MLS Fantasy is officially back and we’re ready to crown our first official prize winner. Congratulations to Lets Go Red Bulls who won the Opening Weekend Challenge with 121 points and will receive a MLS Starter Pack!
If you missed Round 1, don’t worry because it’s not too late to join. All scores will reset Saturday and the season long game starts with Week 2. Below are a few of the players who I think will help you start out on the right foot.
Priced to Move: If you are looking for a value keeper to stretch for attacking budget, then an option emerged from Round 1, Zack Steffen (CLB $4.5). Steffen had a good showing against Chicago and was just 15 minutes away from a shutout in his first MLS game. He travels to a dangerous Houston team on Saturday (8:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE).
Clean Sheet Hunting: As many expected, Atlanta United FC came out swinging last week but Luis Robles (NY $6.0) stayed composed. Even though he allowed one goal, Robles still earned bonus points in the key areas that helped make him the No. 1 fantasy keeper in 2016. His chances are good for a clean sheet this week as the Red Bulls host a Colorado team (4:30 pm ET, UniMás) that could be missing a key attacker in Shkelzen Gashi.
Shut Down: One of the most impressive performances from Round 1 was Nick Lima (SJ $4.5) shutting down Ignacio Piatti (MTL $10.0). This helped San Jose achieve a valuable victory over Montreal and demonstrated Lima’s bonus point potential. His skills will be tested again this week when San Jose hosts Vancouver (10:00 PM ET, TSN1) and Lima will go head to head against fan favorite Alphonso Davies.
Offensive Thread: Speaking of Davies (VAN $4.5), he’s hot fantasy commodity right now. He performed well in CCL, is playing out of position as a forward/attacking midfielder, and has a lot of offensive skill. Some say expect to see some rotation, but at his value price, it should be easy to have a backup waiting in the wings.
Bonus Point Bonanza: The value of clean sheets did increase this year but don’t get tunnel vision and forget to look for defenders with consistent bonus point potential. Aaron Long (NY $5.0) demonstrated he is such a player after topping the charts with 5 defensive bonus points last week and his price is very reasonable. There could be some rotation in the Red Bulls’ backline, but Long looks to be an early favorite for a regular starter.
Expansion v Expansion: Both expansion teams came up short last week but Atlanta that showed the most offensive promise and many are transferring in goal scorer Yamil Asad (ATL $8.5) for their game against Minnesota (5:00 PM, ESPN2). However don't overlook Miguel Almiron (ATL $9.0) who had more shots on goal and was a key to building Atlanta’s attack against New York.
Hot Streak: If you’re looking for a player who has a chance for points on the road, then Diego Valeri (POR $10.0) is your man. He scored 2 goals and earned 1 assist last week and while Portland’s game against LA (7:00 PM, FS1) will not be as easy as Minnesota, their defense is far from impenetrable.
Ole Reliable: Providing service is a key quality in a top midfielder and Sacha Kljestan (NY $10.0) is one of the best. He racked up 4 crosses and 3 key passes against Atlanta last week and his set piece duty earned him as assist. The Red Bulls are aiming for a big win in their home opener and Kljestan will be key if they hope to crack Colorado’s defense.
Redemption: The biggest disappointment from Round 1 was Sebastian Giovinco’s (TOR $12.0) single point game against RSL. This is not a result we expected from 2016’s top point earner and it’s caused him to become the most transferred out forward going into Round 2. But I say give him a second chance. Giovinco did record 3 shots and he should get more chances against a Philadelphia (4:30 PM, TSN4) defense that allowed many shots last week.
Welcome Back: It may have taken a few seasons but Erick Torres (HOU $8.5) has finally scored his first goal for Houston. Is this a sign of things to come? Maybe, but he should have more chances this week when the Dynamo take on a Columbus defense that allowed 12 shots last week.
These are some of my favorite players for Round 2. Who are you considering? Share your favorites in the comments below and if you want more fantasy advice, be sure to check out the other articles and charts posted at MLS Fantasy Boss.com.
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