What sort of soccer fan are you? Are you the kind who looks out for a team’s results, or do you fully immerse yourself into every aspect of the game, from the number of minutes played by each player, to how many tackles an individual makes. If the latter explains your love for North American soccer you may want to check out Fantasy MLS betting.
Fantasy MLS betting is an exciting, statistic driven game where you use your knowledge of the MLS to win some money. Instead of betting on the various MLS game outcomes, you pick a team of MLS players and earn points based on those players’ performances. Finish with the most points in a contest and you’ll win a prize.
Use your vast, in-depth knowledge of the beautiful game to put together that continually accumulates points. Unearth unsung heroes nobody else has picked to improve your chances of fantasy MLS glory. Who will you pick for your team?
Best Online Fantasy MLS Leagues
Fantasy soccer is a relatively new concept as the fantasy sports genre has been dominated by the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, but as Bob Dylan once famously sang, the times they are a changin’
The popularity of soccer in the US, and Major League Soccer in particular, has seen a number of fantasy sports spreading to soccer contests with the biggest, and arguably best, found at DraftKings.
DraftKings’ system is simple on the outside but holds enough complexity in its scoring and rules to provide a substantial challenge for competitors. Pick a team of eight players from at least three different teams. You earn points based on a number of statistics, including shots taken, goals scored, and tackles made. You lose points for fouls and goals conceded, yellow and red cards, and missing penalties.
With a mixture of freebies and some of the biggest guaranteed prize pools on the planet, DraftKings is the fantasy MLS site for thousands of MLS loving soccer fans. Will you be joining them?
How To Win MLS Fantasy
Those of you who follow MLS will know the league has a myriad of statistics at your disposal. You'll need to embrace those if you want to win at MLS Fantasy.
You need to create a team with one goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, two forwards, and a utility player (any non-goalkeeper) and not go over the $50,000 salary cap – players are assigned a salary based on the likelihood of them scoring precious points.
The first name on your team sheet should probably be a goalkeeper. They are the only player on your team who earns points, five of them, when their team wins. They also receive points for clean sheets and saves. Of course, they lose points for conceding a goal.
Potland’s Jake Gleeson made 118 saves in 2016 and kept six shutouts with LA Galaxy’s Brian Rowe keeping nine clean sheers and making 113 saves. Both should be expensive for the upcoming season.
Picking Goal Scorers
Goalkeepers are incredibly valuable members of your team with only prolific scoring forwards rivalling them. Red Bulls’ Bradley Wright-Phillips enjoyed a hugely successful season in 2016, finishing as the league’s top scorer with 24 goals. The Brit also had 103 shots, of which 56 were on target while contributing six assists. Wright-Phillips earned 429 points for an average of 12.62 points per game, an extremely impressive output.
Wright-Phillips’ New York rival, NYCFC’s David Villa, scored (23) but had 163 more attempted shots. Villa bagged 488 points for an average of 14.79 points per game.
The Best Strategy: Mix It Up
Don't simply stick to the same players week in week out. If, for example, Red Bulls are playing a defensive team them it may be best to avoid selecting Wright-Phillips. Look for a forward playing on a different team against a lesser opposition. Chopping and changing your team based on their opposition is crucial to fantasy MLSsuccess.
Also search for attacking midfielders who both score and create goals. One such player is Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco. He found the back of the net 17 times and still found time to accumulate 15 assists and 177 shots. This netted Giovinco a massive 496 points, more than both MLS top scorers!
Not all midfielders are attack minded so you can pick up points from ball winning midfielders who stop attacks with last ditch tackles. However, in 2016, DC United’s Marcelo Sarvas and Roger Espinoza of Sporting KC accumulated 21 yellow cards and three red cards between them, combining for 132 fouls. Neither of them scoried enough goals to make up for this monster-sized deficit.
Lastly, when it comes to defenders, you have a choice between full backs and centre backs. The former, as a rule, like to bomb forward and provide an extra outlet in attack, which gives you the chance to receive points for crosses and assists. On the flipside, they could pick up a few bookings because they have to face skilful wingers.
Central defenders tend to score more goals than full backs, usually from corners and free kicks, but are more likely to receive red cards and fouls, especially as they are the last line of defence.