Fantasy Gurus: Pick your best XI for Week 1

It’s going to be another exciting season in MLS, especially with two new teams, the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, being welcomed into the fold.

Portland, who seem to be the more offense-minded of the two, will feature players such as Kenny Cooper, Jorge Perlaza, Darlington Nagbe and Sal Zizzo. Vancouver are seemingly more defense-minded as they feature Jay DeMerit, Joe Cannon, Alain Rochat and Eric Hassli. Welcome to MLS! Now on to the game.

So, you’ve done Fantasy your planning for this season. Now what? Go through the list of players and see who may be undervalued. In this game, it appears that midfielders and forwards will be the highest point getters, so put your money into those positions. Each week, the values of the players may change, so check your players and see if you can upgrade the following week.


Our top undervalued players going into this week

GK: Tally Hall (HOU), Zack Thornton (CHV)

Defense: Sean Franklin (LA), Chris Tierney (NE), Robbie Russell (RSL)


Midfielder:
Jacob Peterson (TOR), Justin Mapp (PHI), Eddie Gaven (CLB), Brad Davis (HOU)

Forwards: Kenny Cooper (POR), Danny Mwanga (PHI), Fabian Espindola (RSL)

You can also get updates on MLS Projected Starting Lineups from us at MLS Fantasy Gurus on Facebook and Twitter every week.

Tip(s) of the week: Select players from the Seattle Sounders and the LA Galaxy this week as they will have two games. Also, find a good goalkeeper because a bad one will really hurt you in this game.

This week's TOP XI

Each week we will be giving you our thoughts on who the best 11 players will be for points that week, regardless of the rules. We'll also tell you who our teams will be for that week using the rules. Here is this week's TOP XI for points:

[inline_node:325203]GK Kasey Keller (SEA): The three-time US Soccer Athlete of the Year plays two games this week: one at home against the LA Galaxy and the other away vs. the New York Red Bulls.

D Heath Pearce (CHV): The 26-year-old US international left back plays a home game against Sporting Kansas City this week.


D Sean Franklin (LA):
The former Cal State – Northridge standout had six assists last year, which is big for your points in this game. He will play in two games this week, at home against the New England Revolution and away vs. the Seattle Sounders.


D Jay DeMerit (VAN):
Vancouver’s first MLS signing will play at home this week against a Toronto FC team that seems that it may have some trouble scoring in the early going.

M Brian Mullan (COL): The former Houston Dynamo midfielder plays a home game against the expansion Portland Timbers. With the firepower he has up top in Casey and Cummings, look for plenty of chances for points here.


M Brad Davis (HOU):
The left-sided midfielder had a very good year in 2010 with five goals and 12 assists. With two big target strikers up top in Ching and Bruin, look for even more of the same.


M Steve Zakuani (SEA):
The speedy midfielder out of Akron University had 10 goals and six assists in 2010. With two games this week, he should be on his way to hitting those numbers again.

M David Ferreira (DAL): The 2010 MLS MVP plays a home game against the Chicago Fire this week.

[inline_node:330270]F Juan Pablo Angel (LA): Look for the former New York star to continue to be one of the top strikers in MLS this season. He will get two opportunities to prove it this week.

F Fredy Montero (SEA): After such a great year in 2010 with 10 goals and 10 assists, we believe the former Deportivo Cali player will have an even better year this year. He plays two games this — at home against the Galaxy and the other away at the Red Bulls.

F Conor Casey (COL): The former FSV Mainz striker has a home game this week against the expansion Portland Timbers and should be able to exploit their defense for a goal or two.

We used a basic 3-4-3 because last year there were only four goalkeepers and no defenders among the top 20 point-getters, which featured nine forwards and seven midfielders. That, however, could change with the addition of blocked shots for the defenders; and wins, games played and saves for the goalkeepers. We will keep an eye on this at the start of the season to see how this changes things.


Official teams for Week 1 in the basic game

Fantasy Guru Dave’s choices:

GK- Zack Thornton (CHV), D- Sean Franklin (LA), UTL- Brad Davis (HOU), M- Justin Mapp (PHI), M- Jacob Peterson(TOR), F- Fredy Montero (SEA), F- Kenny Cooper (POR)

Fantasy Guru Jimmy’s choices:

GK- Jon Kempin (KC), D- Taylor Graham (SEA), UTL- Blake Wagner (VAN), M- Bobby Convey (SJ), M-Brad Davis (HOU), F- Juan Pablo Angel (NY), F- Fredy Montero (SEA)

Questions? Comments? Contact us at mlsfantasygurus@comcast.net

Think you know the game? Test your powers of prediction with MLSsoccer.com's fantasy game, Pro Soccer Picks. Play NOW!


To report a comment, mouseover or touch the comment and then click/touch the flag icon (Flag).