2024 Round 12 DiffeRANCHals

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 = 3 or fewer points (or not starting/on the bench), average = 4-5 points, good = 6-8 points, great = 9+ points. Players not available for selection I am disregarding and not counting as a positive or negative in the article.

DGW Scoring: Bust = 6 or fewer, Average = 7-9, Good = 10-12, Great = 13+

Week 11 Final Results: 


  • Nickosen Gomis – Bust (2 points)
  • Alexandros Katranis – Bust (2 points)
  • Anime Bassi – Good (8 points)


  • Santiago Moreno – Bust (2 points)
  • Federico Bernadeschi – Great! (17 points)


  • Ashley Westwood – Average (5 points)


2024 Full Season Results: 8 Great, 7 Good, 14 Average, 41 Busts

Matt Results: 2 Great, 1 Good, 6 Average, 16 Bust

Brandon Results: 3 Great, 0 Good, 6 Average, 14 Bust

Ranch Results: 3 Great, 6 Good, 2 Average, 11 Bust

Welcome back to week 12 of the diffeRANCHals article! I am back this week in a full amount of health reading to get back to showing the newbies how to properly make differential picks. As we have a DGW coming up next week, look to see the article dropping either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. There will be a lot of fun potential picks with the aspect of what a DGW entails! But for now, let’s get into the picks for the week starting with Matt.

Matt: Tim Leibold, $6.2m (Defender – Sporting KC)

I’ll be honest, Sporting Kansas City hasn’t had the best defensive stretch recently. And by recently, I mean this season. But Houston has been awful offensively with all their injuries, averaging less than a goal a game so far this season. Leibold specifically has been consistently getting involved in the attack and has recently been good about collecting passing bonus points. A chance at a few bonus points against a struggling offense? Solid differential material right there. 

Ranch: Brendan Hines-Ike, $6.3m (Defender – Austin)

Quick, I want you to think of which team is on a 3 shutout streak and which goalkeeper is 22 minutes from breaking the record for the longest shutout streak in MLS. Did you think of Austin? Well, you would be right. Austin has been extremely stout defensively as of late, which is kind of surprising considering the way that they started this season. An even more surprising stat to go along with it is that 3 of their 4 shutouts on the year have come on the road. This week? On the road to Dallas, a team that has been struggling to score goals. I don’t know about you, but that makes me want to consider some Austin defenders. Hines-Ike is my go-to pick this week given his consistent passing bonus points and that he gets up on set pieces.

Ranch: Christian Olivera, $8.3m (Midfielder – LAFC)

When I think of Christian Olivera, he reminds me of an older LAFC forward by the name of Brian Rodriguez. If anybody knows me, they know that I never liked Brian Rodriguez. So why am I putting Olivera in here then? Well, I feel like he actually might be starting to change my narrative based on his performances these past few weeks. He is starting to pick up some keep pass bonus points while tallying goal contributions over his last 2 games. I could see taking a random shot in the dark on Olivera as Vancouver comes to town this weekend.

Brandon: Lewis Morgan, $10.1m (Midfielder – NYRB)

It’s over to a northeast matchup for my first pick of the week – and specifically, to the Red Bull side of the matchup with the tried and true Lewis Morgan; the astute readers remembering that the last time I had him, he put up a 21-point performance with a hat-trick and a haul of bonus points. Without trying to hope that lightning strikes twice for the Scot, particularly as there won’t be any international call-ups to simplify things for both squads, as had happened in week 5, there’s some similar hope that the entire team might be able to energize their way into a group of redcoats that might actually be able to stop a (read: the) Revolution.

Matt: Federico Bernadeschi, $9.1m (Forward – Toronto)

It is no secret Bernadeschi is doing well for Toronto, but if you are trying to make up ground in some leagues he is the perfect play. He could easily tear apart this NYC side and outscore most other forwards (probably not Messi, but ya know, who can?). The past 4 week, he has combined for 40(!!!) KPs and with the exception of TFC’s week 6 dud against Sporting Kansas City, he has had 10+ KPs in every home game so far this season. 

Brandon: Jonathan Rodriguez, $9.0m (Forward – Portland)

Playing into this week’s rivalry week theme, the final pick is one out west. Unlike the usual logic and thinking we apply to these picks, Rodriguez is a total vibes pick, on the grounds that this particular Cascadia clash is usually a high-scoring one (as long as you ignore the 0-0 draw that happened in 2023). Portland also has a slight edge in the rivalry between the two rivals, and has been scoring pretty freely (as long as you also conveniently ignore the Timbers being blanked by Charlotte last weekend) while Seattle hasn’t exactly been having a swell time defending, either (again, as long as you ignore the Sounders’ scoreless draw against the Galaxy on Sunday). Basically, I like the idea, but just don’t call me out when Jona inevitably gets a 2 this weekend.

About Tyler Norman

Moderator of MLS Fantasy Boss Discord, new contributing writer for mlsfantasyboss.com. Soccer and fantasy sports enthusiast.

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