A full day of Major League Soccer action kicks off at 3:00PM EST on Saturday. DraftKings has over $5K in guaranteed prizes to award today, including a few qualifiers for the $100K Fantasy Soccer World Championship – where the winner will walk away $20,000 richer! With MLS matches spread throughout the day and evening, it is crucial to ensure your players are starting. I will be posting starting lineups on Twitter (@FantasySoccerFC) as they become available – usually an hour before kickoff. There are some tasty matchups on the board today, so let’s look at some of the best picks to take down these DraftKings contests:
David Ousted – $5,000 – Vancouver Whitecaps – The Caps are the only clear cut favorite on the board today, which makes them an easy target for fantasy purposes. Goalkeeper David Ousted is once again leading the way, after finishing 2014 as the league’s shutout leader. The big Dane faces a Philadelphia Union team that has lost three-in-a-row, including being shutout at home last weekend. He’s one of the priciest GK’s on the board, but is the safest play given the matchup.
Sean Johnson – $4,600 – Chicago Fire – Chicago welcomes a Real Salt Lake team that is playing their second game in four days, and have been shutout in five of their last six games. The one goal they did score was on own goal! RSL will be missing midfield maestro Javier Morales once again, further diminishing any hope to break out of their drought.
Others to Consider – Bill Hamid (D.C. United; $5,200), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders; $4,900), Dan Kennedy (FC Dallas; $4,000)
Joevin Jones – $3,900 – Chicago Fire – The versatile left back has seen some time as a left midfielder for Chicago, and with the suspension of David Accam, there’s a good possibility Jones could be shifted higher up the field this afternoon. Regardless of where he plays on the field, he’s a good source of crosses and fouls drawn as he likes to attack on the wing.
Jordan Allen – $2,800 – Real Salt Lake – Allen was handed a start in the RSL midfield in their midweek draw with the Galaxy. He looked sharp and was a handful for LA, creating chances for both himself and others in the attack. At a near bare minimum price, Allen could be a key ingredient in ensuring you have enough salary to buy some big name players.
Hernan Grana – $4,400 – Columbus Crew – His crossing has tailed off over the past two games, but the ability is there and he’s shown he can be a weapon on the wing. With DraftKings awarding a full point for crosses, Grana is still on my radar regardless of his last two outings.
Others to Consider – Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps; $3,700), Sean Franklin (D.C. United; $4,800), Demar Phillips (Real Salt Lake; $4,200)
Pedro Morales – $8,600 – Vancouver Whitecaps – I’m counting on Morales to bounce back from a dismal one point outing over the weekend. Generally, he contributes across the board with shots, crosses, goals and assists. When he gets going, the fantasy points pile up, and he’ll have ample opportunity to turn it on today against Philadelphia.
Harry Shipp – $7,300 – Chicago Fire – Shipp has had three or more shots in each of his last three games, and he’s been unfortunate not to have found the back of the net. With a lack of depth at the Forward position, Chicago rely more on Shipp and midfield partner Shaun Maloney to provide the offense. Facing a Salt Lake squad playing their second game in four days, I’m looking for Shipp to post a goal or an assist this afternoon.
Mauro Diaz – $6,900 – FC Dallas – Diaz has been on fire in the last two games since returning from injury, scoring two goals to go along with two assists. He’s posted 29 and 16 points and has established himself as the creative midfielder in Dallas.
Others to Consider – Benny Feilhaber (Sporting KC; $7,500), Cristian Maidana (Philadelphia Union; $6,600), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact; $6,500), Shaun Maloney (Chicago Fire, $6,300)
Octavio Rivero – $9,000 – Vancouver Whitecaps – Rivero is goalless in four games, but has a good opportunity to return to his goal scoring ways against a weak Philadelphia defense. He scored five goals in the first six games of the season, and leads the league in both shots and shots on target.
Obafemi Martins and/or Clint Dempsey – $10,200/$10,300 – Seattle Sounders – It’s pick your poison with Seattle’s dynamic duo. They combined for 59 DraftKings points in their last outing and are 1st (Martins) and 2nd (Dempsey) atop the 2015 league goalscoring chart. It will be tough to roster them both, but either one of them should be a good source of fantasy points if you can find room for them.
Fabian Espindola – $7,400 – D.C. United – Espindola returned with a bang, scoring a goal and adding an assist last weekend for a 26 point performance. He’s the go-to guy in D.C., who works hard to create shots for himself and others. I expect Espindola to keep the momentum going this afternoon in a good matchup with Sporting KC.
Others to Consider – Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas; $9,200), Dom Dwyer (Sporting KC; $5,200), Jack McInerney (Montreal Impact; $6,600), Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew, $9,800)
Erik Ayuk Mbu – $4,400 – Philadelphia Union – The wing midfielder has been active in the Philadelphia attack, swinging in six crosses in his last game. His price allows you to spend elsewhere, while counting on him to earn valuable points from his crossing ability.
Marco Pappa – $5,800 – Seattle Sounders – Playing in the shadow of Dempsey and Martins, Pappa is often overlooked but is a key part of the Sounders attack. From a fantasy perspective – he does it all and earns points across the board. He’s posted 18 and 10 points in his last two outings, and is available at a great price.