This week’s four-game main slate has fewer options than in recent weeks, but still enough variety to go around. We’ll likely get to see three-quarters of the lineups before contests begin, and the remaining match with Seattle visiting Chicago should have all of the usual heavy hitters. v.
7:00 p.m. EDT
I’m not sure there’s a more boring “rivalry” in Major League Soccer than recent incarnations of the I-95 Derby between Philadelphia and D.C. United. Nonetheless, we’ll need to mine some fantasy production out of these two bottom-half teams this week. D.C. United recently have beaten NYC FC and Atlanta United, two quality sides, but they’ve also dropped points to the Revolution and Impact. Meanwhile, the Union have strung together two decent results since blowing a three-goal lead against Montreal. Any range of outcomes could happen here, but I particularly want some exposure to Philadelphia’s attack.
Haris Medunjanin, PHI at DCU ($4,800):
Essentially all Philadelphia midfielders are priced at a steep discount. It’s not to say they’ve been lighting the world on fire with their DraftKings scores, but relative to their talent and the average midfield production around the league, we’re bound to get positive returns in the long run. Medunjanin brings a technicality to the midfield that can help unlock the United defense, particularly given its uneven attempts at controlling the middle of the field themselves. Grabbing a cheap set-piece taker makes for a great stacking opportunity, particularly with aerial threat Oguchi Onyewu being such a cheap centerback option or C.J. Sapong remaining affordable coming off a hat trick.
Andre Blake, PHI at DCU ($4,100):
If Philadelphia, fresh off of two clean sheets, have really solidified what was a porous defense, then Blake is a steal this week. He’s long been one of the league’s most talented keepers, and playing on the road (barely) at RFK Stadium is degrees less intimidating than even an average MLS venue. With United struggling to find their attack, as Patrick Mullins returns to health and Sebastian Le Toux continues to cameo, it’s easy to envision a scenario in which Blake is necessary if you want to cash this week.
Patrick Mullins ($6,900) would certainly be in play if he earns his first start since injury, but C.J. Sapong ($6,600) is even cheaper and in great form. There are probably better forward options in the next three matches, though. Luciano Acosta ($7,500) and Lloyd Sam ($7,100) are the poor man’s Meram vs. Higuain debate, and this week I’m leaning toward Sam.
7:00 p.m. EDT
Sporting have four wins in six matches, but a very tough road match without Dom Dwyer could present some fantasy challenges. Clean sheets are possible, if not probable, for each side and that may present an opportunity to get some good players at low ownership levels. On the flip side, it’s hard to look at these two defenses and want to pay more for attackers than you would have to in the D.C. v. Philadelphia match.
Scott Sutter, ORL v. SKC ($5,400):
I think we can find enough values on this slate to afford a big ticket defender, and Sutter has pushed himself well into that category. Earning consistent attacking points, Sutter will have an easier day defensively than usual, too, against a projected front line of Jimmy Medranda, Soony Saad and Gerso Gernandes. While those wingers in particular bring plenty of speed, none of them are anywhere near the definition of a goalscorer. Sutter is averaging over 12 fantasy points per match at home and this game should see more of the same.
Benny Feilhaber, SKC at ORL ($8,400):
While Orlando’s attack is probably the better unit, no individual stands out for fantasy purposes like Feilhaber. While Kaka still has plenty to prove in terms of fantasy value this season, Feilhaber has consistently been producing. Orlando do a good job of clogging the midfield defensively, but Feilhaber has the chops to battle through it and earn peripherals as well as create a few chances himself. I don’t love the price or the matchup, but it would be foolish to ignore his sheer quality while constructing lineups.
Cyle Larin ($8,700) is fairly matchup proof at this point, but if there’s one opponent to avoid it’s probably Kansas City defenders. Keep an eye out for promising young forward Daniel Salloi ($4,400) in Kansas City’s lineup. If he starts, he’s probably worth considering in a forward spot as a talented wild card.
7:30 p.m. EDT
Another match between two lowly teams, another opportunity for fantasy points! This match has potential for more goals than the earlier two, but which side comes out on top is more uncertain. RSL have lost three straight and New England are winless in five. Who features in attack for the Revolution is somewhat up in the air, as Juan Agudelo is carrying an upper-body injury and Kei Kamara just celebrated the birth of a child. RSL may also shake up their attack with Albert Rusnak injured, several players at international competition and Joao Plata potentially being in the dog house.
Lee Nguyen, NER v. RSL ($7,900):
With so many questions in the lineup, Nguyen should be as relied upon as ever and is probably the second-most promising midfielder on the slate. Salt Lake could very well put out a defensive lineup that aims to stymie New England and grab a draw, leaving Nguyen to accumulate crosses. If tall target Kei Kamara can get on the end of one, with dreams of a social media post fueling him, then Nguyen’s production could be boosted even further. It’s about time we get a dominant performance from Nguyen, but even if not he’s been surprisingly consistent when called upon on DraftKings.
Diego Fagundez, NER v. RSL ($5,400):
Fagundez comes without the safer floor of Nguyen, but with just as much goal-scoring upside. RSL have allowed 14 goals in their past six matches. For his part, Fagundez has fired at least three shots in four straight games. Without seeing a lineup, it’s tough to project any Salt Lake values, but New England should be on the front foot regardless and Fagundez is never used in tournaments as much as he should be.
Cody Cropper ($5,600) is expensive, but is likely to be a good goalkeeping option. Kei Kamara ($7,000) should be motivated but it’s a pretty penny to pay for an old man with a narrative. New acquisition Jefferson Savarino ($3,700) could be thrust right into the starting lineup for RSL and his speed could prove dangerous.
9:00 p.m. EDT
Unlike the earlier three games, this match has a lot of intrigue in the lead-up. Chicago’s season seems to be reassessed each time they play a quality opponent, and they’ve largely stood up to the challenge thanks to their strong offseason acquisitions and the leadership of manager Veljko Paunovic. Seattle have a positive goal differential in road matches this year, though, and will be up to the challenge.
Nicolas Lodeiro, SEA at CHI ($10,000):
Had Lodeiro joined the league before Sebastian Giovinco, he would have been nearly as much of a revelation for fantasy purposes. Most importantly, he’s a crossing machine, but his goal and assist production is up there with the best players as well. It’s a testament to Lodeiro that even in a match against Dax McCarty, Bastian Schweinsteiger and a solid Chicago defense he has to be the very first player plugged into any lineup that isn’t intentionally contrarian.
Nemanja Nikolic, CHI v. SEA ($7,200):
In terms of projected output and price, Nikolic may have the best combination on the slate. Seattle’s defense still isn’t fully healthy, and Jordy Delem is suspended to boot. Brad Evans may return, however, and Osvaldo Alonso and Cristian Roldan help solidify any back line deficiencies. Still, with Accam’s speed, Schweinsteiger’s experience, and Luis Solignac’s underrated ability to relieve pressure on his fellow attackers, Nikolic will surely find his chances.
Joevin Jones ($5,500) is once again the best defensive prospect on the night, having strung together four straight double-digit performances. Hometown kid Harry Shipp ($4,000) was shuttled out when Paunovic came to the Fire and will surely be motivated to prove the organization wrong. He’s rarely on my radar, but it’s a good price and he plays with some great attackers.
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. JD Bazzo plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: OfficerBo, Yahoo: DeNirosDinero.