We’re just under an hour away from the first kickoff of the 2018 MLS Fantasy season! Toronto and Columbus lineups have been announced, and our Round 1 lineups are officially locked in!
Here’s how we’re lined up for Round 1:
Our main outfield players are pretty template, so I figure it's probably best to dive right into our switcheroo picks first!
We've opted for the Triple Switcheroo (coined by the one and only @JayMLSFI) this week. Colorado Rapids defender Sam Vines and Atlanta forward Patrick Okonkwo (who has been loaned to Charleston) are the two outfield plugs, with our two top-scoring bench players automatically switching in at the end of the round. Our bench consists of defender Eriq Zavaleta and midfielders Florian Jungwirth and Alphonso Davies.
Jungwirth has the pedigree to be one of the top defensive midfielders this season, and provides a great floor with his defensive bonus point potential. On the opposite end of the scale, Davies is a high upside play due to his attacking potential. If he picks up an assist or finds the back of the net, he will almost assuredly find himself automatically switched in. If he blanks, no harm done as he will likely be the odd man out.
Zavaleta is our third bench player, and the second Toronto defender on our 15-man roster (along with Greg van der Wiel. The thinking here is that if Toronto picks up a clean sheet, there's a good chance Zavaleta will get automatically swapped in, and we would be able to double up on clean sheet points. If they don't keep a clean sheet, Zavaleta should be able to earn a couple of bonus points nonetheless; in the instance that Davies blanks and only earns 2 or 3 points, Zavaleta should still switch in ahead of him as he has the potential to earn 4 or 5 points on the round, even without a clean sheet.
Lastly, we currently have a tiny bit of money left to play with, so we're opting for a Keeper switcheroo this week as well. New York's Evan Louro is 4.0m and isn't playing this week, so we can use him to maximize our chances for a clean sheet. Therefore, if San Jose's Alex Tarbell doesn't earn a clean sheet on Saturday night, we can make a switch on Sunday morning to bring in a keeper that hasn't played yet.
We've opted for three 5.5m defenders in Round 1 to maximize our spending on the attacking end. Chad Marshall, Nick Lima, and Greg van der Wiel all have very solid chances at a clean sheet this week. The selections of van der Wiel and Lima offer additional utility as they allow us to potentially stack clean sheets with our Switcheroo players from the same club (Tarbell and Zavaleta). Marshall, on the other hand is a solid bonus-point earner and offers a decent floor, even in the event that LA FC manages to score a goal on the road in their first match.
We've decided to pay up for attacking in Round 1. Sebastian Giovinco, Nico Lodeiro and Romain Alessandrini are top-tier players, both on the pitch and on the MLS Fantasy price scale. All have the potential to go off any given week, and are bonus-point machines even if they don't score. Lodi is our captain this week for just that reason... plus the fact that Seattle hosts a brand new club in LA FC this week. Yoshi Yotun and Will Bruin round out our roster, whose attacking potential provides excellent value at their respective price points (8.5m and 7.0m).