Every year, New York City FC fans have a chance to play in Major League Soccer’s MLS Fantasy. The MLS Fantasy is a free competition that anyone can join. Players choose a Starting XI and four substitutes using available players. Throughout the season, they can make as many changes as they would like each week. However, there is a set salary based on how Fantasy players perform.
Like other Fantasy games, the goal is to earn as many points as possible. If one does well, then they can earn prizes at the end of the season.
NYCFC players did not earn as many points as in past years. Often, better performances on the pitch correlate with points earned. Hence, this makes sense. Still, how did they do? Who were the better MLS Fantasy performers?
A look at NYCFC in MLS Fantasy
The NYCFC player with the most points was Santiago Rodríguez. The midfielder had 168 points for the 2023 season. Thiago Martins had the second most and led the defenders with 144. Then, Gabriel Pereira led the forwards with 104 despite leaving over the summer. For forwards that are still with the club, Talles Magno had the most with 98.
Goalkeeper wise, Luis Barraza had 91 from 24 MLS games. Matt Freese had 61 after playing ten games in the regular season. If Freese would have played all 34 games at the same level, then it is possible he could have had over 200 points.
Moreover, Birk Risa, who played in only 10 MLS matches this year, had 51 overall points. He had the highest average, with 6.38 points per game. For those who played most of the season, Martins led NYCFC with 5.54 points per match.
Notably, if NYCFC fans wanted to have at least one player on their Fantasy teams, then Rodríguez or Martins were the clear choices. The next top players were Keaton Parks and James Sands. They had 135 and 112 points, respectively.
To put everything into perspective, one should look at the rest of the league. The top player in MLS Fantasy was Atlanta United FC’s Thiago Almada. He had 274 points, which was over 100 points more than Rodríguez. The Argentine was the top midfielder as well.
Meanwhile, Álvaro Barreal of FC Cincinnati led the defenders with 242 points, LAFC's Denis Bouanga led the forwards with 235 points, and Steve Clark of Houston Dynamo FC led the goalkeepers with 168 points. Therefore, there is no question that NYCFC players were not the right way to go in the competition this year.
Nonetheless, MLS Fantasy is always fun. If New York City FC supporters did play, then they probably had better luck than the Pigeons did on the pitch this season.