Well, given there are only three games and a transfer wildcard this week, we can just about count upon everyone having the exact, or nearly exact, team. And although it might be fun to try to spot the differential, the downside to that is that if the differential does not pay off and everyone else has the standard choice, the teams with those differentials will drop substantially this particular week.
Generating and increasing team value is the best strategy this week. The Montreal Impact have two games, so it's probably best to have four of their players in your squad. There will be another wild card next week to start over again, so let's take a look at what might be considered a template, with maybe a few differentials sprinkled in.
Evan Bush is the selection here, if you don't already have him. Unfortunately, at RBNY and even at Colorado are not exactly the best fixtures to accumulate points.
Jesse Gonzalez might be a good way to catch some value. Vancouver does not have all of their players available and has suffered from a loss of form, recently.
Laurent Ciman, despite his card concerns, is still my number one choice this week. When he is on his game, he accumulates bonus points like no other defender in MLS. Go for the central defenders with your picks for the most part would be my suggestion this week. It is more of a "sure thing" than the attacking points possibility delivered from outside backs. Donny Toia is a great budget option.
Damien Perrinelle is my second choice. Although he will be missing his number one partner, Matt Miazga, Wednesday night, I like his opportunity for some bonus production.
Matt Hedges is always a possibility for a goal for FC Dallas and could get some BPs at Central Defender. Atiba Harris has been in outstanding form recently and should also be in your thoughts.
Vancouver has been rotating their defenders, so it is a bit tough to make a sure selection. Be aware that Kendall Waston has been called into play for Jamaica and will not be available. The safest pick might be Jordan Harvey, the cheapest would be Tim Parker, and the one with the biggest potential upside would be Pa-Modou Kah.
The Colorado Rapids may surprise this week at home vs Montreal. Add Bobby Burling, maybe, in hopes that he can accumulate some value. The down side to this, is that he (and others, more likely attacking options) may drop some value.
Cristian Techera has been outstanding for Vancouver, recently, and is the selection among their midfielders. Just be aware that Pablo Morales is uncertain to play, at best.
Ignacio Piatti has returned from his father's illness in Argentina and should be available to play both matches. I would also present him as a captain possibility. When he is on top of his game both attacking and defending points will accumulate.
Sacha Kljestan has been exceptional for the New York Red Bulls in the second half of this season. He takes the free kicks and his points will come, even in the event he does not get a goal or an assist.
Lloyd Sam is capable of delivering at any moment. I believe he will end up starting on my squad.
If you like Dallas, consider the enigmatic Fabian Castillo or the equally impressive Mauro Diaz. Each is a threat to bust out with a huge game. The bargain priced Victor Ulloa is the safer bet at $6.5m.
Didier Drogba only appeared as a cameo in Orlando and should be available for both matches. Designated players seem to want to play better in New York. At 37, he might be a rotation risk for the second game in Colorado.
Bradley Wright-Phillips is an obvious pick for New York Red Bulls. Montreal has been a bit shaky defensively. He is capable of delivering a hat trick at any time. His teammate, Mike Grella, is also an excellent and inexpensive selection who has been playing well.
Kekuta Manneh is a good value if you fancy Vancouver this week with his pace and eye for goal.
Of all the Colorado players, the one with the biggest upside might be Vicente Sanchez. I expect to do the switcheroo with he and Grella.
Again, the strategy is to load up, even on your bench this week as everyone has the opportunity to accumulate value. And we are coming back with another Wild Card to start over again next week. Remember to get four Montreal players in. Do you want a second defender or Piatti, or even Drogba? Is there a better goalkeeper option than Bush?
My own team, (with the bench options included) will look just about like this: Bush (Gonzalez), Ciman, Perrinelle, Kah, (Harris, Peay, Earle), Piatti, Kljestan, Sam, Techera (Ulloa, Doody), Drogba, BWP, Grella (Sanchez switcheroo). I am grateful to have accumulated over $130 in team value, which allows me considerable options, the game within the game, here.
So, what are your thoughts? Have I missed anyone? Is a Montreal captain clearly the best option or maybe someone from New York or Vancouver?
Best wishes to everyone!