Happy Round 21 to all MLS Fantasy Managers, and congratulations on the completion of the spring portion of the 2018 MLS Fantasy season! After the excitement of the World Cup and seeing France crowned, Soccer Captains is back at ya with our Parsing the Percentages series. Tim had you guys covered earlier this week for the two teams on double-duty this week (MNU & NER), so we will be focusing clubs only participating in a single match this weekend. We’re also going to throw a bit of a wrinkle in here: we’re going with clubs that do not fall on the “Usual Suspects” list that includes Atlanta, RBNY, and Portland… instead, we’re going with clubs that should allow you to diversify your lineup a bit and provide value in the last 2-3 slots in your lineups. Therefore, we’re going with Real Salt Lake at home against Colorado and Columbus at home against Orlando. So without further ado – let’s dive in!
Real Salt Lake (vs. COL)
FiveThirtyEight: 59% chance to win vs Colorado
OddsShark: RSL Win -186 (vs COL)
OddsPortal: RSL Win -185 (vs COL)
We’re starting this off this week with RSL against Colorado, where we expect RSL to take advantage of their home pitch against a floundering Rapids club. With Joao Plata in Mike Petke’s doghouse, Jefferson Savarino (7.5m) has stepped up out on the wing and has become the top option on the front line for Salt Lake. Both Sav and Albert Rusnak (10.5m) should feast, and we encourage managers try to find a slot for at least one of these players this weekend.
RSL also has a great chance at a clean sheet in this matchup, so Justen Glad (8.0m) and the timeless Nick Rimando (6.8m) are likely to feature in our lineups as well, if only as a potential switch-out; RSL are the third-latest match of the weekend, so if our earlier defensive options on the bench pick up a clean sheet, we have the option to slide them out of our starting lineup in lieu of an NYC player on bye.
Columbus (vs. Orlando)
FiveThirtyEight: 62% chance to win vs ORL
OddsShark: CLB Win -244 vs ORL
OddsPortal: CLB Win -250 vs ORL
Columbus vs Orlando is the second game we recommend looking at when filling out your lineups. To date, Orlando has given up the most goals (42), which is the perfect opportunity for Columbus to regain some of the form they’ve lost in recent weeks. As always, Federico Higuain (9.5m) should be extensively involved in the attack for the Crew this weekend, and is relatively low-priced in relation to other CAMs in the league. Additionally, if there is a bench spot available for a switcheroo, Gyasi Zardes (7.8m) is a fun boom-or-bust option this weekend, and there are enough teams playing after Columbus this weekend that managers should be able to bring someone in if he flops.
Deeper in the formation, Wil Trapp (6.7m) continues to rack up the bonus points, and the Orlando matchup is one that could see him find the scoresheet on the offensive end, if managers are looking to go with a higher floor and/or a cheaper option in their switcheroo spot instead of Zardes. Defensively, Harrison Afful ( 7.3m) is the top option on the back line for the Crew this weekend, and could stack up quite a few bonus points if the Crew get out to an early lead and Orlando is forced to play more direct.