RotoWire Partners

DraftKings Fantasy Soccer: Saturday MLS Breakdown

Evan Morter

Evan is a soccer writer for RotoWire. He is from the Los Angeles area and has played fantasy soccer since the days when season-long leagues were relevant.

Saturday’s three-game slate locks at 4:00 p.m. EDT as Chicago hosts Atlanta United at Toyota Park, where the Fire are undefeated in seven games this season. Sporting Kansas City (-190) is the biggest favorite on the slate as they face a shorthanded Montreal side in the second game. In the nightcap, the Timbers are in the tightest match of the slate as FC Dallas comes to town. The slate is fairly balanced, positionally, but it looks like it would be wise to fill the utility position with a forward, as there are more quality options at that position. Fantasy managers should rely on home players this slate, and use away players sparingly.

4:00 p.m. EDT

The Fire are coming off a disappointing 0-0 draw against Orlando City, in which they held a two-man advantage for 30 minutes. David Accam and Nemanja Nikolic have scored 16 of the Fire’s 23 goals this season, and there is a very high chance that they will add to their total Saturday. Chicago is on a six-game unbeaten streak in which they have earned 14 points, and at home they boast a 6-0-1 record. The offense and defense is ranked second in the league in home games this season, while Atlanta has scored the most road goals. Starting midfielder Dax McCarty will miss the match due to international duty, but Juninho should fill in and do a fine job.

Josef Martinez’s return continues to loom in the background. Atlanta is in the top half of MLS in road points, and they should continue their fearless approach in their expansion year. The club could be without star playmaker Miguel Almiron, who is played for the Paraguay national team in Peru on Wednesday, and Brandon Vazquez could be his replacement in the starting XI. The attack has done well to produce without Martinez for most of the year, but with Almiron absent, it is hard to see Atlanta keeping up with the firepower of Chicago.

Favorite Plays

David Accam, CHI v. ATL ($8,200):
Accam ended a five-game scoring streak last week. He will face Tyrone Mears on Saturday, which makes for a tough matchup, but Accam should have no problem finding opportunities to score with his dynamic style of play. He is capable of earning assists and sending in crosses, which adds to his floor, making him the safer option between he and Nikolic.

Nemanja Nikolic, CHI vs. ATL ($7,900): Although he failed to score against a shorthanded Orlando City last week, he is returning to Toyota Park in fine form. Nine of his 11 goals in 2017 have come at home, and there are no reasons why he cannot add to his total Saturday. Nikolic is a goal-dependent fantasy producer, but sometimes that is all you need. His price remains too low on DraftKings, but it will not last long.

Other Notables

Yamil Asad ($7,400) has four assists in his last three games, but the absence of Almiron and the impressive defensive record of the Fire at home both make it a difficult task for him to continue his pace. Julian Gressel ($5,100) has two goals and three assists in his last four, but the matchup is unfavorable, and the absence of Almiron will allow the Fire to focus more on Gressel.

8:00 p.m.

Sporting Kansas City has the best defensive record in MLS, and they have yet to lose at home this season. Their last game was a rout against expansion side Minnesota United, but this week should be much tougher as the Impact come to town. Montreal has lost just two of its six away games this year, which shows their ability to fight away from home. On the other hand, Kansas City has allowed just two goals in eight games at Children’s Mercy Park. The Impact will be without at least five starters, but Montreal has shown its ability to cope under similar circumstances. Dom Dwyer should return for this one, while Matt Belser and Graham Zusi are away for international duty and Roger Espinoza is hurt.

Although Montreal find themselves 10th in the Eastern Conference, they have played just 12 games, which is four fewer than fifth-place Columbus, who are just six points above the Impact. The arrival of Blerim Dzemaili has helped win their last two games, in which he has a goal and an assist. However, Dzemaili and many others will miss Saturday’s match for various reasons, which will force head coach Mauro Biello to field a very limited side. Laurent Ciman, Patrice Bernier, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Ambroise Oyongo and Dzemaili are the starters who are away on international duty, while both Ballou Tabla and Hernan Bernardello are injured.

Favorite Plays

Benny Feilhaber, SKC v. MTL ($8,300):
Feilhaber has just two goals and three assists this season, but he is still the center of Kansas City’s attack. He takes all corners, set-pieces and penalties, so he is sure to be involved in the attack.

Dominic Dwyer, SKC v. MTL ($8,500): Dwyer subbed in for last week’s win 3-0 win over Minnesota, which was likely a precautionary decision due to their favorable matchup, but this week he is set to return to the starting XI. Montreal is without several defensive pieces, and Dwyer, who has five goals on 38 shots this year, is the most likely player of both teams to score.

Other Notables

Kansas City’s attack features two other players, Gerso Fernandes ($7,100) and Latif Blessing ($6,000), who are both too inconsistent to warrant to serious fantasy consideration. Fade the entire Montreal side as they visit the best defense in all of MLS.

10:30 p.m.

Portland won 2-0 last week against the Earthquakes, when Diego Valeri stole the show, and though he is no longer taking most set pieces, he is contributing on the scoring end. David Guzman and Darlington Nagbe are away on international duty, and it should be Amobi Okugo and Dairon Asprilla who start as their replacements. The Timbers have a very good opportunity in front of them with a chance to take three points from a Western Conference contender who is without several key players.

After a four-game winless streak, Dallas exploded for a 6-2 victory over Real Salt Lake last week. Roland Lamah scored a hat trick while Michael Barrios had three assists. Mauro Diaz had been out all year with an Achilles injury, but he could make his first start Saturday after appearing as a substitute in the last two games. Kellyn Acosta, Tesho Akindele, Maynor Figueroa and Matt Hedges are away on international duty, while Walker Zimmerman is out for at least the next four weeks due to injury. So, just when the attack is coming together, Dallas will be without four of their strongest defensive pieces. Look for Portland to pressure the Dallas defense, which could leave them exposed on the break against a very potent Dallas counter.

Favorite Plays

Diego Valeri, POR v. DAL ($9,400):
Valeri has eight goals in 2017, which is the best scoring start to a season in his five-year MLS career. David Guzman, who has been taking most set pieces for Portland, is out, which could give Valeri a share of duties over corners and free kicks with Sebastian Blanco. Six of Valeri’s goals have come at Providence Park, and Dallas is without four of their starting defensive contributors for their visit.

Maxi Urruti, FCD at POR ($8,600): Urruti played a huge part in last week’s 6-2 rout over Real Salt Lake, and this week he gets to return to Providence Park to face his former team. He has seven goals and three assists this year, and the potential return of Mauro Diaz could help add to his bounty. He has had a much stronger tenure in Dallas than his time in Portland, and he now has an opportunity to add to the goal and assist he had in their first meeting this year.

Other Notables

Fanendo Adi ($9,000) hasn’t scored in five games, and it would be more than a roll of the dice to play him Saturday, especially at his steep price. Although, Dallas is without their two starting center-backs, Walker Zimmerman and Matt Hedges, so if there is a time to pick Adi against Dallas, it's now. Mauro Diaz ($8,400) could make his return to the starting lineup, but he will likely be subbed out early if he starts, and at his price, it’ll be difficult for him to hit value. Roland Lamah ($5,000) scored a quick hat trick out of nowhere last game but it was against a very poor Real Salt Lake, and on the road this week, it is safe to let Lamah prove his ability to be a consistent fantasy provider. Michael Barrios ($6,100) racked up three assists last week, but he will need to show some consistency in order to warrant serious fantasy consideration.

Keeper of the Day

Tim Melia, SKC v. MTL ($5,300):
With so many key members missing from the Impact lineup, Melia and the Kansas City defense should not have much of a problem continuing their home dominance. Dominic Oduro and Ignacio Piatti will be the only notable names in the Montreal attack, and if Kansas City can shut them down, it will be a tall order for the Impact to earn anything from this game. Melia has allowed just two goals in seven home games this year.

Wildcard Defenders

Sometimes you have to throw darts at defenders in order to fit all the attackers you want. Here are some options to consider: Aaron Guillen ($4,000), Daniel Lovitz ($3,600), Drew Conner ($3,200) Tyrone Mears ($3,900)
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.