Only four teams will be left standing after today as we’ve reached the second leg of the MLS Conference Semi-Finals. Once again DraftKings has some great prizes on the board – including a chance to win a meet and greet with ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman and a VIP trip for two to the MLS Cup!
There are several injury concerns to be mindful of, so as always, be sure to check starting lineups to ensure your players are active. I will be posting Starting XI’s on Twitter (@DraftKicks) as they are released – usually an hour before kickoff. Here are today’s top targets at each position to help you take down your contests:
David Ousted – $3,800 – Vancouver Whitecaps – The Danish netminder piled up 17 points in keeping a clean sheet at Portland in the first leg. Now Ousted is back home where he’s posted a clean sheet in 4 of Vancouver’s last 5 home games.
Evan Bush – $2,500 – Montreal Impact – At bare minimum price, Bush makes for a solid GPP punt. This pick comes with a disclaimer as I do think Kei Kamara and the Crew score 2+ goals today. I also expect Bush to be called on to make several saves to keep the Impact in the game. I recommend paying up for a safer option, but if you want to save at the position look at Bush or Hamid.
Others to Consider – Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls; $4,100), Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas; $3,700), Bill Hamid (D.C United; $3,000)
Harrison Afful – $4,200 – Columbus Crew – Didn’t hit double-digits for the first time in five games in the first leg but should be primed for a bounce back in the 2nd leg with the Crew chasing the series.
Waylon Francis – $3,500 – Columbus Crew – Saw a nice boost thanks to the new DraftKings scoring system that awards points for interceptions and tackles won. Francis earned 13 points on behalf of 7 interceptions, 6 crosses and 3 tackles won. As with Afful above, the Crew’s outside backs should be busy all day swinging balls into target man Kei Kamara.
Kemar Lawrence – $3,900 – New York Red Bulls – The Jamaican fullback has been a target of mine all season. He’s involved in the Red Bull attack and gets to seek out one of the best big men in the league in the box in Bradley Wright-Phillips. He has 2 assists and has hit double-digit fantasy points his last five games at Red Bull Arena.
Others to Consider – Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers; $4,000), Ambroise Oyongo (Montreal Impact; $3,300), Steven Beitashour (Vancouver Whitecaps; $3,400), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps; $3,000)
Diego Valeri – $7,300 – Portland Timbers – As noted in last weekend’s write-up, Valeri has really benefited from the new OPTA scoring with corner kicks and free kicks now counting as crosses. He had 13 crosses last Sunday, 15 crosses the game before that and has scored a combined 46 points over his last two games.
Mauro Diaz – $7,000 – FC Dallas – The FCD string-puller has been in top form down the stretch. He’s gone for 20+ points in 3 of his last 4 games, contributing 2 goals and 3 assists. Dallas come into the game with a 1 goal deficit so Diaz will have to be active from the get-go.
Clint Dempsey – $7,400 – Seattle Sounders – Dempsey scored on a scintillating free kick to give the Sounders a 2-1 lead heading into today’s 2nd leg. Deuce has officially awoken from his slumber and has scored a goal in three straight games.
Others to Consider – Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact; $6,200), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls; $7,200), Cristian Techera (Vancouver Whitecaps; $5,400), Lloyd Sam (New York Red Bulls; $6,400)
Didier Drogba – $8,200 – Montreal Impact – Different week, same forward targets. Drogba was held scoreless in the first leg but that won’t keep me from going back to the well with him again today. The Chelsea legend still hit 13 points without a goal or an assist. I’m expecting Columbus to make a series of it early on – which could lead to a big day for both Drogba and Kamara.
Fabian Espindola – $7,300 – D.C. United – Had 16 points last game without a goal or an assist. With D.C. having to play catchup in the 2nd leg against NY Red Bulls, Espindola is a near lock for double digit points once again.
Kei Kamara – $8,100 – Columbus Crew – It’s been three games since Kamara has bulged the net but i’m confident he’ll have several opportunities this afternoon to bust out of his funk. He tied Giovinco for the regular season league lead in goals scored (22) and was third in both shots and shots on target. With their backs against the wall, look for Kei to get back on track.
Others to Consider – Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders; $7,500), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls; $8,300), Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas; $6,800)
Darlington Nagbe – $5,100 – Portland Timbers – It’s been a big week for Nagbe, who just received his first call-up to the US Men’s National Team. Nagbe’s put up double-digit points in 4 straight games, including a 42-point outburst just three games ago.
Andreas Ivanschitz – $4,600 – Seattle Sounders – The Seattle midfielder has been lively of late, with 21 points in consecutive games on 1 goal, 1 assist and 16 crosses. He’ll be a popular play today due to his price and recent production.