On the first 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!
If you read Andrew’s article on Monday, you saw how important it is to find undervalued players for your fantasy team. I don’t disagree that this is important, but that’s not the only secret for fantasy success.
Here are four more important tips to keep in mind as you’re building your fantasy team.
Domestic and international tournaments
We already know that many of the best players will be whisked away for World Cup qualifiers, but don’t forget the CONCACAF Champions League and US Open Cup. Both of these tournaments will require MLS teams to find a balance between league success and tournament trophies. It’s hard to guess which priority will be more important to each team, but you can be sure that it will result in player rotations.
Home cooking is real
People like to talk up home-field advantage, but does it really exist? In MLS, the answer is YES! In 2016, home teams won 49.7 percent of games played. This is in line with the five-year average, which hovers just over 50 percent. If you add in draws, then a home team earned points in 81.2 percent of games.
So how can fantasy managers use this information? First, remember that wins and draws don’t always equal clean sheets or blowout scores. Also, players will tend to have a higher point ceiling when playing at home. So if you’re on the fence about which popular player to pick, checking on who’s playing at home could make your decision easier.
Find out-of-position players
Finding cheap starting players is always great, but finding one who is out of position can be even better. Specifically, look for defenders in attacking roles because they get the advantage of clean sheet bonuses and better scoring opportunities. Avoid midfielders or forwards who play more defensively because they’ll be starved for bonus points and get no credit for clean sheets.
Embrace the “switcheroo”
Thanks to the introduction of unlimited transfers, the switcheroo is easier than ever. The idea is simple, but requires you have a good bench. Player A is a cheap non-player, Player B is a bench player with an early game, Player C is a bench player with a late game.
You put Player A in your starting lineup and set Player B to be your first bench sub. If Player B has a great game, congrats, just wait for the auto-sub to happen. If Player A flops, then you still have time to manual-sub in Player C.
It’s a risky tactic that requires a little bit of planning, but it allows you to hedge your bets and could net you the few extra points you need to edge your competition.
Do you have any team management tips or fantasy strategies you want to share with fellow fantasy managers? Post them in the comments below.
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