Special Update from MLS Fantasy Boss: In honor of Tyler “Ranchinator” Norman, this article series is being renamed “DiffeRanchals.” A new graphic will come soon!
Every week, I’m going to go over my suggestions from last week, and determine if they were a good or bad pick based on position and points. To describe in detail the ranking system here is the metric: bust = 3 or fewer points (or not starting), average = 4-5 points, good = 6-8 points, great = 9+ points.
- Teenage Hadebe – Great! (9 points)
- Ian Murphy – Bust (2 points)
- Joaquin Torres – Average (5 points)
- Albert Rusnak – Good (8 points)
- Matt Polster – Average (4 points)
- Maxi Urruti – Bust (2 points)
- Julian Carranza – Bust (2 points, goal called back)
- Honorable Mentions – Coulibaly 2, Moreno 7, Reynoso 5, Swiderski 2
Week 8 Final Results: 1 Great, 1 Good, 2 Average, 3 Busts
Full Season Results: 7 Great, 10 Goods, 7 Average, 38 Busts
My first Double Game Week (DGW) differentials article! Welcome everyone! This week, I am breaking down not only 6 DGW options, but also providing 3 Single Game Week (SGW) options. Follow along and take whichever advice you like and ignore the ones that you don’t. I’m trying to spread these picks out more to accommodate the likings of all managers regarding floor players and boom/bust players. Take what you will. I also will be scoring my “results” as the average score between the two games for the DGW players this week. Let’s get into it!
Alistar Johnston, $6.9m (Montreal Defender)
It kills me to write about a Montreal defender. I never thought I would see the day, but after 10 weeks without a clean sheet, Montreal finally secured one on the road to Charlotte last week. Congratulations Montreal fans, you finally got me to take my first look to see the stats of defenders on your team all year long. What did I notice? A defender that has 1 goal and 4 assists in his last 6 games. Those are elite numbers for a defender. I’m not suggesting that Montreal is getting a clean sheet this week by any means. What I am suggesting is that Johnston has an attacking upside versus both Nashville and Salt Lake this week.
Donovan Pines, $5.9m (DCU Defender)
Anybody that knows me well will tell you that Donovan Pines is my guy. I have been a big supporter of his play and overall ability for DC United over the last 2-3 years. Donovan Pines may not play 2 games, making him a risky player this week. The game that you want Pines for is the weekend game. With the new scoring in double game weeks, it is not worth holding Pines for just the weekend game if he doesn’t start on Wednesday, however. Should Pines start, he is averaging 2.5 bonus points per game with DC hosting NYCFC and TFC this week.
Luquinhas, $8.1m (NYRB Mid)
Let’s start the mids with my first true sleeper pick this week. The Red Bulls are hosting a struggling Chicago side, then going on the road (where they have a 7-0-1 record in all competitions) to Miami. Both of these games are extremely favorable for the attacking side. Lewis Morgan will be the popular pick, but Luquinhas has quietly inserted himself as a key contributor to this offense. Both his off-the-ball runs and playmaking ability give Luquinhas a solid floor with a high ceiling that he has yet to reach.
Facundo Quignon, $7.4m (FC Dallas Mid)
Quignon is going to be your run of the mill floor defender with good matchups this week. Dallas starts midweek on the road to Vancouver, then returns home to face Minnesota. Quignon looks like his floor is approximately 6 points per game, which will net you a total of 12 points across both! That’s not even taking into account potential assist or goal contributions.
Jordan Morris, $8.1m (Seattle Forward)
Call it a homer pick, but Jordan Morris looked extremely dangerous versus Minnesota last game. Not only was he taking dangerous shots that hit the post twice, was blocked once, and shot wide once, but Morris also was laying off passes that potentially would result in an assist. Prime example? Go watch the Cristian Roldan goal back from last week. Jordan Morris laid off the pass to Ruidiaz who dribbled through 1 defender before laying the ball off to Cristian. If that ball is not touched by the defender, Morris finishes the game on 7 with a secondary assist. This is a risky pick, being a double away forward. Seattle plays in Houston and then travels to altitude to face a Colorado team who is unbeaten at home in their last 22 games.
CJ Sapong, $6.8m (Nashville Forward)
It’s hard to turn away a double home game forward. It’s even more difficult when that forward is playing against a Montreal side that leaks goals (Whoops counteracted my Johnston pick!) and an Atlanta side that has an injured backline. Each game looks to have goals and CJ is the man to watch leading the Nashville frontline.
Joseph Mora, $7.2m (Charlotte Defender)
This was by far the hardest pick that I had to make this week. With the limited options of single game week players, and most teams being on the road, Joseph Mora kind of just settled into this spot. Charlotte hosts a Vancouver side that has to travel across the country after playing midweek. There’s no way that a Canadian team shuts out and scores multiple goals on Charlotte two weeks in a row, right?
Lucas Zelarayan, $9.7m (Columbus Mid)
This is a pick I never thought I would be putting down as a differential. Lucas Zelarayan. With as hot of a start as anyone could have this season, Zela finally cooled off. What’s a more perfect way to get the train rolling again than having a home game against a rotated and tired LAFC side? Zelarayan may not be on your radar with all of the double game week mid options, but he still may break into the Dream Team this week given the fixture.
Adam Buksa, $10.2m (New England Forward)
Who is the hottest forward in MLS currently? Well… probably Taxi Fountas, Taty Castellanos, or Jesus Ferreira, right? I would argue that Adam Buksa is actually the hottest forward as of right now. Since coming back from his red card suspension in week 5, Buksa has turned a new page and put the past behind him. Let’s count his goals. One? Two? Three? Four? Five? Nope. Six, count them SIX goals in his last 5 games. He has scored in every game since returning from his suspension. The first 4 goals were all with his head, while last week’s were with his feet. He has shown that he can produce and is not being as talked about as other forwards previously mentioned. New England travels to Cincinnati, who is also on a single game week, where they will look to end the unbeaten run of 4 straight from Cincinnati. That will likely be done through a combination of goals from Adam Buksa and Carles Gil.