Behind the Numbers: MLS Fantasy Week 5

Behind the Numbers

Week 4 Recap

Week 4 continued a string of decidedly meh games for the BTN team. Just haven’t quite been able to get a complete grasp on 2019. Something feels different and we don’t quite have the data yet tell what that could be. The BTN salvaged a 54 on the week. It was Keeperoo, autoroo apocalypse this week with only Pomykal scoring above 2 points. We dropped to 388 overall (305 pts) and saw a value increase of $2.0 for a total team value of $111.9. To put those numbers in perspective, the cutoff for the top 10 is 348 pts and top 100 is 325 pts. The limited data the reddit poll can provide says the average team value is around $110.9. Even at this point in the season it’s probably time to realistic on the goals. Unless you’re a top100 scorer a few straight weeks, its going to be hard to pull yourself into the top sphere. Right now top 100 seems like the most reasonable goal for the BTN team.

Fantasy philosophy

I feel like what week 5 needs is a return to fun. That’s what this is supposed to be about. What’s fun…GOALS. GOALS are fun. Rooting for GOALS is fun. The only time I root for clean sheets is for my fantasy team. So lets return to fun this week.

Also, let’s find out how the really good teams are and who the really bad teams are.

  • By xGF (from ASA) the top 7 xG teams on the season are POR, SEA, NYRB, CHI, LAG, LAFC, and MIN.
  • By xGA (from ASA) the worst seven defensive teams this year are SJE, POR, COL, VAN, SEA, NYC and CIN
  • By xGF (from ASA) the worst 7 xG teams this season are RSL, ATL, SJE, VAN, FCD, ORL, and CLB
  • By xGA (from ASA) the best seven defensive teams this year are HOU, DCU, CLB, MTL, LAFC, NYRB, and NER.

In the top seven offenses playing bottom 7 defenses this week, we have our goal fest winners of SEA, LAG, and LAFC. Lets throw in POR too since LAG come in at #8 defensively. GOALS GOALS GOALS. Picking from this should also help us get some big name, fun players in our teams as well.

In terms of top seven defenses playing bottom seven offenses, we’ve got our matches for the true soccer nerds, but clean sheet hopefuls DCU, CLB and LAFC.

Frankly, the numbers still say home teams are the way to go in terms of xG. That’s particularly true for defenders and goalkeepers who have the strongest correlation between xG and fantasy points, but the fact is many of the good teams are playing really bad teams on the road this week. This could blow up in my face but let’s just see what happens.

Week 5 Defense Rankings

Total Budget this Week: $111.9


We’re back to building from the back this week. Minimizing our costs to add more money to that beautiful front line.

In terms of price Miller (5.5) from LAFC and Willis (5.1) are solid options to put in a Keeperoo this week. Additionally Bono and Richey fit in as a cheap switcheroo giving you mor time to toggle back and forth if Bono doesn’t come through. If Steffan doesn’t play, you could also consider Bendik (4.4) from CLB.

On the higher end, Steffen ($7.2) if he’s back and Bill Hamid ($7.4) are pricey but are playing behind solid defense against mediocre performing offense. Stephan Frei ($7) is a BTN special since while SEA is also have fun with the GOALS GOALS GOALS mantra this year (including giving them up), Frei is getting a ton of saves which means bonus points.

Also, stats center is useless. How are we supposed to know bonus points if literally, we have to comb through individual player pages to find them? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Get it together MLS Fantasy.


Focusing on our three good defenses playing bad offenses team with CLB, LAFC, and DCU.

I really still looking for guys with offensive potential for CLB, that’s Sauro (6.5) or Afful (8.1) but man 8.1 is a lot to spend on a defender and I think his price rises are peaking.

For LAFC Zimmerman ($7.8) racked up 2 passing bonus points which I really think are the underrated CB stat of the year. He also somehow had 5 shots…idk man…Beitashour ($5.7) should be a good pick soon…I’m just not sure when.

For DCU, I think Jara ($7.5) is my new favorite, but I wouldn’t fault you for going for Mora ($6.5) or really any of them.

Outside these core player, we can still look for good budget options to fill out the team. DeLeon ($6) could still be OOP or if Pozuelo comes in this week he could end up anywhere. Fontas for SKC still looks to be out, so Barath ($5.3) could add some additional budget for the rest of your team. Same with Francis ($5.2) from CLB. Last weeks Hero for the BTN Team Greg Garza also offers value at just $5.5. PHI found their finishing boots last week but haven’t traditionally so CIN could continue their solid start.

Week 5 Offense Rankings


Top Offenses for Week 5

Lets first look at our fun rankings teams. SEA, LAFC, LAG, POR. Here’s where I want my stars to come from. Lets fire up Lodiero, Valeri, Vela, and Dos Santos. I think Zlatan is too risky coming off the injury. Lleget and Atuesta Offer some budget value with good underlying numbers.

How about interesting home teams? SKC, and TOR. If switcheroo values come out in the TOR Friday lineup, swap them into those bench spots to see if you can steal some value. Russell and Sanchez from SKC have quietly been quite good, just a matter of Champions League rotations. From Toronto, Bradley is riding good games, but Pozuelo plays it could reduce his role in the attack.

2019 Week 5 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.

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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