Behind the Numbers: MLS Fantasy Week 6

Behind the Numbers

Week 5 Recap

Week 5 was a ton of fun. I mean…GOAL GOALS GOALS. Unfortunately, there was proportionally less fun for the Behind the Numbers team than the teams around us in the rankings. With only 90 points on the round, the Behind the Numbers team fell to OR 649. Nothing really went particularly wrong, but Loderio over Vela captain was rough and so was Mora breaking his jaw. We did get a solid price rise of $3.2 up to a TV $115.1.

Fantasy philosophy

Now that we have some 2019 data, we can start to make better-informed decisions. This article is going to reference one of my favorite tools in player selection, the America Soccer Analysis interactive tables. Data on player passing, xG, xA all in one sortable place!

https://www.americansocceranalysis.com/asa-xgoals

Also, we’re getting into silly season, where our teams have so much money that we can basically buy all the top players we want. Player choice is only going to increase in importance while price rises and value hunting are starting to decrease. Still, values can be found on the backline to toss more money into your attack!

Finally, we likely won’t have the data to bear this out till the end of the season, but I think the league is stratifying. The great teams are better and the bad teams are truly worse. In the event these two extremes are paired today, I think I’m going to be less afraid of picking good teams on the road.

Week 5 Defense Rankings

Total Budget this Week: $115.1

Goalkeepers

There’s a nice mixture of cheaper and premium keepers in the top defense this week. You can try to sneak a passing bonus point by looking primarily at Johnson (NYC), Frei (SEA), and Steffan (CLB). Frei and Steffan are also clear and away crushing their GA – xGA metrics. Robles (NYRB) has been underperforming as NYRB struggles but he’s only $5.7 on a defense that should be getting back to full strength.

Defenders

I think the passing bonus has been a huge underrated fantasy storyline this year. This is the first year I feel like its playing a big role in the bonus point production. In the top 7 defenses this week, there are some excellent passing defenders to choose from, generally the CBs. Guys like Sauro and Mensah for CLB, Chanot from NYC, and Marshall/Kee-Hee (SEA) are your top passing options.

Looking at passes in the final third is a good way to find attacking outside backs, with Smith (SEA), Auro (TOR), and Wagner (PHI) leading the way.

Looking at xG + xA shows that Morrow (TOR) and Murillo (NYRB) offer some additional taking potential.

Week 6 Offense Rankings

Week 6 Player Projections

Number crunching provided by @thedummyrun on twitter.

FirstLastPositionPriceProjectionProjection/$
MarcoFabianM99.81.1
NicolásLodeiroM11.99.10.8
CarlosVelaF12.890.7
DomDwyerF9.98.60.9
ZlatanIbrahimovicF11.78.60.7
VictorRodriguezM9.78.30.9
DiegoValeriM11.28.10.7
WayneRooneyF11.58.10.7
JozyAltidoreF10.18.10.8
KennySaiefM8.47.70.9
Carlos DarwinQuinteroF12.47.50.6
RaulRuidiazF117.50.7
MichaelBradleyM10.57.40.7
JonathanOsorioM9.47.40.8
DanielRoyerM8.17.30.9
MaximilianoMoralezM10.27.30.7
AlexMuylM7.37.21
JohnnyRussellM9.87.10.7
JordanMorrisF9.27.10.8
GyasiZardesF10.17.10.7
MarcRzatkowksiM8.36.90.8
Luís CarlosAlmeida da CunhaM8.86.90.8
SebastianBlancoM9.96.80.7
FedericoHiguainM8.66.80.8
LucianoAcostaM116.60.6
IlieSanchezM9.66.60.7
ChrisMuellerM7.66.60.9
BradleyWright-PhillipsF9.96.40.7
Jonathandos SantosM9.96.40.7
AlexandruMitritaF9.86.30.6
SachaKljestanM7.66.30.8
CarlesGilM10.46.20.6
CristianEspinozaF8.76.20.7
IgnacioPiattiM11.56.20.5
SaphirTaiderM11.96.20.5
NickDeLeonD6.56.10.9
GianlucaBusioM5.86.11.1
JuniorMorenoM86.10.8
DavidAccamF6.36.11
YordyReynaM8.560.7
CristianRoldanM95.90.7
PedroSantosM85.90.7
FelipeGutierrezM8.65.90.7
InbeomHwangM8.35.80.7
KrisztianNemethF7.25.80.8
DiegoRossiF9.55.80.6
SeanDavisM7.55.80.8
JordanHamiltonF4.95.81.2
AlbertRusnakM10.85.80.5
HarisMedunjaninM85.70.7

Midfielders/Forwards

Top Offenses for Week 6

There are some strong offensive matchups for this week, with some high-end players.

To find our top end choices, let’s take a look at ASA’s (xG + xA)/96 table. For teams on the upper end of our rankings, we’ve got the likely suspects: Fabian (PHI), Loderio (SEA), Valeri (POR) coming in on top. Some more surprising names near the top of the list are Royer (NYRB), Patino (ORL) and Dwyer (ORL).

If we extend it to look at KP/96, we can add in Rzatkowski (NYRB), Mueller (ORL), and Higuain (CLB).

One thing I’ve been looking at this season is the number of passes a player has in the attacking third since that’s where the attacking points happen! Many of the same players from above with the addition of Rodriguez (SEA), Blanco (POR), and Kljestan(ORL).

On the Forwards, a good stat to look at it Shots/96. This unsurprisingly adds Ruidiaz (SEA) and BWP (NYRB) to the list.

Pozuelo (TOR) doesn’t have a lot of stats to go on but, obviously, he and Altidore (TOR) on the list…

2019 Week 6 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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