MLS Fantasy Manager Week 9
MLS Fantasy Manager Week 9 comes with midweek games, which means early roster locks but also the chance at double the points for a couple of teams. This week the New York Red Bulls and Colorado Rapids are the lucky teams to play twice. Check your injury report and let’s go!
TOP FORWARD PICKS
Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls, $11.0
Remember last week when I recommended adding Mike Grella (NYRB, $6.2)? Most fantasy managers can afford to add Bradley Wright-Phillips if they did. Wright-Phillips is expensive, but he’s kept up his golden boot winning form from last season. Mix that current form with the possibility of playing in two games this week, and passing up on him seems like a big mistake. His first game is against the struggling Colorado Rapids at home and the second game of the week is away against a surging New England Revolution—both have strong defenses but Wright-Phillips always finds a way to make a difference.
Gabriel Torres, Colorado Rapids, $7.3
Gabriel Torres isn’t the player that Bradley Wright-Phillips is, but he’s playing the full 90 minutes every week and that’s enough sometimes. He’s had a few good games but has been mostly underwhelming as a goal scoring threat. Most weeks I wouldn’t consider adding him, but with two games this week, he has an extra shot at picking up points. The great news is he’s relatively cheap for a starting forward, the bad news is he’s going up against the New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Galaxy for those two games, so picking him is a gamble. But if I’ve learned anything watching Major League Soccer for 20 years, it’s that any team can have an amazing week while their opponent is having a horrible one. I say take this gamble.
Juan Agudelo, New England Revolution, $8.7
Agudelo has been quietly having a solid season. It may not show in his numbers, but he’s been a main contributor to the New England attack, which has earned him his first international call-up in a very long time. Agudelo and NE line up against their long time rival New York Red Bulls on Saturday. This will be NYRB’s second game this week which means they’ll have some wear and tear on their legs, and Agudelo is an explosive player who can take advantage of that.
TOP MIDFIELD PICKS
Any starting midfielder for New York Red Bulls
Boy, that’s vague, isn’t it? Hear me out on this one. The New York Red Bulls midfield has been indomitable this season without a single loss after six games. Their high pressing, five man midfield has wreaked havoc on all opponents this season. Add two games for all starting five midfielders and the likelihood of a high scoring weekend for them increases. Felipe Martins ($8.4) and Lloyd Sam ($8.9) have the most points for the midfield this season (40 points each) but Sacha Kljestan ($9.0, 23 points) and Dax McCarty ($8.1, 30 points) are just as capable of getting assists or goals any week. Sal Zizzo and Dane Richards (both $6.5) have played attacking roles but neither has been consistently starting but are interchangeable, if you are looking for a cap-space saver either one could work out. A fantasy roster can have a maximum of four players from one team, I think using 2-3 roster spots this week on the NYRB midfield could work out great for anyone.
Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids, $7.8
Dillon Powers was my bargain pick last week and he has gone up in price since then after having a phenomenal game against FC Dallas. If any Colorado Rapids player is capable of having two good games against tough opponents in a two game week then it’s him. He’s had three games in a row of at least seven points each and if he keeps up that form that’s a probability of 14 points this week. He’s still priced relatively low for a starting midfielder which means, even if he doesn’t have two high scoring games, he’s a great bargain to save cap space.
TOP DEFENSIVE PICKS
Matt Miazga, New York Red Bulls, $5.6
It’s a NYRB heavy week, I know. Matt Miazga has been the biggest surprise on the Red Bull back line this year. He’s been under contract for two years and had only made eight appearances in those seasons—he’s made five this year alone. Miazga’s improvement has been one of the reasons for NYRB’s success. He’s the least expensive of their current starters but has put up some of the best numbers. I’m repeating myself here with the two games reason but that should be good enough. He’s great to hold on to for any roster because his price is only going to go up.
A.J. DeLaGarza, Los Angeles Galaxy, $7.4
A.J. DeLaGarza is a rock for the LA backline. He’s strictly a stay-at-home defender who helps anchor the center of the defense with Omar Gonzalez ($9.5). DeLaGarza doesn’t score a lot of goals and isn’t much of a set piece target but he picks up plenty defending bonuses while still contributing to the flow of the LA attack. I think he’s more likely to pick up defending bonuses against Colorado than attacking bonuses and that should be enough to make him worth the purchase.
Brad Evans, Seattle Sounders, $7.6
Brad Evans might be the best MLS utility player of the past five years. He’s able to fit in to any midfield or defense and contribute to both the attack and defense without losing any form in either category. Evans has been mainly used as a defender the past few seasons which means he’s categorized as a defender now. Seattle is away to New York City FC this week but Seattle is a decent road team. While NYCFC have the potential to have an artful, attacking offense they have yet to reach that form and won’t until July, maybe even August. Evans is a tough player and NYCFC does not play well against physical defenders. He’ll pick up a few defending bonuses for sure.
GOALKEEPER PICK OF THE WEEK
Stefan Frei, Seattle Sounders, $5.6
While I am tempted to recommend Luis Robles (NYRB, $5.6), I’m not sure he can put up two clean sheets. If you filled your roster with other NYRB players you won’t have room for him anyway. I’d never recommend whoever is in net for Colorado this season even if Clint Irwin ($5.1) hasn’t been playing horribly because of their leaky defense. That leaves Seattle as the best possibility for a clean sheet this weekend. Frei is also an aggressive goalkeeper who can pick up a defending bonus here and there. If the NYCFC attack is as aggressive as it can be then I also expect him to pick up some save bonuses.
BARGAIN PICK FOR THE WEEK
Bradford Jamieson, Los Angeles Galaxy, $5.6
Jamieson is poised for more minutes with both Robbie Keane and Jose Villareal recovering from injuries. He had a goal in his second start last week. His relative low price for a LA forward is nice to have on a roster even if he isn’t one of your starters. He doesn’t eat up a lot of cap space with the possibility of big points if his improving form keep him in the line-up when the rest of the team gets healthy. Also factor in friendlies, international competitions and US Open Cup—he’ll see minutes somewhere.
Cesar ‘Turtle’ Gutierrez covers MLS for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @namcopunk