With the CBA signed, sealed and delivered, another season of MLS Fantasy is about to kick off. To help you make some final adjustments to your roster, I've taken a look at all 28 Sounders available and some of the lesser known "best buys" around the league. There are some great bargains out there if you dig deep enough.
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Stefan Frei $5.5M; Troy Perkins $5.0M. Frei is obviously the man to own here, if you believe in Seattle's defense. However, if last year is any indication, Seattle will be playing a high-tempo game that leads to lots of goals for both sides. Frei was a top 10 GK in last year's fantasy, and probably will be again, but there are probably better buys out there. Perkins should not be owned as long as Frei is healthy.
Best Buys: Steve Clark $5.5M; Dan Kennedy $5.0M; Josh Ford $4.0M. Clark is a very highly rated GK, scored the second most in fantasy last year, and is $0.5M cheaper than other top tier GKs. He's my choice, and maybe he should be yours too. Kennedy is also a great GK and looks to be starting for FC Dallas. He is, in my opinion, the best of the $5.0M starting GKs. Ford, the man Orlando stole from Seattle this offseason, is probably the first-in-line after Donovan Ricketts as Tally Hall continues to come back from his torn ACL last year. If you just want a super cheap backup GK, Ford is probably the best choice.
Chad Marshall $8.5M; Brad Evans $7.5M; Leonardo Gonzalez $7.0M; Tyrone Mears $7.0M; Zach Scott $6.5M; Andres Correa $6.5M; Dylan Remick $6.0M; Damion Lowe $5.0M; Jimmy Ockford $5.0M. Marshall is the stud here. He has over 350 CBIs each of the past two seasons, and, as long as he is healthy, he should again be one of the highest scoring defenders in fantasy. Marshall is a sure thing, though maybe not a great bargain. Evans is the interesting one from a fantasy perspective. His price is pretty good for a starting CB on a good defensive team, and knowing his skills, he should get plenty of CBIs and other bonus points. If you believe he will stick as Marshall's partner, he's well worth the price. On the other hand, Leo and Tyrone probably aren't worth the price. Leo has never really scored well in fantasy and unless Mears is racking up key passes and assists, you're better off elsewhere. I also would not recommend holding on to any of the backups until an actual injury issue emerges.
Best Buys: Emanuel Pogatetz $6.5M; Lovel Palmer $6.0M; Rafael Ramos $5.5M; Walker Zimmerman $5.5M; Axel Sjoberg $4.5M. Pogatetz is a $6.5M starting CB on a good defensive team (CLB)? I'm going to assume the reason he's selected on less than 3% of teams is that he played just 53 minutes last year. Pick him up now and don't look back. Palmer and Ramos are starting outside backs for their teams, though who knows whether they'll actually be good defensive teams. Potentially worth speculative adds. Zimmerman and Sjoberg will probably be week 1 starters for their teams as others fight back from injury. Depending on how they do, and how long the other guys take to get healthy, they could develop into full time starters. Sjoberg less likely, but Zimmerman could be. After week 1, we should be able to identify even more value buys in defense.
Clint Dempsey $11.0M; Osvaldo Alonso $9.0M; Lamar Neagle $8.5M; Marco Pappa $8.5M; Gonzalo Pineda $8.0M; Micheal Azira $6.5M; Andy Rose $6.5M; Cristian Roldan $5.0M; Aaron Long $5.0M; Aaron Kovar $4.5M. Dempsey is well worth his expensive price tag. Captain America was one of only a handful who averaged more than 7 fantasy points per 90 last year, and, with a full offseason and minimal distractions this year, I expect him to do even better this year. A lot of folks are high on Porales (aka Pedro Morales), or Kaka, or Nguyen, but I think Dempsey is going to dominate this year. In fantasy, Alonso and Pineda are both way overvalued. Would not recommend. Neagle and Pappa both are pretty accurately priced. I'd lean toward Neagle as Sigi seems to favor him for minutes over Pappa (they scored nearly the same PP/90 in 2014). Azira is a decent value add for the early season while Alonso is out, but don't expect big points out of him. Rose would be decent as well if he leapfrogs Azira. Roldan and Kovar are reasonable speculative buys. I don't see any reason to hold Long.
Best Buys: Mauro Diaz $9.0M; Cristian Maidana $8.5M; Harrison Shipp $7.5M; Diego Fagundez $7.0M; Nick DeLeon $6.5M; Ryan Hollingshead $5.5M. There's a lot of potential in the $9.5-$8.5M range, but I think Diaz and Maidana are two of the guys with the highest potential. With a full season, Diaz could score like a $11M player, and I think Maidana will be even better this year with a real finisher up top. Shipp was one of last season's revelations, and is definitely way undervalued at $7.5M. Fagundez and DeLeon are valuable role players on pretty good teams, so they're worth a look. Hollingshead might be a starting mid for FC Dallas, and at $5.5M you won't have to invest much.
Obafemi Martins $11.0M; Chad Barrett $6.5M; Kenny Cooper $6.5M; Kevin Parsemain $6.0M; Darwin Jones $4.5M; Victor Mansaray $4.5M; Andy Craven $4.5M. I don't think I need to sell you on Obafemi Martins. The MVP candidate should be even better with a full season of a rested Dempsey. Barrett and Cooper aren't awful backups, but probably not worth holding normally, especially considering who else is available around the league. Parsemain as well. Jones, Mansaray, and Craven are all at the minimum price for Forwards, so holding them to clear room for other starters isn't a bad idea, especially to start the season.
Best Buys: Jozy Altidore $9.5M; Fernando Aristeguieta $7.5M; Bryan Rochez $7.0M; Jario Arrieta $6.5M. For some reason twice as many teams have Gyasi Zardes than Jozy Altidore, even though they're the same price. With Bradley and Giovinco behind him, I expect Altidore to score plenty this year. Aristeguieta and Rochez are both youth DPs (Rochez is only 19!) and have locked down starting spots at forward for their respective teams. I expect them both to be well worth the price. Arrieta should be starting for now while Espindola serves his suspension, so he's there if you need an even cheaper option at F.