Behind the Numbers: MLS Fantasy Week 16

Behind the Numbers

Spring Season Recap

ICYMI, check out my spring season recap article:

With the prices reset, we’re back to hunting for value and caring way too much about price rises. Remember that the important metric for this is points/$, especially early in the season. For example, if a $6 player scores 10 points and a $10 player scores 10 points, the $6 player will have a larger price rise. For this reason, I think a good way to hunt value early in the season is along the backline. If cheap players hit on clean sheets, then you can get some good gains.

The other things which will cause us to lineup watch this week are the Gold Cup/Copa America callups and the midweek Gold Cup Action. Many teams are still undermanned and with the US Open Cup starting to heat up. Here are the teams playing in the midweek and have games this weekend: FC Dallas, Cincinnati, LA Galaxy, Portland, Houston, and Columbus.

Here’s a list of all the call ups:, note that some of these competitions are done.

Week 16 DGW Team Defense Rankings

Total Budget this Week: $100

$100 budget is the least fun. $100 is the most fun. Tough choices lie ahead.


I spent way too much time staring at MLS Fantasy data this weekend, so this article is going to be great or overthink everything. Should be fun.

Looking at the available keepers, there are a lot of options I like. The top 3 defenses this week would point you towards Kronholm (CHI, 5) who has taken over for Ousted in the last few weeks. Gonzalez (FCD, 5,5) is an option with TOR being fairly shorthanded. Bingham (LAG, 5.5) and Atinella (POR, 5.5) had very strong underlying numbers (CS-Adjusted PP90). Atinella, in particular, is one to watch with POR having A LOT of home games moving forward, including this week. Finally, whoever starts in goal in replacement of Steffan in CLB offers a cheap option and is a good option for the back end of a switcheroo if you can swing the budget.

Along the backline, we’re hunting cheap guys and the International Call-ups should provide opportunity. I know I’ve pushed back against the fantasy mullet this season, but when you don’t have any money, haircuts are hard to afford. With all the uncertainty from call-ups and us open cup, it seems more like a lottery ticket type week.

Thankfully, there are three guys whose price and spring value numbers make them locks in my lineup. Steres (LAG, $5) should get playing time with Gonzelez away with Costa Rica. Sauro ($5) has been playing again under the radar for CLB and finally, Hollingshead (5.5, FCD) will almost assuredly be playing somewhere in the lineup. All these guys offer good PP90/$ and have reasonably good matchups.

Another place I’m looking for backline help is CHI with their very high 46% CS projection. The last time we had a number that high I think was the infamous #CaptainJack week. However, most of the options are expensive. However, I think one fullback slot should fall to one of Edwards, Corrales or Campos. Just slot in whoever gets the starting nod.

Other options with strong underlying metrics this week are both Abubakar (5.5, COL) and Smith (5, COL). Barath (4.5, SKC) is a guy to keep in mind for last min switchroos if you have the budget going into the last game.

Week 16 DGW Team Offense Rankings

Week 16 Top 50 Player Projections

Note: Player projections extrapolate previous stats and matchup data for the current player and match up assuming that player plays the full 90 (SGW) or 180 (DGW). It does not factor in the probability of a player starting or being rotated during a DGW.


There are honestly way more top end options available this week then I really want the first week after dropping 30+ million budget.

Let’s start with the values from the high priced guys.

Zlatan (11) and Pozuelo (11.5) are a good value based on their spring performance even at their high price point. Zlatan is likely worth it against a CIN team that has regressed again. Pozuelo, as much as I love his underlying numbers, is a tough sell for me with the lack of surrounding talent and being on the road.

In CHI its between Katai (9) and Gaitan (10). I like guys who play central more, but the numbers bear out that Katai is a better value in a strong matchup.

In POR, Valeri (10.5) and Fernandez (10.5) have perhaps underperformed/don’t have a lot of historical data yet but POR always figured to be a second-half team this year. The only stat that gives me pause is the is that Fernandez still has 0 BPs on the year.

Based on the Spring Season values, there’s no one from VAN or CIN worth looking at.

The last team I’m looking hard at this week is FCD against a depleted TOR. The value number for Barrios and Ferreria are both pretty good. Obviously, I’d love to afford Pomykal, but the game made him hella expensive.

Outside of matchups, there are a few guys who look underpriced coming out of spring season. Memo Rodriguez (7) leads that list and he should be a lock to start on the wing with Quioto and Elis at the gold cup, but Manotas and Martinez still in the lineup. Ebobisse(6, POR) is a low-cost way to buy into POR’s offense this week.

Happy hunting!

2019 Week 16 Behind the Numbers Team

Here’s my first draft of the Behind the Numbers Team 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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