Welcome to the Round 29 MLS Fantasy Rekrap. Why Rekrap? Because it is my name spelled backwards and it honors the general performance of my MLS Fantasy team.
This week was a roller coaster of emotions between the late goals, the injury to Lampard, the inexplicable omission of Giovanni dos Santos in the Sporting Kansas City game, and Jozy Altidore essentially saving my week at the end of the game against the Red Bulls. While it is late in the fantasy season, if you are still toiling away at moving up in the ranks, fret not. I was looking back at my past scores from this season and noticed that I moved from 120th overall to 78th between rounds 10 and 11 so a big week can definitely move you ahead and toward the tops of your leagues if you make the right moves.
Team of the week highlights: No surprise here, but three of the four the backline top scorers were from the Colorado Rapids and San Jose Earthquakes game. To call this a tactical battle would be unkind to the concept of tactics as the two lowest scoring teams in the league mostly played keep away all game. By keep away, I mean avoid trying to build possession out of the back and keep the ball away from your 18-yard box at all costs.
If you had a defender from either of these teams, this made you as happy as Jermaine Jones is when he draws a smiley face on the back of Tim Howard’s bald head as the Rapids netminder scored 8 points. Jared Watts gets the mystery man of the week award for being a defender on Colorado as The Enigma as I’m now calling him scored 10 points.
Andres Imperiale made the most of his 10th appearance for the Quakes as the defender is coming back from an injury he sustained at the Mystery Spot and put up 9 points. Houston continues to show signs that maybe they aren’t a complete joke of a team. They were led by defender Raul Rodriguez, who goes by R-Rod. He put up 10 points, and in his last 5 games has scored below 5 points only once.
If I told you that the woolly mammoth roamed the earth while the pyramids were being built, would you be surprised? Not as surprised as I was to see that Kelyn Rowe is the 11th highest scoring midfielder in FMLS. The surprise of the week came when Kelyn Rowe scored a brace against a Montreal side who is quickly fading from the playoff picture as the New England midfielder scored two goals and earned an assist along with bonus points for shots and defending and brought in 18 points.
Ethan Finlay rolled the ‘sometimes I play as well as I did last season’ tour into Orlando and human slingshotted himself to 15 points.
Michael Bradley may have neglected his defensive responsibilities against New York, but he made up for it offensively as he opened the scoring for Toronto and earned an assist on the game tying goal for a very good 14 points.
Can you name the player who’s five foot five, smells like maté and scored 5 bonus points, plus 2 more bonus points, on top of an assist, minutes played points, and got cleansheet to score 13 points – you should be able to name him – Lodeiro! Lodeiro!
Hopefully you waved hola to Ola Kamara this week as the Crew forward got an assist and a brace to lead all strikers this round with 17 points. Becoming the second member of the brace club was Bradley-Wright Phillips who also became the first MLS player to score 20 goals in two seasons and has 11 goals in his last 8 games which is an exceptional run of form, he had 14 points. Rounding out the dream team was the hero I deserve, perhaps not the one that I need though as my team’s green arrow savior stepped up in the form of a finally, finally, finally, finally, finally, FINALLY, fit and in form Jozy Altidore who materialized out of the great white north as if from a chrysalis molting his old cracked, hamstring strained, crusty exoskeleton behind to emerge fresh and scoring braces – he got 13 points.
Alas, this weekend was also filled with its fair share of soul crushing disappointment and despair that could only be captured in the lyrics of a Fall Out Boy song. Giovani dos Santos has racked up 3 assists and 5 goals in his past 3 games. When a player is in that kind of form there is only one place for him against a team with defensive liabilities, poor goalkeeping, and a coach who refuses to adjust his team’s style to stop leaking goals, obviously that place is on the bench. I really can understand wanting to rotate players but for the love of Landon Donovan’s bald spot, this was an in-conference road game that 3 points would really help claw towards a home playoff game, especially with Colorado looking to tie the rest of their games in the season and RSL losing to Houston, and the guy who has been scoring all of your goals should play in a game like that.
It wasn’t for lack of shooting at least, but Kaka is lucky that his human slingshot operator didn’t have as bad of a day as he did against the Crew as he seems to have gone missing again after blowing up for 12 points two games ago. If he follows the pattern he’s established, which everyone knows is totally reliable and based on science and has 100% accuracy as a predictable indicator and has whatever a good R value would be, he’ll get two scores above ten that are 4 points apart coming up next, I’m guessing he goes 13 and 17 or 10 and 14. I’m stuck with him anyway so that is the only thing I can tell myself to keep from rage selling him since he got 4 points this week. Finally, Frank Lampard and the ballad of the strained calf got a new verse this weekend as the late run making NYCFC midfielder went down with a re-strained calf and for all intents and purposes his fantasy season is over.
Picks – Fine, start getting ready for the less than ideal double game week in round 31 and the 12 point average score week in game week 32 and get some players from Columbus. I’m inclined to go for some points in week 31 and resign myself to scoring like 12 points in week 32 because I think the players I can get in week 31 are better than the scrubs going in week 32 and do I really want to sit around weighing whoever the best midfield option is for San Jose is vs. Kaka on a DGW.
Defenders – Funny story about week 31 and 32, the 3 defenders on the dream team all play twice those weeks. The only one you should look at is the above mentioned Jared Watts (no really, who?) for Colorado. He is an inexpensive-ish shout at $6.2 but just now is finding a spot in the Rapids defense, so there is some rotation risk there but I think you could do worse than doubling up on Colorado defenders going forward.
David Villa – If you just want a striker who has a good match-up, Villa against Chicago is it.
Sacha/BWP – Montreal is a collapsing bridge with a school bus on top of it right now, the team is a disaster and the defense isn’t going to bail them out. They continue to want to play more wide open and continue to get punished for it defensively. If Kelyn Rowe can score 2 goals against them, Sacha and BWP should each get double hat-tricks – yes, I’m predicting a double hat trick for next week. You know they’ll be on bye and not playing a DGW but you can’t possibly pass up a double hat trick.
Chris Wondolowski – You won’t add him; really you won’t between Drogba, Jozy and Gio playing in a DGW coming up you won’t; but I put him on the pick pile because he’s playing SKC who hasn’t stopped anyone from scoring on them since before Landon Donovan retired. SKC is another team, like Montreal, sinking out of the playoffs because their coach’s idealism about playing pretty soccer prevents them from just blowing the tires off of the bus for once and winning an ugly 3 points. This is a very friendly match up for Wondo who then goes on to 2 more at Montreal and home to RSL who just lost to Houston, they go back to Colorado for week 32 but he’ll still be the second best striker playing that week (see what I mean about scoring 12 points).
Ethan *sighs loudly* Finlay – Go ahead and get him especially if you had Frank Lampard and need a fill in for an injured player. He won’t do better than Frank but he’s cheaper and has been so inconsistent that there’s virtually no chance he’ll be called into the NT. This isn’t a ringing endorsement, but if there’s a midfielder you add this week, have it be him.
Ola Kamara – It helps that he scored this weekend, but if you need a less than premium striker, he’s your guy. They play New England this week and Columbus can try to throw New England’s playoff push off the tracks in the, what seems like 50th Kamara Derby of the season. This is a classic dumpy team match-up that’s sure to feature sloppy defense, ball watching galore, and it lines up nicely for a keeper howler or poorly called PK to decide things.
Jozy Altidore – While we’re on Giovinco watch, Jozy is in form and blasting free kicks past helpless keepers, he’s less than 5% owned right now which is mind blowing given his form, so add differential to the list of reasons to put him in your squad.
Alex – The Houston midfielder took advantage of a bad RSL turnover and got a goal for the Dynamo. He’s now scored in 3 straight and has less than 6 points in just one of his last 6 games and at $5.9 you could do worse, like Roldan worse, in the cheap midfielder range.
Avoid - I think Brian Rowe, row, row your boat’s ship might have sunk - LA hasn’t kept a cleansheet in 4 weeks and they finish the season against Seattle, Dallas, Houston, and Dallas. The same goes for Daniel Steres and with the massive bye week coming up, now might be a good time to sell.