What’s up MLS Fantasy managers! It’s your boy K-to-the-Manner hot off the press here at SoccerCaptains bringing you the latest installment of our Parsing the Percentages series – we’ve waded into the Vegas landscape once again to see which teams the oddsmakers favor in order to make recommendations for your fantasy teams this weekend!
This weekend, the bookies seem to be favoring the Seattle Sounders coming off a bye week against a flailing RSL… while Tim’s very own New York Red Bulls are also heavily favored at home against Philadelphia after coming away with a great road win against Atlanta FC last weekend.
Seattle FC (vs. Real Salt Lake)
FiveThirtyEight: 64% chance to win
OddsShark: Seattle Win -170
OddsPortal: Seattle Win -175
Now you might be saying, “Kev, what are you thinking, guy? Seattle is on the bottom of the table!” – and I can’t fault you for that! However, there’s a few factors here – first being that RSL have been nothing short of awful lately, especially on the road. Furthermore, Seattle are on the mend here, are no longer dealing with a CCL hangover, and are playing much better now than they were during their first few MLS matches. You don’t have to go with a full 4-player complement of Seattle players this round, but given their positioning as the first Saturday match, you can make the case for 2 or 3 Seattle players this weekend, especially if you utilize them as switcheroo options.
Stefan Frei (7.2m) is a solid switcheroo choice this weekend, pairing nicely with either a Friday night goalkeeper, Tim Melia on Sunday, or one of the late-Saturday fixtures. Given RSL’s weakness on the road, he has a solid shout at a clean sheet. Fullback Nouhou Tolo (5.5m) is a great budget option on the back line, offering the same clean sheet potential as Frei but also featuring a fair amount of attacking potential given his position. If you’re feeling especially bold, you can pair him with Chad Marshall (5.7m) who will anchor the Seattle back line once again and should pick up a couple of bonus points for you at a minimum.
Seattle has been a bit more offensively challenged with two strikers, Will Bruin and Jordan Morris, sustaining injuries this season. Clint Dempsey (7.0m) looks like a shadow of his former self in 2018, but if there was a team for him to show us otherwise, RSL is that team. We won’t be picking him, but if you want to get crazy with a switcheroo slot, he could be a dark horse this weekend.
If we were to guess which Seattle attackers could have themselves a strong fantasy weekend, it would be Cristian Roldan (8.6m) and Magnus Wolff Eikrem (4.2m). The elder Roldan’s central position has allowed him to enjoy a solid bonus point floor while contributing on the attacking end. With Wolff, as much of a fantasy flop as he’s been, the good news is his price can’t drop below 4.0m, meaning he’s a great value pick in terms of potential upside. If either Wolff or the Roldans find themselves with some space following an RSL turnover, exciting things can happen.
NY Red Bulls (vs. Philadelphia)
FiveThirtyEight: 64% chance to win
OddsShark: New York Win -200
OddsPortal: New York Win -196
Now, let’s talk NYRB and their plush matchup against the Philadelphia Union this coming weekend. NYRB, fresh off a crowing victory last week against Atlanta FC, are playing great both as a unit and individually, and will look to continue this stretch on the weekend. After last weekend, NYRB is tied for most goals scored in all of MLS (26 goals to date) and they should continue that trend in their coming match.
Now, I’m sure my counterpart Tim, who is our resident New York Red Bulls expert, will have a lot to say about RBNY’s prospects this weekend. Therefore, I’m going to keep it brief, and simply rank New York players, allowing him to give you the full breakdown later on in the week.
1 – Kaku (10.8m) – Nothing short of incredible now that he’s got a handle on the system and has joined the starting lineup. Truly a budding superstar in this league.
2 – Bradley Wright Phillips (12.4m) – Continues to defy Father Time and improve each season. He’s been as much of a creator as he’s been a scorer this season, and is an early favorite for MVP.
3 – Ryan Meara (4.9m) – Luis Robles is confirmed out for this weekend, so Meara offers the best value for New York defensive players.
4 – Aaron Long (7.9m) – Best bonus point potential for NY defenders, especially if Philly park the bus and look to counter.
5 – Michael Amir Murillo (7.7m) – Won’t depart for int’l duty until after the Philly match, offers fantastic attacking potential along the flanks.
6 – Tim Parker (6.9m) – If you need an extra 1.0m, pick him over Long.
7 – Tyler Adams (6.4m) – Has been playing much further back in recent weeks alongside Sean Davis, man-marking the opponents best attacker for the last two three matches. Solid defensive bonus floor, but RBNY offers too much upside at other positions to rank him higher.