How do you afford this guy? Read our list and find out - Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
We certainly don't have the market cornered on detailed MLS knowledge but we do know a thing or two about fantasy bargains so here's our look at those players who will help you fill out a credible roster and afford some of the league's studs.
We welcome additional comments from readers who have deep knowledge of one or more MLS teams but we've spent some time bumping what information we do have up against the prices for the MLS fantasy game and here is an early list of some players who have a chance to be the kind of bargains that Nick DeLeon was last season for DC United and fantasy managers everywhere:
Miller Bolanos, M, Chivas USA - The young midfielder had a productive season last year on a terrible team. The hope is that with another year of improvement and a more aggressive attacking system he can increase his production to the point where he's worth significantly more than his very reasonable starting price of 6.5.
Tony Cascio, M, Colorado Rapids - In a 4-3-3 formation there will always be potential value in players listed as midfielders but playing in forward positions and Cascio appears to have a strong chance of being one of those guys. He was effective as a fantasy option in stretches last season and if the new system benefits his fantasy performance he could be a bargain at 6.5. Veteran Brian Mullen is also a potential bargain at 6.0 - he's certainly been better than that in his career and even his 2012 performance would lead you to believe he'd be more expensive.
Chris Korb / Perry Kitchen / Casey Townsend, D, M, and F, DC United - Of the two, Kitchen is the better bet as he is a sure starter for United who grinds out fantasy points in a very unspectacular way but he does it for a cheap price (6.0). Korb's spot is a little more in question assuming the Red and Black's defense is fully healthy but if he does maintain his spot then he's a great bargain at 4.5. Townsend is in much the same spot as Korb. If he starts in the absence of other forward options for United then he could be a big bargain as a productive forward at 6.0. Townsend is probably more of a Week 2 or Week 3 pick-up if it looks like he's going to start regularly.
Corey Ashe, D, Houston Dynamo - Somehow he manages to be on this list consistently. I'm not sure if someone in the fantasy gaming world has something against (or for) Ashe but he continues to be a very affordable option despite being a regular starter on a consistently good team. At 5.0 I expect that most managers will have him.
Gyasi Zardes, F, LA Galaxy - With David Beckham gone and Landon Donovan starting the season still on walkabout someone has to step in and spark the offense. Robbie Keane will lead the line and Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas will potentially see their roles increase but homegrown player Zardes has a chance to make an impact for a very low price (6.0).
Andrew Jacobson, M, FC Dallas - There aren't many regular starters in midfield priced below 6 and Jacobson is one of them. He isn't likely to be a big scorer but he can be a steady point-producer for you while you use your money elsewhere.
Luis Silva, M, Toronto FC - There hasn't been a lot to love in Toronto other than the early fan support but Silva was an impressive rookie last season and is poised to keep the momentum going. If he improves 15 to 20% on his fantasy production will look like a great bargain at 7.5.
Andy Dorman, M, New England Revolution - It's nice to see an old friend come back to the league. At his best in the mid-2000s he was a great player and fantasy player at the MLS level. After some time in Scotland and the English Championship he's back and if he can still produce in MLS then he's worth well more than his 7.0 price. The risks are that a) he's older and b) New England aren't nearly as good as they were when he was here last.
Marvin Iraheta, M, Chivas USA - If you can get any points out of a player who is priced at 4.0 it's a good thing. Iraheta is projected as a starter as one of two holding midfielders for the Goats so he's at least worth thinking about as a bench enabler.
Corben Bone, M, Chicago Fire - His price (4.5) is very reasonable and by all accounts he's ready to take a major step forward. The only problem here is that Chicago acquired a bunch of midfielders over the off-season and there has to be a concern that Bone won't find the field enough to justify even his low price.
We'll keep writing more as time to research allows...