Do you hear that? It’s the sound of me tumbling ever so further down the rankings as I misplaced my faith in two very specific players. By most metrics, last week was a good week, I came away with 168 points and really anytime my team overall is averaging 7 points/player that usually is enough to ensure green arrows. Week 25 was different. There were several high scoring games and the players with high ownership rates did really well.
Even with the Rusnaks, Giovincos, and Valeris of the world, I dropped a handfull of spots during the mega DGW. I even know where to put the blame - it is directed squarely at Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez. Thanks to Almiron having a flat game against DC United and then being shuttled off to the wing against Philly, he came away with an abysmal six points. Josef fared somewhat better with nine points but when the likes of Ola Kamara and Joao Plata are pulling down multiple goals in the week it isn’t a great showing from him.
Alas, a new week is upon us and with it brings another opportunity to make more regretful decisions. Despite the international break, a robust eight teams are in action so without further ado, onto the rekrap...
Albert, pass out the points, pass em out
Albert Rusnak had himself a week with 29 points. He picked the right week to go off after some relatively quiet performances as of late Rusnak exploded for 19 and 10 points. RSL spent the first half of the season looking like they were actively trying to not make the playoffs, but have since come alive and if they can score four goals a game in their remaining six matches have an outside chance at the post season.
Of the players that ruined my week, Clint Dempsey was the most disappointing. I can deal with a player having a bad match or unexpectedly not taking a penalty when it is usually their job, but Dempsey both had a bad match and only played 112 minutes in the week. Seattle Managed two draws which put them first in the Western Conference, with nearly every team blow them having games in hand so not starting your best striker both games will cost the Sounders when everyone catches up.
One goal, six points
DC United had not one but two players on the dream team thanks to scoring one goal and winning two games. Bill Hamid has kept two cleansheets in that time and looks every ounce the player that should be with the national team but isn’t for some reason so that Nick Rimando can be the third keeper while Tim Howard looks more inconsistent game after game.
Anyway, onto the picks...
MLS is committed to being a top five league by 2022 or whenever, so they let clubs who already have roster depth issues decide if they will play during the international break or not. This week eight teams will go at it to show off their not quite national team caliber players and bench fodder. These weeks are always tough for fantasy, so there will no doubt be some weird scores to come out of this one.
First, get acquainted with the international call up list.
Goalkeeper - So what do you do here? Take a home team with all of them missing key players due to international duty or go with Joe Bendik or Luis Robles who are away but are at closer to full strength. I really dislike all of the goalkeepers but the one who is facing the worst offense is Jon Kempin, assuming he starts, of the LA Galaxy so that’s who I’m going with.
Defenders - What are we going to do here? Montreal plays a struggling but more or less full strength Chicago side and the Impact are doing it without their shinny new defensive midfielder or center back. New England is going to play like six forwards against Orlando who will be missing their entire central midfield, Dallas is trying to let everyone score a ton on them while also scoring a ton...
So I’m going to go cheap, I’m going to go with matchups, and I’m going to run a switcheroo. Here are my picks: Dave Romney of LA Galaxy facing a struggling Colorado side, Eric Miller of the Colorado Rapids facing a struggling LA Galaxy side, Patrick Doody playing against Montreal because he’s cheap, and then Chris Duvall for Montreal against the struggling Fire. Most likely I’ll run a switcheroo with Miller and Bradley Wright Phillips.
Midfielders - There are more options in midfield this week and some decent scoring players as well. Michael Barrios of FC Dallas is a bit hit or miss, but has scored well at home before. Sacha Kljestan should be back to playing a more forward role with Daniel Royer out with injury, but Alex Muyl and Tyler Adams are decent cheap shouts for the Red Bulls.
Romain Alessandrini is expected to play this week after missing last weekend for the birth of his child and Nacho Piatti should be universally owned. Right now I have Lee Nguyen on my team, but he’s been playing limited minutes because of injury so I will take a look and might change things up and bring in Diego Fagundez in his place.
Other options include Kaka against a disjointed New England defense and Felipe as long as he doesn’t get a red card.
Forwards - This is a pretty meaty week for forwards as well. David Accam, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Kei Kamara, and Matteo Mancosu are all taking on defenses that have struggled or will be missing key pieces. I also like Maxi Urutti at home this week.
I reject this week, playing on the international break is awful and is something MLS needs to address as the league continues to grow and take the next step from fairly decent to competing to be the best in the region.