MLS Fantasy 2019 Review: Player of the Season
The 2019 MLS Fantasy season began on Saturday 2nd March 2019, with 31 Gameweek's coming and going in rapid fashion until the end of the regular season on Sunday 6th October 2019 with Decision Day. Seven solid months of football meant a dozen Double Gameweek's and no time for the wicked to rest, and here we give applause to the player that gave us MLS Fantasy players the most joy this past season, and in truth there was only ever one nominee and one overwhelming favourite that would be remembered this season. All aboard.
MLS Fantasy 2019: Player of the Season
The best MLS Fantasy player during the latter Fall Season earned an unmatched 2048 points and was only one of six players to reach the 2000+ mark to end the season. With big hauls around every corner in the game, LAFC Forward Carlos Vela is responsible for many of them, and if you're a good detective, judging by the cover photo and the many images and stats you're about to see, there's no second-guessing our 2019 player of the season, who follows in Miguel Almiron's shoes from the 2018 season.
Our one-man shortlist for the accolade of being the best this year stems from an unforgettable season that had Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA), Carles Gil (NE) and Josef Martinez (ATL) in the very far reaches of considerations, with the Mexican international leaving us with arguably the most unforgettable and memorable individual performance in a fantasy football game.
Below, you can read and view the numbers from Vela's season for the 2019 Supporters' Shield winners. His on-field actions have quite literally done the talking, leaving us to do little convincing as we heap praise on the MVP from the regular season.
MLS Fantasy 2019 Statistics: Carlos Vela Edition
LAFC set a record number of points in a 34-game regular season, managing 72 points, which is 1 more point than New York Red Bulls managed in the 2018 season.
LAFC's goal difference at the end of the season was +48, which was more than all the other positive returns, combined. The other 5 clubs who kept a positive difference managed +26 goal difference.
Carlos Vela (LAFC) broke the goal-scoring record in the regular season, also beating a record set in 2018. Vela scored a hat-trick during Week 31 on the final day against at Colorado Rapids, meaning the Mexican scored 34 goals in only 31 games. In 2018, Josef Martinez (Atlanta), scored 31 goals in 34 league appearances.
Carlos Vela also broke the record for most MLS Fantasy points in a single season, beating Miguel Almiron's (Atlanta) 268 points achieved in the 2018 season. Vela, who scored 34, assisted 15 and won 4 penalties, managed 363 overall. This also means that Vela is the only player in MLS Fantasy to reach 300+ points in the game.
Carlos Vela is also the only player to finish the season earning an average of 10+ points-per-game. With Vela playing in 31 league games, the Mexican international averaged 11.71 PPG, with Ibrahimovic the next best with a 9.38 PPG average from 29 games played.
Priced at $15.9 million, Carlos Vela also ended the season as the most expensive player in MLS Fantasy. The Forward also finished the campaign as the most selected MLS Fantasy player, being selected by 15.76% of players.
To end the season, Carlos Vela scored in his last 9 MLS appearances, and only failed to score or assist in just 6 matches, meaning the Forward provided a direct attacking returns in 25 of his 31 appearances.
Vela (34), Zlatan (30) and Martinez (27) were the only 3 players in the league to scored 20+ goals during the regular season. There is an 11-goal gap between the 4th top scorer, Diego Rossi (LAFC), who scored 16 goals.
The High's and Low's of Vela's Fantasy Season:
High: Vela's first purple patch saw him register 82 points over the course of 6 Gameweek's between Week's 2-7, which included a hat-trick and 22 points against San Jose during Week 5.
Low: LAFC's first loss of the season came in a 1-0 defeat away to Vancouver Whitecaps during Week 8. It wasn't all bad though, it was a Double Gameweek, the first of the season, with Vela earning 14 points at home to Seattle Sounders to finish with 17 points.
High: Vela recorded 5 consecutive games of earning 10+ points between Week's 11-14, which included earning 25 points during Gameweek 12.
Low: LAFC's second defeat of the season was away to another struggling side in the West, with Bob Bradley's side losing 1-0 away to Colorado Rapids during Week 17. Vela registered 3 points, his lowest points-tally in a single Gameweek all season.
High: The disappointment of Week 17 was over pretty quickly, with Vela managing 36 points the very next round of games during Week 18 when he assisted twice and scored 3 goals against Sporting KC away, and against Vancouver at home.
- 18 points against Vancouver was also Vela's most amount of points in a single game, alongside Week 5's performance away at San Jose Earthquakes.
- Week 18 was also Vela's best Gameweek performance of the season.
High: Week's 20-25 ushered in another purple patch of Fantasy form, with Vela registering 10+ point returns from 6 of 7 matches, which including 25 points against Californian rivals, San Jose and LA Galaxy, during Week 25's Rivalry Week.
Low: Week's 26-29 in MLS Fantasy saw LAFC go 5 games without a win, including their only home defeat of the season, a 2-0 defeat against Minnesota during Week 26, with Vela missing the sole home defeat, as well as Week 27's 2-2 draw at Orlando due to injury. In these 6 games, Vela also didn't manage more than 9 points in a game, which was below his lofty Fantasy expectations.
High: Vela ended the MLS regular season with his second hat-trick of the season in a 3-1 home win over Colorado Rapids, finishing the season with 363 points.
MLS Fantasy 2019: An ode to Carlos Vela
If you've not been following The Hype Train's MLS Fantasy content for the season, we write a personalised Fantasy Forecast that gives predictions for the week ahead, and go in-depth with a regular captaincy article, with the top pick voted by our Twitter followers over at @HypeTrainMLS.
Once the game and the MLS season hit its groove, our captaincy articles essentially became a weekly diary that charted the progress of Vela from one week to the next. We didn't go a single week without mentioning Vela, or without basing the conversation around the attacker - his importance to Fantasy players was second to none, with the only real debate being how much would Vela burn you if you opted not to captain him. There's also a 'Plan B' in MLS due to the positive points system which can see attacking and defensive actions greatly benefiting attacking midfielders earning bonus points, and even though this meant that players had a more relaxed mindset with captaincy, Vela was so integral the point I made above became redundant and the only way to stay competitive when Vela played, was to captain the main influencer this season.
Our regular love letters grew fond of Vela's performances to the point that we were actively throwing journalistic bias out the window in favour of cheering on Vela's exploits as he chased infamy in Major League Soccer. Drama followed Vela until the final day of the season, with the $15.9 million priced Forward scoring a hat-trick on the final day to become the outright top goal-scorer in the regular season, scoring 34 goals in just 31 games.
In Fantasy Premier League, people have adorned performances from players such as Michu, Sergio Aguero, Mohamed Salah, Leighton Baines, Yaya Toure, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy among others. MLS Fantasy has a smaller lineage with Carlos Vela joining Diego Valeri, Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron and Nicolas Lodeiro, though without doubt Vela has hit a legendary status above all others that came before him in the States and we'd be surprised if his 363 points is ever surpassed. That is of course until next season defies expectations that we thought were once insurmountable.
The numbers behind El Capitan's season speak for themselves and we can attest that MLS Fantasy players across the board have similar praise about the unparalleled season that we've just experienced from one person and his magic left-foot. We're not completely sure that Vela's 363 points record will ever be broken. Hell, we're not even sure many players will get more than 300 points in a single MLS Fantasy season. Zlatan didn't get close and neither did Martinez or Almiron last season.
Vela was the perfect balance of attracting bonus points, set-pieces, luck and being in the right place at the right time in a dominant side that capitalised against teams who haven't figured out the art of defending top-level players. MLS Fantasy is a very good indicator of player performance and in Vela during the 2019 season, we may have just journeyed through thee definitive season in MLS Fantasy, with a benchmark that may never, ever be beat.
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The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.
We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.
In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.
The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.