The third installment of our fantasy tips series sees us preview the best defensive options in the official mlssoccer.com fantasy football game.
With the 2015 MLS season fast approaching, we take a look at the best defenders to consider starting in your MLS Fantasy lineup. Here are the five we think could top the points chart this term in defence:
1. Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy) – $9.0mEmbed from Getty Images
A hefty price for the LA Galaxy Designated Player should be money well spent as LA are the favourites to retain their MLS Cup title again this year. With eight clean-sheets in the 2014 regular season, Omar Gonzalez is certainly worth a look so long as your budget can stretch.
The USMNT star is also a threat at set-pieces. He scored four times last season and his experience will be key in defence and attack. One concern would be that he has been known to have injury problems.
2. Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers) – $8.5mEmbed from Getty Images
Portland Timbers are expected to have a good season and Liam Ridgewell will play a huge part in any playoff push the Timbers mount. The Englishman is a free-kick specialist and can also play in midfield.
At $8.5m he is an expensive pick but he is worth a look as he has a keen eye for goal and will pick up clean-sheet points that will be so valuable for your team.
3. Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City) – $9.0mEmbed from Getty Images
The other half of the USMNT World Cup centre-half pairing, Matt Besler is a strong centre-back that can also pop up with a goal. Top players cost top money and Besler is valued at a price that is risky ($9.0m) but he could bring huge rewards if Sporting KC remain tight at the back.
Sporting Kansas City will be playing in the Western Conference this season but Besler should pick up some clean-sheets on the way. Last year saw Besler record his lowest fantasy points tally in three years but that was largely down to fatigue after the World Cup and he should bounce back in 2015.
4. Brek Shea (Orlando City SC) – $8.0mEmbed from Getty Images
Some might say Brek Shea is a gamble but his versatility could see him move forward from left-back, where he is expected to play, throughout the season and with that he becomes more of a goal threat.
At $8.0m he is still a risk and may not settle back into MLS instantly. But he is going to get game time with Orlando City and may be worth the money so long as the Lions can remain relatively solid at the back.
5. Matt Hedges (FC Dallas) – $9.0mEmbed from Getty Images
FC Dallas star Matt Hedges is a mainstay in a very good Dallas team. With the introduction of Dan Kennedy in goal, Dallas have only strengthened at the back and they are certainly contenders for the MLS Supporters’ Shield. Any club in the hunt for success needs to keep clean-sheets and Dallas are no exception.
Hedges popped up with three goals last season and that total could well increase this term. He was the fourth-highest scoring defender in 2014 and deserves serious attention.
Who do you think will be the best MLS Fantasy defender in 2015?