While most leagues are shutdown during the FIFA international window, Major League Soccer rolls on with a three-game Saturday card. With that being said, there are several usual starters that will be missing MLS action due to international duty. Be sure to keep an eye on starting lineups to ensure you aren’t left with any voids in your lineup. I will be posting starting lineups on Twitter (@DraftKicks) as they are released, usually an hour before each match starts.
David Ousted – $4,400 – Vancouver Whitecaps – Despite facing the highest-scoring attack through the first three games of the season, it’s hard to ignore Ousted with a home game on a short slate. After a disappointing return in the first two games, Ousted stopped four shots on the way to 12 DraftKings points in a 2-1 win at Seattle last week.
Chris Seitz – $3,000 – FC Dallas – If you can’t find the room for Ousted, Chris Seitz should fill in for usual starter Jesse Gonzalez and comes at a nice discount compared to the other starters. Considering the state of the D.C. United attack, it’s very possible Seitz pays off his cheap salary in this spot.
Others to Consider – Josh Saunders (New York City FC; $4,000), Travis Worra (D.C. United; $3,700)
Chris Tierney – $5,100 – New England Revolution – The Revs’ left back has three straight double-digit fantasy performances to start the season and has a good chance to make it four on Saturday. Tierney is among the rare breed of defenders that take set pieces, which usually translates to fantasy gold. With Lee Nguyen out on international duty, Tierney should be over all corner kicks and set pieces against NYCFC.
Taylor Kemp – $4,500 – D.C. United – Add Kemp to the list of defenders with set piece upside. He’s been taking corner kicks for United, and while a healthy Fabian Espindola could eat into that, Kemp is a strong open play crosser as well.
Ryan Hollingshead – $3,000 – FC Dallas – Hollingshead was active in his first start of the season last weekend, racking up nine points on the strength of six interceptions, two shots and a clean sheet. There are several uncertainties at the defender position this week but Hollingshead should be locked in for another start considering FC Dallas had seven players called into international duty.
Others to Consider – Jordan Harvey (Vancouver Whitecaps; $3,500), Sean Franklin (D.C. United; $3,000), Andoni Iraola (New York City FC; $3,100)
Mauro Diaz – $7,200 – FC Dallas – Diaz has been phenomenal through the first three games of the season, averaging nine crosses and 24 fantasy points per game (FPPG). He’s been a cash game staple dating back to last season and is the most reliable midfield option on the three-game slate.
Pedro Morales – $5,400 – Vancouver Whitecaps – The Chilean attacker is off to a strong start to 2016 with three goals and an assist to his name already. It has to be noted that all three goals have come from penalty kicks, but regardless Morales is dangerous in open play as well and is capable of racking up points across the board.
Andrea Pirlo – $5,200 – New York City FC – Pirlo has been cash game relevant to start the season as he has a monopoly on all NYCFC corners and free kicks. The Italian maestro whipped in 11 crosses last weekend and is averaging 15 FPPG at Yankee Stadium in 2016.
Others to Consider – Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas; $6,400), Luciano Acosta (D.C. United; $5,600), Andrew Wenger (Houston Dynamo; $4,600)
David Villa – $8,300 – New York City FC – Spain’s all-time top goal scorer is due for a bounce back game after being held scoreless at home last time out. Up next is a New England Revolution defense that has conceded three goals in each of their two road games this season, including last Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union.
Fabian Espindola – $6,400 – D.C. United – Espindola provided a spark off the bench, scoring a goal and piling up 21 DK points in a 30-minute stint last Sunday. When healthy, the Argentine is a constant threat in the attack and can rack up fantasy points through an array of stats. If he starts, he’s a strong forward play on a short slate.
Octavio Rivero – $5,400 – Vancouver Whitecaps – Rivero will go overlooked by most and rightfully so with a combined zero points over his last two games. However, he is at the head of an attack going against a Dynamo defense that just gave up four goals to the New York Red Bulls. The Uruguayan is bound to open his 2016 account any game now and makes for a nice GPP differential play.
Others to Consider – Maximiliano Urruti (FC Dallas; $5,100), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo; $5,800), Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps; $4,900)
Lamar Neagle – $4,700 – D.C. United – The United attack has sputtered out of the gate but that hasn’t affected Neagle’s fantasy output. He has quietly been posting nice fantasy totals, averaging 14 FPPG through the first three games of the season.Cristian Maidana – $5,300 – Houston Dynamo – Chaco Maidana started the season strong before succumbing to a nasty head injury in Houston’s second game. He was held out last weekend but has returned to training and could be back in action Saturday night. He has a high floor based on his set piece responsibilities and showed off his ceiling with a 26-point outburst in the season opener.