Fantasy MLS Tips For Daily Fantasy Football Betting: April 23
In this edition of his Fantasy MLS Tips article, Guy Sanchez picks out his top MLS fantasy hints and tricks for April 23.
Welcome back to the your Daily MLS Fantasy rundown. You’ll have to excuse the absence last week – because reasons. But be that as it may, maybe it’s better I took a hiatus last week because so many of the results (and the players in action) were so out of whack – Valeri red card anyone? But we’re back in action and everything is back to normal. I guess ‘normal’ is a subjective phrase when it comes to MLS, but we do our best.
Listed here below are the bookies odds for the seven matches coming your way on Saturday the 23rd. Let’s use them wisely to build our DraftKings lineups, shall we?
The away teams are getting no love this week…and I kind of agree I think. It’s a more complicated schedule than first meets the eye. Either way, let’s break this down.
KEY DEFENSIVE PICKS
Here’s something that few people have picked up on: Toronto, LA and Colorado are in a 3-way tie for the lowest goals allowed on the year with 5 GA apiece. Colorado is understandable, it’s just the type of game they play. But LA and Toronto are real shockers – and Toronto hasn’t even had a home fixture yet. But this week I’m saying to hold off on Toronto defense while they’re playing away to the first place Montreal Impact. Sure, they’ve been successful thus far, but the dam is more likely to break against a team like Montreal.
But let’s not discount Colorado and LA for your keeper and defender needs. Colorado are going to be entertaining Seattle, and Seattle aren’t a sure bet for offense on the road right now. In fact, Seattle have managed to score only a single goal in each of their two away matches, and I expect Colorado to continue to roll here at home. In their three home fixtures, Colorado have two clean sheets and have only conceded a single goal in that third match. They’re stout, and they’re so far under the radar that it’s scary. Consider picking up Zac MacMath for $4000 in goal for the Rapids, and if you’re into building a stack, you’ll be very surprised to find many cheap options to fill a spot for you. You could try Marc Burch for $3400 – but any Colorado defender will do as long as you’re chasing a clean sheet with value in mind. Burch isn’t dynamic, but he’s good for more than a few crosses each game.
Looking at LA, with only 5 GA on the year you have to wonder why their record isn’t better. It’s just bad luck really. They should probably be 3-5 points higher in the table than they are now. But DraftKings hasn’t lost sight of the fact that they’re a good squad with nothing but upside. If you still don’t feel comfortable investing in Colorado based on their past history, you could field Brian Rowe for your keeper from LA. But he’s the most expensive keeper on the board this week at $4600. Rowe has hit double digit point total in three of his six games, so he may be worth the price for you. And the defender for LA (again, if you don’t mind the price) is Ashley Cole for $4500. Take out Cole’s blank last game in Houston and you’ll see that he’s averaging a hard 10 points in all of his other MLS starts. For a defender, that’s just pretty great.
SHOULD YOU HEDGE YOUR BETS ON MONTREAL AGAINST TORONTO?
Like we just mentioned above, Toronto are no slouches when it comes to defending this year – and they haven’t allowed more than a single goal per match in over a month now. Does that mean that Montreal are going to have a tougher time of it this weekend? The bookies sure don’t have a ton of confidence in them this weekend with their paltry -108 rating. But the real title of this section should be, “Can we safely invest in Ignacio Piatti this weekend”? Piatti is a dynamo, and he’s really coming into his own this year as a the real leader of his squad. In his two home matches this year he’s produced points totals of 9 and 28 points – but those were against Colorado and NYRB (not the greatest defenses right now). I’d say Piatti is far enough down the price list this week (at $6500) with the likes of Diaz and dos Santos taking the top spots – so he’d make for an interesting differential against an otherwise stout defense. I’d probably still pick Giovani dos Santos over him though.
LOOK FOR FIREWORKS IN COLUMBUS V HOUSTON
Columbus come in with a -3 GD this weekend (6-9 on their goals split), but Houston come in at a 0 GD…with 13 forward and 13 allowed. Houston will score goals in bunches. They’ve found a way. And it appears that Columbus will be fine conceding them as well. But with neither side really interested in learning how to defend this year, invest a good portion of your funds into the attack on this game. Kei Kamara ($8900) really found his stroke again last week with 20 points off a goal and 7 shots. He’s far and away my top pick of the weekend for forwards given his match up. But don’t be quick to discount the mids in Columbus. Federico Higuain ($6900) has only once failed to score double digits this year, and I think he could really be a great stacking option with Kamara irregardless of how much of your budget is eaten up.
On the Houston side, I imagine there will be goals to be had as well. How could there not be? Even though they’re in last place in the Western Conference, they’re still ranked second in the league in goals forward. I’m keying in on Cristian Maidana at $5600 for those who don’t have enough left in the bank to field Higuain. Maidana is now healthy again and was able to score 10 points last week in his limited return minutes. Columbus aren’t doing enough to changed the direction of their GD rating, so capitalize on that this week. For value, consider David Horst ($3000) in defense. He’s not going to get you crosses, but he’s a key man in set pieces – and his two goals on the year are a testament to that.
CJ SAPONG IS A MUST-HAVE PLAYER
True, Kamara is my top option this week, but CJ Sapong should be on 100% of lineups. The fact that he won’t be on 100% of lineups is even more reason for you to snag him now at $6000. Over his last four games, Sapong is averaging 18 ppg. That’s an astounding average over an extended period of time. And since this is a home match for him, you should also know that his last two scores at home were 18 and 29 points.
Sometimes a player just turns a corner and make themselves into stars. Sapong is not at super star level yet, but if he continues to product results like this through the year, he’ll be a household name in no time. Sapong has 3 goals and 2 assists on the year, and against a NY team that has now conceded 10 goals to this point, Sapong could extend both of those totals easily this weekend.
THE FPLBET TEAM
Here’s the team we built for ourselves as a starting point. It’s important to note that a single player being scratched could change this lineup, but it should give you an idea of how to put our tips into practice. And it goes without saying, but mix and match all you like. It seems like with the MLS contests, it’s easy to name off a ton of players that should do well…but then when you try to build the team, you realize that you really can’t put every player recommended into action. So here’s what we have, proof that we can at least practice what we preach. Whether this pays off or not…all I can say is it’s the MLS. Any team can beat any other team at any given moment.
Like I said, I’m high on the Columbus stack – and I went with Kamara and Higuain together above all else. We like the Philly match, so we included Barnetta to play alongside Sapong for a mini stack there. We followed our own advice and put some Colorado and LA in the back. And even though dos Santos is poised to have a big game, we at least fit Magee in there to hopefully get some of those points. Watson and Bekker were put in to provide value, and we’re hoping Horst gets at least a couple SOG’s from the back.
There you have it folks. Good luck this weekend.