What’s up MLS Fantasy managers?! Kevin from Soccer Captains here, and I’m coming to you on a beautiful Thursday afternoon here on the east coast! It’s finally north of 80 degrees here, and no better place than the outdoors to bring you my weekly Parsing the Percentages piece.
Our selections of Atlanta and Columbus last week worked out quite well once again, as the Vegas betting scene once again provided very good guidance for our fantasy squads in Round 9. We look to continue that success as we step into Week 10, where the oddsmakers are favoring Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia and Sporting KC vs. Colorado. Let’s dive in!
Toronto FC (vs. Philadelphia)
FiveThirtyEight: 61% chance to win
OddsShark: Toronto Win -190
OddsPortal: Toronto Win -185
With as much success as Toronto FC enjoyed during their CONCACAF Champions League run, it’s been almost the opposite with regards to their domestic play as they’ve earned a mere 4 points during their first six matches. That being said, we see a tremendous amount of upside for the Reds coming in to this weekend: Toronto finally gets a full week of rest coming into this match, they no longer have CCL to worry about, and they’ve played fewer MLS matches than nearly every other club thus far. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, I think Toronto FC makes a statement this match.
Sebastian Giovinco (9.0m) should be a lock for MLS Fantasy lineups this weekend. He offers insane value at his current price, and at a minimum should be on your bench as a switcheroo for the Friday night matchup. If this does in fact turn out to be a statement game for TFC and they blow out Philly, he will be the one leading the charge. **Victor Vazquez (10.0m) is also due back, and if he’s truly healthy, we should see him produce some strong fantasy returns as well in a TFC blowout.
With Drew Moor out for a few months, Michael Bradley (9.1m) will likely have to move even further back in the formation to shore up the back line. His defensive bonus point production should give him a decent floor, but his attacking opportunities will likely also decrease – just something to consider when making lineup decisions this weekend. That being said, Bradley’s defensive presence should shore up the back line, increasing potential returns for Alex Bono (6.3m), who should be locked in as your bench goalkeeper. If TFC keeps a clean sheet Friday night, you can put in a DC bye-week goalkeeper on Saturday morning and enjoy those sweet auto-switch fantasy points.
Sporting KC (vs. Colorado)
FiveThirtyEight: 65% chance to win
OddsShark: Kansas City Win -225
OddsPortal: Kansas City Win -222
After a shaky start to the season, Sporting KC come alive in the last few weeks, and we expect them to continue the momentum at home this weekend against the Colorado Rapids.
Unlike most of our pieces, we’re actually going to begin our breakdown on the defensive end of the pitch. Shockingly, Peter Vermes’ defense gave up a staggering 9 goals in its’ first four matches – almost completely unheard of considering how strong SKC’s back line was in 2017. However, in recent weeks, the club has managed to turn it around defensively, and we’re really liking their chances at a clean sheet this weekend. Tim Melia (6.8m) is a great pick this week as a potential switcheroo with the aforementioned Alex Bono, and the duo of Ike Opara (7.1m) and Matt Besler (7.7m) have been consistently providing strong bonus point returns in addition to any clean sheet points they’ve earned during the last few rounds. If you can afford him, Graham Zusi (9.5m) offers tremendous attacking potential alongside the clean sheet prospects for SKC in Round 10.
Unfortunately, Felipe Gutierrez will be out for several weeks following surgery for a sports hernia. Nevertheless, Johnny Russell (9.8m), who we will be referring to as “Johnny Soccer” going forward, continues to put out strong attacking returns for fantasy managers. While we’re loading up on SKC defensive personnel this weekend, Johnny Soccer is one of our locked-in attackers for our fantasy lineup in Round 10.