A massive 10-game slate kicks the 2016 Major League Soccer season off on Sunday. All 20 MLS teams will be in action and there are several big MLS contests in the DraftKings lobby to add even more excitement to Soccer Sunday! Let’s take a look at the top targets at each position to help you take down your contests:
Jesse Gonzalez – $4,200 – FC Dallas – The promising 20-year old is the second highest priced goalkeeper on the slate, but he has a favorable home match versus the Philadelphia Union. Since goalkeeper pricing doesn’t vary much across the top options, I recommend paying up for Gonzalez with the best matchup to start the season.
David Ousted – $3,900 – Vancouver Whitecaps – Ousted tied for first in MLS last season with 13 clean sheets and played a big role in seeing the Whitecaps tied for the fewest goals allowed in MLS last season (36). The big Dane is in a good spot opening the season against a Didier Drogba-less Montreal Impact attack in Vancouver’s home opener.
Others to Consider – David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes; $3,800), Dan Kennedy (LA Galaxy; $4,300)
Chris Tierney – $4,500 – New England Revolution – The DraftKings scoring format really favors Tierney’s game, as he’s one of a handful of MLS defenders that has double-digit crossing upside every time he takes the field. You’ll have to pay up for him, but you’re practically locking in at least 10 points from one of your defenders.
Harrison Afful – $4,100 – Columbus Crew SC – Get used to seeing both Tierney and Afful in this space. Afful is another high volume crossing defender who gets into the attack and regularly swings crosses in for big target man Kei Kamara.
Brek Shea – $3,300 – Orlando City SC – The US international attacker-turned-defender will start the season as Orlando City’s left back. Shea is an attacking threat that likes to get forward and will see occasional set piece chances.
Others to Consider – Maynor Figueroa (FC Dallas; $2,800), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls; $3,800), Joevin Jones (Seattle Sounders; $3,100)
Diego Valeri – $6,800 – Portland Timbers – The Argentine will be pulling the strings in a rematch of the 2015 MLS Cup. Valeri is the complete package and collects points across all DraftKings scoring categories. Sunday marks exactly three months since he scored the opening goal in Portland’s MLS Cup triumph over the Crew.
Mauro Diaz – $6,700 – FC Dallas – Diaz was a fantasy monster over the last two months of MLS last season. In November alone he racked up 90 points in four games en route to being named the DraftKings Player of the Month. Over that span he posted 21 or more DraftKings points in each game played. That type of consistency is worthy of a roster spot in a good matchup against Philadelphia.
Clint Dempsey – $7,200 – Seattle Sounders – With former strike partner Obafemi Martins off to China, Dempsey becomes the focal point of an electric Seattle attack. Deuce enters the MLS season in good form, netting twice in a 2-2 draw with Mexican powerhouse Club America in Seattle’s last home game.
Others to Consider – Kaka (Orlando City SC; $7,600), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls; $7,300), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy; $7,100)
Sebastian Giovinco – $9,400 – Toronto FC – Surprisingly, Giovinco is not the highest priced player on the board. Kei Kamara comes in at $400 more, but it’s the feisty Italian that I recommend finding room for. He provides a safe floor even without scoring goals or adding assists – which he’s no stranger to after winning the 2015 Golden Boot and leading the league in assists as well.
Robbie Keane – $8,000 – LA Galaxy – Expect the Irishman to pickoff where he left off in 2015, coming off a career year in which he scored 20 goals. Both the LA Galaxy and their opponent D.C. United have looked suspect on defence in recent CONCACAF Champions League performances, which leads me to believe both teams will have several opportunities to put up some goals in the regular season opener.
Gilberto – $5,400 – Chicago Fire – Gilberto finished 2015 in fine form with four goals and five-plus shots in four of the Fire’s last five games. David Accam is questionable, which would certainly lead to more opportunities for Gilberto if he’s ruled out. Regardless, I’m pegging the talented Brazilian for at least 10 DraftKings points through peripheral stats alone.
Others to Consider – David Villa (New York City FC; $8,500), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls; $8,400), Fanendo Adi (Portland Timbers; $6,600)
Shkelzen Gashi – $4,900 – Colorado Rapids – Gashi looks set to make his league debut on Sunday and the Rapids will waste no time in looking to their big offseason signing to produce goals. The Albanian brings with him an impressive strike rate at FC Basel (27 goals in 43 appearances) and comes at an attractive price.Andreas Ivanschitz – $3,900 – Seattle Sounders – The Austrian international provides quality service and will be more involved in the Seattle attack this season with Martins gone. Ivanschitz should have no trouble paying off his low $3,900 salary considering he’s on corner kick and free kick duty.