MLS Fantasy Manager 2016 week 15
MLS Fantasy Manager week 15 picks
TOP FORWARD PICKS
Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls, $11.1
I know I lean on Bradley Wright-Phillips a lot but he keeps giving me good reasons for it as New York Red Bulls continue their hot streak. The Red Bulls play twice this week which doubles Wright-Phillips’ chances at elevating his goal count. Wins are hard to come by on the road in MLS but both opponents are slumping and they’ll have a hard time keeping Wright-Phillips scoreless. I think the Red Bulls will come away with a couple rare road wins and Wright-Phillips will be leading the way.
Joao Plata, Real Salt Lake, $9.5
Joao Plata should never be underestimated in any offensive situation. He’s one of the smallest players in the league but that has never stopped him from being a key player for his squad. Real Salt Lake have used a starting forward by committee but Plata is their best option up top. I think Real Salt Lake will finally lose a home game this season against the Red Bulls but it won’t be a scoreless match and Plata will be the man who puts it in the back of the net. Their second match will be a tough one on the road in midsummer heat of Dallas. Real Salt Lake has never played well in Texas and I don’t foresee that changing but the F.C. Dallas defense is in constant flux so Plata should be able to pull one back for his squad this weekend.
Mike Magee, Los Angeles Galaxy, $7.3
Mike Magee is the best forward that Los Angeles Galaxy have at their disposal for the moment. Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes are away on international duty while Giovani Dos Santos is reportedly injured so that leaves Mike Magee to pick up the slack. He doesn’t have the speed of Zardes, the nose for goal of Keane, or the skill of Dos Santos but he has enough tenacity and knowledge of the game to make up for what he lacks. He’s a scrapper, the quintessential MLS-bred forward, who will fight for every ball that comes his way and bleed his team color every minute he is on the field. The Galaxy have a tough week ahead of them at home against league leading Colorado and then away to the old enemy, San José. Magee will have to play a part in the scoring for every goal this week out of necessity which means, win or lose, big points for him by the end of Sunday night.
TOP MIDFIELD PICKS
Mike Grella, New York Red Bulls, $8.3
Mike Grella is categorized as a midfielder but he’s been a forward most of his career and still plays like a winger more than a midfielder. He’s a hard worker who isn’t afraid to stick a foot or a head in to win a ball that could turn into a scoring opportunity. He’s turned into a solid passer even if finishing is still his bread and butter. Grella will earn some mileage this week as he’s turned into a necessity for the Red Bull attack and they’ll need him in each game. He won’t score many goals this week, if any, but he’ll put in a couple great shifts and pick up an assist or two to go along with some big bonuses from his work right on both sides of the ball.
Sebastien Lletget, Los Angeles Galaxy, $7.9
Sebastien Lletget has become indispensable to the Galaxy during these early summer months with so many players missing due to international duty and injuries. Lletget is a consistently strong player when he’s on the field and he should be on the field for both games this week to give L.A. some familiarity in their midfield for both matches. The Galaxy have a rough week ahead of them and Lletget is going to pick up some knocks along the way but it shouldn’t stop him from earning plenty of fantasy points on both sides of the ball. He’s a great passer so he should pick up some passing bonuses to go along with some assists but he makes great runs so a goal is definitely possible. Look for him to have a couple six point matches.
Chris Pontius, Philadelphia Union, $7.3
Chris Pontius is piecing together a solid year for the surprisingly strong Philadelphia Union. He’s not the flashiest player, he definitely will never make any beautiful runs with the ball at his feet, but he’s fundamentally sound and does all the important things to give his team the best chance to win. That’s how the Union have played all season though—they’re not playing the prettiest soccer—but they’re playing some of the smartest soccer and Pontius is a big part of that. Pontius and the Union shouldn’t have a problem picking up some big points against the sorry Chicago Fire but he should also have a decent match against Vancouver. He could have a 10-point match midweek and still come away with a six pointer over the weekend.
TOP DEFENSIVE PICKS
Sal Zizzo, New York Red Bulls, $6.6
The New York Red Bulls defense has finally started to come together into an impressively cohesive unit. They had a rough start to the season where they got their asses handed to them every week for a couple of months but have become solid. Sal Zizzo coming into form has been a big part of this turn around (as well as the improvement of Connor Lade). Zizzo is a great passer who can help his team play out of the back as well as launch balls into the middle of the field for assists. He’s picked up a few assists to go along with some clean sheets. He’s going to have his work cut out for him this week so I think he’ll pick up more points with his passing and defending bonuses than from a clean sheet.
Keegan Rosenberry, Philadelphia Union, $5.8
Keegan Rosenberry is going to win Rookie of the Year and I dare anyone to argue that. I’ve picked him a few times this year already because he’s still a decent price for an amazing defender on a conference leading team. He shouldn’t have any issues against Chicago—maybe gives up one goal but no more than that–and Vancouver should give him plenty of chances to pick up points from clearances and defending bonuses. This team is leading the Eastern conference for a few good reasons and Rosenberry is one of them.
Matt Hedges, F.C. Dallas, $9.1
Matt Hedges returned three weeks ago after missing seven matches due to injury and he looks to have regained his early season form to help out an ailing back line that seems to have no luck staying on the field. He’s great in the air and doesn’t let anything by that comes near him. F.C. Dallas welcomes Real Salt Lake to town this weekend and R.S.L will be on their second match of the week. Real Salt Lake has never played well in Texas and I don’t see that changing this weekend. I’d be surprised if Real Salt Lake is able to score anything on Hedges and his back line this weekend but one goal is possible but no more than that. Hedges has the ability to get on the end of free kicks and could pick up a goal but he’ll get most of his points from his defending bonuses and clearances.
GOALKEEPER PICK OF THE WEEK
Luis Robles, New York Red Bulls, $6.3
Luis Robles will have plenty of opportunities this week to pick up a ton of saves against a couple of opponents aching for wins. I don’t usually go with goalkeepers on the road but New York has looked so strong lately and both of their opponents have looked weak in the past couple of months. Robles will pick up plenty of points from saves even if he doesn’t manage to earn a clean sheet but he has a good shot at one against Columbus. The Crew just can’t seem to get it together so I think New York will be able to go into their house and be able to confound them enough to stop them from putting more than one in the back of the net which will benefit Robles the most.