MLS Fantasy, Henry and Bradley Wright-Phillips
USA Today Sports

MLS Fantasy Advice: Which Top 10 Golden Boot contenders have best matchups remaining?

Goals – they're the most important stat in the game. They're driving force behind winning and losing each and every week. And they're crucial to your team's success in MLS Fantasy.

The race for the 2014 MLS Golden Boot Award is starting to take shape, so with 11-14 games remaining for most teams, we thought it might be worth taking a closer look to see how the players have performed so far at home vs. on the road, as well as which players have the most favorable schedules from here on out.

In the first table, you'll see a general breakdown of the top 10 goalscorers in Major League Soccer at the current point in time with regards to minutes played. home/away goals and total goals. As a bonus I've also included goals per minutes played.

Top 10 Goalscorers in MLS

  Player MP Goals (H) Goals (A) Goals Mins/Goal
New York Red Bulls Bradley Wright-Phillips 1,761 11 7 18 97.8
Chivas USA Erick Torres 1,904 6 8 14 136.0
Sporting Kansas City Dom Dwyer 1,852 7 7 14 132.3
LA Galaxy Robbie Keane 1,709 7 5 12 142.4
Toronto FC Jermain Defoe 1,242 8 3 11 112.9
Philadelphia Union Sébastien Le Toux 1,394 6 4 10 139.4
Real Salt Lake Joao Plata 1,259 6 4 10 125.9
Columbus Crew Federico Higuaín 1,684 1 8 9 187.1
LA Galaxy Gyasi Zardes 1,157 7 2 9 128.6
Seattle Sounders FC Clint Dempsey 1,108 4 5 9 123.1

GP = Games Played, MP = Minutes Played

Bradley Wright-Phillips is leading the MLS Golden Boot race with 18 goals, scoring at a phenomenal rate – one goal every 98 minutes. Despite ranking fifth in total goals at the moment, Toronto FC Designated Player Jermain Defoe is the next closest player in this regard, finding the back of the net every 113 minutes played.

Federico Higuaín isn't far off his 11 goal performance from last season, but he'll have to kick it into high gear if he hopes to have any shot at catching BWP. Some may feel that the Argentine has been underperforming, but you won't find many "playmakers" scoring at a rate of 187 minutes/goal.

Vicente Sanchez and Michel are the only two players with better numbers who could draw a similar comparison to Higuain and both have logged less than 1,000 minutes in 2014.

Most of these players have a fairly balanced schedule the rest of the way with BWP and Sebastien Le Toux having the largest difference in home vs. away games. This should fare well for BWP, as the New York Red Bulls striker has tallied 61 percent of his goals at Red Bull Arena.

He should also benefit from the extra bye week, an added bonus which six of these players will not get to experience the rest of the way unless they're rested – or worse, sustain an injury. Erick Torres, Dom Dwyer and Le Toux will also get to appreciate an extra bye.

  Player RG (Home) RG (Away) RDGWs RBYEs RG
New York Red Bulls Bradley Wright-Phillips 7 4 1 1 11
Chivas USA Erick Torres 7 5 2 1 12
Sporting Kansas City Dom Dwyer 6 5 1 1 11
LA Galaxy Robbie Keane 7 7 3 0 14
Toronto FC Jermain Defoe 7 6 2 0 13
Philadelphia Union Séastien Le Toux 7 4 1 1 11
Real Salt Lake Joao Plata 5 6 0 0 11
Columbus Crew Federico Higuaín 6 5 0 0 11
LA Galaxy Gyasi Zardes 7 7 3 0 14
Seattle Sounders FC Clint Dempsey 6 7 2 0 13

RG = Remaining Games, RDGWs = Remaining Double-Game-Weeks, RBYEs = Remaining Byes

Eight of the 10 have at least one double-game week left to play and five of them have multiple DGWs still remaining.

Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes have 14 games and three DGWs left on their schedule; the largest amount of any player in the above chart.

So, given the information that has been presented, do you think BWP is the favorite top the goal charts as we head into the final stretch of the season? Do you think Keane or Defoe can catch him with more games left in hand? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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