With unlimited transfers, we will be switching our players around far more often. Therefore, it is important to know who the key MLS players are, so that when a strong team faces a weaker team, you know who to choose.
Rather than reviewing teams and then players to own for a 10 week period, we instead present a crib sheet for you to save in your magazine and then refer back to over the season. We also invite our MLS regulars to add to the list in the comments below.
If you are a new to MLS and are not sure on a player, just ask.
We mostly avoid Chicago Fire, but it they have a Double Game Week then striker Accam consistently scores around 10 per season and is only $9.5m, while midfielder Polster is good for his price because he gets good game time and the odd goal.
Columbus Crew SC
Columbus are a strong team.
Striker Kamara (known as Ola) is a great pick at $10m. Last season he scored 16 goals from 20 starts (25 appearances), resulting in 38 shots on target (from 80 shots in total). These are good stats. In FPL we expect one in 5 shots to result in a goal, so 16 goals from 80 shots is bang-on-the-money. Defender Afful at $6m is another good candidate too, picking up 3 goals last season.
At a glance there is little to get excited about with DC United because they win as many as they draw as they lose. However, DC had a strong end of season and regulars expect a big improvement in their fortunes this season.
Mullins could make a big break through. He was dropped for a while mid-2016 season, but got back in the team and scored 8 in 16 games, with the goals being scored mainly against stronger teams. He’s likely to be in my week 1 team.
Left back Kemp is as good an attacking defender as you are likely to see in MLS because he creates a lot if assits (and scored a goal last season too).
Midfielder Neagle at $7.5m will be useful on a double game week.
Midfielder Piatti will be in your team nearly every week. Last season he picked up 234 points from 32 starts. $10m for 17 goals and 4 assists is great value.
New England Revolution
Defender Woodberry will make great bench material at £4.5m. Midfielder Nguyen at $9.5m is a solid choice.
New York City FC
Should do well this season because they have been building a team over the last 3 years, and are now “ready to go big”. Striker Villa is a must-have most weeks. 243 points for only $10m gets you 23 goals and 4 assists from a player who is in every game.
$9m Midfielder Morález is a new signing and is my tip for the season. Pirlo is a good choice if fit.
New York Red Bulls
In goal is the excellent Robles who earned 168 points last season. $6m is on the pricey side though. Midfielder Kljestan is another solid choice at $10m.
Lastly, up front is Bradley Wright-Phillips who scored 24 goals last season!
Orlando City SC
Saunders at $4.5 is a great choice goalkeeper because he makes a lot of saves. Kaka and Larin are good for selection when the fixtures are kind. Shea at $7m is useful on double game weeks, but that’s it – never choose him any other time.
Strong team and should be a staple for player selection. Starting at the back, Rosenberry and Marquez are good choices for only $5m. Striker Sapong represents a budget striker when fixtures are kind, but only when kind. Pontius is a mid-price midfielder for the occasions when the fixture is 50:50.
Made the finals last season, and were the favorites in the finals, only to lose to Seattle on penalties. However, the players are really expensive.
The good defenders are $6m while the excellent striker Giovinco is $12m – yet this could be good value as Gio played 5 games fewer in 2016 than in 2015 while scoring 4 fewer goals, so Gio could beat last season’s tally of 17.
The problem with Colorado is that they have not done a lot of transfer business, which is a shame because the have a strong defence and a poor strike-force.
Last season Sjoberg was in our teams nearly all season, but he is $6.5m. Striker Doyle is playing as a number 10, so if they get their striking in order then at $8m he could be a gem (but I doubt it).
There is a lot of value in Dallas and I suspect Dallas players will “pad out” our squads once we’ve picked out our superstars.
Midfielder Diaz is a great option once fit. He’s an outstanding attacking forward who is also on penalties. At $10m his price is in line with an assist every 3 games and a gosl every 5 games.
Goalkeeper Seitz is good value at $5.5m, defender Zimmerman is a good shout for $6.5m and $9m midfielder Morales should do better this season having switched from Salt Lake over the winter.
Midfielder Acosta is worth a punt on double game weeks, while striker Urruti is good value at $8.5m. Guillen at $4m is good bench fodder.
Not one to choose for your first 11 every week, but striker Manotas could be a good for the odd differential fixture. Defender Anibaba at $4.5m is good value but there is uncertainty over if he’ll start so avoid at first. That’s it.
The problem with LA is they have a lot of international players. MLS plays on while the international games are on, so you know when to avoid LAG.
Goalkeeper Rowe at $5.5m will probably be our default keeper. This season the unlimited transfers has brought in an interesting concept, that we can choose both the first choice keep and the second choice keeper from a single team; and do this match up each week.
For LA this gives us Rowe and Diop for only $9.5m combined. I think this tactic will become the norm this season, and with two home fixtures at the season start, I expext this pair in many teams.
Midfielder Alessandrini is a really exciting new signing, and I’m told he is excellent on deadballs. Lleget at $7.5m is a squad filler.
Striker dos Santos is a good choice when the fixtures are good, but Wright-Phillips usually makes a better choice.
A defensively weak team but strong in attack. You usually won’t pick players from this team for your back line.
However, midfielder Valeri is a great choice at $10m. New signing Blanco at $9m is one to watch, while Ebobisse is a great choice as a “switcheroo” player because he is unlikely to play but when he does play then he should have a lot of shots. (If you don’t know what a switcheroo is then wait for an article next week.)
$9.5m striker Adi is also wortha mention for the doubles.
Real Salt Lake
Defender Glad at $5.5 and defender Phillips at $5 make good bench players, and striker Plata at $9m makes a good choice when the fixtures are good or on double game weeks.
San Jose Earthquakes
I’m not a fan of San Jose, I normally think “avoid unless it is a double game week”. Yet this season they open with two home games so should have a good start.
Veteran striker Wondolowski has a great track record in the MLS and tends to score in patches, so if he’s scoring then he’s a viable choice. Watch the pre-season results and make your mind up on the 1st March.
Wondo is on penalties too.
Seattle Sounders FC
A very good team who finished last season with a good run of wins. Jones in defence is good value, while Alonso in midfield is excellent at $9.5m. Dempsey spent a lot of last season injured so it will be interesting to see how he is used this season.
There is a lot of noise on twitter about midfielder Roldan at $7m but I want to see more this season.
Avoid unless there is a double game week. The choices are midfielders Feilhaber, Espinoza and that’s it.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Goalkeeper Ousted is a solid choice at $5.5, and I want to see how Montero does this season.
$4.5m defenders Davies and Dean are interesting for early in the season. Davies has been playing in midfield preseason so represents an Out Of Position player, while Dean might get a start because Watson is suspended for week 1.
The two new teams
There are two new teams in the league this season, Atlanta United FC and Minnesota United FC. Midfielder Molino at Minnesota is worth a look later in the season, and new signing Almiron should do well. However, in truth we should avoid these teams at the start of the season until we know more about how the teams will line up and play.
The new signings.
For all transfers in and out check out MLS Soccer, is updated daily.
Who would you add to this list?