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Week 10 Major League Soccer Fantasy Picks

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This is the Double Game Week we have all been waiting for, right? Right?

JJ is at home in Colorado, and he's been a huge addition to their squad.
JJ is at home in Colorado, and he's been a huge addition to their squad.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

As the comedian pauses for the laughter, we already know the punchline. These Double Game weeks seem to have more pratfalls than the single game weeks and even appear a bit more difficult than previous years. Coaches are apparently a bit more inclined toward rotation and resting key players (even goalkeepers and defenders), hoping to keep their team fresh through the summer and into the playoffs.

So, what is the solution, what does our crystal ball tell us? Really, there are no easy answers. The first double game week I went all in on Sporting Kansas City and sure enough as early as it was in the season, Coach Vermes rotated the key players. Two weeks ago, he even rotated the goalkeeper, Tim Melia, much to the chagrin of many fantasy managers.

The best formula seems to be to go with goalkeepers (I know what I just said), defenders and designated players. These remain the safest bets. Players who are returning from injury, have replaced an injured player and might be more fresh or sat out some games early, ala Jermaine Jones, also seem less subject to the rotation risk.

We have waited all season for this week, however, and 8 teams have two games. Unfortunately, there are no clear cut favorites among them for the two matches each play:

  • Philadelphia Union, home to LA, away at Montreal (and with an attractive schedule ahead)
  • FC Dallas, home to Portland and home to Seattle (two tough home matches)
  • Vancouver Whitecaps, home to Chicago and away at Toronto (coming off a tough run of matches)
  • Chicago Fire, away at Vancouver and away at New England (at least they are well rested with last week's bye)
  • Portland Timbers, away at Dallas, home to NYCFC (at least their defense appears healthy)
  • Houston Dynamo, away at San Jose, home to Real Salt Lake (coming off of a nice 2-0 victory over SKC)
  • Colorado Rapids, home to SKC and away at Columbus (a surprising leader in the West)
  • Sporting Kansas City, away at Colorado and home to Orlando (fading quickly after a quick start accompanied by rotation)

I also encourage you to especially consider those teams who have a double game week this week and a match in Game Week 13, where only 12 teams play. Those teams are Dallas, Portland, Sporting Kansas City, Houston and Philadelphia.

Let's take a look at this week's selections:

Goalkeepers

As long as you have one of the keepers with 2 matches, you should be relatively safe, however, the least safe is my own team's Tim Melia. If you have him, I would chance it, rather than burning a transfer.

David Ousted has climbed to the top of the goalkeeper points brigade with 56 points. He has gotten a lot of attention this week and actually is the leader among goalkeeper transfers in.

If an inexpensive keeper would help you, consider Zac McMath at 5.1, Matt Lampson at 4.7 (Chicago also has a double next week) Andre Blake at 4.9 or even Portland's Jake Gleeson at 4.5. Any of these guys will be fine, but unless you really need one or have had a white light experience for one, I encourage you to utilize your transfers elsewhere.

Defenders

Cheap defenders still seem to be the choice in these double game weeks and there is no shortage of available options. Jonathan Campbell of Chicago will only set you back 5.3 in salary and also enjoys an easier double next week.

Axel Sjoberg has recovered from a 3 game injury earlier and only costs 5.5. Pablo loves to rotate, but I would not be surprised to see him start both.

Most folks who did their homework early already have Tim Parker at 6.6, and many are adding his back four sidekick Jordan Harvey at 7.2.

Philadelphia has a great schedule approaching and it is worth considering Keegan Rosenberry at 5.6, Joshua Yaro at 6.1 or Fabinho at 6.6.

Many already have Nuno Coelho at 7.9. He has played every minute for Sporting KC and with Matt Besler leaving soon for the Copa he may be rested for a match, leaving the Portuguese defender a slightly risky option.

Midfielders

Jermaine Jones is perhaps the addition of the week at 8.2 and he is even worthy of captain consideration. He has delivered 35 points in his four matches and having sat out the first six weeks of the season might not appear to be a rotational risk.

I also like Diego Valeri for this reason, who recently sat out a match for a suspension. He has enjoyed two 13 point performances already this season.

Mauro Diaz of FC Dallas is rounding into form after recovering from an earlier injury. Dallas have two home matches, but it is always difficult to determine what Oscar might do.

Sacha Kljestan has delivered 34 points in his last three matches for the Red Bulls. If you don't add him this week, I strongly encourage you to have a plan to add his 11.6 salary next week.

In the cheaper midfielder category consider Chris Pontius at 7.2, Michael Azira of Colorado at 5.5, possibly Andrew Wenger at 7.2 or even Lamar Neagle at 7.7.

Forwards

Fanendo Adi is the popular choice to be added in this category given his form and Portland's two matches.

CJ Sapong of Philadelphia is off to a strong start and priced at only 8.2. Philly are coming off a bye and he should escape rotation.

I expect to stick with Maxi Urruti for FC Dallas another week or possibly through week 13 even.

Given the possibility of rotation, I encourage you to consider a defender or midfielder ahead of a third forward.  However, David Villa has an attractive double next week and is in excellent form. I am going to keep him through at least next week and probably onward. He has a nice run of home games through GW 14.

Last week, I had planned upon dropping Fagundez (a good decision) and Piatti (apparently a poor one) to add Jones and Michael Bradley. Mysteriously, I never did it and was thrilled, of course, when Piatti delivered 17 points. Even so, my squad fell 7 spots down to 36 overall. Ordinarily, by this time in previous years, I am fighting to get into the top 1,000 having burned my wild card to do so.

My team from last week: Melia, Parker, Coelho, Ciman, Valeri, Fagundez, Piatti, Feilhaber, Villa, Urruti, Giovinco.

I will drop Fagundez this week for Jones, probably Piatti for Diaz and will either have to drop Ciman (I like Montreal's matchup vs Philadelphia at home) or Coelho (concerned about rotation) for a defender, leaning toward Sjoberg. It's nice to enjoy that third free transfer after my silver cloud lined foul up. And I am considering taking a -4 hit, which would allow me to do a switcheroo with a fourth defender.

I like Valeri and Jones as captain possibilities, although it is always great to have Giovinco. Peter Vermes has indicated concern over his Sporting Kansas City players and there is an extreme risk of rotation, particularly around Feilhaber, Zusi and perhaps even Dwyer.

Who do you like among the Double Game week options that I may have missed? What is your squad looking like?

Best wishes as always,
Charles