Fantasy: Running down the top picks and dark horses for MLS Week 9

Reid, Mike and Blayne are joined by Phil Luetchford to talk about his recent trip to England and the upcoming MLS Fantasy round. They start things out touching on some of the most important fantasy moments from Round 8 and Mike is sure to get a few digs in on the Red Bulls. After that, they answer a few Reddit questions about modifications to the price change system and preference for Autoroo and Transfer players. They wrap everything up with a game by game preview of Round 9 and a THUNDERDOME bestrewn Mike and Phil over the NYCFC-FC Dallas match.


With 46 goals scored last week, Round 8 was definitely a week to invest heavily in offensive players. However, it was also a lesson in the value of a strong bench, as four of the top six scores among attackers were earned by players costing under $10 million.

The teams are more evenly matched this week, but there are still several games with great potential. Below is a list of some of the players who I think will be key to a great Fantasy score.

Teams on a Bye: Portland Timbers

Double Game Week Teams: None

Goalkeepers

By The Numbers: After opening the season with a clean sheet, Columbus have not been able to repeat the achievement. However, the stats reveal that Crew SC may just be unfortunate, as they currently lead the league with the fewest shots conceded per game. This gives Zack Steffen ($5.8) a good shot at a clean sheet as he takes on the struggling San Jose Earthquakes (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming Info).  

Keeperoo Option: If you’re looking for a good ‘keeper pairing to maximize your chance at a clean sheet, then consider Philadelphia’s Andre Blake ($6.9) and New York City FC’s Sean Johnson ($7.7). While not a budget friendly pairing, they are both members of a top-five home defense. Start Blake on your bench so you can see if he earns a shutout against D.C. United (3:30 pm ET | UniMás — Full TV & streaming Info). If not, transfer in Johnson before his game against FC Dallas (6:30 pm ET | TV & streaming Info).

Defenders

Leandro Gonzalez Pirez | USA Today Sports Images

Surprise Value: A poor start to the season and a recent red card has caused Atlanta United’s Leandro Gonzalez Pirez ($4.8) to fall under $5 million. That’s quite a value for one of the top-scoring defenders from 2017. Bolstered by an away clean sheet last week, I like LGP’s chances to get it done again at home – and I don’t think the hat-trick lightning is going to strike twice for the Montreal Impact (1 pm ET; TVAS — Full TV & streaming Info).

Budget Defender: If you need a value defender with the ability for big points, then consider Vancouver’s Kendall Waston ($4.0). The Whitecaps may have given up six goals last week, but Real Salt Lake (10:30 pm ET | TSN1/4 — Full TV & streaming Info) have only managed to score two goals over their three away games. This should translate to less pressure on the ‘Caps defense and a potential clean sheet for Waston.

Midfielders

Hot Autoroo: If you need a value midfielder with the ability for big points, then look no further than Orlando City’s Chris Mueller ($5.0). Over his last three games, the rookie has become a valuable member of the Lions’ potent offense, scoring three goals and one assist. He does have to make a long trip to Colorado (Sunday, 4 pm ET | ESPN – Full TV & streaming Info) this weekend, but Orlando are one of the few teams I would consider on the road and Mueller is an ideal bench player.

Ready Take 2: There was a lot of excitement around Atlanta’s Ezequiel Barco ($8.5) at the start of the season, though it tailed off as he was injured during preseason. The wait is now over. Barco recorded his first start last week and generated some bonus points from his passing. Montreal have allowed five goals in their last two away games, so I’d expect Barco to convert more of these passes into assists or goals this weekend.

Forwards

Carlos Vela | USA Today Sports Images

Welcome Home: After a fantastic start to the season despite a litany of road games, LAFC are finally ready for their home opener and Carlos Vela ($12.5) should be at the top of every Fantasy manager’s wish list. He’s scored a goal or earned an assist in 5 of his 6 games and all that has been on the road. With the history of home-field advantage in MLS, Vela could be in for a big game against a Seattle Sounders (9 pm ET | FS1 – Full TV & streaming Info) team that concede an average of almost 16 shots per game on the road.

Roster Watch: Toronto FC gave everything they had in the Concacaf Champions League final, and it’s unlikely many of their top players will be at 100 percent when they host Chicago Saturday. If they are forced to field another reserve-heavy lineup, consider grabbing the Fire’s Nemanja Nikolic ($9.9) as one of your forwards. He’s scored a goal in three of his last four games and could easily take advantage of an inexperienced TFC defense (3 pm ET | CTV – Full TV & streaming Info).

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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