Fantasy: How to make the right calls during a short, quirky Round 16

Reid, Mike and Blayne are joined by special guest Tim to review all of the results and fantasy takeaways from Round 15 and preview the six games being played this week during Round 16. With supporters from both New York teams on the show, it was impossible to get through without a little talk about coaching transition and how that could impact fantasy player selection going forward. The guys also pause to give their World Cup predictions before going right into reviewing all of the Round 16 games.


If I believed there was such a thing as too much soccer, then this is not a week I’d enjoy. The World Cup gets underway on Thursday, the sweet 16 round of the U.S. Open Cup kicks off on Friday, and MLS gets everything underway on Wednesday night, starting at 7:30 pm ET with Round 16!

There are only six games this week, but don’t write this off as a throwaway round for MLS Fantasy points. Sure, most managers are going to load up on players from Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls, and so should you. It’s those remaining three to five roster spots where the real points can be made, and I think the players below should be on your short list.

Teams on a Bye: FC Dallas, Houston, LAFC, LA Galaxy, Minnesota, New York City FC, Philadelphia, Portland, Real Salt Lake, Sporting Kansas City and Vancouver

Double-game week teams: None

Goalkeepers

Numbers Game: There are two standout ‘keepers going into Round 16, but the one who takes my top spot is the Red BullsLuis Robles ($6.5). While his three clean sheets are not as many as some ‘keepers, all have come at home and have helped make the Red Bulls one of the top home defenses. It doesn’t hurt that he’s facing the Seattle Sounders (8 pm ET | Full TV & streaming info), who have one of the worst offenses away from home with just four goals over six road games.

Let it Ride: If you’d rather save your Red Bull slots for field players, then stick with Alex Bono ($7.3). As more of Toronto’s starting players return to full health, their record has been improving, especially their defense. He’s still only my second pick due to D.C. United’s (8 pm ET | TSN — Full TV & streaming info) ability to find at least one goal on the road, but Bono is also great at generating bonus points, so a concession will not necessarily ruin his score.

Defenders

Bonus Producer: When it comes to road defense, no team comes close to matching Columbus, however that success has not been repeated at home. That could change this week, as Atlanta (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info) will likely be without star midfielder Miguel Almiron. The Five Stripes still have some top attackers, so if you want to roll the dice on Crew SC, go for Lalas Abubakar ($10.5), who will have the opportunity for a lot of bonus points.

Value Differential: If you’d rather go with an under-the-radar player, consider Chicago’s Jorge Corrales ($4.4). He’s been a starter for the Fire in their last four games and earned an average of 3.5 points per game thanks to his bonus-point generation. Colorado’s (9 pm ET | TV & streaming info) poor form gives him a good shot at his first clean sheet and the potential for offensive points.

Midfielders

Ignacio Piatti | USA Today Sports Images

Diamond in the Rough: The 2018 season has not been kind to the Montreal Impact, but Ignacio Piatti ($11.8) has been the one bright spot. Even during his recent goalscoring doubt, he’s still one of the top five fantasy midfielders in the game. This week’s game against Orlando (7:30 pm ET | TVAS — Full TV & streaming info) could see a return of his scoring form, as the Lions concede an average of over 2 goals per game on the road.

On a Roll: If you’re looking for an away player with a great chance for goals, consider New England’s Teal Bunbury ($10.5). Over his last six game he’s racked up an impressive five goals and two assists, and become a Golden Boot contender. This pattern could continue when the Revs face a San Jose (10:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info) team that has allowed 14 goals over six home games.

Forwards

Bash Brother: When you hear the name Alan Gordon ($5.0), you probable think supersub. That’s still true, but thanks to three goals over his last four games he’s also started to challenge Nemanja Nikolic for a starting spot in the Fire starting XI. This hot streak, plus his low cost and the Rapids’ poor form make Gordon a great switcheroo option for Round 16.

Back in Action: At the start of the season, Orlando’s Dom Dwyer ($10.5) missed three games and then started scoring like a madman. Last week he returned after another three-game injury absence and picked up right where he left off. Since he’s just back from his injury, it’s better to start him on your bench, but If he gets the start against Montreal, he could continue this streak, as the Impact have allowed 10 goals over their six home games.

WHICH PLAYERS are you considering for Round 16?

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

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