If you haven't started to explore the new version on MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager yet, you'll likely be in for quite a shock when you see the latest prices for defenders. Omar Gonzalez and Aurelien Collin will now cost you approximately $10 million, the same price point given to US men's national team players Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Eddie Johnson.
With fantasy owners now unable to stack the deck and load up on defenders who are more likely to bring in big numbers each and every week, you'll have to pick and chose where you want to spend that $120 million bankroll.
Some fantasy managers think it's best to spend big on midfielders this season, but your defenders cannot be neglected. If you want to be successful, you'll need a solid backline week in, week out.
With that in mind, here are five defenders you should consider adding to your roster before Round 1 kicks off on March 8.
AURELIEN COLLIN – $10.0m
If you're going to break the bank on a defender, there is no better option out there than Sporting KC's rugged center back. Collin's in the prime of his career, he won't be leaving for international duty and he led all defenders in both CBIs (clearances, blocks and interceptions) and goals in 2013. The whole cast and crew is returning for the defending MLS Cup champions except Jimmy Nielsen – who retired just days after winning it all.
Teams selected by: 16.1 percent
CHAD MARSHALL – $8.5m
Traded from Columbus to Seattle in the offseason, Marshall could prove to be a huge addition to a Sounders side that hasn't quite lived up to its potential. He's struggled with concussions, but at 29 he's still got a few good years left and is one of the most poised central defenders with the ball at his feet in MLS. If Marshall stays healthy and their offense gets it together, Seattle could make a run at the Supporters' Shield.
Teams selected by: 2.5 percent
SHEANON WILLIAMS – $8.0m
Williams led all defenders with seven big chances created and was tied for third in assists with five last season. Philadelphia have added the kind of quality to their midfield that could help him get free on the outside for overlapping runs and even bigger attacking contributions in 2014. Plus, Williams is probably the deadliest throw-in specialist in the league.
Teams selected by: 2.5 percent
ERIC MILLER – $4.5m
Hassoun Camara is keen to make the move inside to pair up with Matteo Ferrari at center back, which would give Miller a chance to get first-team reps right out of the gate. Head coach Frank Klopas traded up from No. 10 to No. 5 in this year's SuperDraft to get the right back out of Creighton with hopes that he could contribute immediately. However, if Nelson Rivas – who re-signed with Montreal last month – can remain healthy leading up to opening day, Miller could be on the bench to start. Keep him on your watch list.
Teams selected by: 2.7 percent
KOFI SARKODIE – $6.5m
Tallied four assists in 33 starts and led all field players on the Dynamo with 10 clean sheets in 2013. With key contributors all returning on the attacking side of the ball, Sarkodie should be in for an even better season from an attacking sense in 2014. And at $6.5m, he's exaclty the type of player who will provide you with some decent upside – around the average price per player value of $6.6m – without breaking the bank.
Teams selected by: 31.7 percent
HONORABLE MENTIONS (Watchlist)
Jamison Olave (NY - $9.5m), Amobi Okugo (PHI - $9.0M), Chance Myers (SKC - $8.5m), Michael Harrington (POR - $7.5m), Jeff Parke (DC - $7.0m), Waylon Francis (CLB - $6.5m), Kosuke Kimura (NY - $6.0m), David Horst (HOU - $5.5m), Steven Kinney (CHI - $5.0m), Dylan Remick (SEA - $4.0m)