MLS Fantasy Tips: Top midfield picks

The latest installment of our MLS Fantasy tips series sees us preview the best midfield options in the official mlssoccer.com fantasy soccer game.

With the 2015 MLS season fast approaching, we take a look at the best midfield options for your fantasy lineup. Here are the five who we think could top the points chart this term.

1. Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution) – $11.0m

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Lee Nguyen was the key playmaker in a great New England Revolution side in 2014 and we expect much of the same this year. With 18 regular season goals in MLS last term, he will be hoping to better that tally in 2015.

The return of Juan Agudelo up top will give Nguyen another man to aim at and whether he is scoring or providing, the USMNT man will be an asset to any fantasy lineup. But with a tag of $11.0m, he will need to do well to justify his price.

2. Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC) – $11.0m

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The second of three expensive picks is Sebastian Giovinco but the Italian is a huge gamble at $11.0m considering he hasn’t previously played in MLS.

Toronto needs to make the playoffs this season and Giovinco will be key to any success. Like Nguyen, he can pop up with goals as well as assists and the ‘Atomic Ant’ is someone to seriously consider so long as he can hit the ground running.

3. Kaka (Orlando City SC) – $11.0m

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Former Ballon d’Or winner, Kaka is the marquee signing for 2015 and we expect him to live up to his pedigree.

At $11.0m a lot of fantasy managers will be put off by the price tag but he is one that needs deep consideration. He’s won everything there is to win and now he’s hungry for an MLS Cup in Orlando City’s inaugural season. More than 20% of managers have already picked Kaka for their fantasy teams and he could be the top overall points scorer in 2015.

4. Lloyd Sam (New York Red Bulls) – $8.5m

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Lloyd Sam was the subject of a huge debate over whether he warrants consideration this year now that Thierry Henry has retired. But Sam will still give Bradley Wright-Phillips service and the English winger should at least make your shortlist.

It will be interesting to see what system is played by the New York Red Bulls in 2015 and if Sam is played more centrally, he has to be picked at $8.5m. Even on the right, he can cause problems and he scored as many points as Graham Zusi last year but is $2.0m cheaper than the Sporting Kansas City man.

5. Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo) – $9.0m

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Although he is classed as a midfielder, Giles Barnes often plays up front for the Dynamo, and the further forward he is the more of a threat he is.

Houston are set for a good year under new boss Owen Coyle and the mid-season arrival of Erick Torres will only make Barnes more of an attacking threat. He is a slight risk at $9.0m but was the eighth-highest points scorer from all midfielders in the 2014 season.

Who do you think will be the best MLS Fantasy midfielder in 2015?

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MLS Fantasy Tips: Top Defensive Picks

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) – $9.0m

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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) – $8.5m

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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) – $9.0m

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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) – $8.0m

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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) – $9.0m

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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?

MLS Fantasy Tips: Top attacking options

The 2015 MLS fantasy soccer game is live and today we take a look at the goalscorers you should be targeting ahead of the 2015 MLS Season. We’re expecting big things from these players and as everyone knows, fantasy football is largely about goals, goals and…more goals.

MLSSoccer.com released their official version of MLS Fantasy on Thursday and we’re going to be providing insight into the best options for your team.

The following forwards are all expected to be amongst the goals this year but are all pricey options as a result. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to afford more than a couple of these names but your team probably needs at least one if you’re to be successful.

1. Robbie Keane – Striker (LA Galaxy) – $11.0m

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Last season’s MVP, Robbie Keane has a huge task trying to replicate his stellar performances from last year. However, he has the team around him that can offer the right support. The likes of Gyasi Zardes and Steven Gerrard should supply him with enough chances so that he can be high on the scoring charts once again.

Keane comes in to the new campaign off the back of a remarkable season in which he scored 20 times and accumulated twelve assists. We expect more of the same from the MVP.

2. Dom Dwyer – Striker (Sporting Kansas City) – $10.5m

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Dom Dwyer came second in the scoring charts last season with a very impressive 23 goals over the course of the season.

His clinical finishing and electric pace will aid his cause once again this season, and he’s a worthy option for fantasy managers.

3. David Villa – Striker (New York City FC) – $10.0m

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You’d have to say David Villa is quite cheap considering his pedigree. Villa was a World Cup and Champions League winner whilst in Spain, and provides vital experience for any playoff push that New York City FC will make.

With a supply line that will boast Frank Lampard and Mix Diskerud to name just a couple, Villa will surely be a Golden Boot contender in his debut MLS campaign.

4. Obafemi Martins – Striker (Seattle Sounders) – $11.0m

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Obafemi Martins was extremely impressive in 2014 and we expect more of the same this year. It’s more than likely that the Nigerian forward will surpass his tally of 17 goals in 2015 but you’ll have to pay the price for that at 11.0 million.

The partnership with Clint Dempsey in Seattle has been a blessing for the Sounders and they flourish together. Martins will score goals.

5. Clint Dempsey – Midfielder (Seattle Sounders) – $11.0m

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The only midfielder to make the list is Clint Dempsey. The USMNT star played as a second-striker last term and there has been debate over whether he should be listed as a forward. But the official MLS game has him down as a midfielder and that means he will get clean-sheet bonuses as well, Major plus.

Dempsey scored a total of 16 last term and considering he should be playing alongside Martins again this term, he will expect to find the net on several occasions again. He’s a slight risk at $11.0m but is highly likely to be the highest-scoring midfielder in MLS fantasy this season.


 

Who do you think will top the MLS goalscoring charts in 2015?

MLS Fantasy Tips: Value for money picks

The new Major League Soccer season is drawing ever closer and that means it’s time to start weighing up your MLS fantasy football options ahead of the new campaign.

Here we’ll look at the best players in terms of value for money from the current list of players on the official MLS Fantasy Soccer game. We’re excited for the new season and fantasy football is one of the best ways to get involved with the fastest growing league in world sport if you’re new to MLS.

Below is a list of the five players we believe will be more than worth their price tag this year and some of them should probably be worth more.

Everyone will want that star name whether it be Kaka, David Villa or Robbie Keane but we take a look at the players that will keep you in the hunt for the fantasy title in your league at a more affordable price.

1. Bryan Rochez – Striker (Orlando City)

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It’s surprising that you can have a new Designated Player for just $7.0m. Rochez is a risk, but we believe he’s one worth taking, as you have to assume he will lead the Orlando City line. And after all, someone has to finish Kaka’s great work. Right?

2. Dan Kennedy – Goalkeeper (FC Dallas)

Kennedy was left without a club after the disbandment of Chivas USA. and Dallas picked him up in the Dispersal Draft and now he can be yours for $5.0m.

In terms of a starting goalkeeper, that price is cheap. Especially when you consider Dallas is expected to challenge for a playoff spot again this season. The only catch could be Chris Seitz as the ‘keeper made 14 starts last year and will compete with Kennedy for the starting role.

3. Will Bruin – Striker (Houston Dynamo)

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Bruin will start up top going into the season, and depending on the form of Erick Torres upon arrival, he could be a crucial member to this Houston side for the entire campaign.

He scored ten times in 27 appearances last term so he has proved he can deliver. A slight risk at $8.0m but we believe he’ll be more than worth that price tag, especially in the early months of the season.

4. Otis Earle – Defender (FC Dallas)

A first round draft pick this year and at $4.0m Earle is the cheapest it can get and we are hoping the young defender will see regular first-team action in Dallas after Jair Benitez left the club.

Earle is known to attack down the left side from left-back and could form a lethal partnership with Fabian Castillo this year.

And at such a low price he’s worth having in the side even if you’re just making room for a star man like Kaka or Sebastian Giovinco.

5. Sam Cronin – Midfielder (Colorado Rapids)

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Cronin was traded to the Rapids from the San Jose Earthquakes in the offseason and is set to partner Marcelo Sarvas in a new-look Colorado midfield so he will see game time.

If you just want someone who will reliably see the field week in, week out, then Cronin is your guy. And at $6.0m, he is a low risk pick.

Who do you think will be the best fantasy player for value in 2015?