It isn’t every week that I’ll score 90 points and be upset but I saw nothing but red arrows as my San Jose defense gamble didn’t pay off and my last second gambit of bringing in Joe Willis for Zack Steffen was a disaster when Brek Shea, who has been revitalized in his return to British soil, pulled Vancouver back within one against the Dynamo. At the very least the games were fun with only three clean sheets and lots of goals.
Making Canadian Bacon
Justin Meram was the top scoring player in the game this week and if you were adventurous enough to captain him you no doubt had a good week. The Iraqi International had 23 points thanks to a hat trick against Montreal as the Poutine Princes showed the form that nearly led them out of the playoffs last year.
6 senses, 1 trick
Caleb Porter lived up to his reputation as the M. Night Shyamalan of MLS and fully ran out of ideas against Atlanta United when the Five Stripes pressed the life out of his team and snuffed out any counter attacks that the Timbers tried to muster throughout the game. Their attempts at absorbing pressure included being lucky that the final ball wasn’t there for Atlanta and that Miguel Almiron wouldn’t use his right foot.
Porter’s team had approximately 3% possession and scored on a set piece that a player may have been offside on. Atlanta went into one of the most intimidating baseball stadiums in the country and came away with a valuable road point. Despite that Liam Ridgewell managed to get in the dreamteam with 10 points.
The Philadelphia Experiment
It seems like we’ve been transported to a parallel universe where the Philadelphia Union aren’t a messy joke that has Ernie Stewart looking like a guy who played Dutch moneyball with the wrong players. All of that may still be true, but the Union have scored 10 goals in their past four games including seven in their last two. This is a team that still has problems but at least they aren’t playing a forward from the British amateur leagues at striker anymore because Jay Simpson isn’t Jamie Vardy.
Anyway, onto the rekrap...
Woooh doggie, 10 teams on double game week? This will be a great week for players looking to make up points and will really separate the top of the pack from the stragglers like me. I’ve yo-yo’d out of the top 500 for the past few weeks and am looking for some good performances to start moving higher in the table. Here’s who I’m looking at this week.
Goalkeeper Matt Lampson (CHI, $4.4) has two starts and could have won the starting job last week with a solid game against the Seattle Sounders. He’s cheap and has great matchups but we may not see a lineup before knowing for sure if he starts. Philly netminder Andre Blake (PHI, $5.7) is home both games and could continue to be stellar in the net or may show that the past four weeks have been a mirage for the Union.
This week in defense, I’m going back to the well with San Jose. I like their center back pairing of Florian Jungwirth (SJ, $6.1) and Victor Bernardez (SJ, $5.5) and expect them to regain their form at home against Orlando at the very least. I’m starting to believe in the Wiccan ceremony that brought the Union back to form and like Fabinho (PHI, $4.7) at home for two games. Other players getting interest are Brandon Vincent (CHI, $4.7) and Joao Meira ($5.6) for Chicago who plays Colorado who is still inept, last week not withstanding, going forward and then will go to the bus station in DC to face a Luciano Acoasta-less DC Darkness.
In midfield I think it starts with Dax McCarty (CHI, $9.4), New York Red Bulls are looking at pictures of him with the broken heart of a forlorn lover, who will rack up bonus points and should be a lock to start both games. A name who hasn’t had fantasy relevance since week two should be on the radar this week as Anibal Godoy (SJ, $7.4) is a good cheap option that puts up consistent points, he has tough defensive matchups this week so his bonus points are what you’re after here. Another less than $10 option is Haris Medunjanin (PHI, $8.2) who is leading the Philly revival and is going into the DGW off of a monster 19 point game.
For high priced players look at Nico Lodiero (SEA, $11.5) who faces Sporting Kansas City which is coming into a second DGW in three weeks and RSL who isn’t playing good soccer at all right now. Seattle is loaded with talent and is too good not to bounce back at some point. As I type this he’s getting just a subtle twinge of something not feeling right in his calf, but Kaka (ORL, $10.1) has three goals in his last four games and has only played more than an hour in two of those. He may be a rotation risk against San Jose but if Orlando is going to be successful against the Pigeons it will be because Kaka has a big role to play in the result.
Other players getting a mention are Carlos Rivas (ORL, $7.0) who has been a big part of the Orlando attack and hasn’t seen a big dip in production since Kaka returned. And if you don’t like Dax McCarty for some reason Ozzie Alonso (SEA, $9.8) is still Ozzie Alonso and will get you 5 points a game.
Among forwards there are good options this week from Seattle with Clint Dempsey (SEA, $9.7) always a decent bet especially over two games. There’s no way anyone should be passing on Nemanja Nikolic (CHI, $9.9) after he’s put up 8, 9, and 20 points in his past three games. Cyle Larin (ORL, 9.5) already has three goals in two games against NYCFC and Orlando hosts the Pigeons this weekend after a tough matchup against San Jose on Wednesday.
If you are feeling adventurous, CJ Sapong (PHI, $7.9) is at home, cheap and can score goals in bunches on his day.
I’m avoiding players from Real Salt Lake because their team is terrible and they have two matchups against tough teams hosting NYCFC and traveling to Seattle, the Sounders defense hasn’t been great but neither has been the RSL attack and the options are better this week. Keep away from Sporting Kansas City, I just think Peter Vermes will get nervous about his team having to get on an airplane before the game this weekend and sit his starters in at least one of these games.
Houston is also a team I don’t want anything to do with, the Dynamo have two goals and zero wins on the road and are playing away from the Magnolia City in both games this week. Otherwise, I don’t have to tell you this, but keep away from Colorado until their best player (Axel Sjoberg) comes back, don’t be fooled by last week that was a game of the stoppable bus meeting the immovable object not a sudden awakening by Pablo Mastroeni.