Previous Year Recap
Dynamic #10. Clutch goal scoring striker. MVP candidate winger. Flashy wingbacks. The Seattle Sounders in 2020 were a snatch-and-grab for fantasy points. While they weren’t necessarily consistent, there were point possibilities for so many games last season. Some key players have left the team either to trade (Kelvin Leerdam), out of contract (Joevin Jones & Gustav Svensson) or injury (Jordan Morris), but the Rave Green will be bringing back most of the fantasy favorites for the 2021 season.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Goalkeeper: Stefan Frei averaged 4.42 points per game in 2020, but managed only 4 clean sheets on the season. The Sounders backline was leaky at best, which left the #1 GK not much to work with. With a likely formation change to a 3 back and the departure of 2 key defenders, even a keeper of Frei’s quality (47 saves across 16 games and averaging 1 defensive bonus per game) is probably not a must-own. Price and matchup should be the biggest factors when selecting Stefan Frei.
Defenders: Sounders fans can say farewell to the fantastic offensive bonus points consistently provided by Joevin Jones and Kelvin Leerdam last season (but look for them both starting for David Beckham’s Inter Miami this season). The backline for Seattle is going to be… interesting. Xavier Arreaga is a yellow/red card magnet who is set for a make-or-break season regarding his future with the team. Yeimar Gomez Andrade had the most points per game last season across all Seattle defenders, but shutouts may continue to be few and far between. Brad Smith looks likely to start in midfield positionally, but if listed as a defender again would be a sneaky pickup for attacking bonuses. Nouhou, the fan favorite, should start consistently on the left and would look to overlap with Smith often in the attack. Shane O’Neill and Alex Roldan will also likely feature, although it’s unsure how often or how well.
Midfielders: Always. Own. Nicolas. Lodeiro. That’s it. That’s the pick. While his price will rise to an obscene amount as the season goes on, Nico takes corners, PKs, and most free-kicks for Seattle. He also is the creative string-puller of the Sounders attack and was the most fouled player in MLS the past 3 seasons. Cristian Roldan is often affordable and produces more than just minutes played, but he will likely be playing a more central role this season alongside Joao Paulo, which is not where Cristian has traditionally picked up the best PPG. Kelyn Rowe, Jimmy Medranda and Danny Leyva should feature in the absence of Jordan Morris, but it’s unclear who will log the most minutes. With all 3 likely to start at low prices, they could develop into good budget options.
Forwards: While Seattle’s original striker sensation has returned home (and we’re all apparently forgetting he spent several seasons at Cascadia Rival, Vancouver), Fredy Montero is no longer the number one for the Sounders. Raul Ruidiaz slotted 11 goals in 14 games played last season along with 4 assists. When healthy and home (he will be called up by Peru often), Ruidiaz is the striker of choice. Preseason has shown Seattle leaning towards a two-striker formation, which would mean Will Bruin or Montero will start often.
Lodeiro will be a must own most weeks, all signs point to Ruidiaz continuing his goal-scoring streak at home and against weaker defenses and the defense is not only unpredictable, but the definition of inconsistent.
Potential Starting XI