Last week saw six goals and two of them were scored by Fanendo Adi which is fitting because he had been averaging about two points a game in the time since his last goal six weeks ago. Adi is the kind of player Portland fans have been waiting for to break out and be a golden boot candidate but his maddening inconsistency holds him, and his team, back every year. All that is to say if you had Adi and say Accam or Nikolic you probably did well enough to stay near your place in the rankings.
MLS wasn’t going to stop something silly like an international break get in the way of jamming their 34 week season with what seems like 10 weeks of playoffs in what plays out like a 30 week time period, so MLS Fantasy managers were treated to a week with six teams playing. To me this was a throwaway week, I played it pretty safe, picked defenders on home teams, no. 10s, and took a risk on Maxi Urutti that didn’t pan out. Otherwise I’m happy enough with my score of 75 and limited the damage done by the red arrows I faced. This week has a full slate of games, no double game week teams, and some juicy matchups as long as managers feel confident playing their fragile players twice in a week after the US Open Cup kicked off for MLS teams.
Anyway, onto the rekrap...
Return of the stud
Last year’s fantasy must own player Diego Valeri has had a dip in production lately. Partly the arrival of Sebastian Blanco and sustaining an injury explains this so it was good to see Valeri follow up a 15 point performance with a 10 point one, especially because he was my captain.
Everyone point and laugh at Sporting Kansas City, there might not be many opportunities to mock the first place team in the Western Conference this year so laugh loud. They threw away two points in THE BLUE HELL to what’s left over of the Poutine Princes when Matteo Mancosu picked off a lazy backpass to chip keeper two point Tim Melia in the 82nd minute. At least Jimmy Medranda got subbed off with a clean sheet before that happened.
Portland had the second best defense of the weekend with three defenders on the dream team, that’s probably not something that will ever be written again about them - the international break is a strange thing and I’m glad it’s over.
Anyway, onto some picks...
Goalkeeper: I really like Toronto’s matchup against DC United. TFC has been stellar at home defensively, DCU is trash and the Reds will be close to full strength so take a look at Alex Bono (TOR, $5.0) at keeper. Joining him on the roster is Joe Bendik (ORL, $5.1) who has a struggling Montreal Impact coming to play with Donald, Mickey, and the gang this weekend.
Defender: I really like Toronto’s matchup against DC United. TFC has been stellar at home defensively, DCU is trash and the Reds will be close to full strength so take a look at Justin Morrow (TOR, $6.5) who is in premium price territory but I think is worth it, Eriq Zavaleta (TOR, $5.0), and Drew Moor (TOR, $6.1) for the backline. Aside from TFC, San Jose is taking on Sporting KC who is first in the West but still just managed one goal against a depleted Montreal team, so look at any of their defenders but I really like Florian Jungwirth (SJ, $6.1). Finally, if you want a cheaper option, Ethan White (NYCFC, $4.0) has been playing nearly every game for the Pigeons and takes on Seattle who has scored just four goals in their last seven games.
Midfield: This is a great week for midfielders. The first player I took this week was Miguel Almiron (ATL, $9.6), Columbus is super weak through their central midfield and their center backs are awful, I’ll give my homer takes on why the Crew are bad in the What to Watch For tomorrow but get Miggy on your team. Lee Nguyen (NER, $10.5) is having a teriffic season with six goals and seven assists, while Chicago has been neigh unbeatable at home, on the road they’ve looked less convincing and I think Nguyen will add to his streak of 9 games scoring at least 9 points.
In his last 5 games Romain Alessandrini (LAG, $10.1) has 49 points including a 9 point game that he didn’t have an assist or goal in, he’s a fantasy machine and should be on your team with Houston coming to LA. Victor Vazquez (TFC, $9.2) is back home with TFC this week with a fully squad of Altidores and Giovincos that will look to break down DC United.
Forwards: Josef Martinez(ATL, $9.4), the man has 8 goals in 10 games for Atlanta if you count US Open Cup and the preseason, and should feast on a bad Crew backline. He was a little limpy after the USOC game but reportedly that was just cramping, though he is just getting back from injury so he could just be used as a late sub so perhaps have a plan B in that case. David Villa (NYCFC, $11.1) has shown why he has 49 goals in 77 games for NYCFC and the Pigeons talisman will look to find number 50 against Seattle this weekend.
A lot of people don’t know this but the C.J. in C.J. Sapong (PHI, $8.0) stands for “Can’t stop scoring on Jamokees who trade their captain in the offseason,” and the last time the Union took on the Red Bulls “Can’t stop scoring on Jamokees who trade their captain in the offseason” had a hat trick, which means he’ll do it again.
For other matchups I like, Minnesota will be going to RSL and the Claret and Cobalt somehow look worse defensively than offensively and the other United can put up goals in bunches.
My captain this week will be Miguel Almiron, Columbus is bad at defense.
This should be gospel by now, but stay away from the Houston Dynamo on the road, they just can’t get the machine to work away from home. I’d stay away from Colorado at home as well, Portland seems to be putting it back together and the human spirit has been on a roll lately but Colorado is a shell of the team that didn’t let anyone score on them all last year.