Fantasy 2017 - Sebastian Giovinco, Alejandro Bedoya - Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union
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Fantasy: Which high-priced players are worth the big bucks?

On this week's 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!


This is the first season that MLS Fantasy has a player starting at over $10m to start the season, and there are two: Sebastian Giovinco ($12m) and Nicolas Lodeiro ($11m).

Let’s take a look at the most costly players at each position, and whether or not they’re worth the hefty hit to your budget.

Goalkeepers

With the new rules allowing unlimited transfers after every round, I’m going to be picking home team goalkeepers and defenders almost every single time. There are very few goalkeepers worth spending $6m on, but if Tim Howard is healthy, Colorado have a great matchup at home against New England on opening weekend. Colorado gave up only seven goals in 17 home matches last season.

All that said, there isn’t enough difference between goalkeepers’ scores aside from the clean sheet bonuses, though, so I’m going to spend most of my weeks picking up an inexpensive keeper at home and hoping for a shutout.

Player Team Price ($ in millions) 2016 points
Tim Howard COL $6.0 94
Luis Robles NY $6.0 168
Nick Rimando RSL $6.0 135
David Bingham SJ $6.0 155
Stefan Frei SEA $6.0 150

Defenders

All defenders have been given a drastic price reduction this season, which means the top performers are worth a lot more this season. Walker Zimmerman’s 169 points in 2016 gives you a total of 29 points per fantasy million spent. That’s more than all of the attackers’ value, and that’s not even accounting for the additional clean sheet points available this year.

You may seriously think about playing four or five defenders in your team in order to bring in defenders scoring nearly as much as midfielders for around half of the cost!

Player Team Price ($ in millions) 2016 points
Walker Zimmerman DAL $6.5 169
Axel Sjoberg COL $6.5 164
Matt Hedges DAL $6.5 134
Justin Morrow TOR $6.0 165
Harrison Afful CLB $6.0 163
Drew Moor TOR $6.0 163
Taylor Kemp DC $6.0 150

Midfielders

Lodeiro, Ignacio Piatti, Sacha Kljestan and Diego Valeri are absolutely worth every penny, but you won't be able to afford to have all four on your team at the same time. Pick out matchups that are favorable, such as Valeri’s home match against expansion side Minnesota United FC in Round 1, to capitalize on the high cost/high reward payoff. Benny Feilhaber and Kaká are also still great choices, but Mauro Diaz is out recovering from an Achilles surgery, so keep him on the radar, but off your team until he’s fully recovered.

Player Team Price ($ in millions) 2016 points
Nicolas Lodeiro SEA $11.0 99
Ignacio Piatti MTL $10.0 234
Sacha Kljestan NY $10.0 225
Diego Valeri POR $10.0 222
Benny Feilhaber SKC $10.0 189
Mauro Diaz DAL $10.0 187
Kaká ORL $10.0 168

Forwards

All five of the priciest forwards in 2017 will deliver for your team, so like the midfielders, it’ll be about picking the right matchups for your selected two or three strikers. David Villa will be a solid bet against Orlando City SC in Round 1, and I like Giovani dos Santos at home, especially now that Robbie Keane won’t be on the field to take away a chunk of his value. Ola Kamara is no longer the inexpensive value pick that he was in 2016, but he produced a boatload of goals last year, and starting off the season at home against the Chicago Fire definitely looks like an advantage!

Player Team Price ($ in millions) 2016 points
Sebastian Giovinco TOR $12.0 255
David Villa NYC $10.0 243
Bradley Wright-Phillips NY $10.0 223
Giovani dos Santos LA $10.0 183
Ola Kamara CLB $10.0 153

Which players are you going to splurge on in Round 1? Let us know in the comments below!

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