It's a new season of MLS Fantasy! Here's 4 key lessons for the Fall season

Reid, Mike, and Blayne are joined by very special (and international) Patreon guest Jason Morris to talk about all the exciting fantasy takeaways from Round 22 and preview all of the important changes for the Fall Fantasy Season transition. We find out if Mike took his own advice about Rooney, if the All-Star game will hurt fantasy production, mention early strategies for the start of the Fall season, and cover which teams have the most attractive players for Round 23. It’s a must listen if you’re joining the fantasy game midway through the year or if you’re a veteran who just wants to be prepared.

The Spring MLS Fantasy season has come to an end and all of the changes for Fall are now in place. In addition to an exciting MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, this week has given fantasy managers time to review the updated player prices, evaluate newly transferred players, and catch up on Disciplinary Committee reports.

It’s also been a good time to reflect on what we have learned from the Spring season so we can all work to improve our rankings in the Fall.

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Below are four important lessons that I think every returning and new Fantasy manager should keep in mind as they craft their Fall team.

Don’t neglect early budget building

The Seattle Sounders celebrate a win | USA Today Sports Images

Your team budget is the lifeblood of your squad and the 2018 MLS Fantasy season changed how managers gained and lost value. Players no longer saw gains and losses based on the average score for their position, but instead an individual three- and five-game point average system was introduced. This new system saw team budgets quickly inflate as players’ value rose and/or fell quickly.

These growing budgets make it tempting to quickly fill your roster with marquee players, but don’t get greedy too soon, as these big-budget options don’t always return the largest value gains. Keeping a few players around who are guaranteed to have a value increase will help you build your budget faster and increase your average points per game.

Is there a magic number? Not really, but I’d say once you get into the mid-$120 to lower-$130 million range, you can relegate your value building players to your bench.

Don’t ignore your bench

D.C. United's Ben Olsen and his bench | USA Today Sports Images

Speaking of your bench, it’s no longer just a place to stash a few cheap players so you can move more money onto your field. When you pair the new rolling lockout system with our existing weekly unlimited transfers, you transform your bench from subs fodder into something game-changing.

The key is to use these players is what’s been dubbed the switcheroo. This tactic existed last season but required much more careful planning. At its most basic, the switcheroo allows bench players to switch places with field players who do not play (thus the name). However, the addition of rolling transfers now gives fantasy managers the opportunity to respond to the lineups from later games and preview player scores. However, this only works if you take the time to invest in a quality bench pool.

Offensive players are the traditional target of the switcheroo, but goalkeepers and defenders have become quite popular during the 2018 fantasy season, because having a guaranteed cheap defensive player with a clean sheet is a great way to free up money for your offense.

The MLS App makes Fantasy easier

One of the biggest fears many fantasy managers had at the start of the season was that success would require a level of micromanagement that would make the game unenjoyable. The launch of the new MLS App has, in my opinion, put this fear to rest.

No longer do we need to rely on a mobile version of the site or sift through social-media updates trying to find rosters. The new MLS App has it all. Native fantasy integration, game reminders and most important of all... easy access to lineups. I’ve found this tool to be invaluable when I’m checking to see if one of my differential players will play when a starter is injured, or when I’m surprised by a late disciplinary scratch and need to quickly change my lineup but am away from my computer.

Have fun!

The LA Galaxy's Zlatan Ibrahimovic | USA Today Sports Images

At the end of the day, the MLS Fantasy game is all about having fun and getting more people involved in the larger MLS community. So whether you are in a competitive head-to-head league, a casual open league, or if you’re just a new fan just trying to learn about MLS, have fun!

The Fall MLS fantasy season starts at 4 pm ET on Saturday.