On this week's MLS Fantasy Insider podcast Reid, Jason, Mike and Blayne preview the Opening Weekend Challenge in MLS Fantasy. They make all the picks you need to have a successful first week of MLS Fantasy!
When it comes to point production in MLS Fantasy, midfielders can be some of the most consistent in the game. Their ability to generate bonus points from crosses and key passes often provides a safety net, so their point floors stay high even when they don’t score goals or earn assists.
In 2016, Fantasy managers had a budget of $120 million. This made it relatively easy to stack your team with many of the best midfielders in the game. With the budget reduced to $100 million, tough decisions will have to be made.
Below is my ranking of the top 30 fantasy midfielders to help you decide who will make your final cut.
Overall Midfielder Rankings
I focused mostly on 2016 point generation per 90 minutes played and total price when making these rankings. As expected, the list is primarily made up of attacking midfielders, because defensive midfielders are still not able to match their point generation. The few who did make the list tend to be on set pieces, such as Michael Bradley, or are just massive bonus point generators, like Osvaldo Alonso.
*All prices in millions
|1. Nicolas Lodeiro||SEA||$11|
|2. Diego Valeri||POR||$10|
|3. Ignacio Piatti||MTL||$10|
|4. Mauro Diaz||DAL||$10|
|6. Sacha Kljestan||NY||$10|
|7. Benny Feilhaber||SKC||$10|
|8. Arturo Alvarez||CHI||$7.5|
|9. Lloyd Sam||DC||$8.5|
|10. Maxi Moralez||NYC||$9|
|11. Osvaldo Alonso||SEA||$9.5|
|12. Kevin Molino||MIN||$9.5|
|13. Jack Harrison||NYC||$7.5|
|14. Michael Bradley||TOR||$9|
|15. Patrick Nyarko||DC||$8|
|16. Ethan Finlay||CLB||$9|
|17. Sebastian Lletget||LA||$7.5|
|18. Michael Barrios||DAL||$8|
|19. Sebastian Blanco||POR||$9|
|20. Gerso Fernandes||SKC||$8|
|21. Justin Meram||CLB||$9.5|
|22. Andrea Pirlo||NYC||$9|
|24. Federico Higuain||CLB||$9.5|
|25. Dax McCarty||CHI||$9|
|26. Christian Bolanos||VAN||$8.5|
|28. Lee Nguyen||NE||$9.5|
|29. Chris Pontius||PHI||$8.5|
|30. Jordan Allen||RSL||$6|
There were a few players who I was considered adding to my list, but just missed out. Some of these players are just breaking into the starting lineups, are facing potential rotation, or are from unproven teams. Still, they are worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.
Opening Weekend Challenge Standouts
In two of the past three seasons, the opening week of MLS was full of goals and I expect 2017 to be much the same, especially Orlando City vs New York City on Sunday (5pm ET | ESPN, MLS LIVE in Canada). Sticking with the proven goalscorers such as the players below is a safe bet.
These are my top midfielder picks for the start of the 2017 season. Share your favorites in the comments below? If you want to get more player selection tips, listen to the most recent episode of the MLS Fantasy Insider podcast at the top of this page.
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