Michael Parkhurst - Columbus Crew SC - Fantasy

Fantasy: Checking out your best options on the 2017 MLS expansion teams

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!


MLS welcomes two teams to the fold this season: Atlanta United FC and Minnesota United FC. These new teams provide new options for MLS Fantasy players to include in your roster, so let’s take a look at what’s on offer at each position in the new squads. Bear in mind that both of these teams’ starting XIs are still a bit of an unknown, so be sure that anyone you pick from these lists is a starter before locking them in on March 3.

Goalkeepers

As a rule, I generally steer clear of expansion teams’ defenses until they have a couple of matches under their belt. However, it’s difficult to ignore Alec Kann – he’s a starting goalkeeper priced at $4.5 with a home fixture. If you pick up Kann, I recommend grabbing Alexander Tambakis as your bench keeper, for easy insurance in case Kann can’t play. Minnesota United FC have an away fixture at Portland, so it’s best to stay away from starter John Alvbage for Round 1.

Player Team 2017 Price Teams Selected By
Alec Kann Atlanta United $4.5 4.0%
Alexander Tambakis Atlanta United $4.0 3.9%
John Alvbage Minnesota United $5.0 2.1%
Patrick McLain Minnesota United $4.5 0.3%

Defenders

All of Atlanta United FC’s starting defenders cost more than $5.0 to own, so if you’re going to pick one, Michael Parkhurst playing center back at $5.5 is the most bang for your fantasy buck. After Round 1, Kevin Venegas could be a viable option as a cheap $4.5 starter, but he won’t get the defensive bonuses that a center back will, so you’re basically hoping for a clean sheet to pick up cheap points.

Player Team 2017 Price Teams Selected By
Michael Parkhurst Atlanta United $5.5 12.9%
Tyrone Mears Atlanta United $5.5 3.4%
Francisco Calvo Minnesota United $5.5 1.4%
Kevin Venegas Minnesota United $4.5 1.9%

Midfielders

Miguel Almiron and Kevin Molino will likely be the biggest attacking threats in the expansion teams’ midfields, but it’s going to cost a lot of money to find out how well they gel. I’m not going to bet on them until I see them produce points in the first couple weeks. Jeff Larentowicz’s inclusion in 8.3 percent of MLS Fantasy rosters intrigues me; if either he or Collen Warner are starters – and I think it’s much more likely in Warner’s case – they will be good, cheap value plays, especially on teams that will probably need a lot of shielding by defensive midfielders.

Player Team 2017 Price Teams Selected By
Miguel Almiron Atlanta United $9.0 6.2%
Jeff Larentowicz Atlanta United $5.5 8.3%
Kevin Molino Minnesota United $9.5 4.1%
Collen Warner Minnesota United $6.5 0.3%

Forwards

As with the midfielders, I’m not going to bet on the expansion teams’ attacking talents until I see some results. That being said, keep an eye on Abu Danladi. When he cracks Minnesota’s starting XI, he’ll definitely be worth taking a gamble on for only $5.5.

Player Team 2017 Price Teams Selected By
Hector Villalba Atlanta United $9.5 2.2%
Kenwyne Jones Atlanta United $9.0 1.3%
Christian Ramirez Minnesota United $8.0 4.0%
Abu Danladi Minnesota United $5.5 2.7%

Are you planning on including any Atlanta United FC or Minnesota United FC players in your team for Round 1? Let us know in the comments below!

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Portland vs Minnesota Tickets

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