Clean sheets have been getting harder to come by the past several weeks so this week I’m taking a bit more mathematical approach to our keeper and defender recommendations. I’ve included a chart after the break that breaks down how many goals teams allow per game (on average). So if you’re trying to decide who to play this week, or want to swap someone out completely, this should give you a little more info.
If you want to see more, keep reading after the break. But please join the discussion at r/FantasyMLS, that’s where a lot of planning is made and last second decisions finalized. If you have questions, please stop by!
Of the 9 games being played this week, 5 of the home teams have allowed an average of less than 1 goal per game. Any of these teams would be good for this week, but there are other considerations to keep in mind.
LA tops the list and actually has the best record overall (only allowing 8 goals in 14 home games), but they have a bye week coming up and their hot keeper Jaime Penedo, may get called up for his national team soon. So handle with care. Columbus is next and they have one of the cheapest keeper options on our list the $4.0m Matt Lampson. Keep in mind that they are playing SKC who has the best away form right now (50%). Just below Columbus is New York with the highest point earning keeper in the league Luis Robles. Even with New England having a good away scoring record, New York has been tough at home and that makes this one of the better CS chances. Colorado has a game that looks tough on paper, but when you consider that Seattle has only been able to score 12 times in 14 away games, the Clint Irwin’s chances look better (allowed 13 goals in 15 games). Finally, RSL is close to the 1 goal per game mark and Dallas has scored 17 goals in 15 away games; this could be a tougher match for Nick Rimando than most expect.
Finally Houston and Philly both deserve an honorable mention. Houston is right at that 1 goal per game mark and Montreal has the best away scoring records in the league. This could be a tough for them. Philly, on the other hand, is just under the 1 goal mark allowing 1 goal ever 0.94 games. Zac MacMath is still worth consideration thought because they are playing Toronto and they have the 2nd worst away scoring record in the league.
My top 3
- Robles (9.4% @ $6.0m)
- MacMath (6.4% @ %5.1m)
- Penedo (2.0% @ $4.9m)
You’ve already seen the chart, so everyone should have a decent idea of how well defenses have been performing so far. The extra consideration for defenders, as always, is their bonus point generation. Of the top players: Olave, Gonzalez, and Parke are all highly owned and have a good chance to return points. Players like Collin, Goncalves, and Hedges could have a tougher time during their away games. Parke is the only new name to this list. His price is very attractive, and that’s why he’s still so highly owned. These next couple of games do look good for him.
So this leaves us with the differential choices. This week, I’m going with Chris Schuler (4.0% @ $5.1m) as my first pick. I know he’s only recently back and did not play in the Open Cup last night, but he had some good number when he came back during the Vancouver game, and I think he has a good chance to start again. But remember RSL, does not play in week 34. If you’re worried about Gonzalez leaving for national duty but you still want an LA defender, Sean Franklin (8.8% @ $5.3m). He’s able to get similar numbers so should be a good backup, but LA will also not play in week 34.
You can’t have a back line full of players who will miss week 34 though. I already mentioned Jeff Parke above, but you can also take a look at Colorado’s Drew Moore (6.5% @ 5.4m). His match might be challenging against Seattle, but he has excellent bonus generation and should be able to get at least a couple of defensive points.
• Don’t stock up on too many players from teams with a BYE next week
• Try to focus on the teams who have performed well at home
These are my picks, if you think there should be more names on this list, please leave a comment or come to r/FantasyMLS and comment on the post. You can also leave a message on our Facebook page or you can find us on Twitter @FantasyMLSTips. Keep checking back for more updates through the week for other positions. Good Luck!