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MLS Fantasy 2014: 7 Defenders Worth Picking Up

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MLS Fantasy 2014: MLS Defenders Worth Picking Up

7 MLS Defenders Worth Picking Up To Your Squad
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The Fantasy Soccer game at MLSsoccer.com this season has been improved greatly over the previous versions. The game is still a salary-cap based game where they give you a fixed amount of “money” to select players to make up your squad; this season players will receive $120 million to split among 18 roster spots with a set number of players at each position. The positional breakdown is two goalkeepers, six defenders, six midfielders and four forwards.

The salary cap mode is a great thing because it forces the users to make priorities as to where they are going to spend their money. If a user decides to spend more money in the attack then it means that the user will need to search for bargains in their defense.

Today we will be focusing on the defense and more specifically the seven defenders that should be on your roster. On our list we have players that feature in the middle range of the salary structure to one can’t miss player in top-tier of available players.

The first key that you will need to look at when selecting defenders for you squad will be whether they are starting or not; players who appear in a match will earn one point with another two points added if they play for at least 60 minutes. This is usually the case for defenders who normally do not see substitution unless they are injured or their squad is looking to add to their attack towards the end of a match. Clean sheets are worth four points to defenders but only if they play at least 60 minutes.

Another statistic to be mindful of is any offensive type stat such as goals, assists, etc. Defenders get six points credited to them for goals as compared to the five for midfielders and forwards; everybody earns the same three points for assists. Players also earn a point for every three crosses which could be important for the wing backs who like to press forward in attack.

Finally, there are a few defensive specific statistics to be aware of as your players will earn an additional point for every six recoveries as well as every six clearances, blocks or interceptions (CBI).

Make sure you check back with Rant Sports on Tuesday as we will look at who you should add in your midfield to help you with your MLS Fantasy Soccer squad.

Matthew Evans is a soccer writer for RantSports.com, “Like” him on Facebook, Follow him on Twitter, or add him to your network on Google

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7. Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Chivas USA

7. Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Chivas USA
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2013 Fantasy Points: 113

Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 9.7

2014 Pre-Season Price: $6.5 million

Andrew Jean-Baptiste may be one of the best pick-ups that you can make right now before the season even begins. He does play for Chivas USA which could be a turnoff due to their defensive struggles over the last few seasons. Jean-Baptiste is young and will likely be a target on corner kicks and late game set pieces. He may not be a player that you want to start every game, but he could have just enough big weeks to consider having him on your bench.

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6. Jeff Parke, DC United

6. Jeff Parke, DC United
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2013 Fantasy Points: 147

Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 12.6

2014 Pre-Season Price: $7 million

It was another offseason trade concerning Jeff Parke as this year he moved from the Philadelphia Union to DC United. Parke was part of the complete defensive overhaul done by DC United before the 2014 season, bringing in established defenders like Bobby Boswell, Sean Franklin and Christian. The defensive numbers will improve for DC and Parke should see an increase in his total points from 2013.

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5. DeAndre Yedlin, Seattle Sounders FC

5. DeAndre Yedlin, Seattle Sounders FC
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2013 Fantasy Points: 133

Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 26.2

2014 Pre-Season Price: $7.5 million

From the look of it right now, Fantasy players agree that DeAndre Yedlin of the Seattle Sounders FC is a good buy. His current ownership percentage of 26.2 ranks him fourth in the league behind Zach Loyd, Kofi Sarkodie and Diego Fagundez. Yedlin had a spectacular rookie season and has improved his game vastly during this past offseason. One of the biggest knocks on Yedlin was his crossing ability; Sigi Schmid has said that Yedlin has put in a lot of work to improve this portion of his game.

Yedlin is expected to have his attacking role increased on the team as he shares a wing with United States Men's National Team right back Brad Evans.

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4. Sean Franklin, DC United

4. Sean Franklin, DC United
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2013 Fantasy Points: 168

Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 10.3

2014 Pre-Season Price: $8 million

Sean Franklin was another one of those defenders picked up by DC United in the offseason. His offensive game improved last season as he contributed two goals to the Los Angeles Galaxy. He will likely add some more assists now that he has a proven aerial target at striker in Eddie Johnson.

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3. Chris Klute, Colorado Rapids

3. Chris Klute, Colorado Rapids
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2013 Fantasy Points: 151

Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 3.6

2014 Pre-Season Price: $8 million

The Colorado Rapids are the forgotten team in the Western Conference going into 2014; all of the pundits are talking about Real Salt Lake, Los Angeles Galaxy, Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders, but they are mentioning the Rapids. Colorado finished fifth in the West last year and this year return a bunch of that young talent including fullback Chris Klute who chipped in seven assists from his defensive position last season.

The $8 million price tag for an outside defender may scare some people, but Klute is more than capable of making up for it in his production. Look for Klute and the Rapids to surprise this season.

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2. Drew Moor, Colorado Rapids

2. Drew Moor, Colorado Rapids
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2013 Fantasy Points: 157

Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 20.5

2014 Pre-Season Price: $7 million

Drew Moor is another solid pick-up from the Colorado Rapids. He is one of their central defenders and should be picked up due to his $7 million price tag. Moor finished fifth among fellow defenders in the category of CBI (clearances, blocks and interceptions) with a total of 350 and sixth among defenders with his total score of 157.

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1. Aurelien Collin, Sporting Kansas City

1. Aurelien Collin, Sporting Kansas City
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2013 Fantasy Points: 220

Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 18.2

2014 Pre-Season Price: $10 million

Aurelien Collin is one of the players in MLS Fantasy Soccer that you must have on your team despite his cost. He is the most expensive defender at $10 million, but he is worth every penny. He is a center back who keeps his penalty area clear, but also is dangerous on corner kicks; Collin scored six goals last season. His 220 fantasy points in 2013 was the most by any player in the league at any position. Sporting Kansas City returns everybody on defense except for their goalkeeper and they are expected to be even better than they were last season defensively.