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!
Feast of Famine, that’s the best way I can describe forwards as fantasy players.
As expected, the lion’s share of their fantasy points comes from … wait for it … scoring goals. The addition of “Shots on Target” as a bonus point generator gave players some breathing room last year by reducing the number of two-point games that many forwards suffered.
We saw the addition of several promising forwards during the offseason and preseason game results have been quite promising for many. The question is how they stack up against the more established strikers.
Below is my ranking of the top 20 fantasy forwards to help you decide who will lead your attack.
Overall Forward Rankings
As with all my previous rankings, I focused mostly on 2016 point generation per 90 minutes played and total price when making this list. There are several low-priced forwards in the game, and when I started making my list I thought a few of them, such as Dominic Oduro, might overtake the more expensive players. In the end, the proven point production of those pricier options won out.
*All prices in Millions
|1. Sebastian Giovinco||TOR||$12|
|2. David Villa||NYC||$10|
|3. Ola Kamara||CLB||$10|
|4. Giovani dos Santos||LA||$10|
|5. Bradley Wright-Phillips||NYR||$10|
|6. Jozy Altidore||TOR||$9.5|
|7. Clint Dempsey||SEA||$9.5|
|8. Cyle Larin||ORL||$9|
|9. Patrick Mullins||DC||$8.5|
|10. Matteo Mancosu||MTL||$8|
|11. Joao Plata||RSL||$9|
|12. Fanendo Adi||POR||$9.5|
|13. Nemanja Nikolic||CHI||$9.5|
|14. Jordan Morris||SEA||$9|
|15. Dominique Badji||COL||$6.5|
|16. Kei Kamara||NE||$9.5|
|17. Chris Wondolowski||SJ||$8.5|
|18. Dom Dwyer||SKC||$9|
|19. Mauro Manotas||HOU||$7.5|
|20. Kenwyne Jones||ATL||$9|
Several of the players on this list bounced back and forth between my honorable mentions and my Top 20. I know, the biggest faux pas may be that FC Dallas' strikers did not make my final cut, but I have two concerns with The Hoops: the early CCL games and potentially splitting goals if they go with a 4-4-2 formation.
Some of them are just breaking into the starting lineups, are facing competition, or are unproven. They are all quality players. I just want to see a little more during the regular season.
Opening Weekend Challenge Standouts
If you’re looking for your best chance for goals during the OWC, then Orlando SC vs. New York City FC on Sunday (5 pm ET; ESPN in US | MLS LIVE in Canada) is very promising. Both teams struggled on defense last year and not much has changed in their backlines. Some are still debating if Sebastian Giovinco’s price is worth it, but it’s hard to bet against him so he rounds out my list.
|1. David Villa||NYC||$10|
|2. Cyle Larin||ORL||$9|
|3. Fanendo Adi||POR||$9.5|
|4. Giovani dos Santos||LA||$10|
|5. Sebastian Giovinco||TOR||$12|
These are my top forward 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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