Anibal Godoy - San Jose Earthquakes - Fantasy

MLS Fantasy: Defensive mids offer better value than attacking counterparts

Reid, Mike, Jason and Blayne are joined by special guest Dominic Hoffman from Burgundy Wave to break down all the unexpected moments from Round 11 and Preview DGW Round 12. There are a lot of promising players to pick from, but are any of the SGW players worth picking over their DGW counterparts? Tune in to find out.


After watching Justin Meram’s hat-trick heroics for Columbus last weekend, it’s easy to see why MLS Fantasy managers gravitate towards attacking midfielders. They usually have a higher potential for big scores, but since they cost more, there isn’t always a way to fit all of them into your lineup without making some tough budget choices.

One way to relieve those cap concerns? Add a defensive midfielder or two. D-mids in MLS Fantasy usually cost less than their attacking counterparts, so mixing one or two into your lineup can help managers fit the expensive pieces into the rest of their starting XI.

We’re going compare some of these defensive mid options against the attack minded midfielders, and see if we can get some bang for our buck:

Defensive Midfielders

Player % of minutes played Cost PPG PPG/Cost
Anibal Godoy (SJ) 88% 7.4 7.3 .99
Ibson (MIN) 63% 6.6 6.3 .96
Jared Jeffrey (DC) 71% 5.4 4.8 .89
Kellyn Acosta (DAL) 92% 7.3 6.5 .89
Micheal Azira (COL) 100% 6.6 5.0 .76
Darwin Ceren (SJ) 64% 6.5 4.9 .75
Jeff Larentowicz (ATL) 71% 5.2 3.6 .69
Dax McCarty (CHI) 100% 9.4 6.4 .68
Osvaldo Alonso (SEA) 98% 9.8 6.3 .64
Michael Bradley (TOR) 100% 9.1 5.6 .61

(PPG based on games with 60+ minutes played)

I’ve thrown in some cheap and expensive options into this chart – it’s clear that you’re going to get a better deal out of the cheaper defensive mids. The three players that stand out for me are Anibal Godoy, Kellyn Acosta, and Micheal Azira. All three have played at least 88 percent of their teams’ available minutes, and they are all scoring an average of at least five points per game. The Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes both have a double-game week this week, so Azira and Godoy could be great budget options if they’re not rotated mid-week. Azira has yet to score more than seven points this season, but he also hasn’t scored less than three, so even if he has two mediocre performances, he’ll still get you eight or nine points for a measly $6.6.

The most expensive defensive midfielders on the list, guys like Michael Bradley and Dax McCarty, have played almost every single minute this season, but cost more than $9.0 in Fantasy money. I’d rather pay that premium towards an attacking player like Nicolas Lodeiro.

Attacking Midfielders

Player % of minutes played Cost PPG PPG/Cost
Lee Nguyen (NE) 87% 10.3 8.9 .86
Romain Alessandrini (LA) 98% 10.0 8.6 .86
Victor Vazquez (TOR) 66% 9.0 7.1 .79
Diego Valeri (POR) 79% 10.4 8.1 .78
Alex (HOU) 98% 7.8 6.1 .78
Justin Meram (CLB) 93% 10.1 7.3 .72
Kevin Molino (MIN) 86% 10.1 7.3 .72
Maxi Moralez (NYC) 99% 9.5 6.5 .68
Benny Feilhaber (SKC) 78% 10.5 6.9 .66
Nicolas Lodeiro (SEA) 100% 11.5 7.5 .65

Interestingly, even Lee Nguyen, who is averaging almost nine points per game, isn’t producing as many points per fantasy dollar than the top four players on the defensive midfielder list. All of these guys are solid choices, especially the ones in a DGW this round. However, they’re not as cost-effective as some of the defensive midfielder choices, so it’ll be up to you to decide how you want to balance out the heavy-hitters with the cheaper defensive mids.

Are you taking any budget defensive midfielders this round? Let us know in the comments below!

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