A warm welcome and happy April to all MLS Fantasy managers once again! We’re back with another edition of our Parsing The Percentages series, where we take a look at the Vegas betting landscape and use it to determine which MLS players should be on your fantasy squads!
Last weekend, our selections of Toronto FC and Sporting Kansas City paid off quite handsomely as both clubs picked up wins at home. This weekend, the oddsmakers are leaning much further south, as Atlanta United and FC Dallas are the two clubs strongly favored in Round 6.
FC Dallas (vs. Colorado)
FiveThirtyEight: 57% Chance to Win
OddsShark: FC Dallas Win -210
OddsPortal: FC Dallas Win -217
After a disappointing 2017, Mauro Diaz (10.3m) has rebounded quite nicely to start off 2018. The Argentinian midfielder a been a bonus point machine in his first three matches so far, looking much like he did in 2016 as the engine that powers the Dallas attack. Diaz has been a bit unlucky to not find the scorecard, having no goals and one assist thus far despite taking 9 shots and making 11 key passes in MLS action this season. We rate Diaz as Dallas' top attacking option this weekend: he has high-floor with breakout-match fantasy potential.
Two additional Dallas attackers with high upsides this weekend are Maxi Urruti (8.7m) and Roland Lamah (8.5mm). Lamah has been on an absolute tear to start the season, tallying three goals in his last two matches. Meanwhile, Urruti has attempted a staggering 17 shots so far this season - even if he doesn't find the back of the net, he's got quite a bit of bonus potential in the Shots Attempted category. Given their boom-or-bust nature, we are leaning towards using both of these players as Switcheroo options this weekend. However, given their relatively low prices, we wouldn't object to managers including them in the final attacking slots of the starting XI this weekend either.
Lastly, for managers looking for some high-floor options further back in the formation, defender Reto Ziegler (6.3m) and midfielder Jacori Hayes (5.8m) have been very productive in the center of the pitch for fantasy managers. Hayes has been a great partner for Carlos Gruezo in the holding midfield, and Ziegler has been a very welcome addition to the club alongside Matt Hedges on the back line. Both players should produce bonus points this weekend, even if Colorado manages to score an away goal on Saturday.
Atlanta United (vs. Los Angeles FC)
FiveThirtyEight: 60% Chance to Win
OddsShark: Atlanta Win -175
OddsPortal: Atlanta Win -169
Atlanta managed to endure the bitter cold of Minnesota this past weekend and escape with a 1-0 short-handed victory. They head back home to face Los Angeles FC in what could turn into quite the high-scoring affair if the high-octane attacks of both clubs live up to their potential.
The usual suspects here are forward Josef Martinez (11.5m) and midfielder Miguel Almiron (11.3m). The high-priced pair have wreaked absolute havoc at home against opposing defenses in 2018, combining for 47 fantasy points against DC and Vancouver in rounds 2 and 3. You can be sure that Tata Martino was taking notes in the film room this week, watching LA Galaxy carve up LAFC in the second half of the inaugural El Traffico derby. We expect that he will put together a game plan centered around enabling Martinez and Almiron to do the same on Saturday.
For fantasy managers who think Atlanta will run rough-shod this weekend and want to load up their rosters, we also recommend having a look at Julian Gressel (8.0m). There is talk that Gressel may be the odd man out when Ezequiel Barco returns to contention, but he has nevertheless filled in quite nicely for the departed Yamil Asad on the right wing this season. Bring him in if you're looking for a mid-priced Atlanta midfielder this weekend. Lastly, Michael Parkhurst (5.3m) could be a sneaky option this weekend. He will be without Leandro Gonzalez Pirez after his Minnesota red card, and LA FC's attack is very potent... but he should be able to rake in CBI bonus points nonetheless. Parkhurst could be a fun differential switcheroo this weekend.