Hello there Fantasy MLS Managers and welcome back to our weekly Parsing the Percentages series! With one of our regular teams on bye this week (Atlanta), we’ve decided to head out west for our picks this week – so without further adieu, let’s get it going!
LA Galaxy (vs. Minnesota)
FiveThirtyEight: 68% chance to win vs MNU
OddsShark: LAG Win -213 (vs MNU)
OddsPortal: LAG Win -209 (vs MNU)
Looking at this particular game, a familiar name comes back up, and rightfully so: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (11m). Zlatan is coming off his best MLS performance to date (skipping last weekend’s suspension for skipping the All Star Game), and an appetizing Minnesota United back line will likely result in quite a few managers giving him the armband this weekend. Enough said – make sure you find room in your lineup this weekend for the Swedish superstar.
Zlatan has not been the only Galaxy player on fire as of late; Romain Alessandrini (10.5) has been on an absolute tear as of late, and he should be one of three double-digit midfielders from a West Coast team in your lineup this weekend, alongside Nico Lodeiro and our first pick from the next team in this piece. The dos Santos brothers are also decent attacking options from a value standpoint, as they fall within the second-tier price range at 8.0m (Gio-FWD) and 9.0m (Jon-MID).
Lastly, while we’re not huge fans of LA’s clean sheet chances, it could be worth throwing David Ousted (5.4m) in there as a switcheroo against a Sunday keeper for managers feeling especially bold.
Portland (vs. Vancouver)
FiveThirtyEight: 65% chance to win vs VAN
OddsShark: POR Win -217 (vs VAN)
OddsPortal: POR Win -220 (vs VAN)
With 37 points earned in 20 games so far in 2018, Portland sits in second place below FC Dallas and is going up against a Vancouver club who is tied most Goals Against in the Western Conference. Diego Valeri (11.5m) is a no-brainer here, as we alluded to above – given his current run of form, we expect him to feast at home during this pivotal Cascadia cup matchup.
While Valeri is far and away the most consistent attacking option for the Timbers, Samuel Armenteros (9.2m) is an intriguing boom-or-bust option for managers who have a little bit of coin to spend and are willing to take a risk with a high-upside play this week. He may be a little bit too pricey for a switcheroo play unless you’re opting for only two double-digit midfielders this week, but this match has the potential to become a high-scoring affair for Portland with Vancouver recovering from a tough midweek Canadian Cup match against Toronto.
Defensively, Julio Cascante (6.5m) and Alvas Powell (7.0m) are the top choices on a back line that has a solid clean sheet opportunity this weekend. Defensive midfielder slash destroyer Diego Chara (7.5m) will also offer a fairly high floor at a very affordable price, thanks to his defensive bonus point contributions.