And here we are, the Conference Finals. It seems like the last few games have just flown by, but the fun is not over yet. This is the first leg of another 2 leg series. Cards are adding up, and short recovery time between 120 min games could start to wear on players. So making smart picks, and maybe a little dash of boldness, are going to be important.
If you want to see more, keep reading after the break. But please join the discussion at r/FantasyMLS, that’s where a lot of planning is made and last second decisions finalized. If you have questions, please stop by!
Houston v Sporting Kansas City:
Houston and Sporting Kansas City have a playoff history going back several years. Unfortunately for SKC, they have always been on the loosing end of that history, but the results might end a little different this year.
SKC has had trouble getting goals during the playoffs and have seen the best results come from their defenders. This is not that common or something that can be relied on. That is good news for the Houston defense. They have played the most games since the playoffs started, and their defense would enjoy a game that will be, relatively, easy for them. This could be that game. I think this game will end in 0-0 so loading up on defense will payoff. The 2 Houston centers Bobby Boswell, and Eric Brunner are your best bet for bonus points. The Midfield is where Houston will need to contain SKC, and they do have the option available to them. Boniek Garcia and Brad Davis are my 1st and 2nd choice again because if the game ends in 0-0, that attacking players who can create chances will get the highest totals. I’m still not fond of the Houston forwards, and I think this is a week where you will play with just 1, so no recommendations here.
Like Houston, my recommendations for SKC are a lineup of the usual suspects. Aurélien Collin, Seth Sinovic, Chance Myers, and Matt Besler are the normal options, but the first 3 all have a yellow card and could miss the second game if they get another in the first leg. SO if you go heavy SKC, you may have to make some changes in Leg 2. The Midfiels is all about Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber. They have been providing service all year, and if there is a chance to score, it’s going to start with them. Just like Houston, SKC have no good forward options right now. C.J. Sapong as been quiet and Claudio Bieler may not travel. If you want a SKC forward, wait for the rosters to come out.
Prediction: HOU-0 SKC-0
Real Salt Lake v Portland:
There have been A LOT of goals scored between RSL and Portland this season. In 3 games, there have been 12 goals scored by these teams. The 3rd game was a 0-0 draw, but the last time RSL was at Portland, it was a 3-3 draw. I really want to think that RSL has a clean sheet chance, but I just can’t go against this history.
RSL is coming off a huge game against LA and have the luxury of not having to travel for this game. They may be the best rested of the teams this week. Still, the history of goals between these two teams worries me. If their defense does have a chance for a clean sheet, Chris Schuler and Nat Borchers are going to be key. WHen it comes to the midfield, tat may be where RSL has to look for goals since their forwards have been coming up dry or are injured. Javier Morales has a rumored injury concern, but will be the main playmaker for this seres. IF you want to load up on more, I have been very impressed by Luis Gil and Sebastian Velasquez was able to grab a goal the other night. ANd we can’t forget about Kyle Beckerman who may not be a big goal threat, but is crucial to the RSL defense. As already mentioned, RSL has not had a lot of production from their forwards and now Saborio picked up an injury again against LA. I’d avoid them just to be safe.
For Portland’s defense, you’re always safe to keep Rodney Wallace and he’s the only one I would recommend, but if you really want to have more, Pa-Modou Kah and Futty Danso are the only other’s I would consider this week, and Kah already has 1 yellow. The midfield is where Portland shines. Diego Valeri and Will Johnson are the main threats and best options for this week but Chara and Nagbe will also be a handful for RSL. Just like everyone else, Portland do not have a forward that gives me confidence, Ryan Johnson has as good a chance as any, and he has a low price, so they may work for you to spread money to other positions.
Prediction: RSL-1 POR -1
• SKC and HOU have the best chance at a clean sheet
• Grabbing attacking defenders could remain profitable
• Look for points to come from the midfield this week
• Be sure you have a bench that can help you recover from players who get a 2nd yellow card.
These are my picks, if you think there should be more names on this list, or if you have questions, please leave a comment or come to r/FantasyMLS and comment on the post. You can also leave a message on our Facebook page or you can find us on Twitter @FantasyMLSTips. Keep checking back for more updates through the week for other positions. Good Luck!