Valeri

2017 MLS Fantasy Preview: Midfielders

The 2017 MLS Fantasy season is directly upon us.  The season starts tomorrow, and as of the writing of this post, you’ve only got 34 hours left before that deadline hits for the opening weekend challenge.  Let’s blast through some midfielder previews in case you’re having any trouble deciding who to pick up now that it’s really crunch time.

Diego Valeri – Portland – $10.0m

2016 stats
Total points: 222
Goals: 14
Assists: 7
Points per 90 minutes: 7.6

Yes, he’s expensive, but right off the bat, he’s worth it.  Looking at his stats last year and then looking at the season ahead, he’s poised to have another great season in 2017.  Playing alongside the likes of newcomer Sebastian Blanco and attacking options like Fanendo Adi and Darren Mattocks, he’ll have plenty of options ahead of him.  He’s also got a favorable opening week as the Timbers host Minnesota United.

Nicolas Lodeiro – Seattle – $11.0m

2016 stats
Total points: 99
Goals: 4
Assists: 8
Points per 90 minutes: 8.3

A whole $1m higher than Valeri, Nico Lodeiro is another great pick, and it can be said that he’s largely the reason Seattle was able to turn their season around and take home their first-ever MLS Cup title.  Four goals and eight assists in only 12 regular-season games played — that’s insanity.  With his first full MLS season ahead of him, he’s a must-have, especially with the Sounders bringing back the bulk of their squad, with a couple great additions in Harry Shipp and Will Bruin.

Ignacio Piatti – Montreal – $10.0m

2016 stats
Total points: 234
Goals: 17
Assists: 6
Points per 90 minutes: 7.5

Nacho Piatti had himself a great season in 2016, finishing at the top of the pack as far as total points for midfielders go.  He’s another expensive option, and obviously you can’t have all three of these guys on your squad without killing your budget, but any of them would be great options to have in your starting XI.  Montreal is without Drogba this year, but they’ve still got great attacking options in Matteo Mancosu and Dominic Oduro, so Piatti will still have plenty of opportunities to bag the assist — when he doesn’t feel like slicing up defenders and knocking a goal in himself, that is.

Jordan Allen – Real Salt Lake – $6.0m

2016 stats
Total points: 58
Goals: 3
Assists: 2
Points per 90 minutes: 4.7

No, Allen didn’t have a huge 2016, but he’s a real option as both a differential and a budget pick.  At only $6.0m, the youngster is all but guaranteed a starting spot for RSL — especially this weekend while Brooks Lennon and Sebastian Saucedo are out with the USMNT U-20 squad.  He’s listed as a midfielder, but he’ll be starting in the right wing position.  With the opportunity to combine with the likes of Yura Movsisyan, Joao Plata, and Albert Rusnak, Allen has some real potential to get into dangerous space and bag himself some goals this season.

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