The amount of players to choose for your 18-player roster can can become overbearing, and even picking the best of the best can be a tough task. Here, we'll ease some of the pressure by making some of those decisions for you while giving you some sleeper picks that can prove valuable in your starting 11 or on your bench.
There's a definite FC Dallas feeling to some of these picks considering there's a lot of hype surrounding them this season, which might be disappointing to hear. Big clubs with a lot of ambition, coupled with favorable schedules and strong showings last season, top the list most notably through FC Dallas, Los Angeles Galaxy, and the Columbus Crew.
Dan Kennedy (FCD) - Seems to have won the starting GK job after a preseason duel with Chris Seitz. Great price at 5.0M backstopping a FC Dallas lineup that is expected to be one of the top teams in the west this year. I hope your FCD presence in your 18-man roster isn't getting too big, because it might be getting a lot bigger.
Bill Hamid (DCU) - Locked starter and probably one of the most reliable pieces you could have on the back end. Possible national team roadblocks to go with injury concerns, but if he can play for you, he should, especially with the CB pairing of Boswell and Birnbaum in front of him.
Steve Clark (CLB) - No decision starter for Columbus. Clark has a good team with big ambitions this season in front of him after the end of last season. Paired with DC United's Bill Hamid, you could enjoy 16 gameweeks uninterrupted by byes, rotating each in as you please. It's the duo I have on my team that I'll be using for what I hope to be the majority of the season.
Bobby Boswell (DCU) - Starting CB and team captain for DC United who's a threat off set pieces in the air. Was the highest-scoring defender in FMLS 2014. Consider his counterpart Steve Birnbaum as well as both of them could be consistent point scorers for you.
Matt Hedges (FCD) - USMNT starter who crushes the CBI category for FC Dallas while also throwing in a goal from set pieces now and then. Maxes out at the 9.0M for defenders, but will definitely be in my team for gameweek one considering the projections of FCD.
Omar Gonzalez (LA) - Like Hedges, he's the top of the price bracket at 9.0M. But you can't replace the kind of points he can put up. Great CBI and aerial presence that put up some of the best numbers in the defensive category last season with 135. USMNT call-up threat.
Robbie Keane (LA) - The forward's fantasy presence can't be ignored. Top scoring player from last year that will contribute goals and assists in style. Can't go wrong at 11.0M because he thoroughly deserves it.
Gyasi Zardes (LA) - Will compliment Keane up front for an LA team poised for another good season. Likely going to pick up on the connection missed from the departure of Donovan. 9.5M an affordable option on his own.
Obafemi Martins (SEA) - One of the most reliable choices on Seattle's roster alongside Clint Dempsey and Chad Marshall. You can expect him to follow up his strong season last year with another. The guy scored some amazing goals and could do it by himself if he had to. Top of the price spectrum, but it doesn't matter.
Clint Dempsey (SEA) - You can expect the same out of Deuce this year at 11.0M. Another USMNT call-up threat along with is bye in week three. I don't have to say much to convince you. Would be a nice connection with Martins up front (if you can afford them both).
Pedro Morales (VAN) - Rose in value this season to 11.0M with the big boys and has a real target man ahead of him this season in Octavio Rivero. Was a workhorse for the Whitecaps and did most of the heavy lifting by himself. Expect lot of damage from him for the Whitecaps this season.
Giles Barnes (HOU) - I don't think I have to do too much convincing of Giles Barnes for Dynamo fans who saw him light up Orlando City in the preseason. I'm expecting him to have a big season considering his price to go along with the connection up front to Bruin, and eventually, Cubo Torres.
Considering the value of some players, finding the good value picks makes or breaks your season. IN Fantasy MLS, it's important to not always follow the money (simple enough, considering you can't with your 120M budget).
Emanuel Pogatetz (CLB) - He should be considered a starter much more than a bench player. Good value at 6.5M for a good Columbus side while being paired with one of the best CB's from 2014 in Michael Parkhurst. The only discouragement is the CLB byes in rounds three and five, so have a plan.
Walker Zimmerman (FCD) adds another reason why FC Dallas is featured heavily in a lot of FMLS teams. Long considered to be starting for FCD on opening day in replacement of Zach Loyd, who hasn't started all preseason for FCD. At 5.5M, you can't get a more reliable occasional starter/bench player in terms of value if he ends up dropping into that category.
Ryan Hollingshead (FCD) has seemed to emerge in the LM spot for FC Dallas this season over Tesho Akindele, and is a cool 5.5M over Akindele's 8.0M. Scored two goals and an assist in a preseason win over Columbus at the Austin Invitational. Look for Akindele to play the role as super sub. Good chance to bag some cash with his performance if he sits on your bench.
AJ Cochran (HOU) - Good chance at getting some starting minutes beside Espanyol recruit Raul Rodriguez. Jermaine Taylor could come out on top in that department, however.
Be sure to join Dynamo Theory's Classic and Head-to-Head leagues this season to take on your fellow readers! Go to the leagues tab on the Fantasy MLS site and type in the codes 5680-1513 and 5680-1516 under "Join Private League" after selecting "Join a League".
Best of luck in the (hopefully) MLS kickoff!