FanPost

So you want to play MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager...

It's that time of the year again. The beginning of the MLS season is almost upon us, and with it comes another chance for fantasy glory. If you have never played MLS fantasy before, now is the perfect time to jump in. Maybe you have played Fantasy Football in the past, or even took part in the English Premier League fantasy game, so why not hop on the MLS fantasy bandwagon? The game is growing every year, and I fully expect for this to be the biggest for MLS fantasy yet.

But why should I play?

Why shouldn't you? By participating, you give yourself the opportunity to win many fabulous prizes, from an MLS Live subscription, to a trip to the MLS all-star game.

Prizes aren't the only incentive to play. If you are anything like me, you like to follow MLS, but you mainly follow the Sounders. MLS fantasy is a great opportunity to follow the league in more depth. After beginning the 2013 season, I found myself more interested and involved in the entire league. It allowed me to watch more games than ever before, and as a result I became a much more informed fan.

MLS fantasy is also pretty fun.

You convinced me! I'll play. Where do I start?

The key here is to not be overwhelmed. It can be tough to learn at first, but I am going to go over the basics.

Step 1: Creating your team

You may select 15 players for your fantasy squad. 11 will be on-field, and 4 on the bench. You may only have 3 players from a single team (for example you could not have 4 players from the Sounders). The team will consist of:

  • 2 Goalkeepers
  • 5 Defenders
  • 5 Midfielders
  • 3 Forwards

Each player you pick for you team has a certain value. This value is set by MLS, and is dependent on how well the player is predicted to perform. For example, Robbie Keane is set at $11.0, while Tristan Bowen is $4.9. When selecting your team, you may not exceed $100.0. Player values change during the season depending on the amount of fantasy participants transferring a player in or out. You can find a full list of player values here: http://fantasy.mlssoccer.com/player-list/

Step 2: Scoring Points

The goal of Fantasy MLS is to get the most points. Attackers and defenders are awarded points through different actions.

Here is a helpful chart on how points are awarded through different actions achieved by the player (taken from http://fantasy.mlssoccer.com/rules/) :

Action

Points

For playing in a game

1

For playing at least 60 minutes in a game (includes playing points mentioned above)

2

For each goal scored by your goalkeeper or defenders

6

For each goal scored by your midfielders or forwards

5

For each assist

3

For your goalkeeper conceding 0 goals (must also play at least 60 minutes)

4

For your defenders conceding 0 goals (must also play at least 60 minutes)

4

For your midfielders conceding 0 goals (must also play at least 60 minutes)

1

For every penalty miss

-2

For every penalty save

5

For every 2 goals conceded by your goalkeeper or defenders

-1

For every yellow card

-1

For every red card (includes any yellow card points)

-3

For every 3 saves

1

For example: Clint Dempsey plays 80 minutes and gets a goal and an assist. The Sounders get a 2-0 win.

You would receive 2 points for Clint playing at least 60 minutes, 5 points for scoring a goal, 3 points for an assist, and 1 point for a clean sheet. Clint Dempsey would have contributed 11 points to your fantasy team!

But wait! There is another way for players to rack up fantasy points. Players can be awarded attacking or defending bonuses based on positive play.

Attacking Bonus Actions:

  • 1 point for every 3 crosses (A cross is defined where the ball is played to their own player in the penalty area)
  • 1 point for every 3 key passes (A key pass is one that leads to a shot at goal)
  • 1 point for every big chance created (A big chance is one where the analyst determines the player should score)
  • -1 point for every big chance missed

Defending Bonus Actions:

  • 1 point for every 6 clearances, blocks or interceptions
  • 1 point for every 6 recovered balls
  • -1 point for every error leading to a goal

So let's use the same scenario as before. Clint currently has 11 points. But wait! He also had 3 crosses and a "big chance created." Clint would receive 2 attacking bonus points and would net your fantasy team 13 points.

Step 3: Setting the lineup

So you chose the players who are going to score lots of points. It is now time to set your lineup. You have 15 players on the team, but you must pick 11 to field for the gameweek. Each gameweek has a deadline, and your lineup must be set before it. This is where you analyze which players in your current squad are most likely to have the best games based on factors such as current form and fixtures.

If a player in your starting 11 does not play for any reason, the first player on the bench will be automatically substituted at the end of the gameweek. Unlike EPL, MLS Fantasy has another option for substitutions. In a gameweek, after all the matches are finished on a single day, you may make the following changes to your team:

  • Replace any player who has not played, with one from your bench whose team is yet to play.
  • Change your captain (if he did not play), with a player from your squad whose team is yet to play.

When setting your team, you also choose a Captain and Vice-Captain. When picking a Captain, you want to choose the player you believe will score the most points, as your Captains point total will be doubled. The Vice-Captain is in place in the event that the player chosen as Captain does not play.

Step 4: Transfers

I hate my team, it's terrible! Good news, until the first gameweek begins you may change your team as many times as you please. After the season starts, you may use 2 transfers every gameweek without any penalty to your team.

For example, if Clint Dempsey is not performing to your expectations, you can remove him from your team and add another play you believe will score more points.

If for any reason you use both of your free transfers during a gameweek, you may make additional transfers, but 4 points will be deducted from your weekly point total for every transfer after 2.

In addition to free transfers, you are given 2 wildcards a season. When using a wildcard, you are allowed unlimited transfers with no penalty. This is used when your team needs major changes. One wildcard can be played at any time. The other wildcard can only be used after round 20 starts.

Step 5: Play the Game

You are done! I hope you found this helpful. MLS Fantasy can be very confusing at first, so don't get discouraged if you crash out your first try. Stick with it, and you'll learn a lot. Make sure to check out http://fantasy.mlssoccer.com.

FanPosts only represent the opinions of the poster, not of Sounder at Heart.

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