2024 Round 5 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 4 Final Results: 

  • Julian Aude – Average (4 points)
  • Sam Junqua – Bust (2 points)
  • Caleb Wiley – Good (7 points)
  • Mathieu Choiniere – Bust (1 point)
  • Gabriel Pirani – Bust (2 points)
  • Alan Pulido – Good (7 points)

2024 Full Season Results: 2 Great, 4 Good, 6 Average, 16 Busts

Matt Results: 3 Average, 7 Bust

Brandon Results: 1 Great, 3 Average, 5 Bust

Ranch Results: 1 Great, 4 Good, 4 Bust


Welcome back to week 5 of the diffeRANCHals article. As you can see above, we have started to track each writer’s pick scores. This can help show which picks to avoid (aka don’t look at who Matt chooses). It can also show you who gives the best suggestions (pats on back).

With the international duty window upon us, it is essential to be looking for those off-the-wall differential picks that others may not consider. Would you like suggestions for some picks that make the most sense to us? Read more below!

Jon Gallagher, $6.5m (Defender – Austin)

Listen, I really wanted to put Hector Jimenez here instead of Gallagher. However, with Biro being the starter over Jimenez and me not liking Biro at all, I have to lean towards Gallagher instead. Austin FC finally has Driussi back to run their midfield. They also get to travel to Orlando and play a team that has 2 goals all year, from the same player, in the same game. Oh that player also isn’t available this week. To me, this says that Austin has a pretty good chance at a clean sheet (even on the road). On top of all of this, Orlando has allowed the most goals in the league, making them a prime suspect for wide-outs who like to get up the wing. Gallagher fits that mold. I fully expect him to have a solid performance against a broken Orlando team defensively.

– Ranch

Sam Vines, $5.5m (Defender – Colorado)

It’s easy to make jokes about Colorado. But no matter how awful the Rapids play on the road, teams have a very hard time playing in Colorado. Houston has not only struggled with injuries in their attack, but they will also be without Coco Carrasquilla because of international duty. With all that in mind, the Rapids should have a decent chance at keeping a CS. On top of that, Vines gets involved in the attack, currently leading the Rapids in passes into the penalty area (6) and crosses into the penalty area (3). 

– Matt

Cole Bassett, $8.1m (Midfielder – Colorado)

At this point, I am committing to Colorado. Historically, Houston has been a solid defensive team but have been vulnerable on the road. Add Colorado’s home field and altitude advantage, the Rapids should have plenty of chances to score on Houston. Cole Bassett has been their main guy, leading the team in Shot Creation Actions and npxG+xA among starters. If Colorado scores on the run of play, more likely than not Bassett will be involved.


Lewis Morgan, $8.2m (Midfielder – NYRB)

Quietly ticking along in the background of Emil Forsberg, Lewis Morgan (at least through the first four games of the season) seems to be back to his old 2022 best, after dealing with injuries throughout 2023. Morgan is third for the Red Bulls in npxG and fourth in npxG+xAG, and leads the New York (New Jersey?) outfit with two goals this season, topping their list of regular starters with 1.52 shots on target per 90 minutes. Although Morgan hasn’t been as involved on the passing side as Forsberg has, with the latter away on international duty, we could see Morgan have the lion’s share of the ball for the first time in two years against a heavily-depleted Inter Miami.

– Brandon

Dairon Asprilla, $7.5m (Forward – Portland)

A small Cascadian theme for our forwards this week, our first name is Dairon Asprilla. Yes, that Dairon Asprilla. Yes, in 2024. But think about it – with the arrival of Jonathan Rodriguez and Portland finally getting their DP pure striker option, this probably means one last good stint of regular playing time for the 31-year-old forward; and with a storyline like that, and his penchant for popping out of nowhere with a brace (think back to last season at home against Columbus), why not, against a still-jet lagged Philadelphia that have yet to recapture their defensive best from 2023?

– Brandon

Raul Ruidiaz, $6.9m (Forward – Seattle)

Call it a homer pick, but I truly do think the time to cash in on Ruidiaz is now. He just opened his account from the PK spot and now Seattle gets to play against the worst defense in the Western Conference, San Jose. This game is either going to be a snoozefest or action packed. The Sounders have only scored 2 goals, both being penalties, but only allowed 3 goals and the Earthquakes allowed 9 goals, while scoring 3 of their own. Either the Sounders can wake up against a weak defense and score some goals or this Ruidiaz pick looks solely like a homer pick. Oh, by the way, according to Jordan Morris, Ruidiaz is playing more like a pseudo-10 than a 9. Use that information however you’d like.


Honorable Mentions:

Celio Pompeu ($8.2m, Midfielder – St Louis)

McKinze Gaines ($6.5m, Forward – Nashville)

About Tyler Norman

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

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