Behind the Numbers: MLS Fantasy Week 21

Behind the Numbers

Week 20 Review

The Behind the Numbers Team put up 160 points and remained at 248 OR (which is impressive in its own right to gain/lose no places). The total team value continued to rise with an increase up to $114.1 on the season.

Pozuelo injury as my captain is unlucky, it happens. My biggest regret was not going with the studs and duds version of my lineup since all the studs hit. Coupled with that was putting to much faith in CHI. I’m avoiding CHI the rest of the year I think. They’re like stats nerd Kryptonite, they’re so much worse than their numbers say they should be.

I also rolled out what I think will be my new strategy going forward. When I look at the top players, they’re not going template. They’re finding those pockets of value at the lower price range. I think this is the jump that I personally have to make to go from being a top 250 player to a top 50 player consistently. But I expect there will be growing pains. I’ll let you know how it goes.

What I’m Thinking About

  • There’s a lot of because MLS stuff we have to factor into our player picks. That’s part of the fun, frustration, and strategy. We’ve all guessed wrong. This is the first week I’ve really been convinced that taking into account the travel and the conference of the opponent matter. If you’re a team on a DGW, you’re probably going to prioritize the intraconference game and send out the scrubs for the interconference game. I think that’s just how it’s going to be with the number of midweek games MLS is scheduling now. Take note.

Week 20 Team Value Recap

  • Results of Twitter/Reddit Poll
    • Average Points Scored: 164 pts
    • Average Current Team Value: $111.6

Week 20 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 20 TRUE Dream Team

Week 21 Team Defense Rankings

Total Budget this Week: Average Budget: $$111.6, BTN Budget: $114.2

Goalkeepers

Top Teams

MIN, FCD, NYRB, TOR, NYC. I know CHI is higher in the rankings, but xCHI and real CHI are so far apart right now.  LAFC is always a strong defense at home, but I just don’t see a reason to risk that much offensive firepower from ATL. I’m also interested NER even though the rankings don’t bear it out, clearly they’re on the up as of late.

The Player Pool

Must Haves

  • None

Top Options

  • Vito Mannone MIN GK $6.50
  • Sean Johnson NYC GK $5.90
  • Luis Robles NY GK $5.80

Price Rise Targets (Form/$ >~ 1.00)

  • Vito Mannone MIN GK $6.50
  • Jesse Gonzalez DAL GK $6.60
  • Quentin Westberg TOR GK $6.50

Value Players (PP90/$)

  • Sean Johnson NYC GK $5.90
  • Vito Mannone MIN GK $6.50
  • Luis Robles NY GK $5.80

Notes

The two options I’m debating between right now are a Johnson/Robles Keeperoo or just running with Mannone. Mannone’s form and price rise likelihood makes it pretty tempting.

Defenders

Top Teams

Same as the GKs! MIN, FCD, NYRB, TOR, NYC, NER

The Player Pool

Must Haves

  • None

Top Options

  • Romain Metanire MIN DF $7.00
  • Ike Opara MIN DF $8.40
  • Ryan Hollingshead DAL DF $8.00
  • Antonio Delamea NE DF $6.40
  • Maxime Chanot NYC DF $7.10

Price Rise Targets (Form/$ >~ 1.00)

  • Antonio Delamea NE DF $6.40
  • Brandon Bye NE DF $5.80
  • Romain Metanire MIN DF $7.00
  • Andrew Farrell NE DF $5.20
  • Ryan Hollingshead DAL DF $8.00

Value Players (PP90/$)

  • Antonio Delamea NE DF $6.40
  • Romain Metanire MIN DF $7.00
  • Andrew Farrell NE DF $5.20
  • Alexander Callens NYC DF $6.30
  • James Sands NYC DF $5.80

Notes

NER offers a ton of value and price rise opportunity. Take the most expensive one you can afford. Metanire and Murillo are guys who haven’t played much in the second half the season, so they’re good value with our expanded budget.

Week 21 Team Offense Rankings

Week 21 Top 50 Player Projections

*note that Bou (NER) does not yet have enough data to qualify, but Brian Fernandez (POR) finally does!

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.

Midfielders

The Player Pool

Top Teams

SJE, LAFC, TOR, MIN, POR, NYC, NER

Must Haves

  • None

Top Options

  • Alejandro Pozuelo TOR MF $11.40
  • Maximiliano Moralez NYC MF $12.10
  • Carles Gil NE MF $11.80
  • Diego Valeri POR MF $11.70
  • Eduard Atuesta LAFC MF $11.20

Price Rise Targets (Form/$ >~ 1.00)

  • Vako SJ MF $8.20
  • Carles Gil NE MF $11.80
  • Magnus Eriksson SJ MF $9.20
  • Cristian Espinoza SJ MF $8.90
  • Marky Delgado TOR MF $7.80

Value Players (PP90/$)

  • Ebenezer Ofori NYC MF $5.80
  • Vako SJ MF $8.20
  • Cristian Penilla NE MF $8.40
  • Cristhian Paredes POR MF $5.50
  • Latif Blessing LAFC MF $8.60

Notes

SJE has three outstanding options. I’m probably grabbing two, with Vako as a 100% option. The top-end options I really think is a judgment call based on your own views of the matchups.

Forwards

The Player Pool

Top Teams

SJE, LAFC, TOR, MIN, POR, NYC, NER

Must Haves

  • Carlos Vela LAFC FW $12.50

Top Options

  • Brian Fernandez POR FW $10.90
  • Jozy Altidore TOR FW $10.50
  • Heber Araujo dos Santos NYC FW $9.50
  • Bou NER FW $9.8

Price Rise Targets (Form/$) >~ 1.00

  • Carlos Vela LAFC FW $12.50
  • Heber Araujo dos Santos NYC FW $9.50
  • Teal Bunbury NE FW $8.20
  • Jozy Altidore TOR FW $10.50
  • Chris Wondolowski SJ FW $7.20

Value Players (PP90/$)

  • Valentin Castellanos NYC FW $7.30
  • Jeremy Ebobisse POR FW $5.30
  • Chris Wondolowski SJ FW $7.20

Notes

I hate spending money on forwards due to their low floor. Vela is a must-have, but won’t differentiate you. For me, I’m looking at one value guy and one upper end forward, but which one remains to be seen.

2019 Week 21 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 before the games start to show if my thinking has changed since this column went up.’

Resources for nerding out about MLS Fantasy

  • http://www.mlscheatsheet.com/ — Bonus point data, projections and more
  • https://www.americansocceranalysis.com/asa-xgoals — Interactive xG and passing data
  • https://www.whoscored.com/ — 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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One comment

  1. Thanks for another outstanding article!

    One suggestion for a value player: If you can afford the extra $700K, I’d switch out Castellanos for Alex Mitrita ($8 mil). I love Castellanos, but TBH it seems as if the kid has shot his load, while Mitrita finally looks healthy and ready to hook up with Heber.

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