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MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 9 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 9 Fixtures (13)

Sat 3rd October 2020:

Orlando City 2-1 NY Red Bulls

Sun 4th October 2020:

D.C. United 1-2 Atlanta United

Montreal Impact 2-0 Chicago Fire

NE Revolution 1-0 Nashville

Toronto 1-1 Philadelphia Union

Houston Dynamo 4-1 Sporting KC

Inter Miami 1-2 NYCFC

Minnesota United 2-0 FC Cincinnati

FC Dallas 1-1 Columbus Crew

Seattle Sounders 3-0 Vancouver Whitecaps

San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 LA Galaxy

Portland Timbers 3-0 Colorado Rapids

Mon 5th October 2020:

Real Salt Lake 1-2 LAFC

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 9 Insight

Season Points & Price Increase Review:

MW4: +$3.0mil – Points: 46 – Returns: 3

MW5: +$3.7mil – Points: 95 – Returns: 8

MW6: -$2.0mil – Points: 60 – Returns: 6

MW7: +$4.4mil – Points: 95 – Returns: 7

MW8: -$1.8mil – Points: 63 – Returns: 5

GW7: Starting Eleven…

Valeri (POR): +$1.0mil – 19pts

Jara (DAL): +$1.0mil – 12pts

Mensah (CLB): +$1.0mil – 10pts

Quioto (MTL): +$1.0mil – 9pts

Taider (MTL): +1.0mil – 9ts

Room (CLB): +1.0mil – 9pts

Mora (POR): -$0.7mil – 3pts

Hedges (DAL): -$0.7mil – 8pts

Ricaurte (DAL): -$0.8mil – 2pts

Espinoza (SJ): -$0.8mil – 4pts

Brault-Guillard (MTL): -$0.9mil – 1pt

GW7: Bench Dwellers…

Jensen (RBNY): $1.0mil – 5pts (yes, 5pts)

Long (RBNY): $1.0mil – 4pts (yes, 4pts)

Washington (NSH): $0 - $4.0mil option, no change.

Cuello (LA): $0 - $4.0mil option, no change.

Here we go again, it’s that time of week again. First off, we’ll discuss GW7. For thestart of the Gameweek, both me and Rob missed the deadline and had to create a makeshift team. Quioto was that man, and both him and Taider in a double gameweek didn’t play for Montreal. They are their best players, and they didn’t play. The MLS guys reading this must know where this is going, it was a mostly typical week in the MLS, with just a few question marks. Before I start, I will say I had a good week in the MLS, I expected my team value to go up.

That said, I am once again querying the fact that when players get returns, literally…any return, they automatically go up $1.0mil. I have yet to see a price rise between $0.1mil to $0.6mil, which should be applied if a player gets a mid-range return, with a return of 9pts getting a $0.6mil to $0.7mil as it isn’t explosive. Valeri of Portland got a mammoth return of 19pts, which is completely fair, but in my mind a 10pt+ week can qualify for a $1.0mil rise as that is a great return, good returns in single digits shouldn’t be adjudged to being mind-blowing returns in the MLS game, especially as everything is now a single gameweek effectively.

Rob’s team went up $9.0mil rise as he didn’t hit the budget cap, with all his players who kicked a ball getting a price rise except for a few of his players who got the usual 1pt to 3pts. His team had more explosive returns, whereas I went for players with stable returns, but I cannot believe that I got seven returns with eight players in my team getting a $1.0mil rise. Crazy.

Great example this week is Taider (MTL), he got 9pts and 3pts*, and went up $1.0mil. Over the course of the two games he picked up a mammoth one assist over two games, a real dynamite return. Now, this is what I hate about the price structure. The price increase is based on just the one fixture that he got that giant 9pt return, when it should also reflect the fact that he was pretty invisible in the other, and the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude is bad when approaching a double gameweek player because logically a $1.0mil rise isn’t befitting a player who technically didn’t perform in half of his games.

Hedges had this best return in about five weeks, big drop, which is surprising, must be because other Dallas defenders are doing better. Hedges hasn’t been performing well lately, but gets a good return, and a big drop, I don’t refute price drops but it doesn’t seem in line with how other players who get above 6pts get a price increase.

My last question mark is over the two bench players: Jensen and Long of New York Red Bulls. Despite performing poorly, they got an aggressive rise. A $8.5mil defender who gets 4pts isn’t performing at the level of that price, but gets a big increase, it just doesn’t make any sense. The cheap goalkeeper is understandable as they want to get him up to parity, but Long who has barely played this week shouldn’t be allowed to rise in price like that.

*didn’t get 3pts, but it is still accounted for his season tally. I know, I know.

GW8: Starting Eleven…

Room (CLB): -$0.8mil – 3pts

Brault-Guillard (MTL): -$0.8mil – 1pt

Hedges (DAL): +$1.0mil – 10pts

Mensah (CLB): -$0.8mil – 4pts

Taider (MTL): $0 – Did not play, no change.

Valeri (POR): -$0.8mil – 4pts

Mueller (ORL): -$0.8mil – 3pts

Quintero (HOU): +$1.0mil – 9pts

Przybylko (PHI): +$1.0mil – 11pts

Quioto (MTL): $0 – Did not play, no change.

Wondolowski (SJ): -$1.0mil – 2pts

GW9: Bench Dwellers…

Marcinkowski (SJ): $0 – 2pts – $4.0mil option, no change.

Mora (DC): +$0.7mil – 8pts

Washington (NSH): $0 – 8pts, no change. Very surprising.

Cuello (LA): $0 – 1pt, $4.0mil option, no change.

So, GW9. As you have read Taider and Quioto didn’t play. They also both don’t go down in price. Players that don’t play should have a price decrease, because if you don’t play, you don’t perform, which is worse than a player who gets ninety minutes and gets 2pts. Also, because we missed the deadline as we were busy with setting up our football team for the new season, we spoke about it and realised that being abroad makes it more difficult to follow and achieve the deadline. Therefore, we think a vice-captain is needed next season, as the MLS is a constantly changing tectonic plate of rotation, random injuries, and every changing fixtures, cancellations, and unpredictable weather. To play the MLS you must be 100% invested in playing it, and because of last weeks madness it meant that we paid the price for it.

I only had five increases in price, and then I had six negatives, and then four who had no change at all. I didn’t lose that much value, even though I had three returns in my main eleven, and I got lucky with two cheap bench players having miracle gameweeks. That doesn’t make sense one bit, but I finally have the first player in my team to go down $1.0mil, which is more like it.

Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Ruidiaz (SEA)

Alternative: Bou (NE)

Differential: Molino (MIN)

MLS Scout Picks Squad: Week 9

Budget: $124.8 million (fixed)

Formation: 3-4-3

Starting 11

GK: D. St. Clair (MIN)

DEF: Leerdam (SEA)

DEF: Figueroa (HOU)

DEF: Bye (NE)

MID: Molino (MIN)

MID: Valeri (POR)

MID: Roldan (SEA)

MID: Quintero (HOU)

FOR: Ruidiaz (SEA) - (C)

FOR: Bou (NE)

FOR: Mora (POR)


GK: Marcinkowski (SJ)

MID: Cuello (LA)

DEF: Washington (NSH)

DEF: Morrow (TOR)

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 9 Fixtures (13)

Sat 3rd October 2020:

Orlando City 2-1 NY Red Bulls

Sun 4th October 2020:

D.C. United 1-1 Atlanta United

Montreal Impact 3-1 Chicago Fire

NE Revolution 2-0 Nashville

Toronto 2-1 Philadelphia Union

Houston Dynamo 2-2 Sporting KC

Inter Miami 2-3 NYCFC

Minnesota United 3-0 FC Cincinnati

FC Dallas 1-2 Columbus Crew

Seattle Sounders 3-0 Vancouver Whitecaps

San Jose Earthquakes 1-2 LA Galaxy

Portland Timbers 1-0 Colorado Rapids

Mon 5th October 2020:

Real Salt Lake 3-2 LAFC

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 9 Insight

Week 8 Review:

Due to life in the UK, and the earlier deadline, me and Sam were both stuck with Montreal’s Quioto as captain, which hurt massively as I slipped to 158th overall. My target is to finish inside the top 100 players this season and it is achievable. I’m also fighting to win the Orlando City league and a top 10 finish in the MLS UK Show and our own Hype Train league too. That will be classed as a big season if I’m able to see it across the line, especially as the time difference means I am estranged from watching games live and have to trust in my picks as I’m usually fast asleep when most line-up announcements are made.

Teams to Watch / Avoid:

D.C. United & Atlanta (Avoid): Both sides have greatly under-performed this season and this encounter looks certain to be one to avoid for MLS Fantasy players. I wouldn’t consider a single option.

Minnesota (Watch): Cincinnati are 12th in the Eastern Conference on 13 points. Only Inter Miami (11pts) and D.C. United (11pts). From all 26 teams in the league, they’re the lowest scorers from 14 games, only finding the net 8 times. It’s become a staple to put in a defending playing against Cincinnati, and this week I’ll be loading up on Loons players in what should be a big win.

New England (Watch): Nashville are another team Fantasy players are backing against. There is very little goal threat, whilst Gustavo Bou should provide a killer touch against the team from music city, to see out a comfortable home win.

Portland Timbers (Watch): A brace of 1-0 wins during Week 8 against Seattle and Vancouver highlights their recent return to form. Colorado have been explosive when they want, but I’m expecting another narrow win on home soil against the fiery climate of Portland’s surroundings right now due to the wild fires.

Seattle Sounders (Watch): Another Western Conference team with a delightful home fixture – Vancouver haven’t been up to the job again this season and with Lodeiro and Ruidiaz in a good blip of form, this screams a big home win.

San Jose Earthquakes (Avoid): They genuinely look like conceding 6 goals in each game. Javier Hernandez must be looking at this fixture as an opportunity to actually get his Galaxy career off the ground or people might actually think the Mexican has retired.

NY Red Bulls (Avoid): RBNY are just one team to avoid at all costs until their Managerial situation clears up. When you trust their players, they lose. Barnsley Manager, Gerhard Struber, is the leading candidate for the role and given that the Championship side aren’t likely to mount a serious bid for the play-offs, more likely fighting relegation again after failing to win any of their first three matches of the season, it might be a good move for Struber to get in on the Red Bull scene – he may very well end up at Salzburg or Leipzig if he does well at their feeder MLS franchise.

LAFC (Avoid): They got thumped the last time they visited RSL, and even though Diego Rossi is in consideration this week, the Californian side massively lack an identity without Carlos Vela. They need their Captain back to gel the team around his presence.

Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Nico Lodeiro (SEA)

Alternative: Gonzalo Higuain (MIA)

Differential: Darwin Quintero (MIN)

Seattle and Torono take top billing this week based on how the pricing structure is set this week. Lodeiro and Pozuelo are must-haves, whilst Ruidiaz and Altidore are the alternatives up top.

Miami managed 33 crosses for former Juventus attacker, Gonzalo Higuain, in a 3-0 defeat at Philadelphia, with the Argentine also missing a penalty. It could have been a massive week with some sharpness and on his home debut I’m expecting some type of goal output – even against a solid NYCFC side. Quality always shows in MLS and it is only a matter of time before the goals are flowing.

MLS Scout Picks Squad: Week 9

Budget: $125.0 million (fixed)

Formation: 3-4-3

Starting 11

GK: D. St. Clair (MIN)

DEF: R. Metanire (MIN)

DEF: B. Bye (NE)

DEF: B. Smith (SOU)

MID: N. Lodeiro (SEA) – (C)

MID: A. Pozuelo (TOR)

MID: E. Reynoso (MIN)

MID: D. Quintero (HOU)

FOR: J. Altidore (TOR)

FOR: R. Ruidiaz (SEA)

FOR: G. Higuain (MIA)


GK: J. Marcinkowski (SJ)

MID: L. Nguyen (NE)

DEF: J. Morrow (TOR)

DEF: B. Sweat (MIA)

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.

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All aboard.