Round 8 DiffeRANCHals

Bold Predictions Round 18

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. 

  • Andy Najar – Average (5 points/injury)
  • Lucas Esteves – Bust (0 points)
  • Deandre Yedlin- Great! (12 points)
  • Ryan Gauld- Bust (1 point/Injury)
  • Santiago Rodriguez- Great! (10 points)
  • CJ Sapong – Good (6 points)
  • Kwadwo Opoku – Bust (2 points. Arango was the guy!)

Week 7 Final Results: 2 Great, 1 Good, 1 Average, 3 Busts

Full Season Results: 6 Great, 8 Goods, 4 Average, 25 Busts


Week 7 is in the books and the accuracy of DiffeRanchials has increased to 18 non-busts to 25 busts. 42% accuracy. There are starting to be more good options than bad options now that the season has moved along. Whether you want to risk the differential or not is up to you! This is a tricky week for differentials, but I have a few that I am confident about. Let’s get into it!


*Special shoutout to Cam (Dayman) from the discord for helping with paragraph write ups while I was without a computer this weekend*


Nick “Marshmallow” Marsman, $5.8m (Inter Miami Goalie)

The goalie who earned himself a new nickname “Marshmallow” over the weekend. Why Marshmallow? Well, he was wearing a white jersey with text that made it hard to read his name. Naturally the Sounders fan base went with Marshmallow. Nick Marsman is more of a hunch and recent performance of Inter Miami than betting against Atlanta United. Miami turned a corner when they introduced (the next person on this list) Aime Mabika. On Mabika’s 1st game, Miami hosted New England and allowed 2 goals, but won the game. The following week they traveled to Seattle and kept a clean sheet. Then midweek they came back home to Miami and kept a clean sheet in the US Open Cup. Miami seems to have turned a corner defensively, which makes Marsman’s price more appealing for a fallback play. 

Aime Mabika, $5.1m (Inter Miami Defender)

I know that I just praised Mabika in the Marsman paragraph, but what makes him THAT good? Let’s dig into the stats. Standing 6’6 feet tall and weighing in at 215 lbs, Mabika is an absolute giant in the backline. Not only is he tall, but he has amazing footwork as well. In his first game versus New England, Mabika produced 10 clearances, 2 ball recoveries, 21 passes. Game 2 in Seattle: 2 blocks, 8 clearances, 6 ball recoveries, 41 passes, and a clean sheet. US Open Cup versus Miami FC: 79 passes (90% accuracy), 3 clearances, 3 interceptions and a clean sheet (ball recoveries not noted). Those stats indicate that Mabika is highly involved and generates a LOT of bonus points. Needless to say, Mabika’s tall frame and muscular thighs have thwarted anything that comes into the box since being introduced into the Miami starting lineup. 

Henry Kessler, $5.8m or Omar Gonzalez, $4.2m (New England Defense)

A road defender against a DC team that has been scoring? A defense that has been averaging 2 goals against each game while only holding 1 clean sheet? Yes, I am crazy. This logic does not make any sense, and I probably won’t convince anybody to take a flier on New England’s defense this week either. Depending on who starts, you are either paying $5.8m or $4.2m for a center back in a game that’s early in the week. These center backs are no joke either. Kessler has generated 7 bonus points in his 2 starts this season while Gonzalez has not produced this year but with TFC was a bonus point machine. Omar can flip the switch easily, while Henry is already producing these points. Regarding the clean sheet opportunity? DCU just fired their head coach, are missing their golden boot leader of 2 years, and will be playing with 2 new forwards to their system. All of these factors can heavily influence the attacking potential of a team. As a side note, if Matt Turner is healthy enough to play in this game, New England’s clean sheet chances spike way higher. 

Remi Walter, $9.4m (SKC Midfielder)

Sporting KC at home used to be an automatic pick, but the rough season so far has us looking elsewhere. What some may have overlooked, however, is the production of Remi, which is very much not rough at all. Walter so far has dominated SKC’s set piece duties, as well as been a fixture in the midfield at a few spots. This has afforded him a relatively high floor – safe to start most weeks without risking a 2 or 3. Columbus is likely missing Zelarayan this week, which takes most of the danger out of their attack, allowing Remi to see more of the ball higher up the field. Keen observers may note that Walter has scored in all but one home game this season – I like those odds!

Facundo Torres, $9.1m (Orlando Midfielder)

Torres hasn’t quite exploded onto the scene in MLS, but the new Orlando DP, club record signing, and most valuable player isn’t far off the mark. He’s averaged an impressive 6.5 points per game so far, racking up 4 assists and a goal in his last 5 games. He’s not on set pieces for Orlando, so his floor is probably two points, but the talent jumps off the page and he’s clearly gotten used to the country and his new team quickly. The opponent this week is the New York Red Bulls, normally a formidable foe. However, they decided they didn’t want to get Cupset like Chicago and put out their strongest lineup in a win in Hartford. That could lead to a number of tired legs and maybe some rotation, which spells out opportunity for Orlando. 

Justin Rennicks, $5.2m (New England Forward)

You’re telling me I can get a striker being fed by MLS MVP Carles Gil, and he only costs $5.2m? Alright, sign me up. Wait, now you’re saying he plays in one of the first four games of the week, making him ideal for a switcheroo? I suppose that makes sense, I’m in. He gets to play a team that just lost their coach, goalkeeper, and a center back? I don’t know why you keep trying to convince me because I was clearly on board immediately, but that’s just too good to pass up!

Diego Rubio, $8.8m (Colorado Forward)

Quick, without looking, who leads the league in expected goals? Did you say Rubio, because you read the title of this section and figured the question was rhetorical? Well, you’re wrong. It’s Gazdag. Our friend Diego Rubio is fourth in the league. Yes, that’s higher than Chicharito and Carlos Vela. Castellanos and Ferreira? They’re below him, too. Rubio can score goals with the best of them, and he’s got a home game against an expansion side. This one probably should be a chalk pick, but his ownership% tells us that he’s lower than all of those players I listed. And Rubio’s not just a poacher, he can pass the ball, too. The same number of key passes as former MVP Pozuelo, the same number of assists as Yimmi Chara, and three big chances created so far this season tell that story pretty well. Rubio has yet to blank at home, scoring 13, 7, and 5 in his three games. 


Honorable Mentions:


Frankie Amaya

Crisitan Dajome

About Tyler Norman

Moderator of MLS Fantasy Boss Discord, new contributing writer for Soccer and fantasy sports enthusiast.

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