What an amazing week, if you went with a lineup heavy on the big hitters you probably had a pretty solid score. I ended up with 88 points partly thanks to captaining Bradley Wright-Phillips, who was also my highest scoring player, and to the play of Mauro Diaz who was carted off the field after the game in Dallas this weekend. Seeing him stretched away felt like watching one of your favorite characters in The Walking Dead get killed, it is sad and somehow inevitable but seeing it happen still fills you with a bleak despair that makes you want to lock yourself away and listen to ‘I’m so lonesome I could cry’ over and over until your old Hank Williams records are reduced to dust.
In other words, it was a bummer and I hope Diaz is back soon. Onto the Rekrap:
In goal, Brad Stuver may not have moved Steve Clark to the unprotected list when Expansion Draft time comes as the Crew keeper leaked 3 goals but still led keepers with 11 points thanks to a saved penalty.
The top scorers on defense this week made no sense. They represented three of the worst defensive teams in the league and two of them play for Chicago. Jonathan Campbell and Brandon Vincent each got an assist and Chicago looked unburdened against New England having locked up last place in the Eastern Conference. They combined for 19 points. If Portland defender Vytautas Andriuskevicius had a superpower, it would be having 17 consonants in his name. He mercifully shortens his name to Vytas and, thanks to earning a penalty, earned 10 points.
Nacho Piatti now has 15 goals from the midfield this season after scoring twice this week against Toronto. King Gravy of the Poutine Princes had 15 points in his game. David Accam did everything he could against New England including scoring a goal and almost every kind of bonus point a player can get, he earned 13 points.
Don’t look now, but D.C. United has turned from a team that parked the bus and can now be described with terms that would have been unthinkable like explosive and ‘attempting to score goals’. D.C. midfielder Lloyd Sam had 11 points. In probably the most surprising result of the week, Orlando City kept a clean sheet against Philly in a 2-0 win. Carlos Rivas scored a goal for the Lions and earned 10 points.
Bradley Wright-Phillips took the lead in the Golden Boot race by scoring a brace against Columbus and earned fantasy owners 13 points this week. Patrick Mullins has been a big reason D.C. United is playing watchable soccer as of late, and it isn’t because of his striking looks. The forward scored a goal and 11 points. Jozy Altidore scored a goal again this week, but forget about that, I want to talk about Carlos Ruiz. The guy looks like he’s about 20 pounds too heavy to be playing soccer and probably doesn’t wear an activity monitor in practice because it wouldn’t register how little he moves in training, no matter - the FC Dallas forward scored the winning goal against Seattle and earned the 0% of us who own him 6 points.
Picks: Get ready for some squad rotation. With the top 3 spots in the Eastern Conference locked down I would avoid players from those teams and think about transferring them out if you can. The Western Conference is much better with the top two teams battling for the Supporter’s Shield and the final 3 playoff spots undecided. Of the Western Conference teams that are in the playoffs, I would stay far, far, far away from the LA Galaxy who are locked into 3rd place in their conference regardless of the result this week. The good news is that all the games start on Sunday at 4:00PM so we get to see every lineup before finalizing our picks. Anyway, one last week to get your hopes up before your heart is mercilessly broken by the Fantasy MLS gods.
A D.C. United attacker - I picked Lloyd Sam last week and was glad I did, aside from him I like Lamar Neagle, Patrick Nyarko, Luciano ‘La Joya’ Acosta, and Patrick Mullins. This is a team looking to keep their momentum going into the post-season and I don’t see them stopping against a team they scorched for 4 goals in week 30.
Ignacio Piatti - Montreal is in 5th place and can finish as low as 6th but as high as 4th. Piatti has been on fire without Drogba in the lineup and with the drama around the Legend, I would expect form to triumph over fame and to see Drogba accept his super-sub role.
David Villa - With Columbus on ‘let’s give the young guys a shot’ mode I expect a big game for NYCFC and David Villa will be going after the golden boot, get him in.
Kei Kamara, Kelyn Rowe, and Lee Nguyen - New England needs to win and overcome a goal difference with Philadelphia of -13 as it stands now, OK, they probably won’t do it and will no doubt let in a bunch of goals themselves, but maybe they’ll try and we’ll see a big number here.
Nico Lodiero - I think at home against a RSL team that is pretty leaky defensively, clean sheet last week notwithstanding, I would go with Lodiero. He’ll have to put the team on his back, but with Alonso back from suspension Seattle should see more effective possession.
Michael Bradley - If you want a safe pick to keep your ranking in some of your leagues, Bradley should be a reliable source of bonus points against Chicago.
I should pick a defender, but I won’t. There is bound to be some rotation this week and teams going with a more aggressive game plan to move up into a playoff spot or higher in the table. Just stick with whoever you have on your backline and spend your transfers beefing up the attack.