The playoffs are here and the times for the first games have now been announced. There are only 4 teams playing this week and you have unlimited transfers to prepare for this round. If you’ve built up a good team value, you should not have a problem picking all of the big names from each team, or maybe you want to stack your team with differentials. Regardless, Im going to breakdown the positions to help you decide.
If you want to see more, keep reading after the break. But please join the discussion at r/FantasyMLS, that’s where a lot of planning is made and last second decisions finalized. If you have questions, please stop by!
There are only 4 keepers to choose from this week, and since only two of these teams will advance, you only need to pick 1. Your keeper bench spot can be the player you want for next week. First the Home Keepers:
Michael Gspurning (8.7% @ $5.7m) was back in the goal last week and only allowed
two one goal. He also came up with several good saves. It was definitely a confidence booster for him, and Seattle does have the best home record of all the keepers (allowed 1 goal every 1.13 games). In the last home game, Seattle drew 1-1 with Colorado, but Colorado scored 5 times the last time the teams played during the regular season. That will be a big motivator for Seattle, but it a worry for me. Tally Hall (16.4% @ $6.0m) is the keeper who is currently on the best form of the 4 options. He has 2 clean sheets in the last 6 games, and has averaged allowing 1 goal per game (at home). Like Seattle, Houston also allowed Montreal to score 5 goals against them, but unlike Seattle, Houston earned a shutout the last time the teams played during the regular season.
As for the away keepers, Clint Irwin (12.9% @ 4.8m) is the standout of two. He’s not had a clean sheet in the last 6 games, but Colorado has only allowed a goal every 0.77 away games (second best record in the league). My concern here is that Seattle looked better the other night, especially early in the first half. I would be surprised if Colorado does not allow at least 1. Troy Perkins (16.7% @ $5.2m) has not had a clean sheet in his last 8 games and Montreal has allowed a goal every 0.59 away games (almost 2 per game). Add that to the poor form that Montreal has been in recently and that puts him at the bottom of my list.
Overall: 1) Hall, 2) Irwin, 3) Gspurning, 4) Perkins
There are far too many defenders to cover them all, so I’l going to try to quickly highlight a few from each team. My overall recommendation is load up on the team(s) that you think will get a clean sheet then drop the offensive players from the other team.
Houston: I think Houston has the best chance for a clean sheet. If you are looking defensive focused players my top picks are Bobby Boswell (10.7% @ $5.7m) and
Jermaine Taylor (5.0% @ $5.3m). They have been the defensive heart for Houston all year and should be good for the defensive bonus points.
Jermaine Taylor has been ruled out for the playoffs. Eric Brunner (0.5% @ $4.5m) is the likely replacement and I think he’s good enough to still be recommended.
If you want someone more focused on offense, Warren Creavalle (2.1% @ $4.6m) is still playing OOP in midfield but it’s Kofi Sarkodie (2.7% @ $4.8m) who actually leads the Houston defense is Crosses, Key Passes, and Assists.
Seattle: There is a chance that their defense will pull it together for this game, but I would not be surprised if they let at least 1 in. If you still want a player, look for good bonus point generation. The bulk of the defensive bonus points are generated by Djimi Traore (6.4% @ $4.8m) and Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (4.8% @ $4.4m). Each has over 200 CBIs and over 150 Recoveries. Marc Burch (0.5% @ $4.6m) is the man who is topping the list of offensive defenders, unfortunately, his play time has been sporadic. This could be a great differential if you believe (like I do) that Seattle has a few goals in them for this game.
Colorado: The rapids have a tough defense that has been one of the best all season, I just think the Odds favor Seattle in this game and that they have at least 1 goal in them. The standout defender for Colorado is Drew Moor (10.7% @ $5.6m) who has over 200 CBIs and 150 Recoveries. He’s also managed to score 3 goals. Speaking of offense, Chris Klute (15.5% @ $5.4m) is the player I like. Sure, Sturgis has 4 goals, but Klute is the guy you can depend upon to provide the service.
Montreal: I don’t like any Montreal defenders. I think Houston is going to score and without the clean sheet bonus, there is not much else to gain from a Montreal Defender. Camara and Ferrari are most likely to get bonus points, but the risk is just too high.
Again, many to pick from (especially Houston and Seattle) so I’m going to quickly highlight a few from each team.
Houston: Offense and defense aside, there are 4 midfielders who standout for Houston. Brad Davis (18.5% @ $8.9m), Boniek Garcia (2.6% @ $8.1m), Giles Barnes (3.7% @ $6.6m), and Ricardo Clark (6.1% @ $6.7m). All of them have skills that opponents should worry about and can earn points form Fantasy Managers. Davis and Garcia are excellent at providing service, Barnes is leading the team in goals scores (9), and Clark frequently rounds out the top 3 in important midfielder stats.
Seattle: Just like Houston, Seattle has 4 midfielders who I want to highlight. The first two are all about offense, Mauro Rosales (9.5% @ $8.2m) is a no-brainer. He leads Seattle in every key midfield stat except for goals. They just play better with him. The other is Brad Evans (5.3% @ $7.1m) who has the second most assists for Seattle even with missing game for the USMNT. The best defensive choice for Seattle is Osvaldo Alonso (3.8% @ $7.8m). He’s usually good for a couple of bonus pints, but in these playoff games, defense can become very important. Finally, I’m going to recommend Clint Dempsey (6.0% @ $8.7m). I know that many people like Neagle, but I think the goal that Dempsey got last week will give him the confidence earn more in this playoff. Neagle also tends to play back more when the bigger names like Dempsey, Rosales, and EJ are playing. But this will be a game day decision so keep an eye on the starting lineups.
Colorado: With Dillon Powers still out due to his concussion, there are no Colorado midfielders that I like enough to recommend.
Montreal: There are also not a lot of players that I like from Montreal, but Justin Mapp (3.9% @ $6.4m) is the one that I would OK with and that’s because of the service he provides. He gives Montreal chances, but I don’t think Houston will let them convert those.
This may actually be a week where you consider playing only 1 forward. There are just not that many who stand out to me, but I’ve honestly not made up my mind yet for my own team.
The standout forward option for these games is Eddie Johnson (10.5% @ $9.7m). He had a few goals before leaving for the USMNT and I think he’ll be able to profit with Oba still on the bench. He’s also the highest scoring playing for Seattle. Many people are looking at Will Bruin (10% @ $8.6m) because they like the matchup against Montreal. He had a short run a few weeks ago, but has been quiet the last 4 games. I’m not fond of Bruin because I feel like you get more bang for your buck out of the Houston midfield.
That leaves Colorado and Montreal. As I mentioned before, I think Houston has the best chance at a clean sheet, but Marco Di Vaio (22.6% @ $9.8m) is the biggest threat. But do you want to bet against your defense if you decide to go Houston heavy? Finally, Colorado offers two obvious options: Deshorn Brown (13% @ $5.7m) and Gabriel Torres (1.8% @ $7.5m). Both players have 3 goals in the last 4 games but it’s Torres who has been playing full 90s and he’s the one that I prefer.
• Does bashing Montreal curse Houston?
• There is bad weather forecast for Houston, that could impact the game.
• Keep the next game in mind so you can maximize you 10 trades.
• If Seattle can break their defensive slump, they could go far.
• Come on Houston! 🙂
These are my picks, if you think there should be more names on this list, or if you have questions, please leave a comment or come to r/FantasyMLS and comment on the post. You can also leave a message on our Facebook page or you can find us on Twitter @FantasyMLSTips. Keep checking back for more updates through the week for other positions. Good Luck!