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MLS Fantasy Round 13 Top Picks

With the new set of Major League Soccer fixtures approaching we take a look at the MLS Fantasy Round 13 top picks. X is full of some of the best fantasy managers in the world. Because of that we bring in expert @dmpwright to reel off some of the best options for the big round ahead.

Looking at the MLS Fantasy Round 13 top picks can be extremely useful to managers. Focusing on some of the best assets for the new week could help with some of the most important decisions in the game like transfers and captaincy.

Introduction

Round 13 is the first big DGW of the 2024 MLS Fantasy season! Most teams play twice; however, look to Dallas, New England and SKC should you need SGW fallback options, as they play their fixtures at the end of the round.

Top Picks – Kai Wagner, Philadelphia Union – Defender, $9.2m

Something doesn’t feel right with the Philadelphia defence this season. Once regarded as one of the best defensive teams in the league under Jim Curtin, the Union are currently only 14th best in the league for xGA per game. However, one player that continues to shine in their defence is Kai Wagner.

The German fullback has already recorded one goal and two assists on the season from an xG+xA per game of 0.29 (which is third-best among defenders). Also his bonus point production often makes up for his team’s lack of clean sheets, as evidenced by his 6-point return in the 3-2 defeat to Orlando last weekend. With favourable matchups at home to NYCFC and away at New England, Wagner would be one of the first names in my team this round.

Luciano Acosta, FC Cincinnati – Midfielder, $14.0m

Mr. Fixtureproof himself – and, if it weren’t for the potential threat of suspension and a certain Lionel Messi, probably the standout captaincy option for the coming DGW. The consensus going into the Hell Is Real derby was that the Columbus defence would shut down Acosta, but the mercurial Argentine still managed an impressive 13 Fantasy points, measuring a pinpoint cross for Kevin Kelsy to score Cincinnati’s first goal (and his first in MLS) before slaloming his way through the MLS Cup Champions’ back line for his team’s second.

While there were doubts about his fitness going into Round 12, I expect his early substitution against Columbus was more to do with game management on Pat Noonan’s part and I wouldn’t hesitate to take Acosta this week.

Cristian Arango, Real Salt Lake – Forward, $13.7m

Speaking of fixtureproof, Cristian Arango has put up an impressive 0.81 xG+xA per game so far this season, and ranks joint-top of the league for goals scored and third for assists. He is also one of the few forwards with a reliable points ‘floor’ under the new Fantasy scoring system, all of which make the RSL forward a must have for this round in my eyes.

However, both Arango and Acosta are one yellow card away from suspension, so I would consider starting them on the bench in case they miss their respective second games through suspension.

Lionel Messi, Inter Miami – Forward, $14.0m

The (MLS) GOAT. While Montreal gave Inter Miami a good run for their money in Round 12 and limited Lionel Messi’s Fantasy production to only 4 points, you’d be mad not to select and captain him in a DGW, particularly given he’s only failed to record a double-digit return three times all season! Inter Miami also top the list for O2.5 goals odds this week, in case you needed another reason to back Messi.

Differential – Sebastián Driussi, Austin FC – Midfielder, $8.7m

Austin have two winnable home matchups this round – so why would I consider 2022 MLS MVP Finalist Sebastián Driussi a differential? Well, Austin’s attacking numbers make for dire reading: in fact, they have the worst offensive record in the league based on xGF and ShtF.

However, Driussi is Austin’s talisman, takes penalties and continues to post OK attacking numbers (including an xG+xA per 90 of 0.41) – if you’re looking to make up ground early, then he could be one to consider.


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