Hello everyone, just a brief note to introduce myself. My name is Charles Dailey and I have enjoyed participating in MLS.com Fantasy soccer for three years now. During the earlier two incarnations, I managed to squeeze into the top 100 and this year's team, Deportivo Pirata, currently stands at #81 overall, following a great week where I managed the 39th highest score of the week. I am looking forward to helping make a difference with your squads for the remainder of this season!
And with that introduction, I will get on with some analysis.
As stated above, there are four teams playing twice this week. Montreal Impact and Toronto FC with two home games each and Orlando City and New York Red Bulls enjoy a second game. Of course, with any of these double games, there may be some chance of rotation. However, at this point in the season, we kind of have a sense of who might be doing that and a thought about which players might be at risk.
Ordinarily, goalkeepers and designated players are the least risky. With most teams jockeying for playoff positions, there may be less rotation than we observed earlier. The coaches should have been able to figure out who their players are by now. And, keep in mind there are some new additions who have been added in the recent weeks and these players will get some looks.
Evan Bush would be my choice with two home matches and no risk of rotation. The Impact are not known for their defensive prowess, but have played better recently. Montreal, of course, have a bye next week, but a very favorable schedule, heading forward.
Joe Bendik would be my second choice, again with the two home games. Toronto has been woeful defensively, but they play a lot better at home and with the addition of center back Ahmed Kantari, he might have a shot at a clean sheet.
Donovan Ricketts was quickly handed the number 1 shirt in LA and has a match against the struggling Seattle Sounders. LA plays particularly tough defensively at home.
Adam Kwarasey and Portland have stepped up defensively recently and Chicago has struggled on the road. He is worth considering.
Laurent Ciman, of Montreal, is probably the defensive stalwart to consider this particular week. He is among the league leaders in clearances, blocks and interceptions and will score well, even in the event that Montreal do not secure a clean sheet. And, he is still a very good value heading forward. I also like Donny Toia and will probably start him on my own squad, but he still might be in the rotation risk category.
Matt Miazga has been an outstanding defender selection for RBNY since his return from the U-20 World Cup. Again, playing in the middle, he will get his share of bonus points.
Corey Ashe and Luke Boden are the cheapest way to gain entry into the Orlando defense. Ashe garnered 10 points, and Boden 7 from their outside back spots despite giving up a goal.
Pa-Modou Kah is certainly an exotic sounding name and is also an inexpensive central defender for Vancouver at 6.8.
Eric Gehrig and Matt Polster (listed as a defender) both got major points in their shutout against FC Dallas on Sunday. Gehrig is still only 5.2, while Polster is 4.7. Portland has struggled for goals recently.
Sebastian Giovinco is the second leading scorer in MLS fantasy this season, passed this past week by Feilhaber. The Atomic Ant has not had two bad games in a row the entire year and enjoys two home fixtures. He is almost a "must have" and a solid captain possibility. There is a bit of uncertainty for him in Toronto, with Michael Bradley's status unknown due to his injury and the return of Jozy Altidore. Out of 20 games played for Toronto, Giovinco has delivered at least 10 points in 6 of them. And Toronto's schedule is good, heading forward.
Ignacio Piatti has been outstanding for Montreal recently, delivering 7,8,8,7,5 and 15 points the past 6 weeks. He is another captain possibility with the two matches at home.
Kaka is my third choice in the midfield, for Orlando City. He has scored 14 points in the past two weeks and may be due for a breakout. He, Giovinco and Piatti will be my midfielders.
Either of Dax McCarty, Sacha Kljestan or the newly acquired Shaun Wright-Phillips might be worth considering for the RBNY. The Red Bulls have seemed on the verge of going on a tear for some time now.
Benny Feilhaber has been an outstanding midfielder and fantasy performer for Sporting Kansas City this season. I expect to find a way get him on my team next week and intend upon keeping him the rest of the season.
Cheap midfield options that might pay off are Darwin Ceren at 6.6 for Orlando, Marky Delgado at 5.5 or Jonathan Osorio at 7.0 for Toronto, or the still reasonable Sebastian Lletget at 6.6 for Los Angeles.
Cyle Larin is inexpensive and red hot for Orlando at only 6.2. He has scored 5 goals and delivered 29 fantasy points in his past two games. Get him and see what happens in these next two matches.
Bradley Wright-Phillips may enjoy a renaissance from his brother's addition. He is expensive at 11.3 but capable of scoring goals in bundles.
Dominic Oduro at 7.0 is a possibility for Montreal, however, you may wish to consider waiting before bringing in Didier Drogba, who I expect to only play 90 minutes in the two upcoming matches.
Of the single gamers, Octavio Rivero for Vancouver at 9.1, Krisztian Nemeth for Kansas City at 8.5 or even Philadelphia's CJ Sapong at 7.1 might be worth taking. Philadelphia has what appears to be a couple of easy matches during the next 3 weeks.
I have not made my transfers, yet. My number 1 target is Laurent Ciman. I will either take a goalkeeper (probably Bush) or Bradley Wright-Phillips for David Villa.
My current team is Melia, Toia, Maund (probably out for Ciman) or Gehrig, Miazga, Giovinco, Piatti, Kaka and Larin, Keane and Villa. My captain will be either Piatti or Giovinco.
Remember the games kick off at 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday so get your transfers done before then. What does your team look like, who else do you rate? Who might be your captain?