2018 MLS Fantasy Primary

MLS Fantasy: Learn tricks of the trade with Spring champion Tod Modisette

Reid and Mike make the most of this light week by sitting down with 2018 Spring season champion Tod Modisette and chat about his road to victory and what he learned along the way. Even with this great interview, they still provide all the basics including a Round 27 review, the Injury/Call-Up News, and a preview of all of the games in Round 28.

There are only seven teams playing this week and with such a limited pool of players for MLS Fantasy, I didn’t think my usual player recommendations article would provide a lot of assistance.

So instead, I sat down with 2018 Spring Fantasy champion Tod Modisette to talk about his winning strategy from the first part of the year.

Below are a few of the topics that Tod and I discussed. For the full interview, listen to the Round 28 episode of the MLS Fantasy Insider Podcast.

What is your experience with fantasy sports and how long have you been playing MLS Fantasy?

This is my fifth season in the MLS fantasy game. I started in MLS fantasy because I have several teams each year in other fantasy sports (baseball, football, basketball), and some friends who were [Houston] Dynamo season ticket holders wanted to start a league in MLS. And thought I would be into it because of all the other fantasy games I play. So despite barely knowing the names of any MLS players at the time, I took to the MLS Fantasy game pretty quickly using similar strategies to the other fantasy sports I play.

Many of us joke about the number of first draft teams that we have at the start of the season. What was your approach to building your team at the start of the season?

For the start of the season my initial goal was to build around a few star attacking players and start five defenders as a way to have a decent team with the smaller $100 million budget. In the Spring the focus was finding starting players with cheap prices and the Fall was built around finding players with good prior four weeks who could get price rises. Both times the definite goal was to have almost all my starting players in home games – with new lineups each week, that's the best way to make sure your players are in good matchups.

How do you balance taking ideas and suggestions from your friends and the MLS Fantasy community vs. making your own picks and sticking to your gut?

Each game week I usually put in a quick lineup when the week unlocks, based on gut picks and good matchups (this also helps make sure I have a team set in case things get busy later). Then I tinker with the lineup based on looking at some checks of player stats and recommendations from MLS Fantasy Boss discord chat, podcasts and the MLS Fantasy expert’s weekly tips.

There are a lot of good resources out there! It helps to know if there is anyone you just overlooked or didn't realize will be popular. In the end though, I settle on the picks I most believe in for that week. It gets too stressful if you make a pick against your gut based on other advice – you'll always remember those when they backfire.

We have a few more promising double-game weeks this season. How did your strategy change during DGWs and how heavy did you go on their players?

Double-game weeks are huge – I always maximize the double week players in my lineup and only really stay away in double road game weeks or if a team is really expected to rotate due to needing rest. If you are really worried about a double week player it's useful to leave them on the bench where they can come in if they play well.

While it's easy to remember when players on double weeks don't pan out, the chance for a double score is always worth trying for. It helps if you can check the lineups for the first game of the week to check if any players get rested for the middle game – Wednesday games and road games tend to have the most rotation.

Fantasy darlings Atlanta celebrate another goal | USA Today Sports Images

How did your strategy for team building change as you saw yourself getting closer to winning the Spring season?

Once I entered the top five, I definitely started to check the lineups of the teams around me to see if I was leaving out any players who could hurt my rank. I also had to start leaving my lineup blank until close to game time to hide my own lineups from the other teams (this backfired on me once when I missed a lineup start!)

In general I think it's best to worry about your own team until the last few weeks – if you make a pick just to play it safe that doesn't work out, it gets frustrating. Finding out the Spring season would go until Week 22 was also crazy – it was a tight finish to hang on to the last spot in the giant final double game week!

How do you plan to spend your winnings?

I just moved into my first house from an apartment a week before the Spring season ended, so having the MLS Fantasy winnings is great for filling out the new house! Also, whenever I get the gift card for the prize money I'll head out for a fancy steak dinner to celebrate the moment of being the No. 1 Fantasy MLS player.

What advice do you have for new players who are just getting into the game?

For picking players: focus on double week players and home game players the most. The biggest trap I see for new players is getting big name players in bad matchups or players who had one good week but aren't reliable.

If you are looking for advice, the fantasy podcasts, articles on [MLSsoccer.com] or Rotowire and the MLS Fantasy Boss chat are all good ways to learn how to build a good lineup. Also, don't get too down about a bad Fantasy week or two, it happens to everyone. The key is sticking with your team and having fun with the ups and downs over the season.

Quick-fire questions

Who is your favorite team?

Houston Dynamo (This is the only sport where I pull for my current city of Houston over my hometown of Dallas).

Do you transfer in players from your favorite team?

Yes – but I do avoid playing favorites. Unfortunately it's also easy to avoid Dynamo players right now, with their late-season swoon.

Do you value home over away players?

Absolutely. Home field advantage is huge in MLS – it’s rare for even the good teams to be road favorites. I recommend no more than one or two road players a week unless they have a double week.

Will Andrew Wiebe’s team stay active for the rest of the season?

No chance! It's a Fantasy MLS tradition.

Stay Connected: To get all the latest Fantasy news and advice, download the MLS app and sign up for MLS Fantasy notifications. To sign up for notifications, select the main menu, choose settings. Within the settings menu, select News & Videos notifications and turn on notifications for "Fantasy Soccer."