Round 7 of MLS Fantasy is upon us and many managers are looking forward to a fresh round as round 6 was filled with surprises, disappointments, and frustrations. From Diego Valeri’s red card, to Peter Vermes’ rotation tactics, to the God awful MLS Injury reporting, many managers were stuck either scratching their head in confusion, or ripping their hair out in absolute anger. Hopefully, this single game week will allow some managers to make some easier decisions, but then again with double game weeks (DGWs) on the horizon, is it maybe best to plan ahead?
In a word, yes. I’d like to consider round 7 a stepping-stone to the future DGWs of MLS Fantasy. Many people will argue that going all in on DGWs is silly and only for those who need to play catch up. While that may be true to an extent, I also believe that 2 is better than 1, so why not take advantage of getting double points? Of course not every player is going to get massive amounts of points, even if they do play 2 games, but are you willing to take the risk if they rack up a ton of points and you didn’t have them in your team?
If you have not used your wild card yet, this would be a prime opportunity to use it. You can get your team set up for the long haul especially with upcoming DGWs in rounds 8, 10, 11, and 12. If you have used your wild card already, and are at a loss for what to do, my advice is do what puts you in the best situation. Perhaps only make one transfer this week and use the extra transfer next week? With the way injuries and suspensions have been pouring down on MLS, its nice to always be prepared. You could also take the more risky route of taking a points loss this week to allow yourself an advantage next week. Taking a minus 4, 8, or even 12 will likely hurt you in Round 7, but it could do you massive favors in the next couple of rounds. The choice is yours, and it depends on where you are in the ranks. If you’re sitting pretty right now, I wouldn’t suggest anything that might allow others to close the gap on you. If you’re playing catch up, well there really isn’t much left to lose, but there is a lot to gain.
With all the suspensions, injuries, and DGWs coming up, who should we be looking at and whom should we be avoiding?
Who to bring in:
Tim Melia: Has DGWs in rounds 8 and 10. He has Besler, Coelho, and the occasional Opara in front of him, and is tied for the most shutouts this season. Not to mention he’s got a penalty save under his belt and at $5.7, he’s not bad financially.
Bobby Shuttleworth: Not only does Bobby lead the goalkeepers in total score (tied with Melia) but he also has a DGW in round 8. I prefer Melia, but if you aren’t digging SKC right now, Shuttleworth is not a bad option at all. He’s priced at $5.8
Zac MacMath: If you’re looking for someone cheap who is going to get the job done MacMath is your guy. Colorado is being stingy with goals this season, and now with Jermaine Jones back, I expect more possession from the Rapids. He has a DGW in round 10, and might get you some decent points and maybe even cleansheets going forward. He’s priced at $5.1.
Who to stay away from:
Luis Robles: Has conceded the most goals in the league (15) and has a makeshift (horrible) defense in front of him. I don’t care if he has DGWs or easy competition, just stay away from him, and forget he exists.
Joe Willis: He might look enticing because of his $4.6 price, but he has conceded the second most goals with 13 this season. Houston defense has looked awful recently and with all the other goalkeepers available, its probably best if you look elsewhere.
Adam Kwarasay: Besides having a bye week, he has also managed to jack up a finger and will be out at least 4 weeks. I wouldn’t recommend him regardless because the Portland defense is not doing him any favors. Ignore him.
Who to bring in:
Chris Tierney: He has a DGW coming up in week 8, he can get you both offensive and defensive bonus points, and he has the ability to play the perfect ball. He takes set pieces and sends in the most crosses of any other defender and might just be the best outside back in MLS depending on whom you ask. The only downside is his price at $8.1 which is a lot for a defender in my opinion.
Saad Abdul-Salaam: With Chance Myers out with injury, SAS should be seeing some solid playing time for the next couple of weeks. He’s a big boy so he’s a threat on set pieces, and with his limited minutes so far this season, he already has 2 assists, not to mention SKC has 2 DGWs coming up. He’s priced at $6.0.
Zach Loyd/Walker Zimmerman: With news of Matt Hedges’ injury, these two are likely cemented as starters for the time being. Loyd is priced at $7.6 and Zimmerman is at $6.0. Not only do they have a DGW in round 10, but they also have a pretty good team, so these two might be able to rack up the points for you.
Daniel Steres: If you don’t have him yet then you’re just being silly. Even if you don’t start him, he’s a solid bench guy with a price of $5.2 in case one of your starters screws you over. He is a must have in my opinion.
Who to stay away from:
NYRB’s entire defense: This is self-explanatory; the best advice I can give you is to stay as far away from them as you can.
Portland’s entire defense: they have been a mess all season. From random injuries, to own goals, to just being easy to beat defensively, it’s best you just avoid these guys, especially with their bye week this week.
Houston’s entire defense: They aren’t that cheap and they’ve been conceding far too many goals. The only upside is that David Horst is a rather large threat on set pieces, but aside from that, you should probably steer clear.
Matt Hedges: As I mentioned earlier, he is injured and won’t be back for a while. He was expensive anyway at $9.0 so use that cash somewhere else.
Who to bring in:
Benny Feilhaber: Has two DGW’s coming up, and with his ability to both assist and score, he’s definitely a good pickup. He’s currently priced at $10.9.
Michael Barrios: He seems a bit underrated to me, and is a guy for the long haul. Not only does he have a DGW in week 10, he’s also been scoring rather consistently recently. He takes corners and the occasional set piece and has been a huge piece to the Dallas offense with Diaz out. He’s also got a nice price of $8.1.
Ignacio Piatti: He is the highest scoring midfielder right now, and even if he doesn’t score or assist, he will likely still get you a decent amount of bonus points. I’m assuming most of you have him already, but if not, I suggest you get on it and fast, he has a DGW in round 8. He’s currently priced at $10.6.
Andreas Ivanschitz: While the Sounders haven’t looked overly confident so far this season, Ivanschitz is still a good guy to look at. He has 3 assists so far and has the ability to get in scoring positions. He takes most corners and set pieces so he’s not a bad option in the midfield. I wouldn’t suggest going here unless you have to though, there are better options. However if budget is tight, he’s priced at $7.8, which is a pretty nice deal.
Who to avoid:
Diego Valeri: At least for the time being. With a bye week this week, and then a red card suspension that messes up the first game of his DGW, it makes it hard to want to keep him around. If you feel confident in having him only play 1 of 2 games in a DGW, then keep him, but if you think someone else might get you more points in 2 games, use his cash ($10.3) for now and grab him back later.
Sasha Kljeistan: If you’ve had him in your lineup this season you are probably a very angry fantasy manager. He’s not worth his price and has been extremely disappointing.
Marco Pappa: He’s injured and is going to miss the next couple of games, look elsewhere friends.
Who to bring in:
Maxi Urruti: He gets in good positions to score and assist, and he even gets back on defense. With the team around him, I expect him to continue being successful. He’s the third highest scoring forward right now behind Plata and Wondolowski, and he’s a good deal cheaper than them at $8.8.
Dom Dwyer: Many people argue that he isn’t consistent, and while that may be true to an extent, you just can’t ignore his DGWs. You never know when he might go off on a team not to mention he has Zusi and Feilhaber feeding him balls all game. With Diego Rubio emerging as a legitimate option for Vermes, Dwyer might see some of his minutes shrink, but he proved last week that he can come off the bench and get you some decent points. He’s priced at $10.2.
David Villa: The only reason I’m including Villa is for his DGWs. If you aren’t feeling the other options, you can always spend way too much buck with this choice. He’s remarkably high at $11.3.
Sebastian Giovinco: Speaking of remarkably high prices, Giovinco is the highest at $12.0, however the difference between him and David Villa is that Gio’s ceiling is just so much higher. Even in a single game week, Giovinco could get you more points than a DGWer. He’s worth the price.
Who to stay away from:
Kei Kamara: He does have a good matchup against Houston this week, but for a guy at his price point, he has been extremely disappointing, so I don’t expect much from him.
Chris Wondolowski: You all might think I’m actually crazy for telling you to stay away from Wondo, but he doesn’t have any DGWs in the immediate future. If you don’t care about his lack of DGWs then keep him, but be aware there are better options, and I’m convinced his good fortune will run out soon.
Clint Dempsey: Clint has played 90 minutes every game and has been utterly disappointing. I was shocked to see that he has a 7.6 % owner selection because not only has he been lacking in points, he’s also very expensive at $10.8. There are better and cheaper guys you can go with.
Joao Plata: He was originally in the ‘bring in’ category, but then news broke on Wednesday that he left training holding his quad. On Thursday it was announced that it was a strained hip flexor and he’ll be out 7-10 days. Drop him.
Now, on to everybody's questions from Twitter!
I would captain Giovinco over Wondo. While Wondolowski has been racking up the points lately, Giovinco just has so many more opportunities. With his ability to take players on 1v1, his amazing free kicks on goal, and his speed to get in behind, he just has more chances to rack up the points than Wondo does.
I started this fantasy season with Gio on my team and eventually dropped him to pick up some DGWers. But at a 66.5% ownership selection, he’s the most owned player for obvious reasons. I think teams can use him, but they don’t necessarily need him. With Giovinco, you either start him or you don’t own him. I can’t think of a single reason to ever have a $12.0 forward sitting on your bench.
The most points Alexander has gotten in a single game this season is 7 points, the rest have been filled with 2’s and 3’s, so if you’re prepared for that and think that’s you’re best option, then go for it. The only thing he really has going for him is that he has a DGW in round 8. However, a guy like Azira from Colorado might leave you a little extra in the bank and get you more bang for your buck.
The most undervalued defender is easily Daniel Steres. He’s cheap at $5.2, and he’s been consistently starting and holding the backline down. He’s also a threat on set pieces and he averages around 5.3 points per game. You can’t ignore him at his price point.
Harry Shipp might be worth hanging onto at least until his DGW in round 8, however there are better options at his price point. Barrios is probably the best option, Ivanschitz, Lletget, and Neagle would also be better choices than Harry Shipp in my opinion.
That's it for this round! If this still isn't enough for you, why not drop a question in the comments section below, and I'll try and get to it before the deadline.