Fantasy MLS: Players to Watch – Defenders

DefendersA few days ago we posted our articles about Keepers to watch. Today we’re moving to defenders. Almost all of these defenders have transferred into the MLS this year. All of them have past performances that suggests they could do well in the MLS and for Fantasy MLS managers. Not all of them are starters, but those who do not are definitely going to be challenging for starting spots during the season.

Ryan Miller
Portland Timbers – $5.0m
Halmstads BK: 72 Appearances

Miller has been playing in Sweden for 4 years. During this time he has helped two teams move to higher divisions including Sweden’s top division. Having already started in 4 of Portland’s preseason games, Miller looks to be set as a starter. A new coach and a lot of new signings could be exactly what the Timbers need to make 2013. While Miller has loads of defensive experience, he does not have the best attacking records, but if Portland can earn some clean sheets, his 0.5% ownership could increase.

Gláuber
Columbus Crew – $5.0mFC
Nuremberg/Rapid Bucureşti: 97 Appearances, 1 Goal

Gláuber has been playing on the professional level since the year 2000. During this time his most successful years came at FC Nuremberg and Rapid Bucureşti (Top division Romanian league). His past experiences, solid performances, and a 6’3” height make him a strong addition to the new Columbus defense (and possible offense). If they are able to come together as a unit, Gláuber’s price and 0.8% ownership could be a great asset to a manager.

Brad Rusin
Vancouver Whitecaps – $5.0m
Carolina RailHawks/ HB Køge: 85 Appearances, 4 Goal

Rusin has spent the last four years playing in both the NASL and top two Danish leagues. Durign that time he helped the RailHawks finish in the top four twice and HB Køge gain promotion.  He’s in the prime of his career and does have the ability to score goals. Having already started in three of Vancouver’s preseason games, he has a good chance of getting spot in the starting XI. If he is able to get some goals, his price will definitely rise and his 0.3% ownership will as well.

Stephen Keel
FC Dallas – $5.0m
2012: 501 min played with New York

Keel did not return a lot of points last year at New York and he’s joined a Dallas team that struggled in 2012. What both Keel and Dallas have in common was that they finished the year stronger. Dallas has made several new defensive acquisitions and Keel has the ability to be part of that unit. He’s the one player that is not a sure starter, but his experience makes him someone who will definitely challenge for a spot, especially if held by younger players. Keel is currently owned by 0.3% or managers and, if he’s able to break into the starting XI and if Dallas can shore up its defense, he could be a decent player to round out a Fantasy MLS roster.

Diego Calderón
Colorado Rapids – $5.5m
LDU Quito: 210 Appearances, 4 Goals

When it comes to its defensive line, Colorado cleaned house after the 2012 season. That means a lot of new faces are going to be in the starting XI and some could prove a great value. Calderón had played in Equador’s top league since 2005 and has played in 5 matches for the Ecuador national team since 2011. He’s a talented defender in his prime and has the potential to be just what Colorado needs to rebuild its defense. He’s not the cheapest defender, but with only 0.8% ownership, he could be a good investment

If you are looking for a sub $5.0m defender, The options a few enough that they are not hard to find but you need to be concerned about play time. Players like Kosuke Kimura (13.7% Ownership), Connor Lade (9.7%), Daniel Woolard (5%), Chris Korb (3.5%) and Hunter Freeman (0.8%) are options, but they may not have great returns.

So who do you plan to have on your Fantasy MLS defense? Let us know in the comments. You can also leave a message on our Facebook page or stop my Reddit and visit r/FantasyMLS. Don’t forget to look at our other Fantasy MLS resources.

About Dashdar

Founder of MLS Fantasy Boss, moderator of /r/FantasyMLS, freelance contributing writer for fantasy.MLSsoccer.com. Passionate about all things MLS and growing the Fantasy MLS community.

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