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Week 7 MLS Player Picks: Part One

With the first double game-week finally here, navigating the player selection pool becomes pivotal for the early week action.

Kelvin Leerdam - Seattle Sounders FC - MLS
Kelvin Leerdam crosses the ball versus the Colorado Rapids.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The first double game-week (DGW) is here! In spite of the fact that Major League Soccer now has an even number of teams, the wacky schedule tactics continue in 2019. While these occasions are revered as momentous occasions in the official FPL game, MLS asks managers to navigate these waters nearly every week. GW-7 is fortunate enough to present itself with a pretty clear path through the early game action.

This is the point when I point out that the most significant rule change for DGWs is that fantasy managers can only select three players per MLS team. While that is fairly standard in most fantasy soccer games, MLS Fantasy Manager has allowed managers to carry four players per team in the past. Keeping that in mind, here is a rundown of the fantasy goodness for the DGW participants in week seven:

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DC United (vs Montreal; at Colorado)

DC United will have the best combination of any DGW opponents this week. The major wrench will be that Wayne Rooney (FWD, $11.5m) will be unavailable, due to a red card suspension earned last week. Because of the matchups, and the absence of Rooney, the best play for the United squad may be Luciano Acosta (MID, 10.5m) and a couple of defensive options. ‘Lucho’ should be firmly cemented as the number two option in the captain rankings for week seven. Steve Birnbaum (DEF, $8.5m) and Bill Hamid (GK, $8.2m) rank just behind Wayne Rooney in fantasy scoring this season. And, Federic Brillant is an acceptable choice as his price may better suit some budgets.

On the periphery for United are other midfielders of note. Early season standout Junior Moreno (MID, $8.2m) presents an alternative option for managers who would like to not stack in the DC defense. The other recommendation is Paul Arriola (MID, $8.8m). Both players have made important contributions in attack this season. And, in the absence of Wayne Rooney, they will need a player to step up in the attacking third to nab all three points, especially at home in the first game.

Montreal Impact (at DC United; vs Columbus)

Believe it or not, Montreal’s Evan Bush (GK, $5.6m) may be the favorite goalkeeping option this week. Due to his price and schedule, Bush still allows managers to play a keeperoo, should they not want to pay a premium price for the likes of Hamid or Frei this week.

The same can be said for the defensive line. While none have managed to stand out, Victor Cabrera (DEF, $6.1) has been a bonus point monster in the past. Zakaria Diallo (DEF, $6.2) makes a nice center back option if bonus points are more your style. Again, plugging these players on your bench as switcheroo options could pay dividends with a single good performance.

And finally, you cannot talk Montreal without Ignacio Piatti (MID, 11.5m) and Saphir Taider (MID, $11.6m). I like picking only one of these players if both play, making it a bit harder to envision selecting one this week. With Piatti still struggling with injury, his chances of playing significant time in both matches are slim. Because the two seem to have a symbiotic relationship, it is hard to suggest either one given the circumstances.

Colorado Rapids (vs Seattle; vs DC United)

Colorado’s defense has been miserable this season. Their highest scoring defender, Keegan Rosenberry (DEF, 4.3m) is averaging two points per game to start 2019. Despite acquiring new talent, the Rapids continue lack defensive fantasy contributors. Do not fall into this bargain trap.

With all the forward absences, Kei Kamara (FWD, $9.0m) becomes a viable play. Otherwise, the ageless Benny Feilhaber (MID, $7.4m), Nicolas Mezquida (MID, $7.1m), and Kellyn Acosta (MID, $5.7m), have all had viable fantasy performances this season. Any of the lot could be placed on the bench in hopes that he may make a suitable contribution. Be sure to tread lightly however, as the matchups could not be less appealing for attacking players.

Seattle Sounders (at Colorado, vs Toronto)

Finally, the crown jewel of this DGW, as most game-weeks. The Seattle squad is humming right now. If there is a complaint, the performance at the weekend required a bit more clinical play in the final third, which saw them squeak by with a single goal against Salt Lake. For fantasy purposes, any Seattle player is in play this week, barring Gustav Svenson (MID, $7.3m) and Christian Roldan (MID, $9.3m) as they just do not do enough for fantasy managers consistently.

For the remainder of the lineup, Nico Lodeiro (MID, $12.0m) is an absolute must, and the top captain option for the week. Jordan Morris (FWD, $8.7m) continues to be the favorite forward option, despite not scoring in his past two matches. Victor Rodriguez (MID, $9.5m) makes a perfectly reasonable third for managers looking to capitalize on GW-7’s most dangerous attacking side.

In defense, any of the four starters will do. Typically, the center backs are slightly more appealing as they consume less budget, Chad Marshall (DEF, $7.9m) and Kim Kee-Hee (DEF, $7.0m). However, this week should be capitalized on by selecting one of the two fullbacks, Kelvin Leerdam (DEF, $7.5m) and Brad Smith (DEF, $7.3m). And, do not forget about Stefan Frei (GK, $8.0m). He is always a worthy fantasy option, but the attacking talent around him will likely see him squeezed out of your lineup.

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Thanks to some handy scheduling, managers get a slight reprieve as the switcheroo remains in play for nearly every player in week seven. Most managers should max out on DC United and Seattle Sounders players, their remaining players becoming the key to driving up point totals. In recent years, I have been one to be more conservative with peripheral players, surmising that fantasy studs from single game participants are able to produce equal to mediocre DGW players that managers feel pressured to include. But, that is for part two. Until then, happy tinkering.

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What double game-week players are your foundation to build on? Who among the lesser names are you looking to capitalize on for week seven? And, what are you doing with the Montreal stars, who could be overlooked selections this week? Please let us know in the comments below!

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