boot winner, Chris Wondolowski, has been almost nonexistent as international duty limited his MLS duty.

So, with MLS Fantasy as our guide, which forwards truly deserve the chance to take on Bayern Munich in Portland next month at the AT&T MLS All-Star game? How about Bradley Wright-Phillips, Dom Dwyer and Erick 'Cubo' Torres?

MLS Fantasy is a game based on numbers, and on that basis alone there are a few players who are at least a step or two above the rest. Here's how the top strikers in Major League Soccer compare to one another with regards to goals, total fantasy points, points per game and form (points per game over the last 30 days).

Goals

Based on goals alone, it's clear BWP (29 years old), Dwyer (23) and Torres (21) are the most deserving candidates to battle Bayern on August 6. But when you consider goals per minute played, which is obviously significant, the situation is a bit less conclusive.

Had it not been for a couple hamstring tweaks here and there, Jermain Defoe could very well be a front-runner for the Golden Boot. He hasn't played nearly as many minutes as the other four players, and on top of that he's only appeared in 11 games, whereas BWP, Torres and Dwyer have all seen time in at least 16 games this season (Martins, meanwhile, is just behind with 15).

  Player Selected Price Total Points MP Goals | Goals per 90
New York Red Bulls Bradley Wright-Phillips 21.7% $8.3 101 1,244 14 | 1.01
Chivas USA Erick Torres 17.8% $8.8 99 1,456 12 | 0.74
Sporting Kansas City Dom Dwyer 12.8% $8.3 89 1,309 12 | 0.83
Seattle Sounders FC Obafemi Martins 12.9% $9.5 96 1,287 8 | 0.56
Toronto FC Jermain Defoe 20.0% $11.3 72 961 8 | 0.75

*MP = Minutes Played

Total Points

Despite Espindola's recent injury/suspension, he has been the most consistent striker in MLS throughout the first half of the season, averaging 6.7 points per game to rank first among all forwards.

Espindola (and Martins) are among the top contenders because they've combined scoring with playmaking. BWP, Torres and Dwyer are pure goalscorers, but Espindola and Martins have taken their game to another level by contributing to their team's success in multiple ways.

  Player Selected Price Points per Game Total Points
D.C. United Fabian Espindola 6.5% $8.6 6.7 101
New York Red Bulls Bradley Wright-Phillips 21.7% $8.3 6.3 101
Chivas USA Erick Torres 17.8% $8.8 5.8 99
Seattle Sounders FC Obafemi Martins 12.9% $9.5 6.4 96
Sporting Kansas City Dom Dwyer 12.8% $8.3 5.2 89

*Harrison Shipp (No. 5, 91 points) removed, not listed as a forward in AT&T All-Star voting.

Forwards – PPG Top 10 (not listed above)

  • 2.) Sanchez: 6.6
  • 3.) Defoe: 6.5
  • 6.) Shipp: 6.1
  • 7.) Keane: 6.0
  • 8.) Plata: 5.9
  • 10.) Higuain: 5.7
  • Dwyer ranks 14th

Because of his ability to both score and pick out the final pass for a teammate, Espindola (7 goals, 8 assists) shares the top spot with BWP (14 goals, 0 assists) despite finding the net half as many times.

The others are not far behind, but Torres and Dwyer will need to keep scoring in order to remain on pace, while Martins basically just needs to keep himself healthy enough to stay on the field.

Form

Being an 'in-form' striker provides, at times, more rewards than being a superstar. Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane and other notable Designated Player's may fill the seats, but the most-talked about players in MLS right now are the ones listed in the table below.

  Player Selected Price Total Points Form
Chivas USA Erick Torres 17.8% $8.8 99 7.0
New York Red Bulls Bradley Wright-Phillips 21.7% $8.3 101 7.0
Chicago Fire Mike Magee 9.0% $9.9 52 6.5
Montreal Impact Jack McInerney 9.2% $7.9 67 5.8
Toronto FC Jermain Defoe 20.0% $11.3 72 5.7

Form is a great way of tracking what a player's done lately – more specifically, the last 30 days. For instance, Torres has scored a goal in each of his last four games dating back to June 8. Translation: Cubo is on fire. BWP is right there with him, finding the back of the net three times in his last three appearances.

Mike Magee hasn't had as many games as Torres and BWP over the past month, but he's producing. Jack McInerney has three goals in his last four games.

Defoe has a goal and an assist in his last three games. However, if you go back two months (7 games), Defoe has 49 total points – an average of 7.0 points/game. Not too shabby!

In a Nutshell

Choosing the AT&T MLS All-Star team based solely on these charts, BWP and Cubo Torres would be locks, having appeared in all three tables. Defoe, Dwyer and Martins each appeared in two.

Espindola, Jack Mac and reigning MLS MVP Magee only cropped up once, while Henry, Keane, Federico Higuain, Marco Di Vaio and other high-valued forwards didn't make any.

Who do you think are the most-deserving strikers to play at Providence Park vs Bayern Munich on August 6? Pick your top three in the poll above and voice your opinion in the comments below.