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Fantasy MLS Round 24

One last review of the pricing algorithm to prepare for this week.

Mikey an option this week?
Noah Riffe

Fantasy articles in consecutive weeks, you say? Well, I wouldn’t count on that being the norm going forward, but I’m going over player pricing and projected price rise/fall one last time to put you in good position for next week (which includes 6 teams with a DGW) and beyond. Here’s a couple of pictures that really drive the point home:

Rusnak easily had a better week than Matarrita, yet he fell in price while the NYCFC defender rose in price. There are a few reasons for this. Rusnak came out after 7 minutes the week before which netted him 1 point. That drug down his 3 week and 5 week averages, and it will probably be a drag on his price for the next round or two because of his higher salary.

Contrast that with Matarrita who actually had a run of 3 good games (11, 6, and 6) boosting his average and making up for a dreadful output last weekend. Since his salary is lower, his averages were enough to drive a price increase. In his case, that 11 point game will drop off his 5 week average, so he’ll be more susceptible to falling in price this week unless he can manage another double digit game in Toronto this weekend.

I’m unaware of any good source that tracks the salary market, and I’m not going to spend hours trying to unravel the algorithm. As best as I can figure, it takes the weekly averages and salary into consideration, and that’s it. Jack McBean (F-$5.3) is a perfect example of this. He earned 3 points last week, and with some pretty pedestrian outputs, managed to gain $300k. He’ll have a 1 point drop off his 5 week average, but he’ll also have a 7 drop off his 3 week average. If I had to bet on it, I’d say he’d rise again this week even if he puts up a measly 2 against San Jose at home. That’s just how the formula works and, again, you’re really trying to boost that salary budget as much as you can this week.

The formula in a nutshell:

  1. Limit your picks to players who are in good form relative to price over the last 3-5 weeks.
  2. Be wary of when good/bad point outputs are dropping off.
  3. When in doubt, default to the cheaper option.

Here’s my tips for this week.

  1. Start your build with Zlatan and Valeri. Both have been absurdly good over the 3 and 5 week interval and have juicy matchups this weekend. You’ll probably get a price rise out of each if they some how ended up laying an egg. Don’t get cute.
  2. Load up on Columbus. You’ve got the early game here, and it’s at home, against a Houston Dynamo team that just played 120 minutes midweek with 3 players suspended for the game. There’s a plethora of options to roll with. You can go all D. You can pay up mildly for a cheap and prolific forward (Zardes- $8.5), or even go with a low floor cheap midfielder (Artur- $7.0). No matter how you go with this, the match itself has real beat down potential. You simply can’t pass it up.
  3. Go with 5 in the back. Again, when in doubt, default to the cheaper option. New England also gets a crack at team playing its 3rd game in 8 days (Philly), so an easy tactic is getting your defense/switcheroos lined out with the two earliest games to kick. Honestly, none of the other match ups appear to have the same clean sheet potential, so this seems like a no brainer.

And that’s it. I’ve helped you all I can for the foreseeable future. Good luck, and a special shout out to Noah Riffe who shot some incredible photos for us for the last few months. He’s off to college to build on his already excellent work which you can checkout here.

Oh, and before I forget- Gambling*!

NER Moneyline -120

Crew -1 -130

Fire +.5 -115 (love a home dog)

LAG/MNU O3.5 -105

POR/VAN O3.0 -120

Previous weeks’ picks: 2-2 Season: 20-14-2

Good luck, fellow degenerates.

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