Every week, I’m going to go over my suggestions from last week, and determine if they were a good or bad pick based on position and points. To describe in detail the ranking system here is the metric: bust = 4 or fewer points (or not starting/on the bench), average = 5-6 points, good = 7-8 points, great = 9+ points. Players not available for selection I am disregarding and not counting as a positive or negative in the article.
Week 4 Final Results: 1 Good, 3 Average, 2 Busts
2023 Full Season Results: 4 Great, 6 Good, 6 Average, 10 Bust
Hello and welcome to week five of the 2023 diffeRANCHals! Last week was pretty good with an average pick score of 5 points. I am hoping to take a bit more of a gamble this week and get higher boom/bust scores.
Reminder: There are a lot of MLS players on International Duty, and therefore unavailable. Be sure to check out the Discord for a link to the missing players.
With all of the absences for international duty, I am looking to take advantage and find the differential picks that “just make sense.” Do you agree? Keep on reading to see some of the ideas!
Nathan Harriel, $5.5m (Philly Defender)
Due to Olivier Mbaizo being called up to the Cameroon National Team, Nathan Harriel should be the next man up for the Philadelphia Union. Harriel had shown a lot of promise when he was getting starts in the 2022 season, and actually had the starting position at one point. This could be a potential for Harriel to show his worth for the first time this season in Mbaizo’s absence. The Union host a short handed Orlando team who also has not looked too dangerous this season in the attack. The big question mark that I have for Philly is their defensive potential without Jose Martinez or Andre Blake. Keep a close eye on this one!
Franco Negri, $5.8m (Miami Defender)
Miami hosts the Chicago Fire for their third home game this season. In the first two games for Miami, they had clean sheets against Montreal and Philadelphia. With another weak opponent in the form of the Fire, Miami has a chance for a third home shutout! Negri is the player to look at for this matchup, lining up as the left back.
Luquinhas, $7.5m (NYRB Midfielder)
On Saturday, Luquinhas and the NYRB will play in Charlotte. This is a wonderful matchup for Luquinhas, as Charlotte is statistically the worst defensive team in the Eastern Conference. They have allowed 8 goals in the first 4 games of the season, averaging 2 goals against per game. Luquinhas has been involved in the offense quite a bit and opened his account for the year last week. With all of these factors together, I can see Luquinhas having a 2+ goal contribution game.
Eryk Williamson, $7.8m (Portland Midfielder)
Hey, that’s a familiar name! Yes, I am including Eryk Williamson for a THIRD time in just 5 weeks. He really looks like the focal point of the Portland offense in the absence of Evander. Eryk has been on all of the set pieces and has been involved whenever Portland is scoring a goal. This week, Portland gets to host a Galaxy side who will be missing 3 of their regular starters (2 international duty, 1 injury). This opens the door for Williamson to capitalize on more goals/assists on the season.
Chris Mueller, $6.9m (Chicago Forward)
If you want to look at the other side of the Miami-Chicago matchup, Mueller is the player to look at. The Fire will be without their DP midfielder Xerdian Shaqiri, which slots Brian Gutierrez as the #10 and opens more of the field for Mueller to work with. After getting his first goal of the season, Mueller is looking to continue the trend as the Fire travel to Miami
Talles Magno, $7.2m (NYCFC Forward)
The Mango Effect has officially taken off as of last week. With the return of Santiago Rodriguez, Talles Magno seems to be revitalized in the NYCFC offense, albeit against a DC United defense. This week, however, Magno and Santi Rodriguez travel to Houston – Another tasty matchup. On paper this matchup looks to be a shootout on either side. I could see this ending as a 2-2 or 3-2 matchup, with a goal from Magno (and likely assisted by Rodriguez). Do you also see this happening? If so, Magno may be the pick for you!