Wednesday at 7 p.m. EDT is our deadline this week and the first idea that might be worth considering is waiting until the lineups are announced in Montreal before making your transfers. Tough to wait, I know. Major League Soccer fantasy is always interesting with the lack of effective injury reporting. Those of us who had Kaka in our lineup last week paid the price. And this week we are headed into a Double Game Week with the following teams enjoying a second fixture:
New York City FC
Sporting Kansas City
New England Revolution
At first glance, it would appear that NYCFC, with the two home fixtures and Vancouver at home against Kansas City and away at New York have the most favorable schedule, but there are no clear cut favorites and a case could be made for each team, both for and against.
Beware the risk of rotation! Goalkeepers, of course, are the least at risk, followed by defenders and designated players. The first double game week of the season, those of us who had Feilhaber, Zusi and Dwyer were disappointed as they were rotated by Peter Vermes. We will see if that is a pattern this week. And, assuredly, it is a possibility for each team, so be forewarned.
Anyway, let's take a look at the selections.
My choice here would be David Ousted. Vancouver has two fixtures that are potential shutouts. Traveling cross continent to Vancouver can be a challenge.
A couple of weeks back, I added Tim Melia and unfortunately, Sporting Kansas City has struggled since then. However, that could turn around this week.
Bobby Shuttleworth leads the Major League Soccer goalkeepers with 45 points, closely followed by the two above at 44.
Many of us added Montreal's Laurent Ciman last week against Toronto. The guy is a bonus points machine, delivering a minimum of four points in each of his games with four of his 7 matches getting 6-10. It has been reported that both Hassoun Camara and Donny Toia will miss the first match, at least, due to injury, so Ciman may be asked to do a little more heavy lifting.
Nearly everyone has Tim Parker on their roster, who came through for 8 points last week in Vancouver's shutout. If you fancy a second Whitecaps defender consider Jordan Harvey at 7.2 or Frazier Aird at 6.5. Vancouver has a great schedule through their bye week in GW 13.
Nuno Coelho has been the leading scorer among defenders in the young season and is still moderately priced at 7.9. So far, he has played 90 minutes in each match. Depending upon how one looks at this, it could be good or bad.
LA's Daniel Steres and Chicago's Jonathan Campbell are still attractive bargain options at 5.2 and 5.1 respectively. I particularly like Campbell this week in his single game, hosting DC United.
Ignacio Piatti is probably the safest choice of all this week. He leads all midfielders with 58 points. He might also be worthy of captain consideration.
Diego Fagundez would be my choice among the New England players, although he has had a couple of matches where he only played 60 minutes. I may add him to create some cap room for Giovinco.
Benny Feilhaber missed a couple of early matches for Kansas City and I am hoping this might make him less subject to rotation. We will see. In the earlier double game week for SKC, the marquee players sat in the first match and were brought in late.
If you are looking for a differential in the midfield, consider Tommy McNamara at 7.2 or Mix Diskerud at 8.1 for NYC. Folks have also been adding Lamar Neagle, who plays at Chicago for DC United, and appears to be on penalty duty.
David Villa with the two home matches at Yankee Stadium is probably the most sensible forward add and will be the captain for many.
Fanendo Adi is a cheaper priced option at 10.2, although faces cross country travel to New England and then back to Portland. It would be a shock, were he not to start both matches.
I felt like a genius when I dropped Sebastian Giovinco 2 weeks ago in the middle of his season opening 7 match road streak and DC United shut out Toronto. Lightning, of course, struck last week in Montreal and he delivered 2 goals and 14 points. He will be facing a struggling and banged up Portland defense returning from their cross country flight and a tough, physical match against New England. Toronto has done well in the difficult part of the schedule and it is getting ready to get substantially easier. You may wish to add Giovinco now, if he is not on your roster.
A solid case could be made for Dom Dwyer, although I don't trust the rotation possibility for Sporting KC given their earlier history.
Like many of us last week, and every week for that matter, was a roller coaster ride for me. I had decided to keep Valeri, which did not allow me a bench player, so when it was announced that Kaka was out and would not play, my head wanted to explode. I even had Kaka as my captain. Fortunately, the manual sub option allowed me to switch the armband to Cyle Larin who got me 18 captain points and I actually moved up 6 spots to 29th overall.
The double game fixtures, although quite alluring, can be a trap. We all consider adding players ahead of these weeks, with the thought in the back of our minds that there are two games in one week approaching. Then either through rotation or sometimes injury or cards (Valeri), our hopes are dashed.
My current team:
Melia, Parker, Coelho, Ciman, Piatti, Kaka(Valeri), Feilhaber, Urruti, Villa, Larin.
Plan A is to drop Kaka and Larin and add Fagundez and Giovinco.
Plan B would be to drop Melia, filler defender Guillen and Kaka for Ousted, Aird and Fagundez.
I am not happy with adding Fagundez, but this chancy option appears superior to the slippery slope of taking hits. lol
Anyway, tell us about your squad and your thinking. Is there anyone other than Piatti or Villa worth considering as a captain? Surely, there must be some differentials that I missed.
Best wishes to all,