Sorare MLS: Deke's Diamonds GW 453

Sorare MLS: Deke's Diamonds GW 453

This article is part of our Sorare series.

We got a taste of MLS action this week with Inter Miami defeating Real Salt Lake and various teams participating in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Now, this weekend, it's a full course of Major League Soccer action with 14 matches and Vancouver being the only team on bye.

For each Sorare Gameweek, I will highlight a few of the best matchups on the slate and add a few underrated value options. In MLS, home advantage is crucial with a lot of parity in the league (even Inter Miami are slight underdogs at the LA Galaxy). Most of these players will be at home, but that doesn't mean players can't perform on the road.

Using the RotoWire Cheatsheets, it's easy to identify the top matchups of each gameweek using the odds report. This gameweek, there's a clear favorite at the top followed by several Eastern Conference rivals, and only one team from the West.

Below are the win percentages for the five biggest favorites of the weekend.

  1. FC Cincinnati 69.05% (vs. Toronto FC)
  2. Columbus Crew 59.83% (vs. Atlanta United)
  3. Orlando City 58.74% (vs. CF Montreal)
  4. Philadelphia Union 58.12% (vs. Chicago Fire)
  5. Portland Timbers 58.05% (vs. Colorado Rapids)

Note: Prices are for limited cards as of Thursday, Feb. 22. The scarcities are Limited (/1000), Rare (/100), Super Rare (/10), and Unique (1/1). 

Elite Options

Goalkeepers

Celentano and FC Cincinnati are the biggest favorite on the board hosting Toronto FC. They are also the team with the best chances to keep a clean sheet at just over 40 percent. The last time hosting Toronto, Celentano kept a clean sheet and scored 76.90 points. I think this Toronto team isn't quite the corpse it was last season, but they are still one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia was able to go to Costa Rica and defeat Saprissa on Tuesday 3-2. The Union looked outmatched in the first half, but a Julian Carranza second-half hat-trick carried the team to victory. Blake didn't have the best of games as he made an error on a bizarre Jakob Glesnes own goal in the howling wind and rain. The lone downside for this match is that the Union have to make the 3,895-mile trek back to Suburu Park to take on the Chicago Fire on Saturday. The Fire made some big splashes in the offseason landing Hugo Cuypers from Genk and Kellyn Acosta as a free agent. Cuypers won't have his visa in time and Acosta is still getting acquainted with the team. Chicago will be improved this season, but the current team on Saturday is similar to last year's squad.

Honorable Mention: Pedro Gallese (ORL) $25.24 vs. CF Montreal

Defenders

Wagner has been reinstated and is no longer suspended for the opener this weekend. He was the top MLS defender on Sorare last year and will continue to have the highest upside this season. He's always decisive dangerous with a high volume of set pieces and services into the box from his left foot. Wagner has had an assist in four of the last six games he's started and there aren't any other defenders that have his upside week in and week out.

Amundsen cemented himself in the Columbus starting XI after coming over in a trade from NYCFC last season. Columbus went on to win MLS Cup and the rest is history. Amundsen plays a left center-back role and was dependable last season, scoring 50-plus points in 18 of his last 20 matches. While Atlanta has the firepower to break up a clean sheet, Amundsen racks up enough All-Around (AA) score to still post 60-plus points. It's not nearly the upside that Wagner has, but Amundsen is a solid start.

Honorable Mention: Miles Robinson (CIN) $7.23 vs. Toronto FC

Midfielers

What else can you say about the reigning MLS MVP? Cincinnati are the favorite on the board and it's tough to see this game going without a goal or assist from Acosta. In his last 10 games, Acosta has scored or assisted in eight of them (six goals and four assists). FC Cincinnati has had some turnover with Brandon Vazquez going to Liga MX and Alvaro Barreal going to Brazil. If Acosta can link up with Aaron Boupendza and Corey Baird, I expect a similar Sorare scoring season for the Argentine.

Austin FC fell back to Earth after a magical inaugural season. Injuries to Driussi and others derailed the season, but there is optimism for the new campaign. I like this spot for Austin against a Minnesota United team that is already battling injuries and other issues. Talisman Emanuel Reynoso is questionable as he re-aggravated an MCL sprain picked up in training. Breakout star from last season Bongokuhle Hlongwane is also questionable as he is awaiting his green card. Both players would be big losses and I like Driussi to get on the board (40-percent implied chance) via open play or the penalty spot.

Honorable Mention: Evander (POR) $12.50 vs. Colorado Rapids

Forwards

A pair of Columbus forwards conclude the elite options for the gameweek. Lucas Zelarayan surprisingly was sold to Al-Fateh midseason and Columbus was able to bring in Diego Rossi as his replacement. Rossi teamed up with Cucho to be an unstoppable duo en route to a Championship. This season, outside of Lionel Messi, the tandem of Rossi and Cucho are my favorite forward options in the entire league. With two attack-minded teams, this game could be a 4-2 finish (like the previous two meetings in last year's playoffs) in which you have to think these two play a large role.

Honorable Mention: Julian Carranza (PHI) $24.77 vs. Chicago Fire

Value Options

Goalkeepers

Kahlina is going to be a busy man this season as Charlotte are one of the worst teams in a tough Eastern Conference. However, his opening matchup is pretty positive against a NYCFC team that should have a lot of new pieces in the lineup and will lack chemistry. Kahlina won't keep a ton of clean sheets, but he has solid upside with his amount of save chances. As long as Charlotte doesn't give up three-plus goals for a negative decisive, Kahlina will have a pretty solid floor highlighted by his 9.3 AA per game last season.

  • Alex Bono (DC) $9.64 vs. New England Revolution

Bono will be the starter in DC while Tyler Miller recovers from shoulder surgery. DC United are very similar to Charlotte, as they are going to surrender a bunch of save chances this season. After Miller lost the starting job/was injured, Bono scored well, bettering Kahlina's AA with 11.5 per game. The matchup is worse as they play New England, but they have the benefit of being fully rested coming into the game. New England played in Panama on Wednesday and should have a few rotations for their MLS opener.

Honorable Mention: Steve Clark (HOU) $14.31 vs. Sporting KC

Defenders

I'm expecting big things from Miller this season in Portland after new coach Phil Neville went out and got his guy from Inter Miami in the offseason. Last year when Inter Miami struggled down the stretch, Miller was still scoring well, averaging 23.5 AA per game without any 10-point clean sheet bonuses. The matchup at home is good against Colorado and I peg Miller to score 55-plus points at a cheap entry point.

FC Dallas' Achilles heel this year is the back line. With new signing Petar Musa coming into the fold and Jesus Ferreira sticking around, there's a lot of offensive hype to this team. Ferreira and Musa are both most likely not playing so the defense could be called into action at home. San Jose has a solid attack, but getting Dallas' best center-back at roughly one dollar is a steal. Tafari was a peaks-and-valleys scorer last season but has some solid upside when he gets a goal-line clearance or a header goal.

Honorable Mention: Nathan Harriel (PHI) $5.85 vs. Chicago Fire - Rotation Risk

Midfielders

Moreno signed a long-term deal in Portland through the 2026 season with an option for 2027 in the offseason. He struggled to find form early last season but came alive down the playoff stretch. In a positive matchup at home with Colorado, I expect him to put up some nice AA with the upside chance of a goal or an assist.

Another Charlotte player, I must be going crazy. Westwood is the set-piece taker for Charlotte and should have a nice floor against NYCFC. With all his set-piece opportunities, Westwood only had three assists last season, though I expect that number to rise in his second season in MLS.

Honorable Mention: Adalberto Carrasquilla (HOU) $2.06 vs. Sporting KC

Forwards

Benteke is extremely goal-dependent, but it's hard to see anyone outside of him getting a goal for DC and tired legs for New England early in the season could be the difference. Benteke bagged 14 goals last season and I expect him to be around that number again in 2024.

With Ferreira and Musa both most likely out, someone is going to have to step up. Kamungo had a huge breakout last season and should start this match at home. In the 12 matches he started last season, Kamungo averaged 62.6 points with a decisive action in all but three games. If anyone on FC Dallas is going to have a goal or an assist against San Jose, it will be Kamungo.

Honorable Mention: Enzo Copetti (CLT) $4.40 vs. NYCFC

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Deke Mathews plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: dm734593.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deke Mathews
Outside of rooting on his Philadelphia Union, you can find Deke making spreadsheets, coaching hockey, and teaching 7th grade math.
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