MLS Fantasy Golden Rules
In the MLS Fantasy Golden Rules series, we will be going over some basics for beginners and some refreshers for veterans. We are aiming to cover some of the broader questions that get brought up and clear up some common errors we see holding players back from their desired final rankings. With the change to unlimited transfers, these can be implemented right away and it’s still early enough in the season where mistakes are not game breaking.
Rule 3: Double Game Weeks
There is an unwritten rule that managers should always load up on double game week players. If you have the option, take a player with two games. There are a few strategies that can be followed to help maximize your output on a double game week.
Don’t think about it, managers should hit that “Show Double Game Week” check box in the player selection area and leave it on to build a roster. This has been proven time and again the best way to maximize your score on a double game week.
The biggest surprise that hits fantasy managers on Double Game Weeks is unexpected rotation. Certain players should go 180, some will go 120, and others may only get 90. Investing a lot in to a player that will only get 90.
To assist with this process, use the online communities as a resource. r/FantasyMLS on Reddit and MLSFantasyBoss on Discord are all great places to collaborate and find this information.
High Floors, aka D-Mids Rule
Players, like defensive midfielders, with a higher floor are generally safer options on a double game week and become valuable commodities. They are less prone to score fluctuation meaning they give more predictable results. Defensive mids also tend to be a bit lower in the price structure making them ideal filler as managers look to maximize their premium DGW options.
Our example this week is Gustav Svensonn with Seattle. He’s always buried behind Lodeiro, Rodriguez, and Roldan on the fantasy depth chart, but his average of 4.4 and positive matchups make him a viable candidate to both score points and save money. Svensonn comes in almost $2.0 cheaper than both Rodriguez and Roldan.
Picking any single game week players is always a risk. Their floor is half of what a comparable DGW player’s will be, but that doesn’t mean managers should ignore the SGW options. These players are who you will be brought in from Switcheroos.
SGW players should have very favorable home matches to be included in any XI. There are two quality options this week that will be hot picks. Carlos Vela and Zlatan both have matchups that make managers drool on single game weeks. The ability to post multiple goals and assists consistently propels these men to the top of fantasy charts. Matches against FC Cincinnati and Philadelphia respectively should provide opportunities for each to surpass their DGW counterparts.
Using aroos on DGWs is a dangerous prospect. In a normal week you are sacrificing money on the field to ensure you get to choose a score to keep. Trying this in a DGW cuts your ceiling more drastically while forcing a manger in to a blind choice many times. In most cases, it is better to maximize your on field potential and live with the results.
Autoroos are going to be the most common form of aroo in a DGW. After selecting the best options at each, managers should take the leftover money and divide it among 2-3 bench players and live with the best scores. Defenders are the easiest choices as they are cheaper, but a few midfielders and forwards will not be a problem.
Switcharoos are very costly and force managers in to taking a SGW player on the back end. You give up the first score and the potential of the second score. This gamble becomes very costly as manager pay for a full extra player and leave the first as a dead score.
The ideal time to use a switcharoo is when both game scores will be known before the switch occurs. We’ll call this a true swticheroo. If a manager can set up a tue switcheroo, they should. This can be done with week with Seattle players with the majority of the Saturday lineup being available to managers.
Why this Works
Many managers make the mistake of not loading up on DGW players. These players get statistically better results. By taking 11 DGW players, you may have one or two duds, but you’ll hit 9 of the others. If you only select a handful and they happen to be duds, you’ve really missed the mark.
Once you have your players, don’t get too cute with your roster. All the high-level shenanigans tend to backfire as often as they help in rounds like this.
Why These are Golden Rules
Double Game Weeks have the potential to produce the biggest scores of the year and can easily separate managers in the standings. By not following these simple guidelines, managers stand to lose a lot more than they can gain. $/Points is theoretically cut in half for DGW players since they get two shots at points for one price tag. Don’t sleep on this.
Assuming you loaded up, the last thing you want is to try an aroo at the expense of a premium player that goes off for 30+ points in the round.
Author’s note: I’ve attempted to game the system and I’ve been burned every time. The only strategy I would ever use for aroos is splitting up my remaining money between 2-3 comparable players when it doesn’t sacrifice a major addition or using a True Switcheroo. There is no point in not setting up a True Switcheroo because the vast majority of the time, you’ll never make the switch, but the time you need it, you may really need it. a