MLS Fantasy 2014: 7 Midfielders Worth Picking Up
7 Midfielders Worth Picking Up For Your MLS Fantasy Team
There is a group of players who cannot seem to get the recognition that they deserve when it comes to postseason awards, leading in statistical categories or even fantasy points; that group of players are your MLS defensive midfielders.
Also known as the holding midfielder, these players act as a bridge between the defense and the attack. They are usually good distributors of the ball with excellent vision to see an attack developing. The players though very rarely jump up into the attack as their primary goal is to keep their opponent’s playmaker from being creative.
Point values in regards to the midfield are catered towards the attacking bunch with each goal being scored by a midfielder or a forward earning the player five points towards his score. Any assist from any player on the field will earn three points towards their total along with the easily earned attacking bonus points -- a point for every three cross or key passes and a point for every big scoring chance created.
There are some bonus points earned for defending, but it takes a little more to get these points. Midfielders will earn a point for every six recovered balls as well as a point for every six clearances, blocks or interceptions (CBI). Do not forget about the negative points for cards, with every yellow card taking away one point and every red card taking away an additional three.
A big plus going for the defensive midfielders in this edition of MLS Fantasy Soccer is that they are all considerable bargains with the best of them sitting between $7 million and $8 million while the better attacking midfielders will go for $9 million and higher. In this preview I'll highlight both attacking and defensive-minded midfielders to help you find the perfect fit for your squad.
Make sure you check back with Rant Sports on Wednesday to find out who you should have leading your attack in the forward position on your MLS Fantasy Soccer squad.
7. Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders FC
2013 Fantasy Points: 112
Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 5.5
2014 Pre-Season Price: $7.5 million
Osvaldo Alonso may not be the player that will score you a whole bunch of points, but he will consistently put a few points on the board for your fantasy team. He has added more of an offensive element to complement his relentless defending style. A potential drawback would be that he does accumulate yellow cards for his aggressive defending, but don't let that blur his real value.
6. Perry Kitchen, DC United
2013 Fantasy Points: 107
Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 8.5
2014 Pre-Season Price: $6.5 million
Perry Kitchen could be the best bargain in all of MLS Fantasy Soccer. He played on the worst team in league history last season, but that team completely changed the squad coming into 2014. Now, Kitchen has a solid defense behind him as well as good attacking options ahead of him.
DC United does have a bye in Week 2, but other than that, four of their first five games are at home. For that reason alone Kitchen should be on your team even if he is not in your long-term plans. You could see a nice little profit if he plays well in these matches.
5. Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids
2013 Fantasy Points: 131
Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 2.4
2014 Pre-Season Price: $8.0 million
Dillon Powers was the best defensive midfielder in terms of fantasy last season on a young Colorado Rapids team. There is still uncertainty with the head coaching position in Colorado right now, but that should not keep you from having Powers on your club. The club returns most of their already young talent for 2014, and Powers is the leader of the team. Don't let his price scare you; he is a safe pickup without breaking the bank.
4. Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers
2013 Fantasy Points: 178
Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 15.0
2014 Pre-Season Price: $10.5 million
Picking a midfielder from the Portland Timbers to be on your fantasy team is kind of like what opposing defenses have to deal with when playing Portland; which one do you pick because there are just so many different ways they can beat you. For your Fantasy Soccer team the correct pick is Diego Valeri. Valeri is not only dangerous with his scoring touch (11 goals in 2013), but he also can distribute the ball with perfection (eight assists in 2013). He will be worth every penny of his price tag if he can stay healthy.
3. Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution
2013 Fantasy Points: 148
Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 28.0
2014 Pre-Season Price: $8.0 million
Diego Fagundez was the reason why New England Revolution made a return to the playoffs last season, leading the team with 13 goals. It will be very interesting to see where those numbers stand in October with all of the changes made at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Something to keep in mind before purchasing Fagundez is that four of New England's first five matches in 2014 are on the road, but his price tag, despite his production last season, should tip you in the right direction in adding him to your squad.
2. Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC
2013 Fantasy Points: 95
Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 4.3
2014 Pre-Season Price: $7.0 million
Jonathan Osorio will have the most to gain in the 2014 MLS regular season. He has gone from a solid player in a so-so attack to a solid player in a world-class attack. Michael Bradley is one of those players who makes everyone around him better by putting them in perfect positions to excel; Osorio will be the beneficiary of that during this season. Toronto FC players should be approached with caution though as they have four byes in the first 15 fantasy weeks. They do make up for that, though, with five double-match weeks from July to the end of the regular season.
1. Mauro Rosales, Chivas USA
2013 Fantasy Points: 143
Percentage of Fantasy Owners: 11.1
2014 Pre-Season Price: 7.5
Mauro Rosales is on the wrong side of 30, but he will be the playmaker for an improving Chivas USA during the 2014 season. He will be the man taking set-pieces like he did for the Sounders FC in the past, and he'll have some big targets in the box like Andrew Jean-Baptiste or Bobby Burling. The defensive numbers will go down for sure, but I'd expect his offensive numbers to improve now that he will be playing more than 15 to 20 minutes a match like he did towards the end of the season in 2013.
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