Behind the Numbers: MLS Fantasy Week 10

Behind the Numbers

Week 9 Recap

The surge back to respectability for the Behind the Numbers team continued in Week 9 with a respectable 128. This brought the total score to 840 on the season and cracked the top 400 at OR 392. Magically/Disappointingly, the team value treaded water at a +0 keeping the TV at $121.8. A last-second pivot away from Metairie and Salinas who I had been on all week definitely hurt, but the 17 posted by 4.0 Kallman softened the blow a little. Thanks to no one for convincing me to Roldan in the 11. Yikes.

Fantasy philosophy

Fun fact: The dream team was a 4-4-2 last week, with all 4 DEF and GK being DGW players and all 4 outscoring the MIDs and FWDs. This has been happening for a few weeks now with the DGWs. The chance for one or two clean sheets really raises the ceiling and I think we need to start taking advantage of it.

Week 10 DGW Team Defense Rankings

Total Budget this Week: $121.8


The big question this week is how to allocate your PHI players with PHI being the #1 and 2 DEF and #2 and 3 OFF. Likely your GK pick needs to be from PHI or CIN, with PHI having the big matchup lead, but also the status of Andre Blake is up in the air. Last week it was Freese (4.0) getting the start, but earlier in the year it was Coronel. Keep an eye on Wednesday lineups, but it might be too risky to spend a PHI player on a GK who may not play both.

Richey (6.0) from CIN is your other DGW option. If you’re going to use him, stick him in the Keeperoo and think about saving some money for a last-ditch Melia swap. Not a great week for GKs.

If you’re more inclined to an SGW keeper, take a look at LAFC and DCU. Neither CHI or CLB are really putting it together offensively right now.


From the DGW teams, we’re going to stick with a strategy of bonus point producers. Your top bonus point options are Elliot (7.2) and Trusty (6.3) from PHI and Hagglund (6.3) from CIN. The PHI guys can go straight in your lineup. The CIN guys are likely autoroo options for me. Gaddis (6.3, PHI) and Deplange (5.8, CIN) are also worth consideration.

In the players playing out of position category, Salinas (5.9, SJ) and DeLeon (7, TOR) are worth considering, but DeLeon hasn’t been doing much. Don’t be afraid of Salinas. He was a winger converted to a fullback converted back to a winger. He has always been a bonus point monster.

Other top options in my mind this week and Birnbaum (8.6), Cummings (6.4), Zimmerman (9.2). If you’re short on budget, you can consider cheaper guys from these teams, but I think the days of not spending up for defenders are behind me. 10 of the top 25 bonus point producers are defenders and they do so at a lower cost than their midfield counterparts. FWDs continue to be gross.

Week 10 Offense Rankings

Week 10 Top 50 Player Projections


PHI has some attractive and cheap DGW options in the Midfield, with Medunjanin and Monteiro leading the way. As far as I can tell, Monteiro has come out of nowhere to start racking up the BPs at the low low price of just 6.5. Definitely, a rotation risk since we just don’t know that much about him. On CIN, Saief seems to be on the only attacking threat of note. Maybe you could argue to sneak Ulloa in if you need budget relief, but you can do better. Along the FWD line, IDK what to make of any of these guys. Goal or bust.

On first glance the core of your team should be built out with cheap DGW players, so its time to go shopping.

No one will fault you for having any of Kaye, Atuesta, or Vela in your lineup. LAFC is a force of nature. They have the highest xGD through 7 weeks in MLS history. Vela has 111 points. 39 more than second place Atuesta. Bonkers. Atuesta has more BPs than Kaye, but Kaye’s per 90 average is better.

In the top 5 I’m not quite ready to trust NYRB or MIN after MIN has decided to play defensive instead of attack. BOOOOOOO.

HOU is a sneaky good team with fun attackers. Elis and Manotas should be on your radar.

SKC is coming off a 4-4 goal-fest, which could repeat this weekend. Russel and Nemeth are top 10 in PK adjusted xG+xA/96.

And don’t forget about Pozuelo. He could be in the Vela tier where you play him regardless of matchup. He’s on the road, but ORL isn’t exactly frightening.

2019 Week 10 BTN Team

Here’s my first draft based on the discussion above.

If you’d like to follow me on twitter, I’m @MLSFB_BTN. I typically post my updated lineup on Friday nights before the games start to show if my thinking has changed since this column went up.

Resources for nerding out about MLS Fantasy

  • — Bonus point data, projections and more
  • — Interactive xG and passing data
  • — Analytics based player ratings

About Kyle Mcelhinny

Scientist by day, soccer fan by night. Nerd always. Using stats to overcome my lack of knowledge about the beautiful game.

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