Fantasy: The Top 30 midfielders for 2018

Reid, Mike and Blayne sit down with Tim and Parker to talk about all things Eastern Conference. Before the previews start, they also have a good discussion about the new player auto-switch system. Is it good for casual players or bad? Listen to find out. They wrap up with a preview of every Eastern Conference team. IT’s a little longer than before, but Tim and Parker have a lot of great info!


In the spirit of full disclosure, let me just say that I love midfielders in the MLS Fantasy game! I love their raw point production, bonus point-generating ability, and they have some of the best potential for scoring above their price point. If you’re a new player, I think this position will help you see the best return on your money in the early game. Just remember that all midfielders are not created equal (cough, D-mids).

As with my 'keeper and defender rankings, while making these ranking I looked at 2017 points per 90 minutes played, crosses, key passes and player xG expectations.

Practically fixture proof

Player Team Price
1. Romain Alessandrini LA $11.0
2. Victor Vazquez TOR $10.5
3. Nicolas Lodeiro SEA $11.0
4. Diego Valeri POR $11.0

​My overall No. 1 pick going into the 2018 season is Alessandrini. Even though he was far from the highest-scoring fantasy midfielder in 2017, his points per 90 numbers were fantastic. The Galaxy have also made a lot of positive changes in the offseason and I believe those will result in big points for Alessandrini. Vazquez is not as great of a value player this year, but his goal-scoring and assist-creating ability make him a constant threat, and I don’t see that quality changing for any Toronto FC player in 2018.

Lodeiro and Valeri, in true Cascadia fashion, were in a tough battle for my top three. In the end, I gave the spot to Lodeiro because I believe Valeri FAR exceeded his 2017 expected goals (ED. NOTE: He did) and will not be able to continue that level of production into 2018.

Go-to players

Miguel Almiron and Yamil Asad with Atlanta last season | USA Today Sports Images

Player Team Price
5. Sacha Kljestan ORL $10.0
6. Miguel Almiron ATL $10.5
7. Yamil Asad DC $8.0
8. Albert Rusnak RSL $10.5
9. Maxi Moralez NYC $9.5
10. Justin Meram ORL $9.5
11. Joao Plata RSL $9.5
12. Bastian Schweinsteiger CHI $10.0
13. Federico Higuain CLB $10.0
14. Mauro Diaz DAL $10.0

While not quite as good as my top four, these 10 players are some of the most reliable in the game, and should always be on your short list when deciding your fantasy lineup for the week. Almiron falls outside of my top five because his PP90 numbers did not live up to his 2017 hype. Plata was often overlooked in 2017 due to poor form, but he had almost 100 shots last year and xG projections suggest he was just unlucky (ED. NOTE: True). Asad is one of my favorite players in this section and I think he’ll do a lot to help D.C. United improve. Finally, I’ll mention Diaz: I put him in my top 15 because I think he’ll find his old form this season, but I can understand skepticism.

Value picks

Sebastian Blanco and Cristian Roldan exchange pleasantries | USA Today Sports Images

Player Team Price
15. Benny Feilhaber LAFC $9.0
16. Yoshi Yotun ORL $8.5
17. Ibson MIN $8.0
18. Kevin Molino MIN $8.0
19. Cristian Roldan SEA $9.0
20. Sebastian Blanco POR $8.5
21. Diego Fagundez NE $8.5

Once we get below the $9.5 million mark, I start to consider players as value picks. All of these players had some great moments in 2017, but many also struggled and that makes 2018 production questionable. Yotun is one of my favorite players in this section, because he has the potential to earn big points if Orlando City’s reworked offense hits the ground scoring. I also like the potential of Fagundez, who may be taking over set pieces while Lee Nguyen is not in the starting XI.

Defensive mids

Treble winner Michael Bradley | USA Today Sports Images

Player Team Price
22. Haris Medunjanin PHI $9.0
23. Alex Ring NYC $8.0
24. Michael Bradley TOR $9.0
25. David Guzman POR $8.0

Defensive midfielders can be tempting transfer targets, especially If they are popular players like Bradley or inexpensive like Ring. Unfortunately, the more defensive players will only really shine during double-game weeks, and that’s why they are near the bottom of my list.

Newcomers

Red Bulls new arrival Kaku| USA Today Sports Images

Player Team Price
26. Ezequiel Barco ATL $9.5
27. Yohan Croizet SKC $8.5
28. Alejandro "Kaku" Romero Gamarra NY $9.0
29. Josue Colman ORL $9.0
30. Jesus Medina NYC $9.0

Several new midfielders arrived as Designated Player signings during the offseason, and all have prices that should make them attractive fantasy options if their production meets expectations. As with all new players, I prefer to see some results before I add them to my team, but these are my favorites if you want to take a risk.

These are my top midfielder picks for the start of the 2018 season. Is there anyone else you think should be here? If so, share your favorites in the comments below.

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