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MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 2 Fantasy Forecast

March 3, 2020

| The Hype Train |

 

Ahead of each Week in MLS Fantasy the Hype Train provides its informative Fantasy Forecast, where members of the Hype Team will duel for MLS supremacy in predicting scores, as well as going head to head in picking a Scout Picks squad for the relevant round of games. In addition, we give our insight into who are the players to watch and those to drop, as well as providing insight into captaincy picks, differential players for the week, and more. Welcome to the Forecast. All aboard.

 

MLS Fantasy: Week 2 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.

 

 

How does our Forecasting work?

The Hype Team will compete in a weekly head to head dual of wits. The 3 members of the team will provide weekly insight for the Gameweek ahead, providing score predictions, a Scout Picks squad that follows MLS Fantasy rules, and will provide what insight they can for the fixtures at hand.

  • MLS Fixture Prediction: As pundits, we are testing our football acumen with MLS predictions and will be providing regular updated tables and stats in each edition of the MLS Forecast. A perfect score is worth 3 points whilst a correct result is worth 1 point. An incorrect score is worth nothing.

  • Gameweek Insight: We've left an open space for the team to write that helps with the Gameweek hustle; identifying captaincy picks, transfers, attacking options, clean sheet potential, teams to look our for and avoid, differential players, as well as general analysis and comments.

  • Scout Picks: Picking a squad of 15 for a single Week, within their budget limitations, using the rules of MLS Fantasy - formations, the player limits of 3 players-per-club, and each team must pick a captain.

 

 

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 2 Fixtures (13)

New England Revolution 2-1 Chicago Fire

Real Salt Lake 1-3 NY Red Bulls

FC Dallas 2-0 Montreal Impact

D.C. United 3-1 Inter Miami

Toronto 1-1 NYCFC

Atlanta United 1-0 FC Cincinnati

San Jose Earthquakes 1-2 Minnesota United

Sporting KC 0-2 Houston Dynamo

Colorado Rapids 2-2 Orlando City

LA Galaxy 3-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

Seattle Sounders 4-1 Columbus Crew

Portland Timbers 2-0 Nashville

LAFC 3-0 Philadelphia Union

 

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 2 Insight

 

Week 1 Review:

I got an abysmal 50pts in MLS Fantasy this week, with returns from Vela (C), Hollingshead, and Valeri. The rotation rush really hurt my team, with even my pricey bench players not even getting starts. All the rumoured line ups going into the fixture proved to be wrong, and the lack of MLS press conference information from teams before the season saw players like Robinson (ATL) be unavailable without warning. I will most likely be hitting the reset button on what I think will be an effective team this year, and the one player that I completely dismissed before the season was Dallas’ midfielder Pomykal. A lot of central attackers are picking up points, and the Dallas player I believe is in for a big year after watching the Dallas highlights. 

 

The biggest blow to the MLS is the loss of Josef Martinez (ATL) who tore his ACL, it is a long injury to recover from, but the Venezuelan can bounce back quickly I am sure of it. He is a usually vital fantasy pick, so managers will be wary of Atlanta without their star man, and my prediction about them doing well this season may already be over.

 

MLS PRICE CHANGES:

If you follow me on Twitter you will know that I am now even more confused and irritated with yet another unexpected change to this seasons game. 98 players went up by $1.0mil, which is outrageous. This is a huge change to the game and it has only been discovered once it happened, and this means over the course of the season (if I get there) playing the game isn’t going to be fun…it is going to be extremely annoying. I know that some people think this will make the game competitive, but all it will do is create ‘Forced Template Teams’ where the best available options will be selected by everyone once the best players are out-priced.

 

I am extremely disappointed in the direction this game is taking with yet another big change, especially because the pricing of these players is too aggressive in one direction. One good game, an assist…$1.0mil rise, but if you have a horrendous game…$0.2mil drop. This isn’t balance, it just appears the game wants to rush up player prices ASAP which I am already sighing to myself. A fair few people have challenged me on these changes, stating that they are great, but if this is the trend for the season I we will all be sitting there with massively similar teams, and I will be asking: “are you still having fun?”

 

 

Teams to Watch / Avoid:

Atlanta FC (Avoid & Watch) vs. Cincinnati (H): As I’ve said, the loss of Martinez is huge. I think it will really hurt their chances to be competitive. I hope I am wrong, and their collective unit can overcome this devastating blow. They have a good home game against Cincinnati, and it could be a time to see who steps up in the wake of Martinez’s injury. I just don’t know on who to bank, but perhaps a defender might be a good call as they might tighten up their shape in the absence of their most effective attacker. So, avoid due to the loss of Martinez, but to watch their defenders who might be a reliable option.

 

LA Galaxy (Watch): This is just a rudimentary fixture for the Galaxy, and I can see this being the game that kickstarts their season. Now might be the time to bank on Chicharito to do the business.

 

Sporting KC (Avoid): If there was any home team I wouldn’t want to bank on this week it would be Sporting KC, as Houston are a good attacking unit, and with them with one of the most underrated attacks in the league, I can’t see the Sporting defence keeping them out.

 

Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Alternative: Cristian Pavon (LA)

Differential: Paxton Pomykal (DAL)

 

MLS Scout Picks Squad: Week 2

Budget: $125.0 million (fixed)

Formation: 3-4-3

 

Starting 11

 

GK: Vermeer (LAFC)

 

DEF: Segura (LAFC)

DEF: Hollingshead (DAL)

DEF: Alanis (SJ)

 

MID: Pomykal (DAL)

MID: Valeri (POR)

MID: Roldan (SEA)

MID: Gressel (DC)

 

FOR: Bou (NE)

FOR: Vela (LAFC) (C)

FOR: Pavon (LA)

 

Substitutes

 

GK: Freese (PHI)

MID: Cuello (LA)

DEF: Duncan (RBNY)

DEF: Bye (NE)

 

 

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 2 Fixtures (13)

New England Revolution 2-1 Chicago Fire

Real Salt Lake 1-1 NY Red Bulls

FC Dallas 2-0 Montreal Impact

D.C. United 1-1 Inter Miami

Toronto 3-1 NYCFC

Atlanta United 1-2 FC Cincinnati

San Jose Earthquakes 1-2 Minnesota United

Sporting KC 2-0 Houston Dynamo

Colorado Rapids 1-0 Orlando City

LA Galaxy 3-0 Vancouver Whitecaps

Seattle Sounders 2-1 Columbus Crew

Portland Timbers 3-1 Nashville

LAFC 2-0 Philadelphia Union

 

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 2 Insight

 

Week 1 Review:

So, I've had a bit of time to go through highlights, footage, clips and match reports and will relay my thoughts and conclusions from Week 1's action.

 

Number 10's are already dominating:

Espinoza (SJ), Pozuelo (TOR), Valeri (POR), Pomykal (DAL), Price (COL), Gressel (DC), Taider (MTL), Royer (RBNY), Zelarayan (CLB), and Kinda (SKC).

 

All of these names had good Week 1's and it's clear that as the season progresses, you'll be hearing these names a lot. Of these, Zelarayan (Columbus) and Kinda (SKC) were eye opening as new MLS recruits and superb on their debuts, whilst Daniel Royer (RBNY) looks to be the heartbeat of NY Red Bull's midfield again this year.

 

Best Team Showing:

Minnesota were incredibly good at a Portland side that couldn't get out of first gear. Kevin Molino and Ethan Finlay ran the show from minute one. Finlay in particular was rapid down the wings, with width really causing problems for The Timbers. Loanee, Luis Amarilla ($10.5m) is someone I was unaware of going into the new season, but left a good impression of me as a real fox in the box that should help convert some of the winger's creativity. This is hardly a side that is missing Darwin Quintero, right?

 

I'll also give a shout out to Sporting KC as they were very good in their 3-1 win at Vancouver. Gerso ($7.4m) has such quick feet, whilst Kinda ($8.0m) was looking to get on the ball as much as possible.

 

Alarm Bells ring for anyone?:

It might just be a case of being an opening day hiccup, but a few teams have made me hesistent on trusting them in MLS Fantasy. Julian Gressel was good in his D.C. United debut, but overall the side from the capital really struggled against an organised Colorado Rapids side.

 

Orlando don't seem any closer to scoring goals, though they were much improved defensively when compared to 2019. Nashville are going to struggle away from home, and for goals, whilst Inter Miami's defeat looked stonewall as soon as Carlos Vela scored a sensation chip.

 

Champions League commitments and their Week 1 showings mean I'm not touching Atlanta or NYCFC for a while, whilst Vancouver looked like they'll struggle again in 2020, as will Chicago Fire.

 

Given their squads, I'll give Portland and Philadelphia the benefit of the doubt that they just played good sides at the wrong time, though both looked very flat and without much goal threat.

 

 

Week 2 Reminder:

This is a disclaimer that MLS is a wildly unpredictable league, so what worked last week, might not work the following week. It takes a few weeks to understand the scoring patterns of players, so never rest on your laurels.

 

On Price Rises of $1.0 million:

The best performing players will now go up by $1m (or around) if they have a good Gameweek, which is double the $0.5m cap of last season. As long as price falls are as aggressive when a player is out of form it should create a good balance in the game. My gut feeling suggests that defensive players that are able to maintain a good level of points will raise a lot, forcing different options to be considered as the season progresses. Also ken to see how the price falls happen as price changes are reflective of a player's price and the points they earn per million in value.

 

Teams to Watch / Avoid:

FC Dallas (watch): The Texan side looked shit, sharp and full of energy against Philadelphia. Given the wide array of talent in MLS Fantasy to pick from, the duo of Pomykal ($8.4m) and Ondrasek ($9.0m) made you quickly aware that this might be another stellar year for the pair. Defensively, Dallas have some reliable options too, with Hollingshead ($7.0m), Hedges ($7.0m), Cannon ($6.5m) and penalty-kick taker, Ziegler ($7.0m) all attractive options ahead of another home game, this time with Thierry Henry's Montreal visiting.

 

Californian Clubs (watch): The trio of San Jose, LA Galaxy and LAFC are all welcoming clubs to the sunshine state this weekend, with LAFC and Galaxy playing teams that didn't win during Week 1. Minnesota pose a real threat to San Jose, but it should be a good game regardless, especially with San Jose fosteringa good team spirit after coming back from 2-0 down against Toronto.

 

Atlanta (avoid): Purely due to the loss of talisman, Josef Martinez, who tore his ACL during the 2-1 win at Nashville, The Five Stripes look starved of attacking options right now and will need to fill their boots. Despite scoring twice at Nashville, it was a very shy performance from the 2018 MLS Cup winners, so we'd air on the side of caution if you want to bank on a home game with Cincinnati - especially as I highly rate Jurgen Locadia in attack for the visitors. His pace and energy ripped apart New York Red Bulls in a 26-minute cameo, so across the pitch I'm doubtful of de Boer's side.

 

Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Alternative: Javier Hernandez (LA)

Differential: Zdeněk Ondrášek (DAL)

 

It's a week where the LA sides will feature heavily with the armband. Chicharito is making his home debut against a slow-starting Vancouver, whilst LAFC are at home. Dallas and New England also have decent home fixtures, so Bou (NE) and Ondrasek (DAL) are serious contenders.

 

MLS Scout Picks Squad: Week 2

Budget: $125.0 million (fixed)

Formation: 4-3-3

 

Starting 11

 

GK: K. Vermeer (LAFC)

 

DEF: R. Hollingshead (DAL)

DEF: E. Segura (LAFC)

DEF: G. Gonzalez (LA)

DEF: G. Zusi (SKC)

 

MID: A. Pozuelo (TOR)

MID: D. Valeri (POR)

MID: J. Price (COL)

 

FOR: J. Hernandez (LA)

FOR: C. Vela (LAFC) - (C)

FOR: Z. Ondrasek (DAL)

 

Substitutes

 

GK: J. Gonzalez (DAL)

MID: J. Russell (SKC)

DEF: O. Gonzalez (TOR)

DEF: C. Duke (SKC)

 

Week 2: Strategy

I've got a lot of players in earlier games so I'll probably end up with all my Dallas players on the bench. I'll then be able to rotate in the numerous Gonzalez players in my team in case the Dallas players score big.

 

Valeri and Pozuelo remain whilst it looks like Vela is the standout pick for captain for the second week of the season.

 

 

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

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.

 

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk

 

All aboard.

 

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