Behind the Numbers: MLS Fantasy Week 9

Behind the Numbers

Week 8 Recap

FINALLY. A good week for the Behind the Numbers team. A week like the days of old when we were in the top 100 just the top 500. A score of 133 was good enough to catapult the Behind the Numbers team into OR 456 and a health $4.0 price rise up to a budget of $121.8. It was a weird week. Blessing went down on Wednesday night then magically came back on Sunday., Erice didn’t start the second game and Hagglund was garbage. All of that led to a desperation switcheroo into Barco and Yueill…which somehow paid off? Also, @mlscheatsheet’s bonus point data came through in the clutch pointing me towards Elliott and Godoy along the back line. Feeling good going into a huge DGW.

Fantasy philosophy

All DGW players all the time. That’s a lot easier to pull off this week. I can’t think of a reason to run out a SGW player this week. It’s getting to the point where the budgets aren’t limiting us anymore. I do however think I’m going to switch it up and go with a defender based autoroo to try to grab some big clean sheet scores. No one is bold enough to bank on defenders but there’s always some big defender scores coming out of DGWs.

Week 9 DGW Team Defense Rankings

Total Budget this Week: $121.8


The defensive rankings are a little different this week. I’ve averaged the projections over the two games to help narrow down the keeper and defender options. I don’t much see the use for keeperoos in DGW, but go ahead and put your keeper in the bench spot just in case.

Looking at the data this week, I think the choices are narrowed down to three options: Johnson (NYC, 6.8), Bush (MTL, 6.4), and Mannone (MIN, 6.4). Mannone and Johnson have double home games. Mannone leads this week’s keepers in bonus point production, which is really key in DGW for raising that floor. We know what Bush can do after last DGW and he’s got a solid 9 bonus points as well, just 2 behind Mannone.


Lots of good options this week looking at the rankings. Keys will be to avoid rotation and look for those high bonus point defenders. I’m willing to spend up if needed. It paid off with Godoy and Elliot last weekend.

From NYC, Chanot is your bonus point leader and should lead your back line. It’s hard to say if CLB is reaching their defensive limits or not. No on their back line is really producing bonus points and their fullbacks are cobbled together at this point. Probably continue to fire up the Sauro/Williams starter if you’re so inclined. Though be warned the price rises have slowed.

LAG is off to a hot start this year with a respectable defense, which should only get better with the return of Giancarlo Gonzalez to MLS. He’s only 5.2(!!!!) if/when he gets on the field. Otherwise, keep an eye on Polenta who’s listed as questionable. Not great for a DGW concern.

In MTL, Diallo showed us he’s the rotation proof player last time around and I’d fire him up as well. Although in over 100 fewer minutes Victora Cabrera has more bonus points.

If you want a piece of SEA, really just pick anyone besides Roman Torres. Woof. Keep an eye out on Wednesday to see what the rotation looks like against San Jose before the weekend rematch against LAFC.

Finally, in MIN there’s a man producing offensive and defensive bonus points. Romain Metanire is one of the last men standing after the red card wedding as MIN lost their minds last week. Its not great for defensive strength but good for a lack of rotation!

Week 9 Offense Rankings

Week 9 Player Projections


If you’ve got a budget to burn, you can have a lot of fun this week. I can’t recommend Vela this week, though who could fault you if you did at this point. SEA, MIN, and LAG all have the obvious stars. I think Loderio, Quintero, and Zlatan are must-haves. They’re all in the top 8 of xG+xA on the year. Secondary options for those teams include Rodriquez^2 (SEA and MIN) and Dos Santos, though Victor Rodriguez has scarred me too many times this season despite his underlying numbers being strong.

In the land of the bonus points, Carles Gil and Dos Santos are quietly kings.

The rest of the bunch has a litany of old favorites. Moreno and Ring get the CDM DGW bump. Taider continues to have to lead the way for MTL, but his underlying numbers leave something to be desired. Lucharoo is also on a DGW this week, but they have a double away trip and I think you can do better.

In budget land, James Sands and Jackson Yueill are flying under the radar but offer good value and bonus point potential.

Along the fwd line. Newcomer Espinoza has been solid and is a high producer of bonus points in the fwd position. Not much data on him yet, but I feel like someone from NYC may be a good investment this week and Heber could still represent a pocket of inefficiency in the market. He had a solid debut in terms of shots and xG + xA/96. Just a matter of if you want to take a risk on him.

2019 Week 8 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.

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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