Kei Kamara - New England Revolution - Heart Shaped Hands
USA Today Sports Images

MLS Fantasy: The best options in an abbreviated Round 4

The goals kept coming in Round 3 of the 2017 MLS Fantasy season, but if you were clean-sheet hunting, odds are you were left a bit disappointed. One manager who played things correctly? Matt Press, who led MLSFLALLSTARS to an impressive score of 114 points. Congrats!

The top fantasy manager in each of the first three rounds of the season has earned at least 100 points, but I doubt any will hit that mark in Round 4. The reason? It’s the first Bye Round of the year and our pool of players is limited to only six teams.

Don’t think that makes this a throwaway round, however. There are still plenty of points to be had. Below are some of the players who I think have the best chance for a high score:

Goalkeepers

Business as Usual: The only team that isn’t playing severely shorthanded this round is the New England Revolution, who will be hosting a Minnesota United FC team without its best offensive playmakers on Saturday (2pm ET | MLS LIVE). That’s a solid recipe for success for Cody Cropper ($4.0m), who just happens to be the cheapest ‘keeper option on the board.

Fan Favorite: If you want to jump on the popularity bandwagon, Luis Robles ($6.1) is your man. He currently sits as the most transferred-in ‘keeper of Round 4, with more than 2,000 managers adding him. His popularity is easy to explain – the New York Red Bulls didn’t lose any defensive players to international duty and they’ll be facing a shorthanded Real Salt Lake squad that’s only managed one goal in three games (4pm ET | UniMás, facebook.com/univisiondeportes; MLS LIVE in Canada).

Defenders

The New England Question: The Revs have struggled in the back for a couple of seasons, but that could change this week. If you’re looking for attacking points from your defenders, then Chris Tierney ($5.4) should be on your radar. While he’s yet to generate any offensive points this season, he’ll likely have more chances against a Minnesota team that’s conceded 13 goals in their first three matches. If you want to stick with more of a defensive option, then Andrew Farrell ($5.5) is a solid value play.

Rotation Proof?:  If you want a Red Bulls defender but are worried about squad rotations, then Sal Zizzo ($4.7) is your safest choice. In addition to being one of the cheapest quality defensive options for Round 4, he also earned an assist last week and has an excellent shot at more offensive points against winless RSL.

Bonus Magnet: Columbus Crew SC shocked many managers last week by shutting out D.C. United. More surprising than their solid team performance? The out-of-nowhere emergence of rookie defender Alex Crognale ($4.7), who racking up four defensive bonus points in his MLS debut. His chances for a clean sheet against Portland (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE) aren’t as great, but he’s got a good shot to start again and could have a chance at more bonus points.

Midfielders

Value Attacker: With everyone’s favorite Red Bull Sacha Kljestan unavailable this week, many may turn to Felipe to step up his production. He’s not a bad option, but don’t overlook fellow Red Bulls midfielder Daniel Royer ($7.5). He’s already bagged one goal this year and should be more involved this week with Kljestan out. His price is also quite low if you’re trying to squeeze three high-priced forwards into your lineup.

Value Defender: If you’re having a hard time deciding on which attacking Columbus midfielder you want, allow me to provide a more defensive alternative: Wil Trapp ($7.0). He’s $2.5m cheaper than Justin Meram ($9.5) and has earned the same number of points as Federico Higuain ($9.6). You could also benefit from his defensive bonus point generation against the talented Portland attack.

The Up Swing: After a poor start to the 2017 season, I can understand why many fantasy managers are wary of taking New England attackers, but this could be the Round where the Revs find their feet. New England started the season with two tough matchups at Colorado and at Dallas, but have a much-easier matchup this week at home against Minnesota. Their midfield tends to share points, but Lee Nguyen ($9.6) is my favorite this round.

Forwards

Shot Taker: If you want to take a chance on player, then consider Kei Kamara ($9.4). He’s yet to score for the Revolution this season, but it’s not from lack of chances. Over his first two games, he’s taken seven shots, giving him one of the top shots per game totals in the league. The depleted Minnesota defense should provide Kamara with some solid opportunities on Saturday, and, if his fantasy owners are lucky, maybe even a few goals.

Golden Boy: When it comes to scoring goals, few have been better than Bradley Wright-Phillips ($10.0) over the past few years. He scored his first of the 2017 season last weekend in New York’s loss at Seattle, and RSL’s banged-up backline should provide him with the opportunity for more on Saturday.

Who are you considering for Round 4? If you want more fantasy advice, be sure to check out more articles and charts posted at MLSFantasyBoss.com.

Stay Connected: To get all the latest Fantasy news and advice, download the MLS app and sign up for MLS Fantasy notifications. To sign up for notifications, select the main menu, choose settings. Within the settings menu, select News & Videos notifications and turn on notifications for "Fantasy Soccer."