Round 9 of MLS Fantasy has officially wrapped. What a weird round honestly. Sporting KC losing to Houston? Piatti gathering 17 points? The re-emergence of Robbie Keane? The whole Kamara and Higuain debacle, which saw both of them make the dream team? Round 9 was definitely a strange one, but now that it's over we have double game week (DGW) 10 to look forward to. Round 10 is a round that has many options, a whopping 8 teams have a DGW so this leaves you with many choices on who to put in your lineup and many are wondering who will bring them the most opportunity for points.
Let me start by saying that I've given up on Sporting KC. I can no longer recommend them for your fantasy team and it's really disappointing. They by far have the most DGWs and they have the players to get you points, but they are going through some sort of identity crisis right now and are severely underperforming. Not only that but they are pretty expensive, with Feilhaber, Zusi, and Dwyer all being $10.0+. Need more reason to dump your SKC players? Well, Peter Vermes is ticked off about his team sucking and he's looking to bench some players likely hoping to ignite something in them, plus Vermes has been a fantasy killer all season when it comes to rotation in DGWs.
I should also mention that if you've already burned your wildcard to be careful on who you're bringing in this week. It's easy to want to go all in on DGW players, especially since rounds 10, 11, and 12 are all DGWs, but of the 12 teams that have a DGW in the next 3 rounds, 6 of them have byes in round 13. This may seem not important, but if you don't have a wildcard to use, this could cause you major headaches (and point deductions) in round 13. If you do have a wildcard to use, I would suggest going all in on these DGWs and using the wildcard for round 13. Don't be afraid to use it folks, according the the fantasy rules, you get 2 wildcards, the first expiring in round 17 and the second one becoming active in round 18. There will also be unlimited transfers in rounds 19 and 33.
Ok enough of all that, let's get into the picks.
Who to bring in:
David Ousted: This Vancouver man is on a DGW and he’ll be facing the Chicago Fire and Toronto FC. I really don't suspect Chicago giving him much grief, at least not like Giovinco might, but I think he’ll be looking to bring in some major points this week. He also leads all goalkeepers in total points so there's that. He's priced at $6.1
Zac MacMath: Look, I know the guy is no Tim Howard but Colorado is shocking everyone right now, and they don't have many goals scored against them. Literally only Montreal has scored more than 1 goal against them in a game, that's not bad at all from a $5.1 goalkeeper on a DGW.
Matt Lampson: This dude started off the season surprising everyone, but in the last couple of weeks he has slid down the chart for total score of goalkeepers. However, keep in mind that Chicago has a DGW this round and next round, 4 games for the price of two, he's definitely one to consider. He's also nice and cheap at $4.7 which might allow you some extra dollars somewhere else.
Who to avoid:
Tim Melia: This hurts me it really does. I had so much faith in him but his defense is just not doing him any favors. Too often he is being left out to dry and now with the threat of Vermes shaking things up, Melia might have some weird makeshift defense in front of him and to me that only screams disaster.
Andre Blake: There is no doubt that this Philly keeper has impressed many, but looking at his matchups, plus the fact that he was called up by Jamaica (thanks @rays1299) by as soon as next week, I have to say it's probably best to leave Andre alone. Facing Galaxy and Montreal will be a difficult task for Philly and I just can't see Andre Blake getting you as many points as the other keepers might.
Jesse Gonzalez: Unfortunately Jesse left the last match with a head/neck injury and even though it was reported that he was allowed to fly home, he still has an MRI to undergo and even if that goes well, I don't suspect he’ll be in much shape to go for 2 games in 4 days. Let's let him rest a bit and leave him out of our squads.
Who to bring in:
Bobby Burling/Axel Sjoberg: With Colorado having a tough defense so far this season, either of these two could fit nicely in your squad for this DGW. Bobby is a bit more expensive at $6.1 than Axel who is $5.6 but both have their own strengths that could add to your team, you can't go wrong with either honestly.
Walker Zimmerman: Dallas has let in far too many goals this season, but most of those have come on the road. In this DGW, Dallas has 2 home games and that's always favorable in any matchup. Walker also likes to get forward for set pieces so look for him to get you some decent points in round 10. He's priced at $6.0
Justen Glad: I have to keep recommending this guy despite RSL not having a DGW. I mentioned in the last fantasy report that he is also one of the guys who doesn't have a bye in week 13, and he has fairly easy competition with Houston this week and a lackluster SKC next week. He should be good for some decent defender points and he's priced nicely at $5.3.
Jonathan Campbell: Since Chicago does have so 4 games in the next 2 rounds, there is a chance Mr. Campbell may get rotated, so that is why he is an honorable mention. The kid has impressed this season so far and if Chicago hadn't had so many byes so far, he would have definitely been in my team. You can get him for $5.3.
Who to avoid:
David Horst: He may have helped his team to a victory over SKC or he may have had to just sit back and watch SKC’s shots fly everywhere but the goal, I'm choosing the latter. He is a big guy who can get up for set pieces but the Dynamo backline have been so bad, I recommend looking elsewhere for a DGW defender.
Nat Borchers: Nat has looked better with the arrival of Liam Ridgewell, but he still hasn't looked all that good. Maybe it's his old age catching up to him or it's just not his season, but Portland has let in 18 goals when he is in the lineup so it's probably best to avoid good ol Nat.
Who to bring in:
Mauro Diaz: The FC Dallas man has a DGW which features two games at home. I'm not sure what more you can ask for with a $10.6 midfielder who averages 7.4 points per game. Pick him up.
Jermaine Jones: JJ is also on a DGW and since his debut with the Colorado Rapids he has averaged a very nice 8.8 points per game. He is slowly and steadily racking up consistent points and I think you'd be a fool to not go for him this round. He is also priced at $8.2 so he really shouldn't have a problem fitting in your squad.
Sacha Kljestan: While not on a DGW until round 11, Sacha is still a good option. In his last 3 games he has racked up double digit points and he will probably look to do that again against DC United this weekend. He's expensive at $11.6 but he might just be worth it. Oh, and he's also second in total score for midfielders behind only Piatti.
Diego Valeri: This is a pretty simple recommendation, Valeri’s point totals should speak for himself and then take into account that he's on a DGW, he should be a no brainer. He has a price of $10.5.
Who to avoid:
Benny Feilhaber: Benny has been lackluster to say the least and I suspect that Peter Vermes will likely bench him during this DGW, take his money and use it elsewhere.
Fabian Castillo: This might be surprising since he is on two home games, but for some reason he didn't even start the last game. Even if he does start, he rarely goes a full 90 so I personally would consider some other midfielders first.
Pedro Morales: Porales started off the season pretty well but since he's returned from injury he hasn't been overly impressive. You can get more bang for your buck somewhere else.
Who to bring in:
Fanendo Adi: Adi has had a great season so far which has seen him both score and assist on a regular basis. Having Valeri and Nagbe behind him will certainly allow this man to get in scoring positions. You can have him for a $10.3 price tag.
Maxi Urruti: I'm hoping that Maxi can bring in some decent points with two home games, one of which against his former team the Portland Timbers. Look for him to be active and with a decent price of $8.5, he can clear some cap space for some more expensive players.
Gashi: As vampire-ish as he looks, he still might be a good choice for this DGW. According to fantasy research, his expected points next round (EPNR) is the highest of any other forward at 15 pts. Whether or not that turns out to be true, I felt it still needed mentioning.. You can get Gashi for $9.1
Who to avoid:
Dom Dwyer: If he can't score against Houston’s defense then he must be going through a serious slump. With Diego Rubio on standby, you should look away before you fall into the SKC DGW trap.
Mike Magee: You most likely weren't looking at this player anyway since he isn't on a DGW, but with Robbie Keane back in the mix, I have a feeling Magee is going to see more of the bench than he has since the start of the season. Avoid!
CJ Sapong: I know a lot of people are looking to bring him in for his DGW but I won't be. I don't like his match ups of LA Galaxy and Montreal Impact, and despite doing well this season so far, I just think those defenses will keep him quiet.
Now onto the Twitter questions
Taking a -4 in a DGW will most likely not hurt you as long as the player you choose plays. Villa has been good lately so if you feel ok dropping him for a DGW player I say go for it. You can always bring him back at a later round if you need to.
Forget the rule, drop them like its hot. Even if they don't get rotated they've been so bad it's not worth keeping them.
Taking a -4 in a DGW really isn't a big deal to me. You get 2 chances to make up 4 points and unless the player you bring in doesn't play or goes off with a red, you will likely get your points back plus some. Doing it in a single game week may not be as smart, so to me it's only worth it in a DGW unless you have a player injured in a SGW and need to replace them.
“Always captain Giovinco” is a rule everyone talks about but it is probably the most broken rule as well. The only 2 people this week that I would consider captaining over Gio are Jermaine Jones and Mauro Diaz. I do think JJ will play 180 and if he doesn't, it will be close. I say go for it.
If you haven't WC’d yet, I would suggest waiting til round 13 with all the byes. To me that makes the most logical sense, go all in until then and then have a fresh slate when all your players are on byes.
Most of the high producing guys are pretty expensive so many managers have to find the extra cash somewhere. For example, I have yet to start Worra but he's currently $3.9 which allows me extra cash somewhere else. The big thing is that you don't want to invest money on players who will sit on your bench and not get you points. You wouldn't buy Giovinco and bench him you know? My advice is to keep someone who is cheap but still plays consistently so that you have an autosub available to get your points. Steres is a great option.
Zusi needs to go. Between rotation and them just being bad, his cash should be used elsewhere. However, I'm not sure Tommy McNamara is the guy for the job this week. I might recommend someone like Barrios or a different cheap DGW midfielder, and then swap for Tommy next week. If you don't feel like but in an extra transfer next week then pick him up, but I would take the risk.