MLS Fantasy Rankings: Week 23
MLS Fantasy Rankings: Week 23

This article is part of our MLS Fantasy Rankings series.

The rankings below are based on Major League Soccer's official fantasy game and cover all games in Week 23. While they can be used for DFS purposes, they are done with a focus on the league's season-long game.

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below, or hit up JD on Twitter @dfsMLS.

Forwards

RankPlayerMatchupPriceNotes
1HeberNYC v. HOU, at ATL9.8Considering he scores almost every time he's started for NYCFC, you probably want him this week.
2Carlos VelaLAFC v. NYRB13.5Not far behind Heber and is only playing one game. He's still squarely in the discussion for your captaincy, or at least my captaincy.
3Alexandru MitritaNYC v. HOU, at ATL8.0His good games have not been impressive enough that I want to forego a NYCFC defensive piece to squeeze two forwards in. If Maxi Moralez doesn't start Thursday night, it's a tougher call (though I still would lean towards a second defensive piece or Alex Ring).
4Brian FernandezPOR v. VAN10.6He played 90 minutes on Wednesday, but so did Ebobisse, so expect another start. It's a good matchup, too.
5Wayne RooneyDC v. LA10.4After a dramatic week, Rooney will be eager to begin his final stretch at DC United. I think he rewards the team for doing right by him with at least a goal against Zlatan and the Galaxy. He returned from England on Wednesday, so there shouldn't be any concerns about his match fitness.
6Diego RossiLAFC v. NYRB10.5Vela's shadow looms large for Rossi in fantasy. The kid has 13 goals, has scored in 5 of the last 6, and still does not pop up in many teams' rosters.
7Mauro ManotasHOU at NYC, at PHI8.5Elis is suspended for the first Houston match and Manotas could still be sold at any moment to Cruz Azul until the end of the Liga MX transfer window (end of August). The addition of Christian Ramirez suggests to me that he probably will. Given two tough road matches, I'm not thrilled about this play and the risk that comes with it. On the other hand, it's typically wise to not overthink things and go with the two games' worth of production.
8Zlatan IbrahimovicLA at DC10.8Who knows?!
9Jozy AltidoreTOR v. ORL10.3 
10Raul RuidiazSEA v. NE11.2A good play if he returns this week, but there's no reason to go out of your way to roster him. Let's see how he does in the first game back and go from there.
11Gyasi ZardesCLB v. FCC9.0 
12Kacper PrzybylkoPHI v. HOU7.6This already would be a great matchup for Philly's forwards before accounting for Houston's tired legs.
13Romell QuiotoHOU at NYC, at PHI7.2Little chance he starts both, but the price is pretty good for ~120 minutes of Quioto. I have a feeling nobody is eager to fill up all three Houston spots, so this is an option from the bench.
14Valentin CastellanosNYC v. HOU, at ATL6.5Probably doesn't start both.
15Adama DiomandeLAFC v. NYRB9.4 
16Gustavo BouNE at SEA9.9 
17Chris WondolowskiSJ at COL7.0 
18Kei KamaraCOL v. SJ7.9Kei has no business being as lethal as he is at age 34.
19Maximiliano UrrutiMTL at CHI6.5The talent surrounding him just got even better with Bojan on his way!
20Jordan MorrisSEA v. NE9.4 

Midfielders

RankPlayerMatchupPriceNotes
1Maximiliano MoralezNYC v. HOU, at ATL11.7Maxi is possibly not fully fit, but if he starts Wednesday I'll take my chances. NYCFC are still in the thick of the top spot in the East and will want to get a result at Atlanta.
2Alexander RingNYC v. HOU, at ATL8.5I wouldn't be betting on another goal, but Ring should grab a safe 8-10 points pretty easily this week.
3Nicolas LodeiroSEA v. NE12.3New England didn't crumble against LAFC, but Seattle should also be able to get the job done at home. Nico is back to being one of the safest, most consistent choices in FMLS. 
4Alejandro PozueloTOR v. ORL11.2I never thought we'd see a day when Pozuelo only got two points over a full 90. Jozy and Poz haven't been clicking as well as when he first arrived, but he's still a top midfielder.
5Marco FabianPHI v. HOU9.4I'd be surprised if Philly didn't bury 3+ goals here.
6Diego ValeriPOR v. VAN12.0Only subbed on late for US Open Cup, so he should be ready to roll against Vancouver.
7Pedro SantosCLB v. FCC9.1The Crew are trending up and Santos is leading the way. After the last match, San Jose called them the best team they played all season outside of LAFC.
8Keaton ParksNYC v. HOU, at ATL5.3Tremendous value on a week where we don't necessarily need the savings. Decent bet for two starts but far from guaranteed.
9Tomas MartinezHOU at NYC, at PHI7.9Virtually off my radar in fantasy at this point, but he has two games and reportedly "is involved in the attack". I've been unable to find a source that can confirm that, though!
10Memo RodriguezHOU at NYC, at PHI6.7A better bet for 120 than 150+.
11Carles GilNE at SEA12.3 
12Eduard AtuestaLAFC v. NYRB11.9 
13Felipe GutierrezSKC v. RSL10.9He is determined to drag SKC into a playoff spot.
14Sebastian BlancoPOR v. VAN10.4 
15VakoSJ at COL9.2In current form, San Jose on the road are better than most MLS teams at home.
16Johnny RussellSKC v. RSL7.9 
17Magnus ErikssonSJ at COL10.2 
18Saphir TaiderMTL at CHI10.2 
19Matias VeraHOU at NYC, at PHI5.6Pretty good safe option for 6-8 points this week. I'd put him right into your lineup and use the bench on higher risk plays (clean sheet hunting, third forward, etc).
20Nicolas GaitanCHI v. MTL9.7 

Defenders

RankPlayerMatchupPriceNotes
1Anton TinnerholmNYC v. HOU, at ATL8.0With a tasty first matchup of the week (struggling Houston, no Elis), I think you want one defensive piece from NYCFC for sure. Tinnerholm probably won't get forward much against Atlanta, but he's still my favorite this week.
2Maxime ChanotNYC v. HOU, at ATL6.4Despite being a centerback, he doesn't pile on bonus points much more than Tinnerholm, hence the #2 ranking.
3Ronald MatarritaNYC v. HOU, at ATL6.0I may be too cautious with Matarrita on double game weeks, but Atlanta seems like a match he could sit for.
4James SandsNYC v. HOU, at ATL5.9Probably a good case to switch him with Chanot here, but I'll let you decide.
5Alexander CallensNYC v. HOU, at ATL6.2Hasn't played quite as consistently as the other centerbacks.
6Maynor FigueroaHOU at NYC, at PHI6.1There's no real reason to have any confidence in Houston defenders despite them playing two matches. Each game has a good chance of them conceding 2+ goals, so even the usual safe handful of points from minutes plus a bonus or two might not be worthwhile.
7Aljaz StrunaHOU at NYC, at PHI5.2 
8Omar GonzalezTOR v. ORL7.9 
9Harrison AffulCLB v. FCC5.1He hasn't paid off often this year, but we have the chance to play him in an early game off of our bench. It's a rivalry game against a bad team and Columbus need all three points if their playoff hopes are to stay alive. 
10Adam LundqvistHOU at NYC, at PHI5.9I'm just going to stay away from the Lundkvist/Beasley platoon.
11Jorge MoreiraPOR v. VAN8.3Fantastic choice if he plays after going the full 90 in US Open Cup.
12DaMarcus BeasleyHOU at NYC, at PHI4.0 
13Walker ZimmermanLAFC v. NYRB6.9 
14A.J. DeLaGarzaHOU at NYC, at PHI4.3 
15Leandro Gonzalez PirezATL v. NYC7.5Atlanta at home are always worthwhile. NYC are good, but they'll be tired.
16Miles RobinsonATL v. NYC7.7 
17Reto ZieglerDAL v. MIN8.0Tired Loons. Penalty taker. Dallas are clinging onto the final playoff spot.
18Leonardo JaraDC v. LA7.5 
19Kai WagnerPHI v. HOU6.2Any Philly defender would be a decent choice this week.
20Larrys MabialaPOR v. VAN8.8 

Goalkeepers

RankPlayerMatchupPriceNotes
1Sean JohnsonNYC v. HOU, at ATL5.4Tough call, but you probably have figured out I'm leaning towards three other NYC players this week.
2Eloy RoomCLB v. FCC4.7Easy first half of a keeperoo this week.
3Tyler DericHOU at NYC, at PHI4.9 
4Steve ClarkPOR v. VAN7.6Make sure Attinella doesn't get a spot start.
5Andre BlakePHI v. HOU5.1Probably my pick for second keeper if Room doesn't work on Saturday.
6Tyler MillerLAFC v. NYRB6.5 
7Quentin WestbergTOR v. ORL6.7 
8Brad GuzanATL v. NYC6.8 
9Bill HamidDC v. LA6.9 
10Jesse GonzalezDAL v. MIN7.4Stefan Frei and Daniel Vega easily could replace someone in the bottom half of these rankings, but Gonzalez gets the nod. Dallas seem focused for the stretch run.

Value Rankings

(forwards and midfielders under $7.5, defenders under $6.0; not ranked above)

RankPlayerMatchupPriceNotes
1Boniek GarciaHOU at NYC, at PHI5.8Boniek still shows glimpses of the severely underrated MLS player he used to be in his prime. At age 34, though, it's tough to guarantee he'll start both matches. When he's only putting up 3-4 points a match, that's probably not worth the risk.
2Luis DiazCLB v. FCC6.7 
3Gary Mackay-StevenNYC v. HOU, at ATL5.9Considering he has yet to start since joining NYCFC, this is nothing but a hope he begins one and subs onto the other match this week. He's definitely another talented attacker and comes at a big discount, but it's not worth using a valuable NYCFC slot on him.
4Steven BeitashourLAFC v. NYRB5.5 
5Ebenezer OforiNYC v. HOU, at ATL5.6Another DGW player I can't bet on for two starts, although he'd have a higher floor than Boniek if he did. 
6Santiago MosqueraDAL v. MIN6.0 
7Luis ArgudoCLB v. FCC5.7 
8Ali AdnanVAN at POR5.9Vancouver will take their road win last week and look to build on it against a tired Portland side days after their defeat in US Open Cup.
9Thomas McNamaraHOU at NYC, at PHI5.3 
10Aboubacar KeitaCLB v. FCC4.1If you have an extra Columbus and defender spot, grab whoever the cheapest starting Crew CB and throw him onto your bench this week.

Captain Rankings

RankPlayerMatchupPriceNotes
1Maximiliano MoralezNYC v. HOU, at ATL11.7Certainly not the safest play, but he's so good when he's on the field that many will captain him as long as he starts on Thursday.
2Heber Araujo dos SantosNYC v. HOU, at ATL9.8If Maxi is out one or both matches, I'm less keen on Heber for captain.
3Carlos VelaLAFC v. NYRB13.5Definitely in the mix, but I always respect Red Bulls as fantasy opposition. Not as much as I respect LAFC and Vela, though!
4Alexander RingNYC v. HOU, at ATL8.5I'd almost rather play a NYCFC defender and hope for 10 points between two games, but Ring is safe too.
5Nicolas LodeiroSEA v. NE12.3Probabilistically, he's only slightly behind Ring/NYC defender.

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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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