After some promising signs in Week 12, we returned to the disappointing doubles in Week 13, with mostly unexpected names delivering the goods and a lot of unexpected absences due to rotation, illness or injury. Hopefully Week 14 will be an opportunity to get back to the big names banking big points, but with international action taking place, we'll have to make do without a number of the best players from Major League Soccer.
Among the fantasy-relevant names who will definitely be missing this week are Juan Agudelo, Michael Bradley, Kyle Beckerman, Gyasi Zardes, Brek Shea, Mix Diskerud, Brad Evans, Nick Rimando, Fatai Alashe, Jordan Allen, Matt Miazga, Bradford Jamieson IV, David Accam, Krisztian Nemeth, Robbie Keane, Giles Barnes, Darren Mattocks, Jaime Penedo, Blas Perez and Shaun Maloney, who have all been called up for international duty. Chris Rolfe and Osvaldo Alonso will also miss out through suspension, while Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey are both doubtful with a broken nose and impending birth of a child, respectively.
You most likely have at least one player from that list in your squad, so you'll want to make sure you either transfer them out or have a player on your bench to sub in for them ahead of this week. The good news is that we'll have a week of unlimited transfers ahead of Week 15, so if you're not happy with your current team you'll have a chance at a clean slate after this week.
Speaking of this week, it's another 6-team double week. The teams in action twice (that you probably want to consider transferring players in from) are Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew SC, D.C. United, Montreal Impact, Philadelphia Union and Vancouver Whitecaps. Of those teams, DC and Philly play two home games, Chicago, Columbus and Montreal split home and away ties, and Vancouver are stuck with two trips away from home.
Steve Clark - The Crew arguably have the strongest pair of matches this week, with an away game against the Union followed by a home match with Montreal. Neither opponent is particularly high-scoring, so Clark represents good value to pick up a clean sheet or two this weekend.
Bill Hamid - One of the very few players for DC who looks set to play 180 minutes this week, Hamid has been one of the form keepers in the league this season. The youngster put up 11 points across United's two matches last week without recording a clean sheet in either. If he can manage to keep out Chicago and/or Toronto, expect a raft of points.
David Ousted - As I mentioned, Vancouver have the toughest traveling schedule with two away matches, but Ousted still earns a place in my recommendations on the strength of his form for the Whitecaps so far this season. Montreal aren't the strongest in attack, and LA will be missing both Keane and Zardes, so Ousted could prove a worthwhile investment.
Jeff Larentowicz / Matt Polster - After a rough start to the season, the Fire have begun to show some positive signs, particularly in defense. Larentowicz is on set piece and penalty duty, so if you have the funds available to bring him in he's a great option for Chicago's double. If not, Polster is much cheaper and has been starting in midfield ahead of his listed position.
Ethan White - Now that their goalkeeper issues have been resolved, the Union are looking a better fantasy prospect. White is an affordable way to get in on Philly's two home matches against Columbus and New York City FC. A clean sheet may not be on the cards against the Crew, but seems a very real possibility against low-scoring NYCFC.
Emanuel Pogatetz - As with Steve Clark, Pogatetz is a sure starter for Columbus in a week where they have a very good shot at clean sheet points. While he's not the most attractive option in terms of contributing attacking returns, he should have a good chance at returning or exceeding his value.
Kendall Waston - He will be an expensive gamble if you decide to take it, but Waston is one of the highest scoring defenders in the game and, given the reasoning for Ousted above, could be a shrewd buy if Vancouver can rediscover their early season dominance.
Harry Shipp - Chicago's creative midfielder has been an inspiration this season, and is seemingly growing in influence as the season goes on. With Maloney called to represent the Scottish national team, Shipp will be counted on to lead the Fire attack. Given his recent performances, he looks primed to rise to the challenge.
Ethan Finlay / Justin Meram - Both wide men for the Crew have shown their potential for scoring and setting up goals this season, and both are solid options in midfield this week. Finlay is nursing a broken toe, but was fit enough to take part last week, and in my opinion is more likely to score than Meram. However, the Iraqi winger may play more minutes across the two matches. Toss a coin if you're torn between the two if team news isn't conclusive Wednesday evening.
Pedro Morales - If you're looking to swap out a premium player for a similarly-priced replacement this week, Morales is your man. He'll be the creative force for the Whitecaps, and is in the top 5 highest scoring midfielders thus far. He's expensive at $11.4m, but has already put up two double-digit performances in single weeks this season and could be set to do it again, potentially even twice.
Cristian Maidana - Since returning from injury, Philadelphia's midfield maestro has played the full 90 minutes in his last six appearances, contributing 33 points in the process. Two home matches should mean less chance of rotation, so the Argentine should start both and hopefully play the full 180.
Kei Kamara - The league-leading scorer is on fire and isn't showing any sign of slowing down. Somehow still affordably priced at a shade over $9m. Very strong contender for the captain's armband this week. Pick him up!
Octavio Rivero - After starting this season on a tear, Rivero has cooled off considerably in recent weeks. Still, a double week should afford him plenty of chances to add to his goal tally, even with two matches on the road against the Galaxy and Montreal.
Jack McInerney - There's not a ton to love from Montreal from a fantasy perspective, to be honest, with injuries plaguing the team. McInerney is one of the few players who could make an impact (pun intended) this week, and is a nice differential pick up front in a week where not too many options are particularly attractive.
With all of the absentees, it's important to focus as much on team news as possible, so if you're able to stick around for lineups ahead of the 7 p.m. EDT deadline tomorrow, you'll get the starters for DC, Chicago, Philadelphia and Columbus.
Who are you considering transferring out of your team this week, and who are you planning on replacing them with? As always, best of luck for a triple digit score for Week 14!