MLS Fantasy is back again, this time with Round 5. With only three games last week, we have almost a full schedule this for this round. Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas are the only two teams not playing so umm...don't pick any of their players.
Last round we saw New England score 5 goals against a depleted Minnesota team. While the Loons did manage to score 2 goals, it didn't stop New England from picking up some major fantasy points. This round we have the Loons taking on Real Salt Lake at home. RSL is a bit depleted itself but picking up one or two offensive options from their team would most likely be beneficial.
Another key matchup to look at this round is Vancouver at home against the LA Galaxy. If you didn't know or just need reminding, Vancouver just traded away a massive part of their already weak offense in Kekuta Manneh. They still have Alphonso Davies, Fredy Montero, and Brek Shea, but it's likely that they will still struggle against a Galaxy defense. This is where I recommend you clean sheet hunt. Forget about offensive points here and go straight for Galaxy’s defense.
New England did pretty well against Minnesota but I have doubts about how they’ll do against Portland at Portland. The Timbers have looked very strong this season (minus last round) and I expect that to continue. They're likely frustrated that they didn't leave Columbus with a win so I'm sure they're going to give it all they've got and treat their home fans with a win. If you aren't feeling the Galaxy clean sheet hunt, this game might also be a place to look, however I prefer the attacking options for the Timbers here.
Also this round, we will likely see the return of the one and only Sebastian Giovinco. He’s been out injured but Greg Vanney says there is no way he's missing the home opener. This leaves you with a major option this round as they take on Sporting KC. It's something to consider.
Over the international break there were many players that came away with injuries. I suggest you check out @MLSinjuryNews on twitter to keep up to date so you don't accidentally pick up an injured player!
Let's get into the picks!
Clement Diop ($4.0): Assuming Curt Onalfo doesn't make another keeper change, Diop will likely be the starter against the Kekuta-less Vancouver team. He's cheap and he has a high chance of a clean sheet.
Jelle Van Damme ($5.8): Also part of my quest for a clean sheet, Van Damme will likely be looking to redeem himself after the ultra weird game he had against Portland that saw him get sent off.
Daniel Steres ($6.0): Gone are the days when Steres was the super cheap defender that everyone owned. He rightfully got a price increase in the offseason and I believe this is the round to pay that price. Not only is he a great defensive option, he's also a set piece threat!
Alvas Powell ($5.0): He had a great round last week finishing with 10 points and really showed his quality getting forward. That combined with a possible clean sheet would make it hard not to pick him up this round.
Diego Valeri ($10.2): Valeri struggled against Columbus but don't give up on him! He's still one of if not the best player in this game. At home and taking on a New England backline that let in two goals against the Loons...own him.
Rodney Wallace ($7.9): I've been really impressed with Wallace since his move to New York. He's been constantly getting into dangerous positions and his last two games he walked away with 11 points each. He's also priced kinda low compared to some of the other mids available this round so if you're looking to tighten the budget, he's your guy.
Nicolas Lodeiro ($11.2): Lodeiro has been solid so far this year but hasn't quite showed his fantasy potential like he did last season. Seattle are at home taking on Atlanta that won't have Josef Martinez slipping in behind. Atlanta have looked dangerous so far but if anyone can take them on it's Lodeiro and company.
Justin Meram ($9.5): I've gotta keep plugging my dude Justin here. He will be at home against an actually decent Orlando side. We have yet to see how Orlando will perform on the road, but we do know that Meram is always dangerous, especially at home.
Yura Movsisyan ($7.3): So now we’re onto the “pick up players taking on Minnesota” portion of the Fantasy Report. Yura is cheap for a starting forward and why wouldn't you at least try to pick up points against a team that is conceding goals at an alarming rate?
Brooks Lennon ($5.5): He's so cheap and he's taking on the Loons, not much else needs to be said really. By owning him and Movsisyan you're freeing up some major budget that you can use on other areas of your team.
Fanendo Adi ($9.7): Adi continues to shine having brought a combined 19 points in his last two games. He's at home and against the Revs, I like his odds this week.
Sebastian Giovinco ($11.9): I personally couldn't justify owning him this round over the other forwards I picked, but he's still one to consider. His first game back from injury, in his home opener, against a Sporting KC team that hasn't looked as good as seasons past. I wouldn't blame you if you shelled out the money for him this round.
So those are my picks this round. As per usual, if you want to discuss anything or show me your teams hit me up @notchadwick_ on twitter. I love seeing other people’s strategy and thought process!
Also, shoutout to Ken Fletcher and his team Call Of Doody for taking over the first place spot in our Total MLS Fantasy League. Here are the top 10 finishers this round! Good luck everyone!