At the onset of a new campaign one of the first things fantasy football managers need to do is to get to grips with how new players are likely to be bedded in. Pre-season transfer activity can impact, not only on starting formations, but also on which players will be given specific roles such as penalty kick duties, free kick and corner kick taking responsibility.
If you can identify significant trends early on, you may gain an edge on rival managers as well as getting a jump on the game operators, if they have under-valued any of these players.
We will update our list of set piece takers for the 2016 MLS season on a regular basis but recommend that you try to keep track of developments yourself by jotting down any observations you make.
One player that caught our eye in Week 1 was Andreas Ivanschitz. The Austrian took all 7 corners for Seattle Sounders and looks like he will get plenty of chances from direct free kicks as well, with Clint Dempsey being the obvious alternative. His WhoScored profile highlights how adept he is in dead ball situations, a trademark that earned him the Austrian David Beckham tag in his younger days, and it’s also worth noting that he only started 5 MLS games last season, after making the switch from Levante.
Marco Pappa and Gonzalo Pineda took the majority of corners for the Sounders last season but both players have now left the club, so Ivanschitz looks like he has the opportunity to establish himself as their number one set piece threat.
Crosses, including corner kicks, are one of the key scoring metrics on DraftKings, so if you are playing at their site, the inclusion of players who have similar characteristics to Seattle’s Austrian forward becomes something of a pre-requisite.
Elsewhere in Week 1, Sebastian Giovinco, David Accam, Robbie Keane and Joao Plata were all successful from the penalty spot in a high-scoring gameweek that saw a total of 35 goals across the 10 matches.
Andreas Ivanschitz is valued at $4,600 on DraftKings UK in their weekend MLS Contests (vs RSL, $50K Budget)