The first game of the season is in the books and now it’s time for the first trades of the season. I saw a lot of managers who were disappointed in their scores on Twitter and over at MLS Fantasy Boss, so I’ve tried to focus my picks on players who can help get you back on track without breaking your budget.
Shot Stopper: While the Philly defense may need some more time to come together as unit, one bright spot did emerge in their game against Dallas – Andre Blake ($5.0m). The game may have ended in a loss but Blake still managed to rack up 4 bonus points and ended the round with 5 points, and $5.0 is a great price if you are working on a budget.
Easy Choice: If you’re ready to drop big bucks on a 'keeper, then Jesse Gonzalez ($6.1m) is worth the money. His bonus points were not as high as other 'keepers, but that’s just a credit to the quality defense he plays behind. Combine that with a good schedule and we could see more clean sheets in the near future.
Goal Scorer: Bonus points are a great way to identify a valuable defender, but the occasional goal is not bad either. Fortunately, Sporting Kansas City’s Nuno Andre Coelho ($7.7m) offers you the chance for both, and with three home games in a row coming up, more big numbers are definitely possible.
New Face: New York’s defense suffered a big loss during the offseason, but new center back Gideon Baah ($8m) put up an impressive showing during last week’s opener. While the Red Bulls may have allowed 2 goals, both came late in the game and Baah’s defensive awareness clearly stood out during the entire game.
Value Pick: Dallas has once again started the season hot, and their attractive schedule should make getting at least one player a priority. If you’re also looking for a value defender with attacking potential, then Atiba Harris ($6.1m) will allow you to kill two birds with one stone.
Good Value: A lot of people were down on Chicago at the start of the season, but they delivered an decent offensive showing against NYCFC and, just like in 2015, David Accam ($9.2m) was at the center of it all. Accam earned a goal, an assist, several bonus points and could have a similar showing against Orlando.
Surprise Start: As surprises go, few are greater than a bicycle-kick goal and Federico Higuain ($10.1m) gave us just that last week. Besides the goal, Higuain also took 6 corners and had 7 shots, which helped contribute to his bonus point total. These numbers could only increase as he goes up against a green Philly defense this week.
Differential Pick: If you are willing to consider a player who is not playing at home, then take a look at Pedro Morales ($10.6m). Vancouver may have lost, but Morales earned 10 points and half of that score came from bonus points. These numbers are very impressive and at just 2.3 percent ownership, he could really help close an early point gap.
Slow Start: Many managers may be tempted to dump David Villa ($10.9m) after his poor showing in round 1, but I think he’s worth hanging onto for at least a little longer. It’s proven that players score better when at home and NYCFC is about to start a long run of home games. They play Toronto this week, and as much as I like what they are doing on defense, I don’t’ think they can keep a clean sheet again this week.
Differential Pick: With Drogba out again this week, the forward position is wide open for Montreal. Last week, it was Dominic Oduro ($7.6m) who was able to take advantage of the Ivorian's absence by scoring a goal and earning an assist. This week may be more difficult as they host New York Red Bulls, but Oduro is very affordable and an excellent option for a third forward.
Rising Star: If you were one of the managers who questioned Cyle Larin’s ($9.1m) ability to keep up his scoring, then you should have been pleasantly surprised last week. Larin scored a goal and earned an assist, all without some of Orlando’s biggest names. This week he’s up against Chicago, and early results suggest he’ll be able to score again.
These are some of my picks for Round 2, who are you considering? If you still need more information, be sure to check out the other articles and charts posted at MLSFantasyBoss.com.