The 2016 MLS conference semifinals will get underway on Sunday with four game on the slate. The format will match each team in a home and home set with its opponent with the second leg going next Sunday. While everything that has happened so far this season is history at this point, there is no doubt we will draw on the past when it comes to predicting what will happen this weekend with a focus on the teams that we feel are primed to win their opening legs. Here is a look at the optimal lineup for Sunday’s DraftKings MLS fantasy leagues.
GK: Chris Seitz, FC Dallas
FC Dallas will certainly have its hands full containing Seattle but they were the top team in the Western Conference standings for a reason and they allowed only 40 goals during the regular season. The Sounders offense lacked consistency throughout the regular season and we are hoping that trend continues in what appears to be the most favorable matchup for goalkeepers this weekend.
D: Aurelien Collin, New York Red Bulls
The Red Bulls certainly love to push their defenders forward in to the attacking third and Collin is no stranger to contributing on offense. At just $4K, he is the perfect fit as a strong value pick with some offensive upside in MLS fantasy for this weekend.
D: Drew Moor, Toronto FC
Moor is another defender that occasionally jumps in to the attacking third and he is also listed at a very reasonable price under $4K. Toronto will look to capitalize on home field advantage in its opening leg with New York City FC and Moor will need to have a strong overall performance to help make that happen.
M: Andrea Pirlo, New York City FC
The price updates for DraftKings competitions this weekend make it difficult to target the top attacking players without finding value throughout your lineup and Pirlo is another sleeper pick that can help us do exactly that. The veteran midfielder will be at his best as he looks to help carry NYCFC through to the conference finals and it will be very interesting to see how he performs now that the spotlight is ramped up.
M: Jonathan Osorio, Toronto FC
Osorio is an even better value play in the midfield for this weekend in terms of his actual price tag as he is somehow listed at under $5K on DraftKings. The Canadian midfielder can make his mark in front of the home fans and with a ton of offensive talent playing in front of him he should have his share of chances.
F: Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
With Sebastian Giovinco listed at over $14K and David Villa up there too, we made the decision to roll with the MLS goal scoring leader in Wright-Phillips as he looks to put on a show against the Impact. Wright-Phillips led the MLS with 24 goals including seven game-winning markers and he will look to put on a show again this weekend. The Red Bulls scored 61 goals in 34 games this season, so they are usually a good option for MLS fantasy. Their 61 goals scored were the second-most of any team in the Eastern Conference.
F: Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC
The structure of the DraftKings salaries for this weekend make it tough to fit in more than one of the big three forwards but Altidore provides a nice alternative lining up with Giovinco at the top for TFC. Toronto should be able to find a way to break through against the NYCFC defense and Altidore could very well make his mark as the best value striker on the board lined up with Giovinco.
FLEX: Walker Zimmerman, FC Dallas
With just over $4.5K left over to fill our final FLEX position in MLS fantasy, it only makes sense to take the player we feel has the highest upside and this weekend that role belongs to Zimmerman. FC Dallas might have the highest upside of any team this weekend from a defensive perspective and we like Zimmerman as one of the keys to shutting down the Sounders attack.
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