Once more unto the breach... This is it, the final week of MLS Fantasy is here. 33 weeks in the books, well 32 in the fantasy game - for reasons I can’t quite comprehend, but that’s ok. The last week of the year is always a tough one to predict. Teams who have their place in the post-season settled tend to play a little more conservatively and teams that don’t have their place settled either try to do too much to get ahead or too little to try not to lose ground. Luckily there is much still to be decided this Sunday as decision day approaches.
Anyway, onto the rekrap...
Last week was an odd combination of success and failure. I racked up 105 points and usually that’d be good enough to see some green arrows, but I saw mostly red. In my back line Alex Bono didn’t let sharing a name with a washed up rock star stop him from getting 10 points. His teammate Justin Morrow reminded everyone that he’s having a career year at left-back, a position the USMNT was apparently deep enough at to keep him away from the team during qualification, and got a clean sheet for 8 points.
I doubled up on Chicago Fire defenders with Brandon Vincent who had an assist and helped overcome Johan Kappelhof’s own goal to get a robust 8 points between the two.
In midfield I grabbed Yamil Asad, who kicked every New York Red Bulls player every time he could along with the rest of Atlanta United forcing Jesse Marsch to hand out all of the baby tylenol and kleenex that he had to his crying players after the game, he got 4 points. Joining him in the “I have a decent floor and I reached it but usually I’m better” category was Victor Vazquez with 5 points. Slightly better was Albert Rusnak who had 7 points while watching his team lose to Colorado, but the West is so bad that it doesn’t matter so RSL could still make the playoffs.
In the “you saved my team” category, there is the star of the Portland Diego Valeris, Diego Valeri who is quite literally the only player on their roster who can score or assist; I captained him and got a 36 point haul thanks to giving him the armband. Also in the category was Nemanja Nikolic who seems to be determined to tour the world’s sub-par leagues and lead them in scoring.
I went a little too homer this week and had Tito Villalba, who no doubt helped prompt Marsch’s fake news tantrum after his under-performing team failed to win at home yet again this season, who had 4 points. Rounding out my team was Giovinco, you can tell I thought Toronto might hang a bunch of goals on a Montreal team that has nothing to play for and started its backup goalkeeper and was wrong about that, who had 4 points.
The good thing about this week is that the rosters will all come out before matches kick off. That means no surprise squad rotations, no switcheroos, just find the best 11 players and rack up some points. Here are my picks:
Like I said, I think all bets are off this weekend, my best advice is to pick good players and see what the lineups look like. If Toronto rests their good players, go all in on Atlanta United, if New England decides they want to see what some academy center back looks like, get guys in from Montreal.
As far as my team, I’ll probably come to my senses about the SKC players on the road with the backup keeper and go all in with Seattle defenders against an awful Colorado team, but until lineups come out, who knows?
As far as some alternatives, if you have any faith in Ignacio Piatti, he has a good matchup. I think the OCSC vs. Philly game has some potential for a high score due to each team being awful in defense and having forwards who can score trash goals. I am also extremely tempted by Chris Wondolowski, because why not against Minnesota, and by his teammate Valeri Kazaishvili.
If kicking players were a scoring category in MLS Fantasy I’d go all in on DC United players, Jesse Marsch will remember what kicking looks like after playing them this weekend.
Any NYCFC attacker. The Pigeons have failed to score more than one goal in their last 8 games and are playing at whatever they call Shea Stadium now, the place where scoring goes to die.