Week 6 Recap
Well, as double weeks go that was about as poor a result as many of us could have expected. The first match provided some solid returns, particularly if you had Octavio Rivero (woo-hoo!) and Kei Kamara (d'oh!), but the second matches for both Columbus and Vancouver did little to help justify investing in a full squad of double game players.
Almost as disappointing as the poor fantasy results from the double game teams was the drop in form for the league's top sides. Dallas and Vancouver have shared time at the top of the league table from week 1, but neither looked even remotely like a quality team in their Week 6 matches, with Dallas' 4-0 collapse to Colorado a particular shock.
Early season fantasy favorites Blas Perez, Moises Hernandez and Javier Morales all disappointed, while fantasy beast Ike Opara suffered a torn achilles tendon and will sadly be out for the majority of the season. Philadelphia turned things around and got their first win over New York City, LA continued their strong home form against struggling Seattle, and Houston figured out how to get back on the score sheet with a resounding win over Montreal.
Week 7 Schedule
One of the key items worth noting before you build your Week 7 team is that the United States will be taking on Mexico in an international friendly tomorrow (Wednesday, April 15). There are a number of MLS players who have received call-ups, so be wary of selecting them as they will either definitely miss out (Thursday & Friday games), or have a higher chance of starting on the bench of being substituted (Saturday & Sunday).
The players called up to play for the USMNT are Bill Hamid, Nick Rimando, Matt Besler, Brad Evans, Omar Gonzalez, Brek Shea, Michael Bradley, Kyle Beckerman, Mix Diskerud, Lee Nguyen, Juan Agudelo, Chris Wondolowski and Gyasi Zardes. Diskerud's absence will affect the most fantasy managers given New York's double week, but given the poor results from the last game week, the other players on the list could have been in your thoughts as well. Adjust accordingly!
Editor's Note: I initially missed the bye week for Chicago and Montreal this week. Please adjust your teams accordingly.
Thursday, April 16
Friday, April 17
Saturday, April 18
Sunday, April 19
Philadelphia Union v. New England Revolution
New York City FC v. Portland Timbers
Double Game Player Picks
Josh Saunders - With two home games, NYCFC should have the advantage over Philly this game week. Saunders has been a solid, if unspectacular, goalkeeper so far this season, and is priced very affordably at just $3.57m.
Andre Blake - It was John McCarthy who replaced Rais Mbolhi between the sticks for Philly's victory in week 6, but with #1 draft pick Blake fully fit, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the rookie replaced. This is definitely a risky pick as Jim Curtin could keep the faith with McCarthy. I'd recommend Saunders or a single game keeper given Philly's tougher schedule and the uncertainty over who starts.
Ray Gaddis - The Union haven't been a great defensive outfit this season, but did show some promise against New York last time out. Gaddis has quietly worked his way into the second most points among Union players, and has been picking up a good amount of phantom points, particularly intercepted passes and tackles won.
Jason Hernandez - Like Gaddis for Philadelphia, Hernandez has quietly built up an impressive points tally, falling in between David Villa and Mix Diskerud among City players this season. Clean sheet points would be welcome, but he should do more than enough to justify his $8.60m price tag.
Steven Vitoria - The new center back hasn't quite lived up to the expectations placed on him following his transfer in the off-season, but is a low-cost option who is all but guaranteed to start both matches for the Union this week. Discipline has been an issue for Vitoria, though, with 15 fouls committed and two yellow cards so far.
Ned Grabavoy - With Mix away on international duty for the first match, Grabavoy is the best option for fantasy production. The veteran doesn't weigh in with many goals, but does rack up the phantom points on both sides of the action and should be a bargain under $9m.
Cristian Maidana - The attacking midfielder made his return from injury in week 6 with an appearance off the bench, and he should be ready to start the next match. His influence on the team is nothing to scoff at, and he should be on set piece duty as well.
Eric Ayuk Mbu - The 18 year-old has broken into the first team and made an immediate impact with his pace. He gave Brovsky nightmares in Week 6, and will be eager to go at him again. A really great, cheap option for your midfield.
David Villa - The star man marked his return to fitness with a goal against the Union last time out, unfortunately resulting in his price climbing back above the $20m mark. With all of the low-cost options available, though, Villa should be easy to fit into your lineup.
Sebastian Le Toux - With doubts over the availability of Fernando Aristeguieta due to a torn quadriceps muscle, Le Toux could be asked to lead the line for Philadelphia over the next couple matches. The striker hasn't been as productive this season playing behind Aristeguieta, but will have the chance to prove he's just as capable up top.
Khiry Shelton - The youngster has made most of his appearances off the bench so far this season, but has shown loads of potential. It's only a matter of time before he stakes a claim on a starting role, and this could be the perfect time for him to break through with the creative qualities of Mix out of the side.
Single Game Alternatives
Clint Irwin - Colorado are an odd team; they don't look particularly convincing, but keep impressing defensively. Irwin has picked up a number of clean sheet bonuses already this season, and a home fixture against Dempsey-less Seattle could provide big fantasy points yet again.
Jaime Penedo - Most of us were done scoring for Week 6 by the time LA played against Seattle, but hopefully you were able to catch the Galaxy keeper's incredible 10-save performance. His price has skyrocketed after he put up 30 points, but he's still relatively affordable under $10m for a home match against low-scoring Kansas City.
Kofi Opare - Bill Hamid should be back in time from international duty to start between the sticks for DC, but his price is steep given his performances so far this season. DC have been great at home, and Opare has been a strong performer standing in for the injured Steve Birnbaum.
Leonardo - With Sporting KC missing Graham Zusi and Ike Opara, their attacking production has taken a major hit heading into their trip against LA. The Galaxy are much better in front of their home fans, and Leonardo should get the start this week to cover the potential clean sheet.
Hernan Grana - In a week without too many great match-ups, going with consistent performers is probably a good strategy, and Grana is up there with the best of them in terms of consistent fantasy production.
Lloyd Sam - Red Bulls haven't played too many matches so far this season, but have looked very impressive every time they've taken the field. Nobody has been more impressive than Sam, who has been on fire so far with three goals.
Javier Morales - The veteran had a quiet week last time out, with only 3 points to his name. That's been unusual for his standards so far, and he should have plenty of opportunities to get back on the right track against a Vancouver side who will have had their confidence rocked last week.
Stefan Ishizaki - Until Steven Gerrard arrives in the summer, Ishizaki should be the go-to midfielder for the Galaxy in terms of fantasy selection. His set piece delivery has been causing problems for opposition defenses, and he's shown he's not afraid to take a shot from distance. WIth Opara and potentially Besler missing for SKC, I like the Galaxy's chances to build on their confidence-inspiring win from week 6.
Matias Perez Garcia - I have to thank Sam for recommending the diminutive midfielder a couple weeks back. I picked him up for my team and have held tight, and the San Jose midfielder hasn't disappointed. I even kept hold through the double week last week, and he put up 14 points. Still affordable under $9m, and sure to be a consistent producer throughout the season.
Robbie Keane - As I mentioned above, Kansas City will not have their first-choice center back pairing available for their tough road trip to Los Angeles. Keane, while expensive, has shown he's capable of delivering the goods when given the space to operate, and I think he'll be on the score sheet again this weekend.
Sebastian Giovinco - Going along with the theme of choosing consistent performers, the Italian has been putting up double digit returns week on week throughout the season. Jozy Altidore won't be traveling with the national team due to the red card he picked up last time out, so the little man will have his big man partner to play off of.
Bradley Wright-Phillips - Another pricey striker who has been justifying his price so far this season, BWP has picked up where he left off last season, even though he doesn't have the service of Thierry Henry to rely on. A cross-country trip for San Jose could bring some travel weariness with it, and given the Red Bulls' performances at home I expect them to put a couple goals past the Quakes.