MLS Fantasy is back! A jampacked weekend slate features all 28 teams in play, with the action kicking off Saturday when the Philadelphia Union host Minnesota United FC (1 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+). With several high-profile newcomers added to the league this offseason, decisions will have to be made on whether it's best to take a wait-and-see approach or throw them right into the mix.

The weekly positional rankings will provide a quick reference for the top plays and values at each position, so let's jump right in and look at the top options for Week 1.

Goalkeepers

If preseason is any indication, expansion side Charlotte FC appear to be the team to target for clean sheet points. Bill Hamid of D.C. United has the luxury of facing Charlotte in their inaugural MLS game and is in prime position to start the season strong with a serviceable dose of fantasy points.

Player
Team
Opponent
Price
1. Bill Hamid
DC
vs. CLT
$7.0
2. Maxime Crepeau
LAFC
vs. COL
$7.0
3. Andre Blake
PHI
vs. MIN
$8.0
4. Eloy Room
CLB
vs. VAN
$6.5
5. Pedro Gallese
ORL
vs. MTL
$7.0
Value Goalkeepers
Player
Team
Opponent
Price
1. Maarten Paes
DAL
vs. TOR
$5.5
2. Clement Diop
MIA
vs. CHI
$5.5
3. Aljaz Ivacic
POR
vs. NE
$5.5

Defenders

Julian Gressel is available as a defender in MLS Fantasy this season? Sign me up! D.C. United's wingback was a top-scoring fantasy midfielder last season – now add in the possibility of earning clean sheet points and suddenly we have what some might consider a cheat code given his role on set pieces. With a favorable matchup versus Charlotte FC in Week 1, Gressel is well worth moving mountains for to make room in your lineup as the highest-priced defender in the game.

Player
Team
Opponent
Price
1. Julian Gressel
DC
vs. CLT
$8.5
2. Kai Wagner
PHI
vs. MIN
$7.5
3. Brad Smith
DC
vs. CLT
$5.5
4. Andy Najar
DC
vs. CLT
$6.0
5. Mamadou Fall
LAFC
vs. COL
$6.0
6. Alex Roldan
SEA
vs. NSH
$7.0
7. Brendan Hines-Ike
DC
vs. CLT
$5.5
8. Andrew Gutman
ATL
vs. SKC
$6.0
9. Julian Araujo
LA
vs. NYC
$6.5
10. Steve Birnbaum
DC
vs. CLT
$5.5
Value Defenders
Player
Team
Opponent
Price
1. Marco Farfan
DAL
vs. TOR
$4.5
2. Ranko Veselinovic
VAN
at CLB
$4.5
3. Rudy Camacho
MTL
at ORL
$5.0

Midfielders

Lucas Zelarayan finished the 2021 season with either a goal or an assist in five straight games, racking up a total of eight goal contributions on 20 shots over that span. He’s a gamechanger and coming off a strong preseason; the playmaker will look to carry that form into Saturday’s home opener versus Vancouver.

Player
Team
Opponent
Price
1. Lucas Zelarayan
CLB
vs. VAN
$9.0
2. Carles Gil
NE
at POR
$10.5
3. Sebastian Driussi
ATX
vs. CIN
$9.0
4. Edison Flores
DC
vs. CLT
$8.0
5. Albert Rusnak
SEA
vs. NSH
$9.5
6. Emanuel Reynoso
MIN
at PHI
$9.5
7. Hany Mukhtar
NSH
at SEA
$9.5
8. Xherdan Shaqiri
CHI
at MIA
$9.0
9. Johnny Russell
SKC
at ATL
$10.0
10. Alejandro Pozuelo
TOR
at DAL
$9.5
11. Ryan Gauld
VAN
at CLB
$9.0
12. Yimmi Chara
POR
vs. NE
$9.0
13. Damir Kreilach
RSL
at HOU
$9.0
14. Maxi Moralez
NYC
at LA
$9.0
15. Luciano Acosta
CIN
at ATX
$9.0
16. Djordje Mihailovic
MTL
at ORL
$9.0
17. Jack Price
COL
at LAFC
$9.0
18. Chofis
SJ
vs RBNY
$8.0
19. Thiago Almada
ATL
vs. SKC
$9.0
20. Paul Arriola
DAL
vs. TOR
$8.5
Value Midfielders
Player
Team
Opponent
Price
1. Matheus Rossetto
ATL
vs. SKC
$4.5
2. Victor Vazquez
LA
vs. NYC
$5.0
3. Tyler Wolff
ATL
vs. SKC
$4.0

Forwards

Carlos Vela enters the 2022 season with a clean bill of health and a new manager that will hopefully help him return to his MVP-caliber form that saw the LAFC star directly play a part in a combined 49 goals in 2019 (34 goals, 15 assists). The LAFC attack was firing on all cylinders in a 6-1 win over the New York Red Bulls in their final preseason tuneup. With an enticing home game against Colorado, multiple LAFC attackers warrant consideration in Week 1.

Player
Team
Opponent
Price
1. Carlos Vela
LAFC
vs. COL
$9.5
2. Josef Martinez
ATL
vs. SKC
$9.0
3. Cristian Arango
LAFC
vs. COL
$9.5
4. Chicharito
LA
vs. NYC
$9.5
5. Valentin Castellanos
NYC
at LA
$10.5
6. Raul Ruidiaz
SEA
vs. NSH
$9.5
7. Gonzalo Higuain
MIA
vs. CHI
$9.0
8. Jesus Ferreira
DAL
vs. TOR
$9.0
9. Michael Estrada
DC
vs. CLT
$8.5
10. Sebastian Ferreira
HOU
vs. RSL
$8.5
Value Forwards
Player
Team
Opponent
Price
1. Cade Cowell
SJ
vs. RBNY
$7.0
2. Julian Carranza
PHI
vs. MIN
$7.5
3. Maxi Urruti
ATX
vs. CIN
$7.0
Captains
Player
Team
Opponent
Price
1. Julian Gressel
DC
vs. CLT
$8.5
2. Carlos Vela
LAFC
vs. COL
$9.5
3. Lucas Zelarayan
CLB
vs. VAN
$9.0

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