By Ashley Savage // @savage_hart
Welcome to Week 1 of the 2020 MLS season! It’s been a long offseason, but MLS and MLS Fantasy are finally back on Saturday, February 29th! Whether this is your first time playing MLS Fantasy or you’re a seasoned vet, I’m here to provide my weekly positional player picks, the games I like and the games I’m staying away from.
- Bill Hamid DC ($6.0) vs COL. I like Hamid as my starting bench keeper to see how this first game plays out. D.C. is returning several solid defenders and Colorado has not been the most threatening road team in the past. If Hamid plays well, I will swap in a scrub for my starting keeper. If not, his points stay on my bench and don’t harm my score.
- Meara NYRB ($5.0) vs CIN. This is a bit of a sleeper pick as this will be Red Bull’s first season without veteran GK Luis Robles. But Cincy is struggling in preseason both on and off the pitch and NYRB are returning a pretty solid backline.
- Stefan Frei SEA ($6.0) vs CHI. This is a question mark pick as Seattle just crashed out of CCL and gave up 4 goals in 4 games to Olimpia, 2 of them at home. But Frei has been known to work some magic and the home opener is also the celebration of the Sounders’ MLS Cup victory.
- Vermeer LAFC ($6.0). While I’m not incredibly high on this signing or LAFCs defense for the season, I like Vermeer at home against an Inter Miami team. As LAFC is the last game of the weekend, he’s a bit of a risk if any of the defensive starters are rested after CCL during the midweek. But I favor the match-up.
Cleansheet Teams: NYRB, Columbus, LAFC, DC and Portland.
Possible Cleansheet Teams: Seattle, San Jose, FC Dallas and Atlanta.
Top 5 Players: Long NYRB $6.5), Afful CLB ($6), Birnbaum/Brilliant DC ($5.5/$6), and Blackmon/Segura LAFC ($5.5/$6)
Sneak Picks: Villafana POR ($5.5), Nouhou Tolo SEA $4.5) and Buckmaster NYRB ($4.5)
Teams With Promising Offensive Matchups: D.C. United, Atlanta, Columbus, NYRB, Seattle, LAFC and LA Galaxy.
Top Players: Atuesta LAFC ($10.5), P. Martinez ATL ($9), Royer/Kaku NYRB ($8.5/$8), Blanco/Valeri POR ($10.5 both) and Zelarayan/ P. Santos CLB ($9.5/$9)
Sneak Picks: J. Paulo SEA ($8.5), Gressel DC ($10), and Vako SJ ($8.5).
Top Players: Carlos Vela LAFC ($13), C. Pavon LA ($11), Josef Martinez ATL ($11.5), Gyasi Zardes ($10) and Chicarito ($11.5).
Sneak Picks: Raul Ruidiaz SEA ($11), Ole Kamara DC ($9.5) and Cavallini VAN ($9).
Make sure you check lineups, which usually are released by team’s Twitter an hour prior to kickoff. You can also turn on lineup alerts using the MLS App. This is especially important to make sure your players are playing and that any scrubs you plan to use for Switcheroos are NOT playing.
Send me your questions on Twitter @savage_hart and good luck!
Featured Image: MLSsoccer.com