Darren Mattocks
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Fantasy: The five most efficient goalscorers in MLS

With just 10 rounds left in the regular season of Fantasy Soccer: Manager, every single point becomes that much more crucial. Today we’re going to take a look at the five most efficient forwards when it comes to scoring goals. In essence, this should help you select players that are more likely to get you the points you need on a regular basis, without having to change them out from week to week. Let’s dive into the numbers and compare the best of the best against your frontline.

Here are the five-most efficient forwards in MLS (Goals per minutes played – minimum four goals)

1. Alan Gordon, San Jose Earthquakes – nine goals, 832 minutes played (One goal every 91 minutes)

Unfortunately, Gordon will be sitting out the next two weeks because of a red card and yellow-card accumulations. With that said, Steven Lenhart looks like he’ll get the majority of playing time up top alongside Chris Wondolowski while he’s out. Gordon has one of the highest shot conversion rates in the league at 38 percent, but his time away from the game will hurt his value a bit. I’d wait and extra week or two before adding him after he comes back from his suspension, just in case Frank Yallop decides that Lenhart has earned  more minutes on the pitch per game. (Possible replacements – Eddie Johnson, Chris Pontius)

Is the single-season goal record breakable?

2. Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes – 17 goals, 1,851 minutes played (One goal every 109 minutes)

Wondo looked to be on pace for a historic season, possibly smashing the single-season MLS record for goals scored. But lately Wondo has been on the decline. He topped out at $12.1m two weeks ago, but since his scoreless drought (now at three games) his price has started to drop – currently $11.9m. Wondo has had two spells in which he went two straight games without scoring in 2012, but never three. If he doesn’t score this weekend his current spell will be at four. The Quakes have a couple tough games coming up, but from Round 26-29 they play three games at home against Colorado, Chivas USA and Portland. See what he does in the next two weeks and then look to add him before his price goes up. This usually happens in the middle of the week. (Possible replacements – Álvaro Saborío, Fredy Montero)

3. Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls – 11 goals, 1,298 minutes played (One goal every 118 minutes)

Henry has had moments of shear greatness and others of utter disappointment. This season he’s missed a whopping 772 minutes due to injuries. If you take into account the time he’s missed and his minutes/goal ratio, he could currently be leading the league with 18 goals. Henry’s lack of stability makes me a tad bit skeptical. There’s no question Henry can do something amazing at any given time, but when you’re playing in a different formation with different players each and every week, it’s really quite hard to be on the same page. And with teams keying on Henry all game, he’s going to have to play even harder if he wants to increase his current goal total. (Possible replacements – Álvaro Saborío, Eddie Johnson)

4. Andrew Wenger, Montreal Impact – Four goals, 486 minutes played (One goal every 122 minutes)

Rest is huge when it comes to playing in any soccer league, but it’s especially important in MLS. It’s a physical league, loaded with multi-game weeks and long road trips. Rookies can really get beat up, and it shows. This season we’ve seen a lot of rookies miss considerable time midseason due to injuries and fatigue. Wenger is back after a month off and he’s as healthy and fit as can be. He has a secured spot up top and has one of the best distributing groups of midfielders looking to put him in on goal. At his price, I’m an investor all day. (Possible replacements – Darren Mattocks)

5. Darren Mattocks, Vancouver Whitecaps – Seven goals, 865 minutes played (One goal every 123 minutes)

It’s no surprise that both the No. 1 and 2 picks in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft are already making a name for themselves. They both have experience playing at forward, making runs off the ball and finishing when it matters most. Some may say Wenger is brighter, but there’s no question who is more athletic. Mattocks’ speed and leaping abilities make him a nightmare for opposing defenders – just ask Toronto FC players’ Logan Emory and Milos Kocic. He’s a bit riskier than Wenger with regards to cards and suspensions, but if you don’t have one you should have the other. Both are worth the investment and both have the ability to score each and every week. (Possible replacements – Andrew Wenger)

Honorable Mentions

6. Chris Pontius, DC United – 10 goals, 1,240 minutes played (One goal every 124 minutes)

7. Álvaro Saborío, Real Salt Lake – 13 goals, 1,822 minutes played (One goal every 140 minutes)

8. Kenny Cooper, New York Red Bulls – 13 goals, 1,822 minutes played (One goal every 140 minutes)

9. Eddie Johnson, Seattle Sounders – 10 goals, 1,440 minutes played (One goal every 144 minutes)

10. Steven Lenhart, San Jose Earthquakes – Seven goals, 1056 minutes played (One goal every 151 minutes)

It’s highly unlikely that any of these players will score every single week to finish the regular season, but now you know who will give you the best opportunity to score. Personally, the three forwards starting on my team are Henry, Johnson and Mattocks. However, I also like the trio of Saborío, Pontius and Wenger. Either way, if you’re going to roll with three forwards each and every week, it’s best that you put your money towards the players listed above.

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