We’re back and we’re taking on Round 7 of MLS Fantasy. We have a full round of soccer to look forward to and I couldn't be more excited.
Round 6 was hard on a lot of players. Sporting KC giving up that late penalty killed a lot of clean sheet hunts. Montreal got screwed by an Oscar worthy performance from Jermaine Jones and overall, many of the big name players that rack in points were kind of disappointing. However let's not dwell on the past, Round 7 is here and it's time to look towards that.
The matchups this week are kinda funny. What I mean by that is that many of the teams you would expect to be better...are also the away team. For example, New York City, Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta, and RSL are all on the road this week against teams that are lower than them in the standings. It's no secret how heavily the home teams are favored in MLS and so that makes this round really hard to predict in my opinion.
So what do we do, how do we choose? Well let's look at the facts. We’ll start by pointing out that the two best teams in each conference as of right now (Portland and Columbus) are home teams this round. That's a good place to begin looking for players, especially with Portland since they play really well at home. Columbus also plays well at home however they will likely be without the likes of Federico Higuain due to injury and they will be taking on Sebastian Giovinco and company. While Toronto haven't looked incredibly dangerous, I do think their poor start to the season is not equivalent to how good they actually are.
One team that hasn't seemed to apply to the whole “home vs away” odds would be that of Atlanta. They've only lost one game so far and that was their opener at home. They've also scored 8 goals on the road, granted 6 of them came from Minnesota, and they drew nil-nil in Seattle. I'm liking their odds this round against Montreal. It's no secret that the Impact are struggling and I fully expect Atlanta to take advantage of that. If there weren't so many attacking options in this game, I might even suggest a clean sheet hunt here.
Speaking of clean sheet hunting, where should we look? Looking at the schedule, I see two games that really stand out. New York Red Bull's vs D.C. United is looking nice for a Red Bull’s clean sheet. Red Bull's at home against a D.C. team that has not looked good at all is a tempting option. A less conventional option would be San Jose at home against Dallas. San Jose won their first two games but haven't done anything since. Dallas on the other hand has two of the best defenders in MLS with Matt Hedges and Walker Zimmerman. I can see San Jose really struggling to score here. The same actually goes for Dallas, where if you played fantasy last year, you’ll remember how bad they were on the road. Even at home against Minnesota, where you'd expect a blowout, they only put 2 on the board and Minnesota at times looked the more dangerous team. I say the clean sheet favors Dallas here but you could also strongly consider San Jose as a clean sheet option.
Let's discuss picks!
Luis Robles ($6.0): Robles at home against a team that struggles to score on the road. I'm not sure what else you can ask for.
Aaron Long ($5.2): Basically the same as Robles with the added fact that he's pretty good at picking up bonus points.
Alvas Powell ($4.9): He's cheap, he's at home against an SKC team that has only scored in one game this season, and he gets forward a lot. Works for me!
Greg Garza ($5.7): I personally don't have the budget to fit in Zimmerman or Hedges so I'm going with Garza here. He's brought in some good points so far this season and so I'm rolling with him this round.
Miguel Almiron ($9.3): He's such a dangerous player and against a Montreal team who has struggled this season, it would be silly to not pick him.
Diego Valeri ($10.4): Death, taxes, Valeri being recommended. At this point it's just a given that he’ll be picked, but if you need more convincing just look at his points brought in when he plays at home.
Justin Meram ($9.7): Best team in the East who is also without its playmaker sounds risky but likely means Meram will be the main guy creating chances. I like those odds.
Alex ($7.6): This is purely because Houston is playing Minnesota at home, there is literally no other reason.
Hector Villalba ($9.7): I can see him picking up some major points in Montreal, especially with Almiron feeding him in behind.
Fanendo Adi ($9.7): The guy is a beast at home, even if it is against SKC’s strong defense. You just can't count him out when he's playing in Providence Park.
Ok that's it for the picks, as always, hit me up @notchadwick_ and let me know what you think.
Congrats again to Doug Snyder and his team The Golden Eagles for retaining the top spot in the Total MLS Classic league. Here are the top 10 teams after last round. Way to go everyone!