On this week's MLS Fantasy Insider podcast, Reid Connelly invites MLSsoccer.com's Ben Baer on the show to discuss the changes to MLS Fantasy for this season and the reasons behind them. Then Jason, Mike, and Andrew preview how the new game changes will affect your decisions this year in MLS Fantasy!
Now that you know how to setup your fantasy account and how points are scored, it’s time to refine your starting roster. In the past this could be a stressful process for many fantasy managers but the Opening Weekend Challenge fixes that. Every fantasy manager now has one extra week to help identify which players will be starters, who is injured, and who is an early fantasy value pick.
Below are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting your starting roster. If you already have a roster, be sure to send a picture to @MLSFantasy between 12 and 2 pm ET on Wednesday and Thursday and ask for feedback.
Squad Building Tips
Keepers: There is little need to worry about a backup 'keeper this season, so feel free to splurge on one of the big names like Luis Robles ($6.0 – NY) or Stefan Frei ($6.0 – SEA). If you want to throw as much into your attack as you can, you can easily find a great option like Clint Irwin (TOR) or Brian Rowe (LA) in the $5.5 range.
- New Player Tip: Any keeper below $5.5 is a questionable starter so only transfer in with caution or confirmed starting reports.
Defenders: The 2017 defender price adjustment means you can now afford to field a dream team of top-tier defenders like Axel Sjoberg ($6.5 – COL), Harrison Afful ($6.0 – CLB), and Justin Morrow ($6.0 – TOR). The new transfer rules also make formations with 4 or 5 defenders more viable, but you’ll need to stretch your money to make that work. There are $4.5-$5.0 starters on many teams, but teams with shaky defenses like Chicago, Minnesota and Orlando have the most.
- New Player Tip: The home field advantage is huge in MLS, so when in doubt, look for a defender with a home game.
Midfielders: If you’re looking for the best position to drop the most cash in, then this is it. Midfielders have easier access to offensive bonus points like crosses and key passes, and don’t suffer penalties from lost clean sheets. The reduced budget means you’ll only be able to afford a couple of big names, like Kevin Molino ($9.5 – MIN) or Ignacio Piatti ($10.0 – MTL), at the start of the season, so look for reliable value players like Matias Laba ($7.0 – VAN) or Cristian Roldan ($7.0 – SEA) to fill out your team.
- New Player Tip: Defensive midfielders will help stretch your budget at the start of the season, but their long term point production is limited so keep an eye out for value attackers.
Forwards: There are two strategies when initially picking your forwards, to Sebastian Giovinco ($12.0 – TOR) or not to Giovinco. The first will give you the best fantasy forward for the past two seasons but his high cost means it will be hard to pair him up with another big name player like Ola Kamara ($10.0 – CLB) or David Villa ($10.0 – NYC). The latter gives you more flexibility especially if you’re willing to consider some new additions to MLS like Jay Simpson ($7.0 – PHI), Nemanja Nikolic ($9.5 – CHI), or Kenwyne Jones ($9.0 – ATL).
- New Player Tip: Goals scored is not the only stat to look for when picking a forward. The ability to earn crosses, key passes and shots on target can result in quick bonus point gains.
Don’t forget! All prices and budgets reset back to their starting values after the Opening Weekend Challenge concludes, so feel free to take some risks at the start of the season.
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