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Fantasy MLS Round 3

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One very weird trick to boost the value of your team.

MLS: Sporting KC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

For the five of you who enjoyed my weekly dispatches last year, and the year before that, and the year before that, you probably didn’t even notice I didn’t do a fantasy article last week. Well, you may not have noticed, but I sure did. That free however many minutes it usually takes me to write this weekly I used either on other productive ventures or drinking. Ok, I never write without a drink so hopefully I’m just writing less.

Anyway, I’m writing to you the fans this week because there’s big news. MLS overhauled their platform for delivering fantasy goodness, and the result is epic.

This may be overstating it a bit; the scoring hasn’t changed and, while the database might not be smoothly updating in real time, the new platform is mostly getting the scores correct. The weird thing is the price changes- the fluctuations are wild! That’s mostly what I’ll address here this week.

  1. Price Swings.

Let’s check out our poster child for this week:

First off, the maximum price swing is +/- 500 now. Second, Senderos only scored one point last week and still managed to earn a max price rise. How is that? Well, first off Phil did dominate in his first match; there’s no debating that. After that, well, even 1 point the following week managed to sustain a high average, 3 week average, and 5 week average. When combined with his low starting salary, the new algorithm had no choice but to boost his salary. Senderos was far from the only player like this, and there will be more of the same this week. Remember that one Kurt Larson clickbait trick I was telling you about?

2. Target high scorers with small samples.

By playing Senderos last week, fantasy teams lost out on points but did a great service to their overall cap value. There’s a similar opportunity this week- particularly with teams that have played once but have several high scorers. Chicago, Union, San Jose, and New York Red Bulls all come off of good fantasy weeks with only one game in the can. Even Seattle and FC Dallas (!!!) are playing their 2nd game of the season, so cheap players that manage a full 90 (hello Jacori Hayes) can seriously boost your cap. Of the teams I mentioned, Philly is at home, and Chicago makes the somewhat short jaunt to the land of 10,000 lakes to face the Loons, so you should go for points there. Vako and Hoesen for San Jose are basically guaranteed a boost, but NY offers a plethora of cheap midfield options (Rivas, Bezencourt, Davis) against an oddly flimsy RSL, so gauge risk accordingly. FC Dallas might be a sneaky contrarian play with Seattle beat up and coming in on short rest after getting absolutely destroyed by Chivas in Guadalajara.

3. Go cheap where you can

Chicago and San Jose seem obvious, but are you sure the latter is going to get you much in the way of points this weekend? They might, but those road games...

Defenders are all cheap; if I can get a reasonable game out of Philly (Rosenberry and Trusty, both $5k defenders), then I’m all set. If they stink, I can leave them on the bench and still get a haul for my cap. Salary bumps seem to be more pronounced when you can find cheaper players to do the scoring, so cheap high scoring defenders will guarantee you your best cap boost. Cheap mids (Hello RBNY) also offer huge savings/cap boost potential this round, so try and balance your cheap D with a budget mid or two.

Even though clean sheets have been hard to come by, this might be the week to throw a wee bit more at D (Dallas and Philly, in particularly) and try to leave all of your ‘sheep’ in the attacking end (see aforementioned point about cheap players earning on the curve). This round won’t be the only one to up your cap, but it’ll get progressively more difficult in the weeks to come. Finding the balance will be the key to maximizing your apertura, pater familias. Oh, and before I forget- Gambling*!

FC Dallas -1/2 -140, Chicago Pick -110, Atlanta -1 -105, Phi Moneyline +125, Mon Pick Even

Previous week’s picks: 3-2-0

Good luck, fellow degenerates.

*- Odds courtesy of Bovada. For Entertainment Purposes Only!