Round 12 is all done and dusted and boy was it filled with some interesting scenarios. Let's start with 2 assists from Sacha Kljestan and a first half hat trick from Mr. Bradley Wright-Phillips. While I didn't see that coming, I did have both of them in my lineup with Sacha as my captain so, I feel pretty good about that. Also big news out of that game was Sebastian Giovinco leaving early with an injury, leaving his owners with 1 stinky point.
Let's not forget about the Crew vs RSL game, who saw Ola Kamara walking away with a hat trick in that one? Not me that's for sure. There were lots of draws but perhaps the most exciting one belonged to Orlando and NYCFC. It looked like OCSC were heading home empty handed but thanks to a bizarre penalty kick by David Villa and some last minute heroics by Kevin Molino, it made for a very entertaining draw. Also, I did warn you all that there was no way Kaka would go 180 minutes but even I didn't predict it would be because of a last minute call up to the Brazil National Team. I feel for the managers who brought him in and captained him.
It's too bad that this Round 13 bye week is now upon us, with so many teams in good form, most of them will have to chill out for 2 weeks. The most concerning, at least for me, is the loss of the RBNY players from my lineup. I hope they comeback in Round 14 in the same form they left Round 12 with.
So now that the dreaded bye week is here, let's address who is actually on the bye week. Do not under any circumstance pick up players from Chicago, Colorado, Montreal, New England, RBNY, Orlando, Toronto and Vancouver. Now, if you have players from one of those 8 teams in your lineup right now, the biggest question is keep or sell.
Last week I suggested keeping Giovinco but now I take back everything I said. His injury changes everything and his price tag is too much to keep on the bench indefinitely. I am considering benching Kljestan and BWP until round 14, but I also only have 4 players on a bye week in my lineup. My other 2 bye week players are where I'd use my transfers. If you have several bye week players on your team, you may be looking at taking -4s for non bye week players or just taking zeros. I personally suggest taking the -4 because you never know when a player might go off and rack up major points. It's a risk but if you choose the player carefully it could pay off in a big way.
The wildcard scenario, if you haven't WC'd yet, you may be tempted to use it now, especially if you have too many bye week players. While it is a good option for not having to take a bunch of -4s or zeros, also consider using it after this round when all the players are available again. It will likely have a bigger impact in the next round to prepare for the Round 15 double game week (DGW).
Let's get into the picks! In this fantasy report I'm not going to put in ‘who to avoid’ picks since choices are already slim picking with all the bye week, international, and injured players.
Who to bring in:
Nick Rimando: He's a little expensive for my taste ($6.2) but he's not on the bye week and he has a DGW in round 15. He's also Nick Rimando and makes incredible saves so he's definitely one to consider.
Josh Saunders: I’ll be honest, I think he's trash but his price of $4.9 along with all his home games with a sprinkle of a DGW in round 16 actually make Saunders a decent choice.
Brian Rowe: Assuming he doesn't get benched after letting Didier Drogba’s free kick go through his fingers he would also be a good choice at $4.6. Same as the other two, not on a bye and has a DGW coming up.
Who to bring in:
Taylor Kemp: He's not cheap for a defender at $8.0, but he's not on a bye and he's taking on a lackluster Seattle Sounders team. Don't rule him out.
Keegan Rosenberry: The youngster just keeps on impressing and despite not racking up a lot of points this past week, he's still a really good option to consider. Philly has looked really good and Keegan has looked even better. You can pick him up for $5.9
R.J. Allen: Honestly, this guy is a bargain at $5.2. He's proven that he's a good defender and an attacking threat. Last week against Orlando he picked up 9 points, despite having 2 goals scored against his defense.
Who to bring in:
Mauro Diaz: Diaz is a nice option this week because not only does he take most set pieces and penalties, but he's also facing Houston at home, and as sketchy as FC Dallas have looked on the road, they always manage to look great at home. He's available for $10.9.
Diego Valeri: This bonus point machine is playing at home against the Earthquakes and regardless of if his team wins or loses, he’ll still get you a solid amount of points. You can get Valeri for $10.8.
Marcelo Sarvas: Things have been up and down for Marcelo this season but he's always hustling and always trying to find his way to goal. He averages close to 5 points a game which isn't spectacular but it is solid, and sometimes that's all you need. For $7.1, he's all yours.
Who to bring in:
Joao Plata: This RSL striker has been good so far this season and despite missing a penalty in the last round, he's been a dang good fantasy point contributor. With a DGW on the horizon, he could be a nice cheap pick up at $9.5.
Mike Magee ($7.3)/ Giovanni dos Santos ($11.4): With the other forwards either injured or off with their national team, these two Galaxy guys will likely be running the show. The big debate right now is which one to pick up, each has their pros and cons but the biggest difference is their price. If you can't afford GDS then go for Magee, if you have extra cash, look to GDS. You can't go wrong with either in my opinion.
David Villa: I might still be giggling about his mess of a penalty but try not to forget his nice chip over Joe Bendik against OCSC. With NYCFC’s home fixtures as well as the upcoming DGW, don't forget about this Spaniard. He's priced at $11.7.
Time for Twitter questions!
With only 4 players playing, you might want to consider a -8 or at least a -4, regardless, two players who should be good for some points are for sure Diego Valeri and Mauro Diaz. Valeri can have the worst game ever and still get you solid points and Diaz is playing at home vs a coachless Houston Dynamo. I feel like those two would be your best options.
Honestly, a lot of the high point producing players are on byes but some that aren't would be Valeri, Diaz, one of the Galaxy forwards, but whatever you do, make sure you have a plan to get in some of the Red Bulls by week 14, Klejstan and BWP. Gotta have at least one of em as they've been producing high numbers lately.
I like the Giovinco for Magee swap but I personally think you could do better than Beltran. I haven't followed RSL very closely but Beltran’s stats show that he goes 90 every game and the highest points he's ever garnered was an 8, he mostly brings home 2’s and 3’s so I think you could do better if I'm being honest. If you like RSL’s match ups and DGW in round 15, Justen Glad is probably a better and cheaper option. He's played way less minutes than Beltran and has a bunch more points than him. Otherwise, a Rosenberry is a nice option too.
Normally I would say Giovinco because he's the best player in the game and the most expensive, so building a team around him is your best option. But, since he's injured, I'm going to have to say Valeri. Valeri is consistent with his bonus points, he gets assists and scores on a fairly regular basis. I would also suggest Kljestan but he's on a bye so ignore him for now. Valeri is a must have in my opinion and everyone should have him.