We’re getting down to the wire, so I’m going to have to make these last two early picks articles a little shorter so that we can all meet our deadlines. If you’re looking for information about Keepers and Defenders, be sure to check out my other articles. Also, be sure to look over my articles at MLS Soccer and listen to the MLSFI Fantasy Roundtable podcast!
If you listened to the Roundtable podcast, then you already know that a lot of players believe that midfield is the position to spend your money on. I don’t disagree, but there is a line where you will start to hurt your other positions and you don’t want to cross that. Playing with four midfielders is the easiest way to ensure you have enough money to go around, but it is possible to have five if you get the right players in the $8-7.0m range.
Totally Worth it
If you’re going to splurge, it needs to be for a reason because not all premium players are created equal. At the very top of the price range, you’re going to want to consider Pedro Morales (VAN $11.0) and Clint Dempsey (SEA $11.0). Both of these players are key parts of their offense and had excellent numbers last year. I prefer Vancouver’s schedule to Seattle’s (due to the early bye) but if you have a bench or a planned rotation, that may not be as important. You also may want to consider Kaka (OLC $11.0). He’s an unknown for MLS performance right now (so I usually avoid) but a strong preseason performance may make him worth the risk for you.
If those players are a little too rich for your blood, then consider these two ole reliable MLS Fantasy options. The slightly cheaper Graham Zusi (SKC $10.5) was one of THE go-to guys in 2013, but had a rough 2014. Much of this was because of the world cup and a lingering injury and that should not be a worry this season. I’m not a big fan of SKC’s starting schedule, so he may be someone you bring in after round 3 or during a bye week. If you’re looking for consistency, then think Brad Davis (HOU $9.5). Not only is he surprisingly cheap this season, but he is a key to the Houston offense. He may not be the guy who jumps $0.2 in a week, but consistent $0.1 increases are very likely. Speaking of starting schedules, I’m a big fan of the run Dallas starts with. After much discussion, I’ve finally come over to the Mauro Diaz (DAL $9.0) side. A mostly injury free season should result in him having some nice point returns.
At first I wanted to attribute Lamar Neagle’s (SEA $8.5) success to the absence of Dempsey and Oba, but after looking back through the stats, I was incorrect. His ability to gel with these other great offensive players makes him a very good value to get Seattle representation on your team. If you’d rather find an affordable way to get someone from LA onto your team, consider Stefan Ishizake (LA $8.0). Without Donovan, Zardes and Keane will need service, and Ishizake already proved that he is capable of doing that last year with five goals and seven assists.
I also want to take a moment to weigh in on the Sebastian Le Toux (PHI $9.0) vs Cristian Miadana (PHI $8.5) debate. Either one! Both had very good numbers last year and are in a reasonable price range. The Colorado opener looks like a good opportunity for a Philly win, but the next few could be a little harder.
And finally, some of my favorite value picks. A lot of he typical value picks has question marks next to their names. Two that I feel don’t are Nick DeLeon (DC $6.5) and Chris Pontius (DC $7.0) who have both been starting for DC in preseason and have excellent past performance for the club. These next players are the question marks, so you’ll want to keep an eye open for news on Friday to make sure they will be getting starts: Harrison Shipp (CHI $7.5), Kristinn Steindorsson (CLB $7.5), Marcelo Sarvas (COL $7.5), Cristian Higuita (OLC $7.0), Sabastain Velasquez (NYC $6.5), and Ryan Hollingshead (DAL $5.5).
These are the 2015 early midfielder picks that stand out to me (OK, so maybe not much shorter), is there anyone you think should be added to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below, by posting on /r/FantasyMLS, or send a tweet to @MLSFantasyBoss. Also, don’t forget to join in on the FREE live MLS Fantasy chat her at MLS Fantasy Boss!