This spring, Never Manage Alone is hopping the pond to take on Major League Soccer (MLS) and its particular brand of fantasy. While the construct of the game remains very familiar to most experienced fantasy soccer players, this flavor of fantasy competition is quite robust. The best way to present this to many of you is by simple comparison. The MLS fantasy platform has generously solved many common constraints that frustrate the average Official Fantasy Premier League manager. In what ways does MLS fantasy offer an attractive experience?
OPEN TRANSFER RULES
For example, MLS fantasy does away with the rigid, slow churn of transfer limits. First, this game does not limit the number of transactions a manager can make from week to week. That means no more stress-induced, internal debates regarding the proper conditions for taking a transfer hit. Secondly, how many times have you as an FPL manager been burned by injury speculation, squad rotation, or that darned Pep Roulette? With MLS’s advent of the rolling roster lock, managers have the benefit of making last minute decisions.
Fantasy managers are allowed the opportunity to make much more aggressive plays, without having to worry about the potential landmines surrounding the uncertainty of player availability, and manager prerogative. If a player in your lineup is not listed in the pregame starting eleven, you may still perform substitutions to include a player who will have the opportunity to play the full 90 minutes. These simple alterations to the traditional salary cap style fantasy game add greatly to the ease of play that is offered only by Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and the Major League Soccer platform.
WIDE RANGE OF SCORING CATEGORIES
While those conveniences greatly shift the power of the fantasy game to the fantasy managers themselves, that is not even the most appealing aspect that Fantasy MLS offers. Have you ever wondered what the Official FPL game might look like if the game-week point totals included the raw Bonus Point System (BPS)? Major League Soccer has adapted their own BPS system that adds directly to a player’s game-week score. Along with the traditional scoring categories, players are presented the opportunity to increase their weekly score as they increase their influence in the match. The BPS system adopted by MLS allows fantasy managers, and players, to be rewarded for many more contributions on the pitch, such as:
1 point for every 3 crosses
1 point for every 3 key passes
1 point for every big chance created
1 point for every 4 clearances
1 point for every 2 blocks
1 point for every 4 interceptions
1 point for every 4 tackles
1 point for every 6 recovered balls
-1 point for every error leading to a goal.
REPRESENTATIVE PLAYER PRICING
The final talking point of note is the way player pricing is handled. Instead of having player prices change on factors of popularity, costs fluctuate week-to-week based on their on-field performance. MLS Fantasy keeps the particular algorithm under wraps, but the gist is that players who perform best see their prices rise, and those who do not see their prices fall, which leads to a more true representation of a player’s actual value as the season goes along. A player who may have been improperly priced in the preseason quickly normalizes.
HOW TO SIGN UP FOR MLS FANTASY & JOIN THE NMA LEAGUE
So, have you been convinced, yet? The upcoming soccer schedule, over the summer, is dormant this year. There is no World Cup or European Championship mini-game to stem the summer fantasy footballing withdrawal. For those who are interested, you can register an MLS Fantasy game account here.
Once you have done so, join the Never Manage Alone league: (or you can search for the Never Manage Alone MLS League on the “League” tab within the MLS Fantasy game, or search the code 9WKY3XNM).
I will be here every week along the way providing player picks, general strategy tips, and important MLS-related news to help you find fantasy success. Owing to the close-to-deadline launch, this will be a learn-as-you-go process for those of you taking the plunge for the first time. The deadline to sign your team up for week one — and the season as a whole — is Saturday, March 2nd, at 1:00 PM US EST.
Join me, won’t you?
Will you be playing the MLS Fantasy game this summer? What other questions, or clarifications, do you have? Be sure to let us know in the comment section below!