MLS Fantasy Rankings: Week 19
MLS Fantasy Rankings: Week 19

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 19. 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
1Brian FernandezPOR v. COL10.9US Open Cup did not make our forward choices easy this week, with both Fernandez and Vela suffering injuries but continuing to finish the match. Fernandez strikes me as more likely to play this weekend, but his match is late enough in the week that it would be understandable if you got cold feet.
2Zlatan IbrahimovicLA v. SJ10.3The Galaxy have been a one-trick pony lately, but the return of Jonathan dos Santos and Uriel Antuna should help fortify the side for the Cali Clasico. San Jose should make this tough for Zlatan, but odds are better than not that he scores.
3Wayne RooneyDC v. NE11.2Rooney at home ranks high by default, but note that Acosta is suspended for this match and New England are suddenly a formidable opponent.
4Jozy AltidoreTOR at MTL10.0 
5C.J. SapongCHI v. FCC7.3I may lean towards using a different three players from the Fire, but Sapong or Nikolic have to be considered up top against FC Cincinnati.
6Alberth ElisHOU v. LAFC10.9This ranking assumes Bob Bradley makes some additional lineup changes, in addition to missing Atuesta, after their US Open Cup loss on Wednesday. If it's mostly the normal starters, bump Elis down a few spots.
7Raul RuidiazSEA v. ATL10.5 
8Carlos Darwin QuinteroMIN v. DAL10.7 
9Josef MartinezATL at SEA11.5 
10Diego RossiLAFC at HOU10.5If he starts, he will likely be playing without Vela (see below), Atuesta (suspension), and possibly a handful of other rested starters.
11Carlos VelaLAFC at HOU12.0Vela suffered what appeared to be a knee injury and grinded out the remainder of the second half in US Open Cup on Wednesday. I would be very surprised if he starts Friday, but will conservatively include him right here in case he does. I'd expect a short shift at best from a tired Vela on the road, which isn't bad but not ideal for us fantasy managers.
12Kacper PrzybylkoPHI at RSL8.0 
13Nemanja NikolicCHI v. FCC7.8This assumes he's a second half substitute, but put him level with C.J. Sapong if both start.
14Mauro ManotasHOU v. LAFC8.8 
15Adama DiomandeLAFC at HOU8.0 
16HeberNYC at NYRB9.0Returning from injury to play 73 minutes in US Open Cup is a pretty good sign that he can put in a shift for the derby on Sunday. Castellanos would be valued just slightly lower if he starts instead.
17Angelo RodriguezMIN v. DAL8.0Not to be outdone by Mason Toye's brace over the weekend, Rodriguez bagged three goals against New Mexico United and took an early seat after 63 minutes. He's very much playable when Minnesota are at home.
18Gyasi ZardesCLB at ORL9.0 
19Jordan MorrisSEA v. ATL8.0Atlanta have looked far too complacent defensively the last few matches. This Seattle attack quickly turns any lazy defending into goals.
20Romell QuiotoHOU v. LAFC7.5 

Midfielders

RankPlayerMatchupPriceNotes
1Nicolas GaitanCHI v. FCC9.6Gaitan has a few big games nestled amongst a plethora of disappointing fantasy outings, so buyer beware, but I've seen enough that I'm excited to use him in this matchup.
2Diego ValeriPOR v. COL11.6 
3Nicolas LodeiroSEA v. ATL11.5Lodeiro's first game back from Copa America was a rousing success, and now he'll be joined by Raul Ruidiaz and Jordan Morris. On top of that, Atlanta will round out their three games in eight days stretch by having to fly across the country to Seattle. That'll work.
4Alejandro PozueloTOR at MTL10.5Reinforcements in the form of Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley should help Pozuelo in this important six-point match for Toronto.
5Aleksandar KataiCHI v. FCC9.0 
6Sebastian BlancoPOR v. COL11.0Blanco just keeps putting in quality shifts for Portland lately. He's a yellow card waiting to happen, but has plenty of potential in this fixture.
7NaniORL v. CLB9.5 
8Carles GilNE at DC10.9Gil should be considered in all but the toughest matchups, but I think you can spend your budget more wisely this week.
9Saphir TaiderMTL v. TOR10.0 
10Jonathan dos SantosLA v. SJ10.0 
11Przemyslaw FrankowskiCHI v. FCC6.6He is cheap enough and shoots enough that I'd be willing to take a gamble on him from my fantasy bench.
12Maximiliano MoralezNYC at NYRB12.0Maxi played 110 minutes and came off injured on Wednesday. Without knowing the severity, it's hard to count him out of the derby, but the risk of a limited shift is real.
13Felipe GutierrezSKC v. VAN9.8 
14Cristian EspinozaSJ at LA8.5San Jose remain one of the league's best teams at the moment and a quick trip to Los Angeles doesn't much concern me. Almeyda's side has scored in five of their last six road matches.
15Magnus ErikssonSJ at LA8.2 
16Alejandro Romero GamarraNYRB v. NYC8.8Daniel Royer is safer, and Marc Rzatkowski is cheaper, but Kaku presents just a little more upside in a game that could see plenty of goals.
17Albert RusnakRSL v. PHI9.6 
18Paxton PomykalDAL at MIN9.1 
19Marco FabianPHI at RSL8.6 
20Yordy ReynaVAN v. SKC8.6 

Defenders

RankPlayerMatchupPriceNotes
1Joevin JonesSEA v. ATL6.8The potential for Jones to play on the attacking wing makes him the top pick this week, particularly considering Seattle's decent chance at a clean sheet.
2Larrys MabialaPOR v. COL8.5Mabiala is a goal threat on set pieces and Portland's defensive record is impressive of late.
3Jorge MoreiraPOR v. COL6.5If Moreira doesn't get rested, he's another piece of the Timbers defense that can jump into the attack and nab us some attacking points.
4Francisco CalvoCHI v. FCC6.5The Calvo-coaster is always a wild ride, but against a lower-tier FCC, he has a few different avenues to scoring us some points.
5MarceloCHI v. FCC5.1Assuming he steps in for the suspended Schweini, Marcelo makes for a quality play against a Cincinnati team that has only earned 4pts in 11 away matches this year. Grant Lillard is another option for Chicago so keep an eye on the lineups!
6Leonardo JaraDC v. NE6.3 
7RuanORL v. CLB5.3Depending on how much Orlando rotate their starters after playing 120 minutes on Wednesday, I'd feel pretty good about Ruan against a Crew team in really poor form.
8Kelvin LeerdamSEA v. ATL6.3Mentioned above, but here's a reminder that Seattle defenders are appealing given Atlanta's US Open Cup action and quick turnaround to fly across the country.
9Steve BirnbaumDC v. NE7.1 
10Lamine SaneORL v. CLB6.4 
11Brad SmithSEA v. ATL7.3 
12Xavier ArreagaSEA v. ATL6.0The value route into Seattle's defense, but you also maybe are getting the best talent of the bunch.
13Ali AdnanVAN v. SKC5.7 
14Frederic BrillantDC v. NE7.0Brillant is a little safer than Birnbaum for bonus point generation, but lacks the added bonus of scoring a goal. New England are on the poorer side of set piece defending.
15Aaron LongNYRB v. NYC7.0 
16Kemar LawrenceNYRB v. NYC6.3 
17Tommy ThompsonSJ at LA6.5 
18Claude DielnaPOR v. COL4.7Julio Cascante played on Wednesday which leads me to believe Dielna may step in for the weekend shift. He doesn't inspire confidence, but he's been fine during Portland's great defensive stretch of late.
19Zarek ValentinPOR v. COL5.4 
20Zakaria DialloMTL v. TOR7.0 

Goalkeepers

RankPlayerMatchupPriceNotes
1Kenneth KronholmCHI v. FCC4.9You can get nervous that Schweinsteiger is out, or you can look at this as one of the league's best home teams (5-4-1, +13) against one of the league's worst road teams (1-1-9, -22).
2Steve ClarkPOR v. COL6.0Colorado are much better rested than a Portland team that has been packing a lot of games into the schedule, which is nearly the only cause for hesitation with using Clark or Attinella.
3Stefan FreiSEA v. ATL6.8 
4Bill HamidDC v. NE6.5 
5Brian RoweORL v. CLB5.8Rowe stole points at Philadelphia last week and may have some extra motivation to perform after teammate and competitor Adam Grinwis was the hero of US Open Cup.
6Maxime CrepeauVAN v. SKC5.6I can only keep thinking SKC will break out for so long. Vancouver never are a sure thing, but they're in a solid spot here.
7Evan BushMTL v. TOR5.0 
8Tim MeliaSKC v. VAN6.9 
9Luis RoblesNYRB v. NYC5.6 
10Sean JohnsonNYC at NYRB6.0For once, NYC FC is the team that you can see locking things down and dominating the Red Bulls in this rivalry match rather than vice versa. They're on the road, though, so Johnson gets bumped just a spot below Robles.

Value Rankings

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

RankPlayerMatchupPriceNotes
1Djordje MihailovicCHI v. FCC6.5Djordje should bump Fabian Herbers back to the bench now that he's back from the Gold Cup, but either would be a good fantasy bench play.
2Valeri QazaishviliSJ at LA7.2 
3Chris MuellerORL v. CLB6.9 
4Lee NguyenLAFC at HOU7.0With Atuesta sitting due to yellow card accumulation, Nguyen could make for a good value play. Monitor the status of Vela and Rossi after US Open Cup to make sure LAFC deserves your fantasy attention.
5Juan AgudeloNE at DC7.0 
6Efrain AlvarezLA v. SJ4.7If Zlatan says to play the kid, LA is going to play the kid. After seven points last week, and at this price, he's firmly on the fantasy radar.
7Chris WondolowskiSJ at LA7.1Not ranking Wondo for a Cali Clasico match would be egregious.
8Kamal MillerORL v. CLB4.0 
9Mason ToyeMIN v. DAL5.5If he starts, it's a great third forward play. I bet he comes off the bench this weekend as an impact sub, though.
10Brooks LennonRSL v. PHI4.4Lennon had a really quality pair of performances last week, with some significant attacking play. At home, for this price, I'd be willing to go back to the well.

Captain Rankings

RankPlayerMatchupPriceNotes
1Nicolas GaitanCHI v. FCC9.6Gaitan (C) is really a decision each individual manager needs to weigh. I think the weighted risk is a high enough value to let him lead my team, but I understand if others are worried about those 2-3 point outings. Katai deserves a mention as being a good alternate captain choice on the same team that just missed the top 5.
2Diego ValeriPOR v. COL11.6Late-stage Valeri isn't immune from duds either, and his team is going to be somewhat fatigued, but they are playing too well and the matchup is too good to not place him highly here.
3Nicolas LodeiroSEA v. ATL11.5Slightly safer than the top two this week, but don't let one week make you forget his disappointing (by Lodeiro standards) fantasy performances for much of this season.
4Brian FernandezPOR v. COL10.9Fernandez at home will likely be the most tempting "Always Captain" outside of a healthy Vela for the remainder of the season.
5Zlatan IbrahimovicLA v. SJ10.3I try to avoid scenarios where I'll only be happy with a captain choice if they get multiple goals or assists. Against a tough San Jose team, and without much bonus point generation, Zlatan falls into that box for me. He always has potential to blow up, especially in a high profile game like this, but I'll let others take the risk.

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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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