Well, the regular season is quickly winding down and the jockeying for positions continues. There are four teams with Double Games this week: Montreal Impact, Houston Dynamo, Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City. Montreal and Houston both enjoy attractive fixtures at home and each of the teams has something to offer. Montreal appears to have some excellent matchups in the weeks ahead also. I would also suggest there might be an opportunity to catch some team value, heading forward, with the Montreal selections.
Regarding my own team, I had a solid week but failed to move up by not keeping Feilhaber, who went off at home against Dallas. At this point, a big consideration is selecting the right differentials, a difficult task indeed, where the reward/risk ratio is dicey.
Wildcards await in Game Weeks 32 and 33, so keep that in mind as you make your selections.
Evan Bush is the obvious selection looking forward. He is coming off a shutout against New England at home and appears to have a good defense working in front of him. It can be tough recommending Montreal players, however, one game they appear to be MLS Cup contenders, the next how did they get in the playoffs.
Tyler Deric is a player worth considering to save just a bit of cash. Houston enjoys two attractive home fixtures against Sporting Kansas City and Colorado. He will start both.
Laurent Ciman of Montreal is my number one choice at defender. He is one of the best in MLS at accumulating bonus points at defender, but also a bit of a loose cannon accumulating cards and suspensions. Certainly, it's time for him to get his act together and put his team first.
Kevin Ellis has been a solid points producer for Sporting Kansas City and is still reasonably priced at 6.6. He is worth considering along with his teammate, Matt Besler.
Donny Toia, also of Montreal, has emerged as a budget option, still only 5.2. He was a part of the defensive group that shut out the Revolution.
Matt Miazga remains an excellent choice, despite having only a single game this week against Orlando. Typically, Orlando does not play well on the road.
Benny Feilhaber had a monster week with 13 points at home against Dallas. Despite two fairly tough fixtures, away at Houston and at home against Seattle he is almost in the "must have" category this period.
Ignacio Piatti has recovered from injury and delivered a nice shift for 7 points against New England. It would be surprising if he did not go both matches this week.
Sebastian Giovinco will continue to be the key player for Toronto. He enjoys a great match up this week, at home against Chicago who will be coming off a game Wednseday.
Harrison Shipp and Brad Davis would be the midfield differentials this period. Both have Double Game Weeks but the fixtures are not quite as favorable as the options above.
Didier Drogba is the obvious choice. The big question is will he play both matches this week enough to shift things around to get him in your lineup.
Bradley Wright-Phillips has a great match up against the shaky Orlando defense. He remains a solid option.
Krisztian Nemeth or Dom Dwyer are solid options for Sporting KC. Personally, I prefer the teams with a single forward option.
David Accam or Kennedy Igboananike are solid differentials this week for Chicago. Sometimes, a team enjoys a burst of form following a coaching change, which happened at Chicago Sunday.
It seems a bit more difficult to make a move during a double game week situation as everyone seems headed toward the same lineups. The alternative, risky at best, is to try to choose an effective differential. Typically, my strategy has been to squeeze as many of the top players in the lineup as possible. I will have four Montreal players for sure, but which ones will maximize my points, while taking the fewest hits?
I will probably make my final decisions at game time Wednesday, but expect my lineup to look something about like this:
Bush, Ciman, Toia, Miazga, Piatti, Feilhaber, Kljestan, Giovinco, Fagundez (or Amarikwa), Wright-Phillips, Igboananike
I would have to take 2 additional hits (already taking two) to add Drogba and would have to either drop Bush, Ciman or Piatti). I am grappling with the decisions.
I expect to captain a Montreal player, although I am not sure who that might be. My other choice would be Giovinco who continues his MVP campaign.
Anyway, what is your lineup this week? Any other players worth a shout? How about your captain selection?
Best wishes to all!