Fantasy MLS Tips For Daily Fantasy Football Betting: April 2

In this edition of his Fantasy MLS Tips article, Guy Sanchez picks out his top MLS fantasy hints and tricks for April 2.

And we’re back!  But really, since the MLS is the MLS, we didn’t really go anywhere did we?  No, the MLS played a stunted schedule this last week during internationals, so there really wasn’t a cohesive break for all of the teams involved in the matches coming up this week.  But we’re past it now – and it’s on to a bit of normalcy this week.  Is it better to try to pick teams on a normal week?  I think so.  It seems like the abbreviated schedules and the staggered days tend to involve a bit more luck to get regular wins.  Maybe I’m just saying this because I’m on a bit of a drought here in daily fantasy land, and I need some winning water if you know what I mean.

But fear not, good people.  I’ve done my homework.  I’ve taken my lumps.  And I’m coming out better this time around.  Let’s win some money, shall we?


 

The MLS will really be played on one day this week – at least for daily fantasy purposes.  Friday night will have one game (New England v NYRB) and Sunday will only have a single game (Orlando v Portland).  So we’ll exclude those matches from our list and focus on the Saturday offerings by themselves.  Here are those matches and their respective odds:

Apr 2 Odds

Now this is a schedule (and odds) that you like to see.  This makes sense, doesn’t it?  Just browse through this with me quickly.  First of all, you have Chicago, Colorado and Vancouver being better-than-even money favorites, and I think that’s a just appraisal of their chances this weekend.  And the real favorites – SKC, Dallas, Seattle and SJ – should perform up to snuff when the games get started.  People may have been on the fence with Columbus and Dallas playing each other, but the money is firmly on Dallas; and Columbus coming in at a +323 rating (averaged over 16 betting sites no less) shouldn’t inspire any kind of confidence in their ability to win.  I’m a bit on the fence with Seattle v Montreal, but that’s the only match that gives me pause.  I actually think Montreal will play better without the Drogba drama hanging over them, and Seattle have been very poor by themselves either way.

The real match to focus in on this week is San Jose taking on DC United.  San Jose are the largest favorite on the board, so if you’re chasing a win with a keeper, start there.  But DC have been awful, so San Jose really shouldn’t have any problems brushing past them.  This will be DC’s fifth date on the schedule – and they’ve only scored two goals to this point (their GD is a -6).  San Jose, on the other hand, have won both of their matches at home this year, and I think they’ll get their third this week.


 

PLAY THE SAN JOSE STACK, FRONT TO BACK

Let’s just continue with San Jose here since they are the biggest favorite of the weekend.  The first player you should be considering on your team is David Bingham, the San Jose GK.  The posted odds probably work a bit better for finding a DraftKings keeper than they do for Mondogoal – just earning a win in DraftKings rewards you with 5 points.  But Mondogoal will reward you with a keeper getting a clean sheet or a one-goal game.  And in the case of Bingham, he will work for you no matter which format you choose to play this week.  The two home fixtures that San Jose have played this year were won with scores of 1-0 and 2-1, so Bingham is very likely to get you all sorts of added points this week.  Remember, I just got done telling you that DC only have 2 goals through 4 matches.

The flip side of this coin though is that the bookies are saying outright that San Jose will win…and that means that there will be goals to be had if you choose to invest in the San Jose attack, you should be rewarded (again, going against a DC team with their horrible GD = perfect storm).  The star of the show for San Jose has been Chris Wondolowski, the ageless wonder.  Wondo has notched a goal in each of his three matches this year, and I like him to continue that streak this week.  The only problem with Wondo is that he’s really a true poacher.  He’s not going to earn you points from crosses, but he will put himself in position to put shots on net and get his goals.

If you’re looking for a midfield facilitator for San Jose, you can get M. Perez Garcia, or even the superior value of Shea Salinas.  Salinas has 13 crosses in the two matches he’s played this year, and he should be even more active this week against sub par competition.  San Jose are a bit banged up in their defense, but their replacements have been up to the task.  I don’t really see any drop-off for them this week.  No matter your budget or preference, there really isn’t a bad position to invest in San Jose this week.

Key Players:
Chris Wondolowski ($7000 DK, $13.8 Mondogoal)
David Bingham ($4400 DK, $7000 Mondogoal)
Shea Salinas ($4300 DK, $6.8 Mondogoal)

CAN YOU TRUST KAMARA IN THIS ROAD FIXTURE?

Kei Kamara has started off cold.  Rather, the entire Columbus team has started off pretty badly.  Through three games, Columbus sit in last place in the East with only a single point on the year.  For all of the talk of Columbus remaining intact from their trip to the championship game last year, Columbus have looked remarkably like a team that hasn’t played much ball together.  And now we have to decide if Kamara can be trusted with so much of our fantasy budget this week or not.  And don’t get me wrong, he has as much talent and ability as any striker in the game, but until the conditions are right…he may not be worth a spot on your team.

This fixture against Dallas is a road fixture – and that’s already not boding well for Kamara.  Through three games this year, Columbus have already played a pair on the road, and the results – and the fantasy points – were not kind to them.  In their first match away to Portland, Columbus lost 2-1.  In that match, Kamara had 5 shots (2 on goal), but he was kept off the score sheet.  In their second road match, against Chicago no less, Kamara played all 90 minutes and didn’t register a single shot.  Not one.

The only goal of Kamara’s campaign came in a loss at home against Philly, and even that performance was underwhelming for him.  But at least it proved he could score…at home at least.  Now that he’s on the road again, I think the price is just too high to think that he’ll snap out of this travel funk he’s found himself in.  Kamara costs $9100 on DK and $12.5 on Mondogoal.  Even though his price has dropped sharply in both leagues, he’s still a giant risk this weekend.  Dallas aren’t the perfect team we thought they might be, but they’re still really good.  Dallas have played two home fixtures this year and won them both in 2-0 shutouts.  So the advantage really tips to Dallas and their defenders this weekend.

SO WHICH FORWARDS DO WE KEY IN ON?

Now that we’ve highly recommended Wodolowski and taken Kamara to task, you still have space on your roster for one or two more forwards.  The major focus will of course start with Sebastian Giovinco (because all good things in the MLS start and end with Giovinco).  But this week’s match between Toronto and Colorado won’t be as easy as people think it will be.  Any team playing away in Colorado are already at a disadvantage to the thin air in Mile High – and as much as it pains me to say, Colorado have been decent in defense this year.  Colorado shut out LA at home, and in their two road fixtures they didn’t concede more than a single goal in either match.  Will Giovinco be up to the task?  Let me play hype-man for a minute and say that Giovinco can overcome anything, but the conditions aren’t great for a guy that costs $9700 on DK and $14.9 on Mondogoal.  That being said, Giovinco has done nothing but play on the road this year and he’s never had less than 5 shots in a match, and he has two goals and two assists through three games.  Can it be said that Giovinco would actually make a decent pick under the radar?  I think so.  He may not be the best option in a head to head or double up contest – there are safer options that should produce points – but he may be a great pick to throw into a large GPP contest as a wildcard pick.

The second forward that needs a serious look is Max Urruti for Dallas.  Dallas have an adept attack, and Urruti has kept his pace for entire games now that he’s the designated starter for a club.  The criticism of Urruti was always that he ran too hard, too often to have his pace be sustainable; but with Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo developing a great relationship with him, he’s managed to sustain his manic pace and produce solid results.  Urruti has three goals through four games and hasn’t yet failed to get a shot on target in any match he’s played this year.  And at $5300 on DK and $6.6 on Mondogoal, he’s still the best value on the board week in and week out.

Finally, if you’re looking for just one more forward to consider, look at CJ Sapong for a value pick that could be on the cusp of a hot streak.  Sapong decimated New England last week with a pair of goals, and he’s going to be riding high this week going to Chicago.  An away fixture isn’t a great time to keep a streak rolling, but Philly have won on the road already this year – and their attack doesn’t look as bad as we all thought it would.  Prior to his explosion this last week, Sapong was only averaging a pair of shots per game, but he was also regularly drawing fouls.  Maybe things have finally settled into place in Philly and he can replicate his results again against a poor Chicago side.  If he goes off this weekend again, chances are you’ll be one of the few who selected him.  The downside is that if he scores in back to back weeks, it will probably be the last time you can use him as a real differential pick – so you may want to take your chances now.

RAPID FIRE:  OTHER MOVES TO CONSIDER

There are a few wrinkles here and there that might be worth your time to look at.  It’s easy to get into the ‘template’ mode of building a team, so here’s a few players that may be flying under the radar.

  • Most people will be looking at Mike Magee this week as a replacement for Robbie Keane.  Magee costs $4400 on DK and $8.1 on Mondogoal.  That’s all well and fine, but LA don’t travel well to begin with, so losing their best player to injury isn’t going to be completely be made better by Magee.  Instead consider that not only is Keane gone, but so is Steven Gerrard.  And even though Giovani dos Santos practiced this week, he’s probably not in 90 minute shape yet.  So instead of focusing on LA, look to the defenders on Vancouver like Kendall Waston or Jordan Harvey – they may have an easier time of things this week and could find themselves in advanced positions without much worry from a real counterattack.
  • Dom Dwyer has two goals and an assist this year, and he finds himself in a home fixture against RSL this week.  RSL may be without the services of Nick Rimando due to an injury that’s held him out of practice.  Dwyer wasn’t anything special on the road this year, but he’s doing all his damage at home.  Also, Benny Feilhaber could be due to return this week as well.  Look for SKC to have several options to pick from when their lineup is released.
  • David Accam was unable to practice this week – and without him, Chicago are absolutely bad.  If Accam is not ready to go, invest more heavily into Philly.  In fact, without Accam available, cheap Philly defenders may provide some of the best value for your team this week.

There you have it folks!  Good luck this week in all of your daily contests.

 

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