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DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday MLS Picks

Andrew M. Laird

Andrew M. Laird, the 2017 FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's Senior Soccer Editor and a fantasy football contributor. He is also a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Football Writer of the Year Award.


7:00 p.m: D.C. United v. Philadelphia Union
8:00 p.m: Minnesota United v. Real Salt Lake
8:30 p.m: Houston Dynamo v. New York Red Bulls
10:00 p.m: Vancouver Whitecaps v. Los Angeles Galaxy


D.C. United have just one point through their first three games, and they are the only side in Major League Soccer still looking for their first goal. Making matters worse, starting forward Patrick Mullins will be out for a number of weeks because of a hamstring injury, which means either Jose Guillermo Ortiz, Sebastian Le Toux or Lamar Neagle will start up front.

Meanwhile, the Union have just two points through their first three games but they've allowed four goals in their last two. Midfielder Alejandro Bedoya started only one of the United States' games over the international break, so he's likely to be ready to start Saturday, though Haris Medunjanin could be on corners again. C.J. Sapong has scored in back-to-back matches, though he may not get a spot in the first XI if the team decides to roll with opening-day starter Jay Simpson, who recently recovered from a rib injury.

Favorite Plays

Taylor Kemp, DCU v. PHI ($5,500): The upper-tier defenders leave plenty to be desired, but Kemp deserves consideration given his ability to move up in the attack against a struggling Union defense. He hasn't been crossing quite as much this season, but it's tough to argue many other defenders have higher upside.

Fabinho, PHI at DCU ($5,200): Another high-priced defender who hasn't been crossing as much, though Fabinho has won 10 tackles in his last two games.

Patrick Nyarko, DCU v. PHI ($5,500): Luciano Acosta could be considered because he's likely to grab a big share of the set pieces, but he's also $1,500 more than Nyarko, who has been D.C.'s best attacker this season (I realize that doesn't sound impressive for a side that's failed to score in three games). However, Nyarko has at least three crosses, fouls drawn, tackles won or shots on goal in each of this three games this season, so if he is able to find the back of the net, he'll be producing much more than just that.


Minnesota United return home looking for their first MLS win, while Real Salt Lake will be hoping to get something out of Joao Plata, who could be available after recovering from a hip injury, though he's unlikely to start. The Loons have been horrific defensively this season, allowing an astonishing 18 goals in four matches, including six in their lone home game. One the plus side, RSL have scored just once in their four games and Minnesota just added Marc Burch and Sam Cronin from Colorado to help stop the defensive bleeding. Given their recent moves, it would be surprising to see them start right away.

Favorite Plays

Kevin Molino, MIN v. RSL ($5,400): Molino is Minnesota's best attacking player, as evidenced by his two goals in three games. And while he isn't a high-volume crosser, he will send in a few while also winning tackles and drawing fouls, giving him a decent floor.

Christian Ramirez, MIN v. RSL ($5,100): Despite giving up a boatload of goals, Minnesota has been fairly good in the attack, highlighted by Ramirez's two goals on nine shots and one assist in the first four games. He's much more goal dependent than Molino, but he's in a decent spot to find the back of the net.

Yura Movsisyan, RSL at MIN ($5,900): While he has just one goal this season, Movsisyan has taken multiple shots in three of four games and will now lead the RSL attack against a team that's allowed five, six, two and five goals in their four games, respectively. Don't overthink this one.

Albert Rusnak, RSL at MIN ($7,200): Rusnak's price has jumped considerably, though sending in 28 crosses in three games while also taking five shots will do that. He's expected to continue taking most, if not all, set pieces and again, Minnesota have been awful defensively.


The Red Bulls come in fresh off an amazingly disappointing home draw to an undermanned Real Salt Lake, while Houston will try to make up for the loss of Romell Quioto, their leading goal scorer, who will miss a few weeks with a shoulder injury suffered while on international duty. Houston are significantly better at home, and the Red Bulls have disappointed early this season, though the game is essentially a pick 'em. Bradley Wright-Phillips has just one goal in the opening four matches, while Sacha Kljestan picked up an assist in the season opener but hasn't added any since.

Favorite Plays

Bradley Wright-Phillips obviously has the best goal-scoring odds in the game, while Sacha Kljestan should be on free kicks for the Red Bulls, but both are so expensive and there's little we've seen this season to think they can make a big impact in Houston.

On the Dynamo side, Alex has been a decent crosser, but his upside is fairly minimal that it's probably not worth rostering him. Andrew Wenger, anyone?


The Galaxy have been hit with a plethora of injuries this season, but they may finally get to have Giovani Dos Santos, Gyasi Zardes, Jermaine Jones and Ashley Cole all play together. They come in with just three points from their first three games, which is actually better than the Whitecaps, who have managed just one in their first three.

The Whitecaps have allowed five goals this season, though they've all come in the last two games, including two to Toronto at home in their last match. While most of the squad is fit, it's unfortunately just not that good.

Favorite Plays

Romain Alessandrini, LAG at VAN ($8,500): Alessandrini is the fifth-most expensive player on the slate, but he could the safest cash-game play if he continues to take set pieces ahead of Dos Santos. He's scored at least 10 fantasy points in each of his three starts, and he's incredibly reliable because of his crosses, sending in 18 over that span while also winning eight tackles and taking 10 shots. With better players around him, such as Dos Santos and Zardes, he could be pulling the strings for an extremely potent attack.

Clement Diop, LAG at VAN ($4,700): There aren't a ton of high-priced players on the slate, and a few of the top ones can probably be faded, which means paying down for a goalkeeper isn't totally necessary. That being said, Diop is in a decent spot against a Vancouver side that should be attacking because they are at home, but they've done little to think they'll blow out the Galaxy.
The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Andrew M. Laird plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: kingmorland, DraftKings: andrewmlaird, Yahoo: Lairdinho, TheSix: Lairdinho.