Welcome back, everyone! The fixtures are piling up after all the early-season byes, and we've got a mid-week deadline to keep us busy. I hope everyone had a good fantasy week, though it looks like the average score this week was much lower than the first four weeks of the season, with a number of the biggest names under-performing.
I managed 75 points, enough to keep me in the top 10 overall, but am left ruing what could have been if I had gone with some of my other recommendations from my player picks post (I'm looking at you, Bobby Shuttleworth and Dom Dwyer). Despite the low scores in fantasy, we had some exciting matches throughout the league.
Week 5 Recap
After leading the way among the big-name stars in Week 4, Kaka was thoroughly disappointing last week, putting up a paltry 3 points as his Orlando side couldn't get things going against a stubborn DC squad. United managed to score another stoppage-time winner, and with another clean sheet are showing they are one of the strongest defenses in the league.
Saturday saw Chicago score an unexpected trio of goals against an inconsistent Toronto side, Colorado concede their first goals of the season but fail to get on the scoresheet yet again and LA suffer a second consecutive defeat on the road. Dallas lost their top spot against a Portland side who claimed their first victory, Seattle and RSL managed narrow victories yet again, while Vancouver and New England won a bit more comfortably.
The match of the weekend came on Sunday, when it was looking for all the world that Philadelphia would claim a vital three points over the impressive Sporting KC, leading 2-1 in the 90th minute. Then came the epic collapse, as the Union conceded not just once, but twice in the closing four minutes to fall to yet another defeat.
Encouraging signs are there for both Philadelphia and Colorado, but for the time being you should be considering their opponents from week to week as the remaining teams are all showing much higher quality of play on a more consistent basis.
Week 6 Schedule
As mentioned above, we've got a double week for two teams as well as yet another week of byes, this time for Week 4 opponents Chicago Fire and Toronto FC. Be sure you rid your team of the likes of Eric Gehrig, Harrison Shipp and Sebastian Giovinco.
Wednesday, April 8
Friday, April 10
Saturday, April 11
New England Revolution v. Columbus Crew SC
San Jose Earthquakes v. Vancouver Whitecaps
Sunday, April 12
Double Game Player Picks
David Ousted - The Whitecaps are leading the league with 12 points through 5 matches, and Ousted has reaped the benefits of his team's solid form. Wednesday's home match against the Crew gives the Caps the advantage, while they won't have to travel too terribly far for their away match against San Jose on Saturday.
Hernan Grana - Despite Columbus having played only three times so far, the right back sits on 33 points. The Argentine gets into the attack regularly and has weighed in with solid returns even without clean sheet points.
Kendall Waston - The center back currently leads the team in fantasy points, even ahead of 4-goal striker Octavio Rivero. While he's a slight card risk, he tends to more than make up for it with passes intercepted, blocked shots and tackles won. Make room for him in your team.
Pedro Morales - Three assists so far underscore the passing ability Morales possesses. With Mauro Rosales still missing through injury, he should continue to take all the set pieces for Vancouver and with 4 shots on target so far he's due a goal as well.
Justin Meram - It's still not 100% sure whether the Iraqi international has nailed down the starting spot ahead of Kristinn Steindorsson, but he is a fantasy dream for the number of shots he takes. If he gets the start in both games, he should be among the top scorers for the week, but has the potential to put up big numbers even if he only starts once.
Octavio Rivero - Even after four goals in his first five matches, the designated player is still available for less than $5m. There are worries about his fantasy production when he's not on the scoresheet, but given that's only been one match so far this season, the Uruguayan is a must-have this week.
Kei Kamara - The starting striker for the Crew is available for cheap. Despite only scoring once so far this season, I think he's a great option to sit alongside Rivero in your lineup this week.
Steve Clark - Columbus play two difficult away games against Vancouver and New England, but if you're in the market for a potential high-risk, high-reward pick, the Crew goalkeeper is right up your alley.
Sam Adekugbe - The young defender appears to have claimed the starting left back role ahead of Jordan Harvey, and has been great value for investment, especially if you have him around $1m. The 20 year-old is still available for less than $3m, and is a great option to join Waston in your defense, or replace him if you can't scrape the funds together.
Matías Laba - While he likely won't contribute with many attacking returns, the holding midfielder has acquitted himself just fine so far in the Yahoo! fantasy game, racking up 20 tackles won and 16 passes intercepted in the first 5 matches.
Kekuta Manneh - Another youngster in the Vancouver squad, the 20 year-old announced himself to the league with a goal in Week 5. He's unfortunately listed as a striker despite playing on the wing, but his pace causes problems and after getting off the mark last week he could be high on confidence to push on and score again.
Ethan Finlay - After a breakthrough season in 2014 that saw the 24 year-old score 10 goals, the Crew winger has yet to replicate his dazzling form this season, but his pace will cause problems and it's only a matter of time before he returns to scoring ways. Perhaps a bit pricey approaching $12m, but could be a great differential if this is the week he gets things going.
Single Game Alternatives
Bill Hamid - The United goalkeeper is expensive, and justifiably so as he leads all goalkeepers in fantasy scoring so far. The Red Bulls have been in good form so far this season, but DC have been very solid at home. Maybe not one to invest in at retail, but well worth holding onto if you have him at a discount.
Chris Seitz - After conceding three goals in Dallas' first loss of the season, Seitz is available for an enticing $7.29 heading into a home match against goalless Colorado. If you're put off by the potential of double game keepers, the Dallas stopper is your man.
Tyler Deric - Houston haven't had the best luck in the attacking department so far this season, but have been strong defensively, mostly due to Deric's heroics. It's perhaps not the best sign of the defense in front of him that he's been called upon so often, but that also means more potential save points to offset any potential goals allowed.
Laurent Ciman - As I just mentioned, Houston have had a lot of trouble putting the ball in the net so far this season, while Montreal have been pretty solid defensively. Ciman was missed during the Week 4 international break as he was on duty with Belgium, but he'll be back to anchor the defense against the misfiring Dynamo.
Alvas Powell - I recommended the Timbers fullback last week, and thankfully picked him for my team. He returned double digits without a clean sheet yet again, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Orlando are quickly running out of fit attackers, so a clean sheet could be on the cards for the Jamaican.
Moises Hernandez - A surprising omission from the Dallas lineup last weekend, Hernandez should be back in action with no international travel this weekend. Before missing the past two weeks, the fullback was a fantasy powerhouse and I see a return to double digits this weekend.
Kofi Opare - The former LA Galaxy defender has performed admirably filling in for the injured Steve Birnbaum. DC are very difficult to break down in front of their home crowd, but the Red Bulls will offer plenty of opportunities for the youngster to pick up points for blocked shots, tackles won and passes intercepted.
Benny Feilhaber - With the news that Graham Zusi would miss out with an injury in Week 5, I made a late move to add Feilhaber to my team, and he rewarded me with 16 points. The central midfielder is on all set pieces in the absence of his USMNT partner, and as long as Zusi remains out he should be a consideration for your team, especially after SKC's miraculous comeback on Sunday.
Mix Diskerud - After a goal in Week 1, we haven't seen much in the way of fantasy production for Mix, but I think we could see him return to making an impact against the stuttering Philadelphia Union this week.
Matias Perez Garcia - The San Jose midfielder continues to put up solid numbers week-to-week, even if he isn't weighing in with goals or assists. Even with the Quakes facing league-leaders Vancouver this weekend, I expect the diminutive playmaker to continue his consistent fantasy form.
Osvaldo Alonso - One of my favorite players in the league, Ozzie returned from an injury lay-off last week for a 70-minute debut against Houston, and the defensive midfielder put up 12 points. He's a huge part of what makes Seattle successful, and will continue to build in influence as he regains full fitness.
Robbie Keane - The Galaxy have had a lot of trouble on their travels so far this season, but a home match could be the remedy for their poor start. Keane is a big-game type of player and the match against Seattle should bring out the best in the Irish international.
Blas Perez - The Dallas striker was another omission that left many fantasy managers frustrated in Week 5, especially considering his late cameo may have prevented other options from coming in off the bench. Perez should return to the starting lineup against the Rapids, and I think we'll see him return to his amazing early-season form.
Fernando Aristeguieta - Despite Philly's struggles this season, their new striker has acquitted himself well so far this season with 3 goals. A home match could provide enough encouragement for the Union to finally get their first win of the season against New York, and if that does happen you can bet the Venezuelan will have played a part.
My current team is full of double game players, but as time goes on I'm leaning more and more towards dropping the majority of my Crew players and may only hang onto Grana and Kamara. Vancouver will have pretty healthy representation in my squad, though.
Who are you considering for your Week 6 team? Will you load up on double gamers, or strike a balance with some attractive single game options? Keep in mind that the deadline is this Wednesday, so be sure to set your teams in the next day or two. Weigh in with your thoughts!