It’s a bittersweet day as the last leg of the MLS Conference Championships brings the MLS DFS season to a close today. The action is sure to be tense, as both home teams have a two-goal deficit to make up if they are to advance to the 2015 Audi MLS Cup.

The action kicks off at 5pm ET today, and I will be posting starting lineups on Twitter (@DraftKicks) as they are released — usually an hour before kickoff. Be sure to monitor lineups as they drop so that you aren’t left with an inactive player on your roster.

Now, on to my targets:


Jesse Gonzalez – $4,400 – FC Dallas – It looks as though there was an error in the initial player pool that was released and a handful of New York Red Bulls were omitted. Goalkeeper Luis Robles was one of them, so for me there is really only one “safe” option in net and that is Gonzalez. Dallas must win by at least two goals to keep the series have a shot at advancing to the MLS Cup. 

Others to Consider – Adam Larsen-Kwarasey (Portland Timbers; $3,700), Steve Clark (Columbus Crew SC; $3,700)


Harrison Afful and Waylon Francis – $4,600/$4,100 – Columbus Crew SC – I was just about to write up Kemar Lawrence and see now that he too was excluded from the player pool. With that being said, i’ve got to recommend paying up for Harrison Afful and Waylon Francis again. The pair combined for 9 Interceptions, 6 crosses and 23.5 points last Sunday.

Kellyn Acosta – $3,800 – FC Dallas  – Acosta lines up as a defensive midfielder but is listed as a Defender on DK. His numbers have been stellar, with a floor right around 10. With Dallas in need of goals, Acosta should push higher up the field and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s involved in a goal today. 

Others to Consider – Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers; $4,000), Norberto Papparato (Portland Timbers; $2,400)


Sacha Kljestan – $7,300 – New York Red Bulls – Kljestan swung in 11 crosses and piled up 20 points last Sunday – without a goal or assist. With New York sure to press from the get-go, those already impressive numbers should see an increase.

Mauro Diaz – $7,500 – FC Dallas – Similar to Kljestan and the Red Bulls above, FC Dallas are chasing the series and will squeeze all they can out of Diaz today. The Argentine has hit for 22 points in back-to-back contests.

Diego Valeri – $7,100 – Portland Timbers – The Timbers get a nice boost as their midfield maestro returns from suspension today. Portland looked good in the first leg, and if Dallas are able to claw back into the series Valeri will be forced to kick it into high gear in a potential shootout.

Others to Consider – Lloyd Sam (New York Red Bulls; $6,300), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers; $5,600), Justin Meram (Columbus Crew SC; $5,000)


Federico Higuain – $7,100 – Columbus Crew – Higuain has been one of my favorite forward plays down the stretch. He’s been consistently posting right around 20-points every time he takes the field. While Kamara boasts a higher ceiling due to his strike rate, Higuain is a safer cash game play due to his involvement on set pieces.

Bradley Wright-Phillips – $8,100 – New York Red Bulls – BWP was held scoreless in the first leg, but i’m pegging him for at least a goal today. The Red Bulls backs are against the wall here, so they have no reason not to look for their big target man early and often. In general I prefer Kamara to Wright-Phillips at a similar price point, but with NY pressing for goals BWP is the play today.

Fabian Castillo – $7,200 – FC Dallas – Portland did an excellent job to shut him down in the first leg, but if Dallas are to advance they will have to find a way to get the Colombian involved. He’s put up double-digit points in 5 straight home games and should be active once more today. Castillo has the skill-set to turn the series around single-handedly.

Others to Consider – Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew; $8,500), David Texeira (FC Dallas; $4,700), Mike Grella (New York Red Bulls; $5,400)

Utility Appeal

Ryan Hollingshead and Je-Vaughn Watson – $3,000/$2,500 – FC Dallas – Both players lineup at outside back for FC Dallas, yet are listed as midfielders on DK. Positional eligibility aside, the new scoring format makes both players fantasy relevant. They earned 9 points apiece last Sunday and Watson now has an assist in 2 straight games.