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Week 7 MLS Player Picks: Part Two

Cancelling two DGWs has reopened many fantasy options, as nearly all players face a solitary 90 minutes in week seven.

Carlos Vela - Los Angeles FC - MLS
Carlos Vela signs an autograph following a match with DC United.
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Part two of this week’s player picks was supposed to be a quick rundown of some players who could make an impact with only 90 minutes at their disposal. With three of the four teams making strong arguments for inclusion into most squads, a handful of single-game participants would be required to round out the starters, for those avoiding the fantasy trap in Colorado. With mother nature forcing a postponement of the Rapids versus Sounders match, the field once again opens to single game performers. Before we get into that, there is some housekeeping to update the strategy talking points and clean up from Tuesday’s discussion.

As far as player selection goes, Colorado Rapids no longer warrant any consideration. One or two players from the Mile High City may have been prudent selections hoping for a longshot payoff over two games. For Seattle, nearly all managers were setup to max out on Sounders players. Now that the schedule has been reduced to one game, and the better of the two matchups removed, Nicolas Lodeiro (MID, $12.0m) may be the only playable Sounder this week. He stays in the armband conversation, but he is not the top option any longer.

With those strategy tidbits taken care of, we can look at the best single game options for week seven. Hopefully you were able to maximize the DC United and Montreal Impact players ahead of their scoreless draw. Most managers should have somewhere between 9 and 11 spots left to fill, so these are the best picks for week seven.

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Goalkeepers

The hope is that all, if not most, of you reading this were fortunate to have Evan Bush or Bill Hamid selected for their match on Tuesday night. If you went another direction, there are still a few solid options to cut into the points that ~16% of fantasy managers grabbed. Leading the pack has to be Tyler Miller (Los Angeles FC, $6.5m) against the newbies from Cincinnati. The Portland offense has been abysmal in the early parts of the season, make Jesse Gonzalez (Dallas, $6.0m) a fine, slightly cheaper, goalkeeping option at the friendly confines of Toyota Stadium. At that same price, Brad Guzan (Atlanta, $6.0m) makes a strong case taking on a similarly tepid offense in New England.

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Defenders

This space has been used to advocate for the cheapest options available, often in line with the goalkeepers in the section above. This week, I did advocate for spending up as the DGW options required doing so. If you have managed to capture three clean sheets from Tuesday’s game, stand pat and push your money to the midfield and forward positions. For those looking elsewhere, teaming up with the selections from the players above is a good route to take.

Atlanta have discount options all over the pitch. Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez ($6.5m) provides the best attacking threat to pair with the defensive points, but his cheaper line mates will do just fine. Michael Robinson ($6.0m) and Michael Parkhurst ($5.9m) search for a clean sheet against New England.

Dallas offers plenty of defensive cover with Reto Ziegler ($7.5m), who also serves as the team’s primary penalty taker. Ryan Hollingshead ($7.0m) carries a higher weekly scoring average than value play Reggie Cannon ($5.7m), but both are worthy at home to Portland.

Elsewhere, Jordan Harvey (Los Angeles FC, $5.9m) makes strong case for selection at his price. Be aware, the bonus points have not been there for Harvey this season, so it is make or break when it comes to the clean sheet points.

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Midfielders

Albert Rusnak (Real Salt Lake, $10.4m) may be the best premium priced player after Nicolas Lodeiro, with Luciano Acosta and Saphir Taider off the board. RSL will be taking on the woeful Orlando defense at Rio Tinto Stadium. With no real forward contribution, the attacking and scoring impetus will have to come from somewhere further back.

Real Salt Lake’s opponent, Orlando, brings the sixth highest scoring midfielder, Nani (Orlando, $9.3m), with them in this match-up. Having opened his scoring account against Colorado last week, his hot form could continue against a leaky Salt Lake defense.

A penalty miss kept Marco Fabian (Philadelphia, $8.6m) from having a fantastic week six. He is the do-everything man for the Union in the attack, and the LA Galaxy defense is one that can still be exploited, even though they have managed to tighten up over the past few games.

Preseason darling Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas, $8.2m) is coming off his worst start of the season. With the Timbers coming to town, do not expect that slump to carry on past the weekend. Having only two goals and an assist to his name, Pomykal has been a bonus point machine in the early going.

When it comes to purple patches, no player in MLS can rival the run of Memo Rodriguez (Houston, $6.1m). He does not offer too much scoring beyond his goals, but when you consider his price and opponent, he is well worth the gamble.

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Forwards

With the realigned schedule, everything points back to Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC, $13.3m). Squeezing him into the lineup that has locked six players to this point can be difficult, but the new favorite single-game captain may be the best player in the league at this time. His 12-ppg average can only be bested by one other forward, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Los Angeles Galaxy, $12.2m).

And, do not forget about Josef Martinez (Atlanta, $9.7m). He could turn out to be the best value in the entire game going up against New England this weekend.

Jumping down a price tier gives manager Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo, $9.7m) and Dom Dwyer (Orlando City SC, $9.6m). Things could get very ugly for San Jose against Houston. If any player is poised to take advantage of the San Jose defensive scheme, it will be the pacy and powerful Elis. Dom Dwyer has scored or assisted in all but one game for Orlando this season. Having not registered last week, RSL offers a match-up that will allow Dwyer to bounce back.

Fantasy managers always like the chance to cash in on the early game action. I think it is important to be conscious of the weather, but the Chicago Fire attackers could pay off at a fairly friendly price point, Friday night. C.J. Sapong (Chicago, $8.7m) is on a run of three goals in five games, and strike partner Nemanja Nikolic (Chicago Fire, $7.7m) pocketed his first goal last week. If the weather is playable, the Fire have been creating plenty of goal scoring chances. Finishing has been the missing link thus far.

In the bargain bin, Danny Hoesen (San Jose, $6.2m) and Jesus Ferreira (Dallas, $5.1m) have been the two most attractive names. Danny Hoesen received his first start last week and came away with a goal. Wondo-watch has been fun, but Hoesen is the far better player. San Jose will need him to lead the line if they are to get back into the discussion of relevance in MLS. Jesus Ferreira, on the other hand, has started three consecutive games, rewarding his manager with a goal and two assists over that time.

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With all managers recalculating after Seattle’s DGW was scrapped, week seven presents an adaptive exercise player selection. With good portions of managers’ budgets and bench spots taken, the captain selection and the ability to find value will be necessary to fit the few remaining standout premium players with ideal matchups.

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How much money do you have to spend in week seven? What premium players are you looking at to replace your DGW choices? To accommodate those selections, what value picks catch your eye? Let us know in the comments below!

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