Round 3 is one that I would like to forget. Like many of my fallow fantasy managers, I was hit by the injury/suspension stick and was forced to take some hits. OK, so maybe forced is not the right work, my strategy has been to have little to no bench so this is a situation that I definitely have to take some blame for. But I’ve decided to just consider this as a blip and to press on with my no bench approach as I move into Round 4. So, who look good?
Many managers were quoting Darth Vader last week after Donovan Ricketts was given a red card and earned a 2 game suspension. Nooooooo. So if you were running Ricketts + a $4.0m keeper, you have to make a transfer this week.
If you have either Hall or Kronberg, I don’t think you should worry about finding a home keeper this week. Houston has been on great form and we all saw Vancouver struggle against a 10-man Chivas side. This will be the first away game for Houston so we’ll just have to see how they hold up. SKC is finally finished with CCL games and has had some time to rest. This may be an away game, but they had the best away record last season and I think their defense will be tougher for Colorado than Portland’s was.
If you are replacing a keeper this week, my two favorites are Nick Rimando (26.8% @ $6.2m) and Luis Robles (4.8% @ $6.0m). Rimando will his first choice CB pairing in front of him for this game and that is just going to make RSL’s defense even more formidable. This will be the first big challenge for Toronto and I’m not sure if we’ll see another Defoe goal. New York is going up against Chivas. With both Olave and Armando back on the field, I think a clean sheet is very likely.
If you are looking for a differential, you could consider Stefan Frei (9.5% @ $5.2m). He’s on form and at a good price. This is their last home game for a few weeks so he might not be a long term pick, but if you want a cheap player to get you through the Ricketts suspension, he’s one of the better options.
There were a few more clean sheets this round than the previous one, but I’m still planning on moving to a formation with a smaller backline. Defenders are still earning quite respectable numbers from their bonus points, so finding the best way to rotate and maximize those could be the key to defensive success this year.
I believe that Houston, RSL, and New York have the best chance for a clean sheet this week and they have several good value options. For Houston, the obvious choice is Davis Horst (20.8% @ 5.9m). Seriously, you need to have this guy on your team right now. RSL is going to have my most expensive options for this week, but Chris Schuler (0.5% @ $9.4m) is worth his price. All you need to know is he earned 4 defensive bonus points in his first game back from injury. Look out Collin! Finally, wow that he is off his suspension; Armando (1.7% @ $6.5m) is my go to guy from New York. He’s cheap, starts, and racks up CBIs. Or as I like to say Win, Win, Win.
To be honest, I also think San Jose has a chance at a clean sheet, but New England has been able to put together some very nice attacking plays and SJ has a bye in round 5 so now may not be the time to grab an Earthquake defender.
Several options again this week, so look for what works best for your budget. Le Toux (104% @ $8.6m) is one of my top picks. He plays well at home and I don’t think much of the Montreal defense. If you ride him through round 7, you’ll also have a good double game player. Now that CCL games are over Zusi (17.0% @ $10.9m) is once again viable. He’s always a great option for bonus points and an away goal or assist is not out of the question against Colorado. While we’re talking about CCL games, don’t forget to take a look at Salinas (4.9% @ $7.6m). He definitely has a price that is friendly to most budgets and has excellent bonus point production. Finally, I’d feel bad if I did not mention someone from Dallas. Diaz (11.0% @ $7.8m) and Castillo (10.8% @ $7.2m) are both good options who are under $8m. They both can score but Diaz has a better chance at offensive bonus points so far.
Four forwards jump out to me this week; Higuain (14.6% @ $10.5m) is almost always going to be number one on my list just because of his bonus point potential. He is playing a tough away game this week against Seattle, but I think he’s worth the risk. Next is Henry (9.6% @ $11.0m), also one of the top forwards to look to for bonus pints, but against Chivas, I expect goals. I’d bring him in this week but he does not work with my Round 5 budget. Finally, I like Perez (3.3% @ $9.0m). With Ricketts being injured, I think he could find the back of the net again.
Don’t worry Houston fans, I did not forget about Bruin (26.8% @ $8.4m). He rounds out my top 4. I know many of you will think he should be higher, but I just want to see how he plays in Houston’s first away game of the season. If you have him, play him. If not, you may want to wait until closer until the round 8 double games.
These are my picks, if you think there should be more names on this list, please leave a comment or come to r/FantasyMLS and comment on this post. You can also send a message to me on Twitter @MLSFantasyBoss, or join the Live Chat in the sidebar. Keep checking back for more updates through the week for other positions. Good Luck!