Round 5 may have started out looking like MLS Fantasy business as usual, but it was anything but that. Unexpected goal scorers, frustrating absences, and A LOT of goals. Reid, Mike, Andrew, and Blayne sit down to go over all of the crazy that was Round 5 and give you a game-by-game breakdown of Round 6 (which is not a DGW!). Oh, and Andrew also drops a big fantasy bombshell.
It’s not uncommon for big-name players to be rested by their clubs when returning from international duty, a trend that, when practiced league-wide, often leads to a corresponding drop in goal totals.
Plenty of star internationals saw only limited minutes in MLS last week, but, thankfully for MLS Fantasy players, we saw no dip in the number of goals scored.
More than 30 goals were scored in Round 5, with several players – including Houston’s Cubo Torres, who bagged a hat trick against the Red Bulls – racking up some serious points. No MLS Fantasy manager scored more than Melanie Pauls, whose 105 points marked the weekly high. Congrats, Melanie.
We’ve got a full slate of action on schedule in Round 6, with all 22 MLS teams set to take the field this weekend. Here are a few players I’ll have my eye on for Fantasy purposes heading into the Round:
Total Defense: Looking for a clean sheet? Gaze no further than Sporting Kansas City’s Tim Melia ($5.7). Melia and SKC have posted three shutouts in four games this year, only allowing one goal total. With Colorado, who have yet to score on the road this year, coming to town on Sunday (7:30 pm ET; FS1 in the US | MLS LIVE in Canada), their odds of notching another zero look pretty good.
Away Bet: If you’re willing to take a risk on a goalkeeper playing away from home, consider Sean Johnson ($5.7), who will make the short trip down the East Coast with NYCFC to take on D.C. on Saturday (4:00 pm ET; Facebook.com | UniMás in the US | MLS LIVE in Canada). Though they registered their first goals of the year last week against Philadelphia, D.C. have been putrid in the attack this year and were dominated a few weeks ago by NYCFC in a 4-0 beat down in the Bronx. The Blues aren’t exactly known for their defense, but Johnson is a solid guy to take a flier on this weekend.
All In: A popular strategy this season has been to go all in with one defense. If that’s your style, then SKC is your team. They have several inexpensive players that won’t break your budget in Jimmy Medranda ($5.2), Ike Opara ($5.3), and Seth Sinovic ($5.1) and, as mentioned above, have only allowed one goal in four games heading into Sunday’s match against the offensively-challenged Rapids.
Expansion: Atlanta’s backline has started their inaugural season strongly, with the club currently boasting one of the best away defenses in the league. They’ve given up just one goal in their two road contests heading into Saturday’s match at Toronto (7:30 pm ET; TSN 4/5 in Canada | MLS LIVE in the US). If you feel like riding the Atlanta wave at BMO Field, then Tyrone Mears ($5.7) is your cheapest way into their backline.
Value Differential: If you really want to add some variety to your defense, then consider Chris Wingert (RSL $4.3). After the beating Real Salt Lake suffered against Minnesota, they’re not likely to be a popular option this week. Still, you’ll be hard pressed to find a cheaper home starter, and with a new coach in Mike Petke and a Vancouver team coming in on short rest, RSL could be primed for their first victory of the season (9:30 pm ET; TSN 4/5 in Canada | MLS LIVE in the US).
Creator: New England have put together a strong past two games, thumping Minnesota 5-2 at home on March 25 before emerging from Portland with a 1-1 draw last Sunday. Lee Nguyen ($10.0) has been a major catalyst in that run, recording two goals and an assist to give him three goals and one helper on the season. He’ll look to continue his hot run of form on Saturday against Houston (2:00 pm ET; MLS LIVE) who conceded four goals in their only road game this season.
Newcomer: Welcome to MLS, Bastian Schweinsteiger (CHI $9.1). The German legend found the back of the net in his first game with the Chicago Fire last week, chipping in several shots, crosses and key passes to boot. Those are the sort of stats that make a great fantasy player – I like him to keep it up at home on Saturday against Columbus (2:00 pm ET; MLS LIVE).
Shakeup: Even as Minnesota was mired in their miserable start to the season, Loons attacker Kevin Molino ($9.9) remained a solid Fantasy option. Now, with Minnesota coming off of a thorough 4-2 win against RSL, the Trinidadian’s stock is even higher. It’s hard to know what sort of lineup FC Dallas will field after their midweek CCL loss, but even if the Loons struggle on Saturday (8:00 PM ET, MLS LIVE), Molino will still have a solid chance for points.
International Bound: After falling short in their first away game of the year last week, Orlando return home this weekend, making Cyle Larin ($9.2) one of my top forward picks. He’s built a good connection up top with Carlos Rivas – those two will be key in unlocking the struggling New York Red Bulls on Sunday (4:00 pm ET; ESPN in the US | MLS LIVE in Canada).
Undervalued: With three goals in two regular season games, Dallas’ Maximiliano Urruti ($8.7) is a solid option for Fantasy managers looking for a bargain forward. Oscar Pareja could rotate his squad a bit after Dallas’ loss at Pachuca on Tuesday, but with four days of recovery time, Urruti has a solid shot at starting on Saturday against Minnesota.
Who are you considering for Round 6? If you want more fantasy advice, be sure to check out more articles and charts posted at MLSFantasyBoss.com.
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