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Fantasy Focus: The break’s over

We’re back from international break!

FC Cincinnati v New England Revolution

Was it weird to have MLS matches happening over the last two weekends without any Fantasy implications? If so, you’re in luck! Scoring games are back on Tuesday night, and a small handful of teams (New England, Seattle, Vancouver, Orlando) are playing twice. Since the break has been so long, this column is going to be a little different this week, with a little data in place of the usual positional breakdown from the last scoring round. Before I get to that, who’s the overall leader?

Despite a relatively low score of 56 points last round, BL4CKnRED still leads the league by 90 points. Fortunately for them, it was a generally low-scoring round overall. Yes, the round leader, Hey Taxi Next Stop Audi Field, scored 98 points, but nobody else scored more than 77.

Looking Ahead

There are some easy-to-pick two gamers this round, like goalkeeper Stefan Frei (SEA, $6.7) vs. Vancouver and LAFC, defender Brandon Bye (NE, $10.6) vs. Orlando and Minnesota, and his midfield teammate Carles Gil ($14.4). Beyond that, I like Kai Wagner (PHI, $11.1) in defense vs. Cincinnati, and Xherdan Shaqiri (CHI, $10.6) in the midfield vs. DCU. At forward, look at Jesus Ferreira (DAL, $9.9) vs. Vancouver.

By the Numbers

I’ve had the feeling for some time that forwards specifically have not been scoring fantasy points at a great rate this season, so I did a little digging into the numbers. I put the top ten average scorers (minimum games played: 5) at each field position into a list and sorted by average, and these are the results:

Midfielders dominate this list, with all ten of them appearing in the top 16. The bottom five are forwards, and after DCU’s own Taxi Fountas in 3rd, the highest ranked forward is Valentin Castellanos (15th). I thought overall forward scoring was low, but I didn’t think it would be like this.

This is all to say that the best midfielders are scoring at a greater rate than the other positions and forwards have been below par, so you should probably be using a 4-5-1 or 3-5-2 formation to maximize your scoring.