Aaron Long - New York Red Bulls - Fantasy

MLS Fantasy: RBNY's stingy home form makes Aaron Long a solid pick

Congratulations to all of the new MLS Fantasy managers on surviving your first double-game week. I know they can be both very rewarding and frustrating. So feel fortunate that only two teams doubled up, thus making it much easier to work single-game week players into your team. The player who found the best balance of double and single game players was Chaz Lively, manager of A Tale of Two Villas, who earned the top score of 140 points. Congrats!

There will be another wave of DGWs in the coming future, but we first get a chance to catch our breath with Round 9. There’s nothing fancy about this round, and there are a lot of great matchups. Below is a list showcasing some of my favorite players.

Goalkeepers

Top Quality: If you’re looking for a reasonably priced home keeper with a good clean-sheet record, then Joe Bendik (ORL $5.1) is a great option. Over Orlando City SC’s four home games, Bendik has only allowed two goals and earned two clean sheets. Colorado (3:55 pm ET | UniMás, facebook.com/univisiondeportes; MLS LIVE in Canada), on the other hand, is the second-worst away scoring team with only one goal in three games, so this could easily turn into the Lions’ third home clean sheet.

Quality Budget: Don’t want to spend big on a keeper? No problem. Atlanta’s Alec Kann ($4.6) provides an excellent balance of price and quality. Kann is back at home after four games away and he’ll be eager to add another clean sheet to his record. D.C. United visits Sunday (3 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes; MLS LIVE in Canada) and provide an excellent opportunity for this, as they have only scored two goals in three away games.

Defenders

Good Luck: Jimmy Medranda (SKC $5.5) is a fantasy oddity. He’s an out-of-position defender who’s racked up a huge score … without scoring. He’s earned six clean sheets in seven games due to being subbed out before Sporting Kansas City concede a goal. That’s odd, but could be profitable if Medranda generates points at both ends of the field against Real Salt Lake on Saturday (8:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE)

Double Up: If you want to pair a defender with your keeper, then Orlando City are a tempting option and Donny Toia ($5.0) is my first choice. Yes, there could be a cheaper option from the Lions’ backline, but with Jose Aja potentially returning to the lineup, Toia becomes the most reliable starter at the lowest price.

Ride the Wave: FC Dallas might be the last undefeated team in the league, but the New York Red Bulls are the only team that have conceded no goals at home. It’s true that most of their home games have been against weaker offenses, but Chicago visits Saturday (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE) and also fall into that category, with only two goals in three away games. So it makes sense to have at least one Red Bulls player, and I think that still needs to be Aaron Long ($5.4).

Midfielders

Affordable Alternative: If you want offensive potential from Toronto, but can’t afford Sebastian Giovinco, then Victor Vazquez (TOR $8.8) is the way to go. He had a slow start to the season but has earned four assists over his last three games and is building a connection with all of Toronto’s top attackers. He’ll have more chances against Houston on Friday (7:30 pm ET | TSN2/4/5), when he'll face the league's second-worst away defense.

Differential Pick: Sporting Kansas City have not exactly been known for their offensive production, but they have had their share of chances and most have come through Benny Feilhaber ($10.2). At 2.9-percent ownership, he’s a pricey differential option, but with RSL conceding almost two goals per away game, Feilhaber could see a nice return on investment this round.

Value Option: If you’re looking for a cheap midfielder to help spread your cash, then Kellyn Acosta (DAL $7.0) should be near the top of your list. With one goal and one assist over his last three games, Acosta is one of Dallas’ most on-form and productive players. That production could continue this week as Portland visit Saturday (8 pm ET | MLS LIVE) and are likely to remain without their starting 'keeper.

Forwards

Differential Forwards: This is a great round for the big-name forwards, with Giovinco (TOR $12.2) and Cyle Larin (ORL $9.5) leading the pack. If you want to add a second differential forward, then consider Maxi Urruti (DAL $8.6), Dom Dwyer (SKC $8.9), or Will Bruin (SEA $7.0). All have sub 6-percent ownership and favorable matchups that could result in points. Bruin is the most risky of these choices, so consider him more of a switcheroo.

WHICH PLAYERS are you considering for Round 9?

FOR MORE fantasy advice, be sure to check out the articles and charts posted at MLSFantasyBoss.com.

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