With so many changes to the way players earn point in the 2016 MLS Fantasy game, I thought it would be helpful to take a closer look at each category and save you all some time before trying to piece together the new information from 2015 information.
A player will now earn 1 point for every 4 fouls that they suffer in a game.
If you listened to the last MLSFI episode, you’ll know that I’m not a huge fan of this change. The idea is that players will be rewarded for putting themselves into situations where they force another player to foul them. My stance is that while I’m sure this does happen, most fouls come from the actions of the other player or the likelihood of a referee to call a foul, not a person trying to get a foul. I’m sure many people will disagree and it’s really just a conversation for fun, because it will not change the rule. So how often did players get fouled in 2015?
The column we’re looking at is what MLS tracks as Fouls Sustained (FS). As you can see, there is a sharp drop off once we hit players who were fouled a total number in the mid 70s. According to Ben Baer during the MLSFI podcast, a player was fouled 4 times in a match around 330 times during the 2015 season. Players like Giovinco, Nagbe, and Perez Garcia and some of the most likely to receive these points.
Final Verdict: When you look as the players who have the best potential to earn these points, they just seem like a drop in the bucket, especially since it would have only generated 330ish point last year.
Players will now earn 1 point for every 4 clearances, 1 point for every 2 blocks, 1 point for every 4 interceptions, and 1 point for every 4 tackles (won or lost).
This will be the first time the MLS has kept track of these stats individually, so I had to look around to find information about the separate stats. Fortunately Whoscored.com had the information that we need. Unfortunately, there was no net ranking of defensive performance, so I’ve provided all 4 charts below. Also, all of the information was recorded as Per Game, not total.
Just from a quick look, we can see that Clearances and Interceptions should be the main point generators for our defenders, and that Center Backs are still favored, tackled will be an excellent way for defensive midfielders to warn some more points, and blocks seem to be of very little value.
Final Verdict: Central Defenders got a big boost from this change since the number of Clearances and Interceptions needed to get a point has been lowered. It’s not possible for a player to earn 2 points where they may have only earned 1 in the past. I also love the continued help defensive midfielders are getting from this change. But one big question still remains, will these changes justify bring in premium defenders into your back line or replacing an attacking mid with a defensive one? That still remains to be seen and I’m not weighing in on that just yet.
This ends part 2 of my more focused look at the new 2016 rule changes. What do you think about these tables? Do they change your thoughts about who to bring into your squad or is it still business as usual? Be sure to check out part 1 for my look at the rest of the point changes.