Every week I bring my own take on each game and the notable fantasy standouts you should be keeping an eye going into the next week.
- Standouts: Those who out did better than their peers
- Value: Those who punched above their weight class in terms of price and who I expect to have potential moving forward
- Fluke: There’s not always a fluke, but if you see a $4.8 defender with 12 points, that’s a good sign they’re a fluke. I’ll make sense of those types of performances and let you know if you should expect more from them or if they’re a one-hit wonder.
- Dud: This is obvious. Someone you expected a lot from and got little. If you spend $11.0 on Josef Martinez and he scores 3 points, you’re going to be upset. I’ll tell you if you should’ve seen this coming and whether or not it’s a trend.
Toronto FC 4 – 0
One Sentence (or question?):
- Toronto FC: Toronto took last season off and you’d think one player wouldn’t be enough to fix their deficiencies, but Pozuelo’s performance sure makes me think otherwise.
- New York City FC: The scoreline wasn’t indicative of New York City’s performance, sure their defense was horrible, but they should’ve scored and Pozuelo just embarrassed them with that chip. I’ll judge them once their No. 9 gets a good run out.
- Elite Performers: Alejandro Pozuelo ($10.5) – 20: This performance is right up there for best performance ever behind Ibrahimovic. Ibra only wins out because it was against a rival and to get a result. It’ll be interesting to see if teams are able to neutralize Pozuelo’s presence.
- Value: Nick DeLeon ($6.5) – 9 points: Defenders that play in the attack are ALWAYS value. Anytime your player can fall back on 5 points from a clean sheet, they deserve a look.
- Dud: Mitrita ($9.8) – 2 points: Mitrita hasn’t been able to release his full potential so we’ll have to wait and see if Heber ($8.5) can help him unleash it.
Chicago Fire 1 – 0 New York Red Bulls
- Chicago Fire: Nikolic should’ve scored (twice) and the Fire played better with Katai in the 11. How do Gaitan and Mihailovic fit into this?
- New York Red Bulls: 64% possession and one shot on target. The Red Bulls just feel so stale.
- Elite Performer: Marcelo ($5.4) – 10 points: It might be a bit ballsy to be picking Chicago defenders, but they did hold a “supposedly” good New York Red Bulls team to one shot on target and Marcelo was everywhere with 3 DEF BPs.
- Value: Frankowski ($8.2) – 4 points: One of the biggest benefactors of Gaitan’s arrival will be Frankowski. He has the pace to get in behind and Gaitan should provide that quality final ball to get him there. Now Nikolic needs to start finishing chances.
- Dud: New York Red Bulls: They crashed out of CCL in spectacular fashion and have since lost to Orlando City and Chicago Fire. Lose to one of them, it’s a fluke, lose to both, you need to take a long hard look in the mirror.
New England Revolution 2 – 1 Minnesota United
- New England Revolution: Jalil Anibaba is single-handedly saving this Revolution team. The grit, passion and determination he shows day in and day out is everything you want in a soccer player and he’s been one of my favorite players this past decade.
- Minnesota United: There’s no doubt this team is good, they just came up against a Revs team that was sick and tired of being the butt of the joke.
- Elite Performer: Carles Gil ($10.4) – 14 points: 6 key passes, 2 big chances created, 1 assist, 86 passes. Gil has become the focal point of this offense and he may have bought into Friedel’s plan with 16 ball recoveries.
- Value: Brandon Bye ($4.5) – 10 points: Bye is bringing the offensive heat just like Anibaba. He should probably be on your bench available for a switcheroo at this price.
Sporting Kansas City 7 – 1 Montreal Impact
- Sporting Kansas City: This is what it looks like when a coach has a system in place and a belief from his players.
- Montreal Impact: No Piatti, big problem. Montreal without Piatti is most certainly not a playoff team.
- Elite Performer: Nemeth ($7.2) – 18 points/ Russell ($9.8) – 17 points: Nemeth and Russell are examples of how a coach can get the best out of his players in the right system. Nemeth with a hat trick and Russell with 2 G and 1 A.
- Value: Gerso Fernandes ($6.9) – 12 points: 2 assists and pace to boot make Gerso a quality value play any week. This week Russell and Nemeth benefited from the system but we saw Gerso flourish in CCL.
- Dud: Montreal Impact: General Rule of Thumb: if Montreal is playing without Piatti, stay away.
San Jose Earthquakes 0 – 5 Los Angeles FC
- LAFC: Carlos Vela.
- San Jose Earthquakes: Need better players.
- Elite Performer: Carlos Vela ($12.8) – 22 points: If you captained Vela like myself, you were a happy camper. A hat trick, an assist and what could’ve potentially been more, make Vela a must-own player.
- Value: Beitashour ($6.2) – 16 points: 1 G and 1 A on top of the clean sheet earned Beitashour a ToW spot. He likes to get forward so with teams focusing on Vela and Rossi he should be in line for some more offensive output.
- Dud: San Jose: As a fan, I wouldn’t be worried, because my ownership was willing to go out and get someone with the credentials of Almeyda. However, something needs to change, because this team just doesn’t have it.
FC Cincinnati 0 – 2 Philadelphia Union
- FC Cincinnati: Cincinnati have to be happy with their strong start, but will feel they should’ve been better in front of their impressive home crowd.
- Philadelphia Union: David Accam is back with a vengeance and the Union are trying to prove they’re no joke. 1-1 D vs. ATL, 3-0 vs. CLB and now 2-0 vs. in-form FCC.
- Elite Performer: David Accam ($6.3) – 11 points: He definitely falls under the value category as well, but Accam has it all. He’s got the pace to threaten and apparently the decision making necessary. 3 Goals and 1 Assist in 2 games, makes him a must-play switcharoo option.
- Value: Brenden Aaronson ($6.2) – 5 points: People may forget he’s just 18 and no one expected him to be playing this big of a role this early on. With Fabian and Accam hitting their stride, Aaronson could be in line to benefit.
Columbus Crew 2 – 0 Atlanta United
- Columbus Crew:
- Atlanta United: Unlucky, but still a fantasy risk.
- Elite Performer: Zak Steffen ($7.7) – 9 points: If Steffen doesn’t make those two MASSIVE saves, Columbus doesn’t win this game or keep that clean sheet.
- No other conclusions to draw from this game. The conditions were horrid and there was a mid game weather delay.
Colorado Rapids 1 – 4 Houston Dynamo
- Colorado Rapids: Not great, but could’ve had 1 or 2 more goals, the pre-season hype around Rubio and Kamara up top may be losing steam.
- Houston Dynamo: Houston Dynamo is Alberth Elis.
- Elite Performer: Alberth Elis ($9.7) – 13 points: 1 goal and 1 assist although he assisted on both own goals. You have to wonder what the Dynamo would do without Elis.
- Value: Memo Rodriguez ($6.1) – 6 points: Memo got his 4th goal in just his 3rd start. That’s 4 goals in 198 minutes or a goals per 90 of 1.82. He’s averaging about 8 points a game when he starts. At $6.1 it only makes sense to have him on the bench ready to go.
- Dud: Diego Rubio ($6.8) – 2 point: Diego Rubio has dropped 700k this season making him almost a value play, however, he needs to prove he can actually produce. Having just earned a call-up to the Chilean national team (which is no joke) you have to think he’s got more in the tank.
Real Salt Lake 2 – 4 FC Dallas
- Real Salt Lake: Woof, maybe they’re just the latest prey to fall victim to the rising star Paxton Pomykal or maybe something needs to change internally, or both.
- FC Dallas: The youth experiment is going great and I’m all in on Luchi. If you’re ever looking for value plays, this roster is full of them, but you must be wary of lineup rotation.
- Elite Performer: Paxton Pomykal ($7.7) – 15 points: He’s averaging 9 points a game in his last 4 starts and drawn comparisons to Frenkie De Jong (albeit a bit of a stretch). He’s still value at $7.7 and has a low floor earning both offensive and defensive bonus points every week.
- Value: Jesus Ferreira ($4.6) – 13 points: Just barely 18 and absolutely not afraid. He came away from this game with 1 goal and 2 assists. I expect to see more of him as he’s been more effective than Dom Badji and at $4.6 he barely eats in to your budget.
- Value: Michael Barrios ($8.2) – 13 points: Barrios was a monster in this game. He created 3 big chances (1 pt each), had 4 key passes (1 pt), 2 assists and even chipped in defensively earning a point for his successful tackles. Those are big boy numbers and a steal at $8.2 if Dallas is going to continue this production.
- Dud: FC Dallas Defense: FC Dallas have been a lot of fun to watch despite their inability to keep the ball out of their own net. In a game that you’re up a man in for 73 minutes of the game, you shouldn’t be conceding 2 goals.
Vancouver Whitecaps 0 – 0 Seattle Sounders
- Vancouver Whitecaps: The Whitecaps and Marc Dos Santos game-planned for the Sounders and it worked, getting their first result of 2019.
- Seattle Sounders: Seattle found their first real test of 2019 in their rivals, we’ll see how they bounce back against a probably furious RSL team.
- Elite Performer: Doneil Henry ($6.3) – 10 points: Even though Vancouver game-planned for Seattle, it took Henry making some incredibly last minutes stops on Ruidiaz to keep the clean sheet. Dude is a monster at last ditch defending.
- Value: Maxime Crepeau ($5.0) – 9 points: Maxime had a solid game and looks to have the luxury of a solid and organized Whitecaps’ defense in front of him. Many of Fantasy MLS owners’ favorite keepers have already reached exorbitant prices.
- Dud: Nico Lodeiro ($11.9) – 3 points: If you captained Lodeiro, you were pretty sad. I’m here to say this is just a fluke, HOWEVER, if the Sounders can’t break a team like Vancouver down, then we may see more of these performances…
Orlando City 1 – 2 DC United
- Orlando City SC: That smile on Wayne Rooney’s face should haunt Orlando fans in their sleep, as they really deserved a better result.
- DC United: All of you who doubted Rooney’s ability to making a lasting impact in MLS, shame on you (I’m shaming myself too, because I certainly had doubts).
- Elite Performer: Wayne Rooney ($11.5) – 11 points: Is there anyone else? Dude put the team on his back with a ridiculous goal. Not only that, he had the wits to draw the innocuous foul before to set that up.
- Value: Chris Mueller ($7.6) – 5 points: Mueller had 5 points off the bench, and looked the most dangerous player on the pitch. I expect we see him back in the starting lineup soon and could be worth a go at home against a struggling Rapids team.
- Value: Orlando City Defense: Orlando City defense had done a decent job of holding DC to few opportunities, so they may be worth a shot via a switcharoo as they face a struggling Rapids side.
LA Galaxy 2 – 1 Portland Timbers
- LA Galaxy: A healthy Alessandrini and Ibrahimovic is a scary thing, but can the team get behind this kind of offense.
- Portland Timbers: I believed it at the beginning of the season and I believe it now, the Timbers are not a playoff team.
- Elite Performer: Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($11.7) – 16 points: He almost had another goal of the week/month/year candidate, but was denied by the post. As long as he’s healthy and on the field, he’s a threat to score goals.
- Value: Joe Corona ($6.9) – 4 points: Joe Corona got his 3rd start, but most importantly his first start with Ibrahimovic and Alessandrini. With Jona Dos Santos and Lletget behind him and the dangerous Alessandrini and Ibrahimovic in front of him, I fully expect his price to be on the up and up in the next couple weeks.
- Dud: Diego Valeri ($11.2) – 4 points: He only got 4 points, which for a value player would be a great floor. However, if you look at Valeri’s similarly priced peers, suddenly his production is lacking.