This week’s MLS Soccer Sunday slate features two games, kicking off at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The first match is essentially a pick ‘em as Orlando City (+115) hosts the red hot Fire, and in the nightcap, the Sounders (-130) face the home-dependent Dynamo. There is a wealth of forwards in this slate, and a lack of quality midfielders, so it would be wise to fill the utility position with a forward. As for many actual soccer matches, the game is won in the midfield, and this could very well be the case in tomorrow’s DraftKings contests. v.
7:30 p.m. EDT
Orlando got back on track last week after dropping 16 points in the previous six games. Although it was against a very poor D.C. United side, it is always good to earn three points, and get Cyle Larin back on the board. This week, the Lions come up against the team with the second-most points per game. Kaka is expected to return from injury, while Cristian Higuita is one yellow card away from being suspended. The back line should be tested all night by the likes of David Accam and Nemanja Nikolic, and it should prove to be a heavy task to break down the Fire’s defense, which has given up just two goals in the last four games.
The Fire come into Sunday’s match on a four-game win streak led by the incredible play of Nikolic and Accam, who have combined to score 16 of Chicago’s 23 goals this season. Nikolic is the leading goal scorer in the league and Accam is not far behind. Orlando has given up 13 goals in its last seven games, but at home the Lions have conceded just seven in eight. Chicago’s potent attack should make for a real show, as they are not scared to get forward. This match should have the most goals of the day with the over/under set at three. Dax McCarty will miss out due to international duty, but the Fire have a very ready replacement in Juninho.
David Accam, CHI at ORL ($8,000):
Accam is too cheap on DraftKings. He offers a higher floor than Nikolic, and at a modest price of $8,000, he could be a nice player to stack with the Hungarian, a strategy that has been effective all year. He has scored in his last five games, which should make him the top play of the day along with Nikolic.
Nemanja Nikolic, CHI at ORL ($7,700):
Nikolic is the leading goal scorer in the league with 11 goals. He is much too cheap on this slate, and is nearly a must-play until he gets above $9,000. He has scored seven goals in his last six outings.
Cyle Larin ($8,700) found the net last game, but his relationship with Kaka has not been great this year. Larin has scored just two goals in the seven games with Kaka starting, while he's found the back of the net six times in the seven games without the Brazilian. Kaka ($8,800) has been riddled with injuries this season, and when he does play, he’s an unpredictable producer. It’s safe to stay away in a tough matchup against the Chicago midfield. Giles Barnes ($6,400) could replace Carlos Rivas in the lineup after subbing on last game before Orlando’s only two goals of the game. Monitor the lineup
as it comes out because if he starts, he could be a sneaky play. Will Johnson ($4,600) takes corner kicks and, like last week, they can end in assists. The midfield position on DraftKings will be hard to fill, and it is players like Johnson who could make the difference. Rafael Ramos ($4,800) could make his first start of the year, and if so, he may not play the full 90 minutes, but he will get forward as much as possible. He loves to join the attack, and if head coach Jason Kreis gives him the same freedom that Adrian Heath did, he could be in for a statement game. Pagliaro Giro ($5,100) has an average of 11.5 FPPG in his first two MLS games, but his steep price and lack of crosses make it safe to fade him and let him prove his worth. Luis Solignac ($4,600) has been one of the unsung heroes for the Fire, and he makes for a last-piece-of-the-puzzle-type of play on Sunday. Brandon Vincent ($4,300) has been involved in the attack much more with Matt Polster on the opposite side, who is a defensive, central-minded player who can fill in for Vincent’s runs upfield.
Seattle has not been the same team that won the MLS Cup in 2016. They sit eighth in the Western Conference and are in the bottom half of the league in goals scored and goals allowed. Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris are both away for international duty, while forward Will Bruin is out with an elbow injury. This means Nicolas Lodeiro will be surrounded by a bunch of new pieces in the attack again, after getting routed by Columbus 3-0 on Wednesday.
The Dynamo are coming off a 5-1 home rout of Real Salt Lake, but now it’s back on the road for the second-worst road team in the league. Houston earned its first road point of the season two weeks ago after five straight away losses. It was a stalemate in the Texas Derby, but it’s a point nonetheless, and it gives them hope for the same or more this time around. DeMarcus Beasley is the only certain absence, while Romell Quioto, who did not play last game, is questionable once again. The Dynamo have given up 14 goals on the road this season while only scoring three. Expect Houston to make the match tight and attack on the break against a vulnerable Sounders side.
Nicolas Lodeiro, SEA v. HOU ($10,500):
As the talisman of the home team in a very tight match, Lodeiro should accumulate plenty of crosses, though it may be hard to find someone to put them in the net. Although he is not the best value play of the day, he should be considered as the best option due to the lack of premier choices in this match.
Erick Torres, HOU at SEA ($8,400):
Although Cubo has scored just two of his 10 goals on the road, he is still second in the MLS golden boot race. Seattle should struggle offensively all night, which should put pressure on the back line to defend Houston’s potent counter attack, and Cubo is the most likely player to score out of both teams.
Joevin Jones ($5,400) is likely to play as a midfielder in the absence of Morris and Demspey. He is listed as a defender, but rostering him would give you the ability to pick six attackers instead of five. Mauro Manotas ($7,000) will have to battle with right-back Brad Evans, which should not make for an easy night. Manotas is truly a center forward, and Evans can play center-back, so he can match him for speed and size. Alberth Elis ($6,800) had two assists last week, and his matchup against Oneil Fisher makes him a better play than Manotas in this one. It is hard to predict when Alex ($6,400) will commit to getting forward, and in this away match where I expect Houston to pack it in, Alex will likely have a large share of defensive duties.
Keepers of the Day
Stefan Frei, SEA vs. HOU ($5,100):
Frei is up against a woeful road team. If you like to play the odds, this is your man, for the Dynamo have scored a meager three away goals this year. He is the chalk pick if there is one.
Tyler Deric, HOU at SEA ($4,400):
The sharp pick of the day has to be Deric. With Dempsey, Morris and Bruin all out, it is hard to see Seattle producing much offensively, and the Dynamo could even find a way to steal their first away win of the year.
Sometimes you have to throw darts at defenders in order to fit all the attackers you want. Here are some options to consider: Matt Polster ($3,800), Brad Evans ($3,200), Oneil Fisher ($4,000), A.J. DeLaGarza ($3,400), Dylan Remick ($3,800).
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. Evan Morter plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: MeccaWorld.