Behind the Numbers: MLS Fantasy Week 18

Behind the Numbers

Week 17 Review

The Behind the Numbers Team was respectable, but unremarkable in Week 17. 143 was good enough for top 800 on the week and a total score of 262, but it still dropped our OR down to 105. The team added +$1.7M for a total of $105.8M.

Like most of the rest of the fantasy world, the Portland midweek lineup caused a flurry of last-minute changes which were OK, but could have been better. The biggest regrets are “upgrading” Vega (SJ) and Lopez (SJ) with the extra POR cash. Missed out on more points and more value gains there. Trusting Wondo and not having in a bench spot will also pain me. As a rule, I dislike forwards. They’re not dependable and don’t put up bonus points, especially guys like Wondo this week and Zlatan the week before. Also, after championing spending on defenders last season, I really didn’t do a good job spending up or even picking defenders last week.

Week 18 is going to be a rotation and player choosing nightmare as players come back from international duty and teams playing the second DGW in a row.

Week 17 Team Value Recap

  • Results of Twitter/Reddit Poll
    • Average Points Scored: 141.5 pts
    • Average Team Value Gained: +$1.7M
    • Average Current Team Value: $104.7M

Week 17 TRUE Dream Team

Here are the rules.

  • only three players per team
  • must be a valid formation
  • must fit in the average budget for that week
  • ties are broken with lowest value player making the team
  • the bench is all 4.0 scrubs

So here’s the Week 17 TRUE Dream Team

Week 18 DGW Team Defense Rankings

Total Budget this Week: Average Budget: $104.7, BTN Budget $105.8


The Player Pool

Must Haves

  • None

Price Rise Targets

  • Vega (SJE) – $5.5
  • Rowe (ORL) – $5.5

Value Lottery Tickets

  • Stuver (NYC) – $4.4
  • Sisniega (LAFC) – $4.1
  • Freese (PHI) -$4.0


I don’t really see anyone who’s a lock with all the uncertainty going on this week, lots of value to be had.

Vega and Rowe both had good weeks last week and should be in that points/$ range to set up well for a price rise.

Weirdly this week many of the best matchups have keepers still “playing” in the gold cup. You’ll know by the time lineups lock if there’s a chance that the starting keepers could be back.


The Player Pool

Must Haves

  • None

Top Options

  • Chanot (NYC) – $6.8
  • Tinnerholm (NYC) – $6.3
  • Segura (LAFC) – $6.1
  • Figueroa (HOU) – $5.5
  • Elliot (PHI) – $6.6

Price Rise Targets

  • Thompson (SJE) – $6
  • Jungwirth (SJE) – $6.5
  • Opara (MIN) – $7
  • Leerdam (SEA) – $6.5
  • Jansson (ORL) – $6
  • Sane (ORL) – $6

Value Lottery Tickets

  • Dotson (MIN) – $5
  • Smith (ORL) – $5
  • Lopez (SJE) – $5


LAFC and NYCFC have the clear best matchups, despite the someone substitute nature of parts of their defense. But that will just offer value if you can find the guys who will play two.

It’s always important to look at who’s playing CIN and HOU grabs that honor this week.

On the price rise and value front looking for guys from SJE, ORL, and MIN are coming off good games last weekend and have point/$ ratios which should pay off.

Week 18 DGW Team Offense Rankings

Week 18 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.


The Player Pool

Must Haves

  • Maxi Moralez (NYCFC) – $11.5

Top Options

  • Atuesta (LAFC) – $11.00
  • Blessing (LAFC) – $10.00
  • Katai (CHI) – $9.4
  • Gregus (MIN) – $9.0
  • Monteiro (PHI) – $9.8
  • Nani (ORL) – $10
  • Ring (NYCFC) – $7.9
  • Gutierrez (SKC) – $9.8

Price Rise Targets

  • Vako (SJE) – $7.0
  • Eriksson (SJE) – $8

Value Lottery Tickets

  • Meram (ATL) – $6
  • Mueller (ORL) – $6.9
  • Rzatkowski (NYRB) – $6.6

LAFC and NYCFC are again the top options on offenses, with some strong options to choose from. There are quite a few other good bonus point producing guys on the top end.

On the cheaper side, Vako and Ericksson had beastly weeks and should be due to a price rise, not to mention that San Jose continuing to be hot.


The Player Pool

Must Haves

  • Vela (LAFC) – $11.5

Top Options

  • Quintero (MIN) – $10.5
  • Elis (HOU) – $10.5
  • Manotas (HOU) – $9.0

Price Rise Targets

  • Castellanos (NYCFC) – $7.5
  • Przyblyko (PHI) – $7.5
  • White (NYRB) – $6.4

Value Lottery Tickets

  • Nemeth (SKC) – $6.9

Watch for who’s coming back in their teams this week,  especially with Elis who had a beast of a spring season.

I don’t usually like forwards but Vela, Quintero, and Elis are all bonus point producers which is rare for forwards.

Castellanos and Przyblkyko play for good offenses but are maybe better slotted for your autoroo slots.

2019 Week 18 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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