It is no surprise that the early leading points scorers for the MLS Fantasy 2019 campaign are reputable names such as Darwin Quintero and Diego Valeri; however turning them average weeks into green arrows is dependant on the differential picks in your side. Here are a few recommended players that have low ownership going into the third game week. All aboard.
MLS Fantasy: Week 3 Deadline
For the 2019 MLS Fantasy season there is a 'Rolling Lockout', which means you can make substitutions and transfers until the second a player's game kicks off, which means you can chop and change your lineup as any Week progresses.
MLS Fantasy 2019: Differentials ahead of Week 3
Player: Mauro Manotas (HOU)
Fixture: Houston Dynamo vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Team Ownership: 4.46%
When in form, the Houston Dynamo front three is as good as any in the Western Conference; however only one of the trio has really got going this campaign.
Mauro Manotas has scored in both of his sides first two games, equalising against Real Salt Lake in GW1, before scoring a late winner last time out at home to Montreal Impact. Despite a substantial price rise, Manotas remains owned by less than 5% of managers, yet only four forwards have registered more points at this early stage of the season.
The Dynamo’s Champions League run came to an end during the week as they were comfortably beaten over two legs by Mexican side Tigres; however this means they can put their sole focus on securing a domestic playoff berth.
Manotas is a minor rotation risk for Saturday, however given the poor form of Albert Elis & Romell Quioto, he represents the sole Houston option for a favourable fixture at home to a struggling Vancouver Whitecaps side.
Player: Kaku (NYRB)
Fixture: New York Red Bulls vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Team Ownership: 2.36%
Kaku is very much a fixture over form pick here; however it is hard to see anything other than a New York Red Bulls victory in GW3.
NYRB host a San Jose Earthquakes side who have suffered back to back defeats and have shown little to suggest they will drastically better than awful 2018 campaign, despite the surprising appointment of Matias Almeyda.
The Paraguayan featured further forward in the Red Bulls’ midweek Champions League defeat to Santos Laguna, starting alongside Bradley Wright-Phillips in a diamond 4-4-2 formation.
Only BWP had more goal involvement for NYRB last term than Kaku, who scored six and provided 10 assists, helping his side claim the Supporters Shield.
There is always the risk of rotation following a trip to Mexico; however Kaku is yet to feature domestically this campaign having been preserved in their season opener at the Columbus Crew.
Player: Chris Pontius (LA Galaxy)
Fixture: LA Galaxy vs. Minnesota United
Team Ownership: 2.16%
Owned by around 2% of managers, playing out of position as a striker given Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury and a favourable price of just $5m make Chris Pontius a very attractable prospect for GW3.
Pontius struggled in defeat away at FC Dallas last weekend; however only seven days prior helped turn the game for the Galaxy in their opening fixture against Chicago Fire.
Should Ibrahimovic overcome his injury, then Pontius will move into a wide midfield role; however he is definitely worth the risk this Week.
The Galaxy are a different proposition at the Dignity Health Sports Park and I expect them to end Minnesota’s 100% record in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Other Week 3 Alternative Options
Roland Lamah (MID): FC Cincinnati vs. Portland Timbers (2.3%)
Lamah opened his Cincinnati account in their 1-1 draw at Atlanta last week and faces a defensively awful Portland Timbers side. Portland are without key defensive midfielder Diego Chara and have conceded seven in their first two games.
Auro (DEF): FC Toronto vs. New England Revolution (0.98%)
I don’t expect FC Toronto to keep a great deal of clean sheets this season; however a home game against New England Revolution represents an excellent fixture. The Revs’ offer very little and FC Toronto have had a fortnight’s break since an impressive win away at the Philadelphia Union.
Bill Hamid (GK): DC United vs. Real Salt Lake (4.26%)
Hamid has made an excellent start to the 2019 campaign and DC United are the only team yet to concede. Real Salt Lake had one of the worst away records in MLS last season and were fortunate to beat Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend.
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