Welcome to the halfway point everyone! Round 18 is here and it's kind of a crazy week. We have 8 teams that are on a bye for this round and it's important to know that the 12 teams that are playing are playing on Wednesday. Additionally, round 19 starts on Friday so be ready for a quick turn around. Also, in case you forgot or just didn't know, your free wild card is now available, however I wouldn't suggest using it considering that round 19 is an unlimited transfers round.
Many of you who either faced some unexpected setbacks or just didn't plan accordingly might be considering taking a -4 to field a full starting XI. You're free to do as you choose but I would recommend just waiting until your unlimited transfer in round 19. There is no point in taking a -4 when you can make as many transfers as you want… for free...the next day. Just take the 0, it won't hurt you as bad as you think it will.
Since it's an extremely short week and the pickings are slim, there won't be a ‘who to avoid’ section in this report.
Let's get to the picks!
Luis Robles: This Red Bull man had a clean sheet last round and finished with 8 points. He will have Collin and Perrinelle as the CBs in front of him and he will be taking on a rather weak OCSC team. He will also be playing at home. To me he is the best GK option this round at $6.3.
Chris Seitz: Chris is a little bit of a more risky choice because you never know when Mr. Pareja might stick Jesse Gonzalez in as the starting keeper, but Chris seems like a safe bet this week on the road against the Sounders. Seattle has been having a hard time scoring goals this season, and if I remember correctly, they've lost quite a few games at home so far. Seems like a decent opportunity to bring in an away goalkeeper who is only $4.9
Walker Zimmerman: I'm just going to keep picking this guy until he does something outrageous to not make me pick him. In his last 3 games he’s had a 7, 13 and 10 point score. Now add in that he's playing in Seattle, I can't think of a good reason to not bring him in for $6.7.
Harrison Afful: In a round where there aren't very many budget defenders, I have to recommend this Crew man. He's an outside back who sends in a lot of crosses and gets a lot of opportunities to assist. I don't know if he's going to get a clean sheet this round but he is taking on a struggling Giovinco and Toronto FC. He might be worth the risk for $7.4.
Damien Perrinelle: He looked solid last week after his first game back in MLS after his injury last season and he honestly looked really really good. I think I would recommend him even if he wasn't playing at home against Orlando City, but since he is, you should definitely have him for $7.5.
Mauro Diaz: Mauro had a tough round point wise last week but he actually played a really good game. He helped set up the first goal but didn't get credit for it because it ended up as a failed clearance and he had several opportunities for a goal. If he keeps playing well, the points will keep coming. One small fear is that he won't play on the Seattle turf. He could be used as a sub. Who knows, but I'm not going to risk not having him. He's available for $11.3.
Sacha Kljestan: The dude hasn't been getting great numbers recently but I fully expect this $12.0 midfielder to find his rhythm this round against Orlando. Last time he played OCSC the Red Bulls snapped their losing streak and Sacha ended up with 15 points. You'd be silly not to own him.
Michael Barrios ($8.1)/ Mike Grella ($8.2): The battle of the Mikes! Both are similar in price and both have decent match ups this week. Grella gets the slight advantage because he's playing at home, but Barrios has been excellent lately. Either one is a good choice this round, especially with Valeri’s injury, these guys could be a nice short term replacement for him.
Benny Feilhaber: He's been on fire lately but the reason he gets an honorable mention and not a straight up pick is because I don't trust SKC. They've burned me too many times this season, they will be playing on the road, and you never know when Vermes is going to rotate his entire squad. He's $11.3, so use with caution if you're considering him.
Bradley Wright-Phillips: Do you see a trend with me recommending Red Bulls and Dallas players? BWP is due for a goal and Orlando city is the the child to take the candy from. The OC defense has been the worst part of their team so far this season so BWP will probably have another field day like he did last time they played when he took home 15 points. He's $11.1
Ola Kamara: When the guy stops scoring goals is when I’ll stop recommending him. He's proven that he's a goal scorer and that he's also a legitimate fantasy option. For $8.6 he's a tough one to turn down.
Maxi Urruti: He had a pretty beautiful bicycle kick against San Jose last round and it was his first goal in awhile. I'm hoping he got his confidence back and is ready to score a bunch more against the Sounders. He's all yours for $8.5.
Ok that's it! The Fantasy Report will be back in action for Round 19 where I’ll give out a first draft team and reasonings. Good luck everyone!!