DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: MLS Saturday Cheat Sheet
DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: MLS Saturday Cheat Sheet

This article is part of our DraftKings Fantasy Soccer series.

After a Wednesday that featured so much lineup rotation that you might still be dizzy, we get to jump into what should be a full-force Saturday six pack. Many of the league's weakest sides are in play, with four of the Eastern Conference's bottom-half teams on the road and the fifth also in play. On the flip side, Sporting Kansas City visit Colorado and the two teams have combined for just one loss in their previous six matches.

MATCHES (EDT)

7:30 p.m: Columbus Crew v. D.C. United
9:00 p.m: Colorado Rapids v. Sporting KC
9:00 p.m: FC Dallas v. Chicago Fire
10:00 p.m: Real Salt Lake v. New England Revolution
10:00 p.m: Vancouver Whitecaps v. Orlando City
10:30 p.m: San Jose Earthquakes v. Toronto FC

ODDS REPORT

EXPECTED CORNER TAKERS

Columbus Crew: Mohammed Saeid
D.C. United: Fabian Espindola
Colorado Rapids: Shkelzen Gashi
Sporting KC: Graham Zusi, Benny Feilhaber, Brad Davis
FC Dallas: Mauro Diaz
Chicago Fire: John Goossens
Real Salt Lake: Javier Morales, Joao Plata
New England Revolution: Chris Tierney
Vancouver Whitecaps: Christian Bolanos
Orlando City: Luke Boden
San Jose Earthquakes: Matias Perez Garcia
Toronto FC: Sebastian Giovinco

PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

GOALKEEPER

Alex Bono, TOR at SJE ($3,500): I recommended Bono midweek and he fared ok, allowing one goal on four shots. He's still on the road, but he has also gotten cheaper despite facing an opponent that has been shut out in four of their previous six matches. San Jose may be known as a team that plays really strongly at home, but they're also a team with an offensive system that relies little on good build up and smart through balls, and a lot on low percentage crosses and set pieces. That's not a recipe for consistent threats on goal, and even though Chris Wondolowski should be getting his legs back under him after Copa America, the Earthquakes just aren't a team to be frightened of. If Bono allows a goal, I bet Toronto can keep it to just one, making this an extremely safe play for the value.

David Ousted, VAN v. ORL ($5,200): It's a little surprising how little we've mentioned last year's MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in our DraftKings pieces this season. One knock is that he's usually an overly expensive option. Another is that Vancouver have spent much of the season trying to figure out their optimal back line and are near the league leaders in goals allowed. In the last week, they've added another strong center back in David Edgar and another wide defender in Marcel de Jong, who may not be in action this week but will help moving forward. All things considered, I think Ousted has the best clean sheet chances this week even though the odds above place him fifth. Orlando City have zero goals in three games, largely thanks to Kaka being absent, but also due to Adrian Winter's midseason exit from the team. After losing 2-0 in New York on Wednesday, they get to turn around and fly to Vancouver. While it's safe to say Ousted isn't winning keeper of the year this season, he might be our keeper of the week and saves $500 as our Chris Seitz alternative for the safe clean sheet.

DEFENDER

Kellyn Acosta, CHI AT DAL ($5,400): Acosta isn't cheap, but he also isn't really a defender. The active FC Dallas defensive midfielder finds plenty of ways to join the attack, but he also can be relied on to tally up defensive points. Dallas rested many of their best players midweek and should be more than ready for their match against Chicago, which places them as the heaviest favorite on the slate. Mauro Diaz looks likely to step back into the lineup, which means Acosta will be charged with bossing the midfield as the league's best playmaker roams wherever necessary. A clean sheet is fairly likely, as are tackles and interceptions, but I also wouldn't be shocked to see an assist and a few shots for Acosta as FC Dallas take care of business.

Sean Franklin, DCU at CLB ($4,200): D.C. United may be on the road, but they are better rested than their opponent, Columbus Crew, who are winless in six matches. Franklin is a definite second fiddle to Taylor Kemp in terms of attacking upside, but it wasn't that long ago we thought of the two as fairly equal. He recently chipped in with a goal, but it's much more reasonable to expect just a few offensive points and an additional handful of defensive ones in this match. Franklin is a steady defender with a plus matchup this weekend, and while he's not going to win you a tournament single-handedly, he's an affordable value that could be paired with Bill Hamid as your keeper to make a nice foundation.

Tim Parker, VAN v. ORL ($3,600): I couldn't settle on which Whitecaps defender to write up in this promising matchup, so Parker gets the nominal bolded name. He's been extremely steady for Vancouver this year and may get pushed to the right back spot with Vancouver's new additions. That would give him a little more offensive upside at a center back price. He is also a threat in the air. Whoever starts at the fullback spots should be promising enough, with Jordan Smith and Jordan Harvey being most appealing. It's also possible we see Marcel de Jong ($3,000), though he looked underwhelming in his limited debut Wednesday. Unfortunately, this is one of the later matches of the evening, so it might be worthwhile to budget for Parker and trust you can shift down if better cheap options arise.

MIDFIELDER

Mauro Diaz, FCD v. CHI ($9,600): On this week's RotoWire Soccer Podcast, I mentioned that Diaz was more of a must-play at his price than Sebastian Giovinco. That might not sit well with chalk-eaters but consider that FC Dallas are tops in the league at number of corner kicks (which Diaz takes), and second in both goals and shots on target. Maximiliano Urruti looks to be heating up again, and the opponent is a sitting duck. All things point to Diaz having a signature game with at least half-dozen scoring opportunities created. Don't miss out just because you're box score watching and prefer Giovinco coming off a 13-shot outing.

Pedro Morales, VAN v. ORL ($5,900): Morales didn't enter Wednesday's match against Real Salt Lake until the 75th minute and thus looks set to start this weekend. The talented playmaker hasn't been on our radar often given Vancouver's wingers present more reliable options for just a little bit more salary. Forgetting about him would be a mistake, though. Morales has six goals and five assists in 14 starts. While the goals are famously helped by early season penalties, it's notable that Orlando City are excellent at conceding penalties! The Whitecaps have the slate's second-highest expected goals total, which is impressive considering their lack of an impactful forward. This suggests that the bookmaker's see big things for Vancouver's offensive midfielders, and while you can't go wrong with any of them, it's worth considering an under-the-radar Morales.

Lloyd Sam, DCU at CLB ($4,200): In Sam's last appearance with the Red Bulls, DraftKings had him priced at $7,000! Now, he's garnering a more important attacking role at just a fraction of the price in D.C. If Sam gets a start, he will be eager to prove the Red Bulls that they made a mistake in trading him, and he has speed to burn on the wing against some equally quick Columbus fullbacks. The Crew have allowed 11 goals in six matches and while D.C. United are not expected to be an offensive force this weekend, I think they grab at least one goal. Outside of an Erik Hurtado start in Vancouver, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better midfield value in Sam's price range.

FORWARD

Sebastian Giovinco, TOR at SJE ($12,600): We were all set for a huge Giovinco performance Wednesday, and he got rested. He's probably even angrier now! A frustrated Giovinco is a fantasy owner's best friend, and we could definitely see him tally another 10 or more shots against San Jose. It's notable that the Earthquakes have lost their best defensive player in Clarence Goodson for the season, but their midfield can still shut down opponents like few others in recent memory. Anibal Godoy and Fatai Alashe will still have their hands full, though, and Giovinco could see Jozy Altidore return to the attack alongside him. I truly don't feel like Giovinco is a necessity in your lineup this weekend, but it's inarguable that he's as safe a pick as it gets with as much upside as anybody. My recommendation is to try your best to squeeze both him and Mauro Diaz in.

Yura Movsisyan, RSL v. NER ($6,400): While I spent a lot of breath arguing that we should cool the Movsisyan love on this week's podcast, I also recognize that he's on an incredible goal-scoring run and now faces one of the league's worst defenses. Even though New England are better rested, they'll have a difficult time keeping RSL off the scoreboard this weekend. Movsisyan is your goalscoring bet, but he's somewhat dependent on shooting and scoring statistics. Since he has been so good lately, it's worth considering that his ownership percentage will be incredibly inflated compared to his talent, and we should consider recency bias when making our picks. For a little more money, Burrito Martinez is a more gifted player with a better chance at peripheral points should he be held goalless. Both players will see spots in some of my lineups, but it's admittedly difficult to ignore this prime matchup for Movsisyan.

Teal Bunbury, NER at RSL ($4,900): This is truly an off-the-wall selection. I never expected to be writing up Bunbury this season, but he really stood out in New England's last match against Columbus. He fought hard on the wing and got the better of Columbus' fullbacks multiple times. If he's as hungry to set up Kei Kamara this week as he was last, I could see the two players making a great stack against a suspect Real Salt Lake defense, even on the road. The talent and athleticism are there, and New England have some good attacking talent around Bunbury as well. He has only reached double-digits twice in his last 10 appearances, but I'm trusting my eyes on this one and hoping he can continue his run of good form.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. JD Bazzo plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: OfficerBo, Yahoo: DeNirosDinero.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JD Bazzo
JD is a contributing soccer writer at RotoWire and was a finalist for the 2017 FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year award. JD has been writing for RotoWire since 2015. He is a proud Pittsburgh native, purveyor of fantasy sports, and likely the first Penn State Basketball fan you've ever met.
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