With only three games on the schedule and international call-ups and injuries ravaging the rosters of the teams that did play, Week 4 was a bit of a rough go for many fantasy managers. Some excelled in spite of the tough circumstances, however, including my friend and fellow Kentuckian Ken Fletcher, who posted the top score of the Round with 115 points. Congrats man! #MLSFantasyYall
Now it’s time to get back to business as usual – sort of. We had a new big signing, a coaching change, a schedule adjustment and several popular fantasy players go down with injuries this week. All of that shook up the fantasy landscape, affecting who made the cut for my list of most promising players for Round 5:
Full Squad: Chicago players may be low on your list right after their 4-0 drubbing at Atlanta in their last match, but don’t dismiss the Fire – who could see Bastian Schweinsteiger make his debut on Saturday – too quickly. They had to play down a man for 80 minutes at Atlanta, contributing to their tough defeat. Despite the big loss, goalkeeper Jorge Bava ($5.1m) continued his pattern of big saves. He and his Chicago teammates will host a Montreal side that won’t have Ignacio Piatti on Saturday (4 pm ET | CTV, TVA Sports, TSN5 | MLS LIVE in the US), giving Bava a solid chance at a shutout.
Rotation: Toronto switched things up in their last game and started Alex Bono ($4.7) instead of Clint Irwin ($5.5). Their reward? A shutout! If that earned Bono a second straight start, fantasy managers will have another excellent budget ‘keeper to pick from and a good shot at a clean sheet as Sporting Kansas City will be without Benny Feilhaber on Friday (7:30 pm ET | FS1 | TSN4).
Budget: If you’re looking for a cheap defender with a good chance at a clean sheet, then consider NYCFC’s Alexander Callens ($4.7). The Peruvian has respectable bonus point numbers and NYCFC has only allowed one goal at home this season. They’ll face a San Jose team at Yankee Stadium on Saturday (2 pm ET | MLS LIVE) that could be without several key attacking pieces after they logged major minutes during the international break.
Green Wave: New England had a great game last week, but most fantasy managers aren’t sure if their scoring form will last – especially away at Portland (9 pm ET | ESPN2; MLS LIVE in Canada). If you’re one of these managers, then Timbers defender Alvas Powell ($5.0) is a good pickup. In addition to his clean sheet chance, Powell also showed his attacking potential last round with several crosses, key passes, and an assist.
Big Money: If you’re ready to go all in on a big name defender, then Toronto's Drew Moor ($6.1) is an excellent choice. He’s a quality center back with a long history of bonus point generation, is a goal threat on set pieces, and is currently the fourth-highest scoring defender in the game. If Sporting Kansas City continues to struggle on offense, Moor will do well.
New Fortunes: It’s been a slow start for Real Salt Lake but a game against struggling Minnesota (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE) could be just what the doctor ordered. My favorite RSL option is playmaker Albert Rusnak ($9.0). He hasn’t yet piled up the stats, but his service has been excellent this year and he’ll be key to unlocking the Loons’ defense.
In Form: Going into the international break, NYCFC’s Rodney Wallace ($7.9) was one of the hottest fantasy players in the league. After not playing any minutes for Costa Rica in their World Cup qualifiers, he shouldn’t have any issues suiting up on Saturday at San Jose. That means more chances for goals and assists at a sub-$8 million price tag.
Big Orange Differential: There is a lot of buzz around Houston right now, and many are starting to believe that their attackers could continue to be a good source of fantasy points. Erick Torres ($8.5) is the man to focus on this week as he tries to score in his fourth straight MLS match. The Red Bulls won’t make it easy for Cubo, however, so this pick is not for the faint of heart.
Play it Safe: There are many top quality forwards who have a great shot for points, but if you want to simply follow form, then Portland's Fanendo Adi ($9.7) is your man. He has a promising match against a New England team that has yet to prove itself against tough competition and has scored 4 goals over his last 4 games.
Roll the Dice: If you really want to live on the edge, then consider Sebastian Giovinco ($11.9). Yes, that’s right. With the Toronto star now healthy and Sporting Kansas City potentially without several international players, this could be the Round to drop your cash on the best fantasy player over the past two seasons.
Who are you considering for Round 5? If you want more fantasy advice, be sure to check out more articles and charts posted at MLSFantasyBoss.com.
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