Round 22 was one of second half heroics and MLS Fantasy disappointments… unless you picked the right captain. D.C. United’s first point in weeks, another FC Dallas loss, a blowout by Seattle, and few clean sheets all contributed to the plans of many fantasy managers being turned upside-down. The one manager who remained unsurpassed was Bob Richard, manager of Westrules, who scored 124 points and took advantage of David Villa’s first MLS hat trick!
Every game for Round 23 will be played on Saturday and if you’re still looking for some players fill out your team, here’s my list of some of the best options.
By the Numbers: Expected Goals continues to be a favorite stat for many fantasy managers, and if you’re using it as your guide, then New York Red Bulls’ Luis Robles ($6.3) should be your top goalkeeper target. His high ranking is not only due to the Red Bulls’ recent boost in defensive form (two clean sheets in three games), but also because Orlando City (7:30 PM ET | MLS LIVE) struggle to score on the road.
Second Leg: For those of you not keeping up with the U.S. Open Cup (shame!), Sporting Kansas City played 120 minutes midweek in their penalty shootout win, and that could mean some tired legs. This boosts Seattle’s chances in my eyes and makes Stefan Frei ($6.6) a tempting option. It’s not just tired legs that makes him worth his price, but also the Sounders’ three-game clean sheet streak (4:00 pm ET | MLS LIVE).
Points Producer: Big center backs are some of the best sources of points, but only if they generate enough actions to earn bonuses. If you’re looking for a cheap player who does this with ease, then consider Houston’s Adolfo Machado ($5.2). He’s the league leader in clearances with 147 and has a good shot at a clean sheet as San Jose are the league’s 3rd worst road scoring team (9:00 PM ET | MLS LIVE).
Double Down: If you want to find the strongest keeper/defender combination, then consider Joevin Jones ($5.7) and Aaron Long ($5.5). Both players have excelled this season and are currently on good form. If you can’t decide between the two, Jones has also not scored fewer than five points in his last six games so he has a slight edge over Long… or you could just get both.
Go-To Man: Sometimes fantasy managers can talk themselves out of a good player because they feel his luck has come to an end. Don’t make that mistake with New England’s Lee Nguyen ($10.8). He rarely has a home game where he scores fewer than six points and double digits have actually been more common. His proven production makes him an easy pick, and a top captain contender when the Revs host Vancouver (8:00 pm ET | TSN in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US).
Differential Pick: If you want some offensive muscle that sets your team apart from others, then Victor Vazquez ($9.2) is the way to go. Toronto’s home offense is the 3rd best this week and Vazquez is a key part to that success as the team leader in both assists and fantasy points. They take on a Portland (6:00 pm ET | TSN in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US) team that are still struggling defensively, so Vazquez’s points should continue.
Boom or Bust: With 23 goals over 12 home games, Philadelphia players have paid off big for many fantasy managers recently and if that streak continues, CJ Sapong ($8.4) is the most likely source of points. He’s not always as consistent as many of us would prefer, but he has a good shot against Montreal (8:00 pm ET | TVAS in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US) who are currently averaging over one goal per game allowed on the road.
Late Bloomer: If you want to go all in with Seattle players this week, then Clint Dempsey ($9.9) is the cherry for the top of our ice cream. After a slow start, he’s scored five goals over his last fpur games and has helped the Sounders rise well above the playoff line. He’s also a bit of a differential with under seven percent ownership.
WHICH PLAYERS are you considering for Round 23? FOR MORE fantasy advice, be sure to check out the articles and charts posted at MLSFantasyBoss.com.
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