MLS Fantasy Manager 2016 week 4
MLS Fantasy Manager week 4 falls during the international fixture window and will take place over two weekends. This is unusual for MLS Fantasy manager to do but it’s a new way to make up for so many absences during a time most leagues around the world take a break. The two weeks counting as one round will give fantasy managers a chance to really dig deep for players who aren’t international stars yet but could be after this window.
TOP FORWARD PICKS
Maximiliano Urruti, F.C. Dallas, $8.5
Maxiamiliano Urruti has scored twice in three games and is off to a great start for his new club this season. Urruti has proven as a quality starting forward and repaid the faith that Oscar Pareja placed in him when he signed this past winter . F.C. Dallas is one of the clubs with two matches during this expanded round and will miss a lot of their core players but Urruti is not one of them so he will be available for both games. The missing stars will return by the second game of the round bolstering his chances for more goals but that doesn’t mean he will play worse during the first. He’s playing too well to ignore and with two chances to come up big—it would be dumb to leave him off any roster.
Octavio Rivero, Vancouver Whitecaps, $8.3
Octavio Rivero is off to a rough start for Vancouver Whitecaps with more yellow cards than goals this season. This extended round is the best chance for him to escape the funk he’s been in since late last season. He’s a streaky forward and once he gets started, it will take some time to stop him again but he has to get started first. If he comes up big in the match against Houston then he will definitely stay hot against Los Angeles. He’s still capable of some amazing goals, he just has to find his stroke again.
Quincy Amarikwa, San José Earthquakes, $7.5
Qunicy Amarikwa is one of the most underrated forwards in the league and he’s only improved since he was traded to San José. The Earthquakes only play once during this long round but it will be at home against a D.C. United team that has already played once this round and who have yet to win a game—and I doubt they’ll have a victory by this game either. Amarikwa doesn’t score as often as Chris Wondolowski but he’ll be fresher for this match and will be the focus of San Jose’s attack. He’ll notch a goal or, at the very least, an assist with other bonuses adding to his big point total for this round.
TOP MIDFIELDER PICKS
Mauro Diaz, F.C. Dallas, $10.4
Mauro Diaz is off to a fantastic start with one of the highest fantasy points totals in the league going into the fourth round. This is my second time picking him this season and the year has barely started. Diaz gets an extra opportunity to pad his numbers this round and he will take advantage of it even with his squad being short-staffed. Diaz’s first match is on the road against struggling D.C. United who are having a hard time stopping goals. F.C. Dallas then return home next weekend to face Columbus Crew team that is not living up to their off-season expectations with a weak defense. Diaz has turned opposing midfields on their heads and he’s going to continue mesmerizing opponents this weekend.
Pedro Morales, Vancouver Whitecaps, $10.8
Pedro Morales is not a household name outside of Vancouver but he should be. He is one of the league’s most talented midfielders and is having a fruitful start to his season even Vancouver’s record doesn’t show it. The Whitecaps attack continues to flow through Morales whether he is the player finishing with a goal or creating the goal with his passing and it shows in his fantasy points total. Vancouver faces two tough opponents this week but both Houston and Los Angeles are weaker on the road. In fact, the Galaxy look like a shell of themselves when they play away from Los Angeles. Morales will look amazing over these two games and his fantasy total will just grow.
Marcelo Sarvas, D.C. United, $7.1
Marcelo Sarvas is a league veteran who consistently has good fantasy points every season. He’s an important player for his squad and is key to their success. Sadly, D.C. United haven’t seen much success at all this season but that hasn’t stopped Sarvas from playing well. Sarvas isn’t a pure attacking midfielder but contributes with strong defense, great ball movement, and accurate passing. He tallies the occasional goal but he picks up his points being a strong role player. D.C. United have two difficult against F.C. Dallas and San José Earthquakes over this long round but he’s very capable of putting in a hard day’s work for big points. He’s got double the opportunity for it and he’s a smart addition for his low price.
TOP DEFENSIVE PICKS
Matt Hedges, F.C. Dallas, $8.9
I expect a big couple games from F.C. Dallas this round and their team captain could play the most important role as he anchors a threadbare defense missing most of its starters. Hedges is solid week in and week out but he’s going to have his work cut out for him with so many teammates gone on international duty. F.C. Dallas is off to a decent start and that should carry over in their road match in D.C. but will be tougher back home against San José. Hedges will pick up plenty defending and passing bonuses but one of these matches will yield a clean sheet. That doubled opportunity is too good to pass up.
Nuno Andre Coelho, Sporting Kansas City, $7.8
Nuno Andre Coelho is turning a lot of heads to start the year proving to be one of the best off-season moves in the league. He has contributed to the attack while being a solid defender for an undefeated team that is keeping its opponents from scoring. Sporting Kansas City plays at home against Real Salt Lake, another team that has yet to lose. Real Salt Lake is full of fight so I’d be surprised if this ended scoreless for them but Coelho has proven he is more than capable of picking up fantasy points beyond his defensive work thanks to his offensive contributions and he’ll do that again when they return to play.
Fabinho, Philadelphia Union, $6.7
Four weeks into the season and Philadelphia Union are playing better than many people expected. Fabinho is one of the reasons that they’ve been able to grind out the results they have achieved. He plays on the wing so he helps contribute to the attack when possible he’s a strong defender who fights to keep his side of the field clear. Philadelphia plays Chicago in their one match during this long round but it’s the type of conference match on the road that makes or breaks a season. The Union are playing better, more cohesive soccer than the Fire have been able to and Fabinho will be the glue that will hold Philadelphia together in this match for big points.
GOALKEEPER OF THE WEEK
David Ousted, Vancouver Whitecaps, $5.9
David Ousted is always in the “best MLS goalkeeper” conversation because he is arguably one of the top three goalkeepers in the league and, in my opinion, the most consistent. He gets scored on occasionally but those tend to be defensive lapses more than his mistakes. He has two matches this round against opponents who have forwards that love to poach and shoot when possible. This may not result in a clean sheet in either match but it definitely will result in massive points for saves and defensive bonuses. I won’t be surprised if he does pick up a clean sheet but it won’t be where the bulk of his points come from.