Welcome to the Gameweek #170 preview! 

And it’s a big one with increased rewards for the first time! Getting a win, even with a modestly priced team, is now much more achievable without absolutely everything having to fall our way. Plus we have had a huge batch of MLS cards drop this week with lots of value available. Reasons to be optimistic, then.

I am going to tweak the format and split this preview into two parts to keep it shorter and get it out faster – this one is an overview of the gameweek. Tomorrow I’ll highlight specific players in each category at different price points.

Just note that projected line ups are mainly sourced from the excellent Rotowire who are often right but they aren’t mind readers and things do change last minute. I also do my own local news search but do pay attention to the lineups before locking in your teams. 

Week #170 Preview

For the last couple of game weeks, we’ve had a lot of tight contests and few obvious mismatches between very strong and very weak sides. Betting odds and algorithms would give us some on paper, but I had some success in disagreeing with that last week as I batted for team humanity against the machines.

(I actually love the machines too, but I like to consider them good servants and bad masters). 

This week however we have a few of those one sided contests which provide opportunities to stack our teams with multiple players from one team. 

To get straight into it, everything suggests the Sounders should be thrashing Austin this gameweek and you will not find me quibbling with betting or algorithm here.  

Ruidiaz should be up there certainly. He is no secret by now certainly not to readers and increasingly not to… anyone who sees how many he scores. More difficult to pick from is either Montero or Bruin, both capable of damage though the fact they are sharing pitch time dents them somewhat as prospects. 

Roldan (either brother). Joao Paulo with my usual grumble about a high price and mildly fortunate over performances recently. Arreaga. Tolo. It’s hard to think of a reason not to play Sounders players this week and potentially stack 2-3. 

Sporting KC attack good. Houston defence bad. Go go go. Again we’d be going for Pulido who has been a regular pick here in recent weeks and looks in great form. And as per last week’s match report from Monday, Salloi is a solid and reasonably priced Forward. And Kinda continues to provide a strong budget option at Kansas despite a string of recent good SO5 scores. I’ll say it again. He’s good, not lucky.

Our algorithm (from my fixture ticker, see top page) is exactly 52% certain that New England will beat Cincinnati. Betting odds similar. I disagree here – from what we have seen New England should be comfortable winners and I will put my personal Adam FT predicted chance of New England winning at 74.5%*. 

*I made this number up. But I think it is pretty likely. 

For New England we could go for Gil who by now has to be my MLS site darling. Bou, who I’ve been warming to in recent articles. And Buksa who I’ve been backing too although Rotowire do not currently have him down to start. My budget pick in defence Brandon Bye continues to look good and as per Monday’s match report I wouldn’t pay too much mind to his poor score from last week.

Philadelphia are heavily tipped in betting and algorithm to beat Portland. I’m not so sure, I think Portland have actually played quite well and been unlucky at times, which possibly gets them punished in the algorithm. The algorithm can sometimes struggle to see where results weren’t quite as simple as the score made out. 

Philadelphia are also fortunate to get away with conceding just 5 based on the chances they have given away. I’ll disagree with the machines here – I see this as an even match which could see goals at both ends.

Przybylko, who I have just spelled correctly for the first time this season without having to look it up, is a strong pick at Philadelphia. Monteiro I’ve shied away from due to high average scores and therefore an eye watering price. But he is at least proving deserving of premium status. Jack Elliott is looking solid as a mid-price defender though I wouldn’t rush to be playing defenders versus Portland.

For Portland I like Valeri and Mora who delivered the goals I thought were coming just last weekend as per this weeks match report. 

Chicago are favourites against Montreal. I actually like Montreal and players like Quioto are consistently dangerous. Mihailovic improving too. They were unlucky to lose to Cincinnati last week in my view. I think good Montreal players could be used – the Chicago Fire defence is nothing to fear. I will keep backing Beric to turn it around and score though. Because if he doesn’t end this 5 game drought it’s a crime against… probability. I like to pick up quality players on a dry spell like this cheaply. 

Speaking of turnarounds as I’ve been saying, I expect the Columbus Crew to improve their output this season. Zelarayan has got started already. But surely before long someone like Zardes has to show their quality. 

There aren’t many recent stats to suggest they are about to improve to be clear, but if you know this team, you know they are better than this. It’s not really my style to go on faith rather than numbers like this. But I am expecting better to come.

They play Toronto, fellow underperformers, who may continue to look soft at least until Pozuelo is back.

I have been keen on the Colorado Rapids, particularly Rubio and also Bassett. They could do well versus Dallas. But Dallas like to get on the ball so this is perhaps not a week to bust out the possession based Jack Price

LA Galaxy versus SJ Earthquakes could have goals at both ends. Galaxy are the favourites and have been improving particularly Chicarito who is the main threat. But I can still see them conceding and youngster Cade Cowell looks good, as does Espinoza. And he may do it from the bench but Wondolowski boasts some of the biggest threat per minute in the league. I like him as a budget option. 

Atlanta versus Nashville features two solid defensive teams, could be an even game that I might avoid if possible.

Vancouver the team to miss out this week with no fixture. 

That’s the gameweek preview! Tomorrow I’ll post some player selections for GW #170 in the GK/DEF/MID/FWD categories in different price ranges.

In the mean time, you could check out my match report from the previous gameweek which will give further clues as to who is currently performing strongly.

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