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MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 3 Fantasy Forecast

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.

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 3 Fixtures (24)

New York Red Bulls 1-1 NYCFC

Columbus Crew 1-0 Chicago Fire

New England Revolution 0-0 Philadelphia Union

FC Cincinnati 0-0 D.C. United

Minnesota 0-1 Sporting KC

Houston Dynamo 1-1 FC Dallas

Toronto 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

LAFC 2-0 LA Galaxy

Atlanta 1-0 Nashville

Inter Miami 1-1 Orlando City

Colorado Rapids 0-0 Real Salt Lake

Portland Timbers 1-1 Seattle Sounders

NYCFC 1-1 Columbus Crew

D.C. United 1-0 New England Revolution

Chicago Fire 1-0 FC Cincinnati

Philadelphia Union 1-1 New York Red Bulls

Montreal Impact 1-0 Vancouver Whitecaps

Sporting KC 1-0 Houston Dynamo

Orlando City 1-0 Nashville

Inter Miami 1-2 Atlanta

FC Dallas 1-0 Colorado Rapids

Real Salt Lake 0-1 LAFC

San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Portland Timbers

LA Galaxy 0-1 Seattle Sounders

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 3 Insight

Teams to Watch / Avoid:

Orlando (Watch): The Florida based team reached the final of the MLS Is Back tournament, and with Nani now finding his best form since being at the MLS in the tournament, he could be a player that hits big on the proper return. Orlando also have two great fixtures in the gameweek, which is just an added bonus.

LA Galaxy (Avoid): Two horrid fixtures, avoid. Rossi (LAFC) tore through LA Galaxy the last time he played them, and I expect a similar result this time.

Portland Timbers (Watch): After the Timbers won the MLS Is Back tournament they are on a hot streak. They have San Jose and Seattle Sounders, and this may put off managers from picking their players, but they could be ignoring players from a team that has done well since the restart.

Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Diego Rossi (LAFC)

Alternative: Alan Pulido (SKC)

Differential: Gustavo Bou (NE)

Other Week 3 Comments:

Here. We. Go. After a prolonged absence due to the worldwide pandemic, which is still running rampant in the United States, I am extremely surprised that football has returned to the States. I really am, I expected the season to be cancelled. The MLS has no relegation, so it is more feasible without any legal consequences. As someone living in England where it mostly contained, it is concerning that the game is back on a continent where there are still over a thousand deaths per day, and the entire Eastern states, and also California, have been giant petri dishes. In America there was a huge coronavirus outbreak at the Disney resort where the MLS Is Back tournament was hosted, with Nashville and Dallas withdrew from the competition altogether. I don’t have the context from living States-side, but it feels reckless when the curve of new Covid-19 cases is barely slowing down. At least in Europe the curve was flattened when football returned. The MLS being back is what it is, but if you were to ask me if I believe it should have come back, what would I say? That’s an easy answer: The MLS should have been cancelled for the 2020 season.

Now, onto the MLS Fantasy element. The MLS team will want to know if people will have come around on the new MLS Fantasy model, and I myself was outspoken on the changes introduced to the MLS Fantasy which modelled the game on wretched Daily Fantasy Sports habits. I still haven’t come around on the changes, especially now that there is a mega Double Gameweek this weekend it has reminded me about how much I despise a Double Gameweek player not actually being a Double Gameweek player.

Because ‘Double’ Gameweek’s don’t exist anymore, and they now emphasis is on Single Gameweek returns, players from teams who only play once are being massively overlooked. All that matters is one big return, the Canadian teams such as Toronto and Vancouver will be practically invisible to most managers because other players have two rolls of the dice, as opposed to one. The argument is that Double Gameweek players have an ‘advantage’ over single Gameweek players, but they really don’t. A team that doesn’t score goals isn’t an inviting option in a single week setup with two rolls of the dice, and it actually just pushes people towards the exact same template team everyone will have every week, especially as player price rises means more carbon copy teams occur as people have to start prioritising positions. Most clubs have two games this week, but it doesn’t feel like a Double Gameweek, just one long one. The best a Fantasy Manager can hope for is to log on and celebrate that your team maybe gets a couple extra points. Enough about that though, what about the actual football?

From my experience of watching the Premier League return it did change the quality of football, and despite the tournament to kickstart things, I think there will be a similar pattern of lots of tight games with late goals as substitutes open up the game. The MLS has lots of quality players, and like in Europe, I expect the players with the most natural quality to shine through. Players like Lodeiro, Nani, Rossi, Zardes, Hollingshead, and Segura will be players that everyone has their eye on. Most teams will be relying on their top players to perform, so stick to proven options as players across the MLS find their feet after a long period without playing a league game.

MLS Scout Picks Squad: Week 3

Budget: $124.8 million (fixed)

Formation: 3-4-3

Starting 11

GK: Maurer (DAL)

DEF: Ruan (ORL)

DEF: Segura (LAFC)

DEF: Hollingshead (DAL)

MID: Nani (ORL)

MID: Atuesta (LAFC)

MID: Zelarayan (CLB)

MID: Lodeiro (SEA)

FOR: Rossi (LAFC) - (C)

FOR: Pulido (SKC)

FOR: Bou (NE)


GK: Gallese (ORL)

MID: Cuello (LA)

DEF: Bye (NE)

DEF: Duncan (RBNY)

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 3 Fixtures (24)

New York Red Bulls 2-1 NYCFC

Columbus Crew 1-0 Chicago Fire

New England Revolution 2-2 Philadelphia Union

FC Cincinnati 1-1 D.C. United

Minnesota 0-1 Sporting KC

Houston Dynamo 0-2 FC Dallas

Toronto 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

LAFC 3-1 LA Galaxy

Atlanta 2-2 Nashville

Inter Miami 0-1 Orlando City

Colorado Rapids 1-1 Real Salt Lake

Portland Timbers 1-1 Seattle Sounders

NYCFC 2-1 Columbus Crew

D.C. United 0-2 New England Revolution

Chicago Fire 3-2 FC Cincinnati

Philadelphia Union 2-1 New York Red Bulls

Montreal Impact 3-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

Sporting KC 3-1 Houston Dynamo

Orlando City 2-0 Nashville

Inter Miami 2-1 Atlanta

FC Dallas 1-0 Colorado Rapids

Real Salt Lake 1-4 LAFC

San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 Portland Timbers

LA Galaxy 1-2 Seattle Sounders

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 3 Insight

Team Fixture Breakdown: Week 3

Atlanta United: vs. Nashville (H) and Inter Miami (A)

Chicago Fire: vs. Columbus (A) and Cincinnati (H)

FC Cincinnati: vs. D.C. United (H) and Chicago (A)

Colorado Rapids: vs. Real Salt Lake (H) and Dallas (A)

Columbus Crew: vs. Chicago (H) and NYCFC (A)

D.C. United: vs. Cincinnati (A) and New England (H)

FC Dallas: vs. Houston (A) and Colorado (H)

Houston Dynamo: vs. Dallas (H) and Sporting KC (A)

Inter Miami: vs. Orlando (H) and Atlanta (H)

LA Galaxy: vs. LAFC (A) and Seattle (H)

LAFC: vs. LA Galaxy (H) and Real Salt Lake (A)

Minnesota United: vs. Sporting KC (H)

Montreal Impact: vs. Vancouver (H)

Nashville: vs. Atlanta (A) and Orlando (A)

New England Revolution: vs. Philadelphia (H) and D.C. United (A)

New York City FC: vs. NY Red Bulls (A) and Columbus (H)

New York Red Bulls: vs. NYCFC (H) and Philadelphia (A)

Orlando City: vs. Inter Miami (A) and Nashville (H)

Philadelphia Union: vs. New England (A) and NY Red Bulls (H)

Portland Timbers: vs. Seattle (H) and San Jose (A)

Real Salt Lake: Colorado (A) and LAFC (H)

San Jose Earthquakes: vs. Portland Timbers (H)

Seattle Sounders FC: vs. Portland (A) and LA Galaxy (A)

Sporting Kansas City: vs. Minnesota (A) and Houston (H)

Toronto FC: vs. Vancouver (H)

Vancouver Whitecaps: vs. Toronto (A) and Montreal (A)

Further Fixture Breakdown:

Teams playing twice at home (1): Inter Miami

Teams playing twice away from home (2): Nashville, Vancouver

Teams only playing once (3): Minnesota, Montreal, Toronto

Off-Season Review & Season Changes:

  • The MLS is Back tournament introduced 3 regular season matches in the group stage play.

  • After the MLS is Back Tournament, the "first phase" of the regular schedule restart had teams playing only conference opponents for 6 matches with the intent of playing a 23 match season.

  • Portland Timbers won the MLS is Back Tournament with a 2-1 win over Orlando on Wednesday 12th August 2020.

  • The exceptions in the first phase were that the Canadian clubs (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal) would play six matches between themselves due to prohibited travel to the United States. One of these fixtures has already taken place, with Toronto beating Vancouver 3-0 at home on 19th August 2020.

  • Before Week 3 started, due to Nashville and Dallas not competing at the MLS is Back Tournament as both sides registered a number of positive Covid-19 tests, they will play each other 3 times to make up for the matches they missed out on at the tournament.. 2 of those matches have already taken place. Nashville beat Dallas on 13th August away from home 1-0 with David Accam scoring, before they played out a 0-0 draw on 17th August 2020.

Teams to Watch / Avoid:

Atlanta (Both): Frank de Boer is out as Manager. Former Aberdeen midfielder, Stephen Glass, will be in charge of his first game. Nashville (H) and Inter Miami (A) await, with both new expansion sides for the season. Glass plans to ‘open up’ Atlanta’s attack, so we might see an unleashed attack. Whether or not this will backfire, we’ve no idea…. Side note, de Boer is going to find it hard to manage again after horror spells at Crystal Palace and now Atlanta.

Portland & Orlando (Watch): Both got to the final of the MLS is Back Tournament and are already in a better gear than most sides. Orlando have a few must-have Fantasy option picks this week in Gallese (GK) and NANI (MID), whilst Sebastian Blanco (MID) was in fine form at Disney. Orlando’s appeal comes as Óscar Pareja has helped City’s defensive shape immeasurably and they look a more rounded, balanced unit that could do well this season.

Single Gameweek Teams (MIN, MTL, TOR): Single Gameweek players have a lower ceiling in Double Gameweek’s as they’ve only one roll of the dice. Only the best score is registered on MLS Fantasy, though by having Single Gameweek teams and players be less desirable as there’s essentially a bailout of a bad performance, the new rules in the game aren’t doing their job.

Sporting KC (Watch): Alan Pulido looks a real goal threat and a missing piece in the SKC attach. Fixtures against Minnesota and Houston are both manageable this week and I’m half-expecting the Houston game in particular to be rammed with goals.

Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Carlos Vela (LAFC) – captain obvious, but proven quality always prospers in MLS. There’s a slim chance of rotation due to Vela not going to Disney for the MLS is Back Tournament, but even if he appears off the bench in the El Trafico derby against LA Galaxy, the scoring system means that the Mexican can redeem himself against Real Salt Lake in LAFC’s second fixture.

Alternative: Nani (Orlando) – The Portuguese midfielder was good at the MLS is Back Tournament and Orlando have the same fixtures as Atlanta this week, going toe-to-toe with Nashville and Miami. The ceiling couldn’t be higher for one big return across two games.

Differential: Pity Martinez (Atlanta) – I’ve no idea what Atlanta side will show up in their games against expansion side, Nashville (H) and Inter Miami (A). This means Pity is a perfect differential captaincy pick as you’re hoping on results that might not happen, though he has fixtures in his favour.

Other Week 3 Comments:

The major comment is to not forget how MLS Fantasy’s scoring works in Double Gameweek’s. Only the best score of a player playing twice will be registered, so you’re looking to captain and bank on explosive players that have the potential to hit big numbers, rather than two middleweight scores.

For someone that is coming back into MLS after a few months out, a lot has changed and this might be an acclimatising week. MLS only opened up with two rounds of games, with Maxi Urruti (Montreal) the top player with 27 Fantasy points, with Jack Price (Colorado) on 22 points in second.

I attempted to watch the MLS is Back Tournament, but being in the UK and most games airing in the early hours of the morning, it was hard staying awake and following the rapid number of games. Portland Timbers were a decent watch, however, and they look the best primed to take that into the resumption of the ‘regular’ season – not that MLS is going to have one of those this year.

Worst comes to worse, just know who the set-piece takers are and bank that they’ll come good over the course of two games. They often do, which means the likes of Valeri, Pozuelo, Lodeiro, and Vela among others, should still be at the summit of your considerations.

My team below is heavy on LAFC and Orlando – both teams have games with big scoring potential and they’ll probably make up the basis of most teams, though there is an untold amount of options. Don’t forget, there’s always a ‘Plan B’ in this game.

MLS Scout Picks Squad: Week 3

Budget: $125.0 million (fixed)

Formation: 3-4-3

Starting 11

GK: P. Gallese (ORL)

DEF: E. Segura (LAFC)

DEF: R. Ziegler (DAL)

DEF: Ruan (ORL)

MID: S. Blanco (POR)

MID: Nani (ORL)

MID: P. Martinez (ATL)

MID: l. Zelarayan (CLB)

FOR: C. Vela (LAFC) – (C)

FOR: D. Rossi (LAFC)

FOR: A. Pulido (SKC)


GK: B. Shuttleworth (CHI)

MID: K. Acosta (COL)

DEF: A. Buttner (NE)

DEF: B. Lennon (ATL)

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

All aboard.


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