Due to the nature of the MLS season, the league has to innovate and work around scheduling issues by doing things that other leagues don’t typically do like schedule teams playing multiple midweek games over the course of the season and give teams the option of playing over the international break. This is nice from a scheduling perspective because it avoids a double game week but also means that the teams that do play miss some key players so the quality of the soccer drops down another rung.
For fantasy it means weird stuff happens. Unexpected players shine and teams that have had great form inexplicably have poor results. All that is to say, this is a week to maybe take some risks, try a switcheroo, perhaps go with a keeper and backline all from the same team to go for a big score on defense or take a player that you have a gut feeling about that you otherwise wouldn’t take. Luckily, the six teams playing this weekend also are filled with fantasy studs who won’t miss time over the international break.
Anyway, onto the rekrap...
Strikers put up a brick
What looked like a good week for strikers turned into a better week for midfielders and somehow Cubo Torres’ 14 points ended up being the most scored by a striker.
Garbage goals, good score
Kendall Waston is more likely to get two red cards in a game than two goals in a match but if you don’t defend him on set pieces he will make you pay as Atlanta found out when he scored 18 points last weekend.
An unexpected fantasy stud
Making an unexpected appearance on the dream team was Will Johnson from OCSC thanks to 17 points from an assist and a boat load of bonus points.
Goalkeeper: Sigh, every time I put him on my team he falls from the heights of clean sheets and near double digit scores to being good ole’ ‘Two Point Tim’ but Tim Melia (SKC, $5.6) is on the best defense playing this weekend and I have him in goal. Sure, Matt Lampson (CHI, $4.6) is cheaper but do you really want to bet against Atlanta United?
Defenders: This is where the going with a full SKC backline gets tricky - Jimmy Medranda (SKC, ), Ike Opara (SKC, ), and Seth Sinovic (SKC, ) with Melia could have a huge game if they manage to keep Montreal from scoring, but that means foregoing their offensive options. My preference this week is to go with wingbacks since I think we’ll see some goals in these games and I like Brandon Vincent (CHI, $5.1), Greg Garza (ATL, $5.6), and Alvas Powell (POR, $4.8).
Midfielders: Gerso Fernendes (SKC, $8.2) and Benny Feilhaber (SKC, $10.6) should form a boom or bust and steady scoring tandem against Montreal this weekend. Perhaps wait to see what the Atlanta United midfield looks like when rosters are released before fantasy teams lock on Saturday afternoon, but Yamil Asad (ATL, $8.6) has only scored less than six points in one of his last six games.
I expect Diego Valeri (POR, $10.5) to be nearly 100% owned this weekend and nearly 100% captained against a FC Dallas team that is missing a lot of defenders this weekend. Next I’m looking at Michael Barrios (FCD, $8.4) to have a good game, somehow he always seems to play well during the international break and I think this will be another time he does against a poor Portland defense who will miss Darlington Nagbe’s work rate.
Forwards: I’m going to go with Maxi Urutti (FCD, $9.2) even though he’s on the road because of Portland’s defensive issue mentioned above and he seems to love playing against his former club, he had 11 points against them the last time they played. I also expect Fanando Adi (POR, $9.6) to have a decent shot at getting a goal against Dallas’ backups. For a third option, David Accam (CHI, $9.9) has six goals and two assists in his last eight games and is playing an Atlanta team he’ll want revenge against.
Here’s who I don’t like: FC Dallas’ backup backline against a very good Portland attack. Even without Nagbe, I think Portland will find ways through the Dallas midfield and defense. I’m also staying away from Bastian Schweinsteiger who I expect will play in the deeper defensive midfield role and won’t be as influential from a fantasy perspective. I’m lukewarm on Nacho Piatti this week, away in a tough environment, against a stout defense doesn’t make me confident in picking him.