We’re finally nearing the end of the MLS Fantasy Season. With only 8 rounds left, now is the time when bragging rights, work pools and final standings to take shape. At this point in the season, you are left with 16 more free transfers for your total 15 roster spots – so unless you look to take some serious point hits for extra transfers, your team is going to start to look more and more permanent as the game moves along.
No matter what you’re playing for, there’s always a reason to look to make your team better. There are a few landmines to avoid this week and the next – so here are a few thoughts to get you started on making your moves.
1) Cut ties with Chivas – for now
Chivas USA do have their merits when looking for value. I’ve gone over a few of the reasons to have a Chivas player in your squad in weeks past – including the benefits of having Dan Kennedy or Erick Torres. But this week is the week to drop all of your Chivas players if you can.
Chivas are playing the LA Galaxy this weekend – and the Galaxy look to be set to really try to reassert themselves to win some points for the playoff push. Add the fact that Chivas have a bye week next week, and you really can’t make a case to keep any of their players going into this weekend. The silver lining is that
there really isn’t an overpriced Chivas player on the board – so once the bye week is over, you can go back and search for some value again if need be.
2) Speaking of the bye week….
Next week is going to be hard on a lot of fantasy players. Not only are the international date set for next week, but the MLS bye week is going to extend to 6 teams. Typically, we get at least one team on a bye week each round, but having six teams on a bye is pretty dramatic – and you’re going to have to start to plan for it here in this week.
The teams inactive for next week are: Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, LA Galaxy, NY Red Bulls, Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC.
That’s quite a lot. Now we get back to my point from a previous article – it’s necessary to
have a full bench of active players. If you’re hiding a dummy player and have multiple players on a bye next week, you’re going to have to take a pretty serious point hit to field 11 men next week.
When making transfers this week, decide on which players are not for sale. Next week, everybody is going to have a bench of 2-3 players that they have to hold onto – so you should start to have a game plan for the players that are worth the risk of carrying through a bye week. This is not an impossible challenge to overcome, but don’t worry too much if you end up taking a -4 or even a -8 hit to prepare. Just make sure that if you have to go into the extra trades, that you do it purposefully, and that you do it to set yourself up for the remainder of the
3) Best player to pick up this week
Aside from the obvious choices that are already owned by many active teams (Mike Magee, Federico
Higuain), I’d say take a bet on Will Johnons (POR, M, $7.9). Johnson isn’t going to break your bank, and he’s a bit of a differential player with Diego Valeri taking up so much of the active play. But that doesn’t mean that Johnson is giving a bad return to the 9% of fantasy players that own him. In his last four weeks, Johnson has played 90 minutes each game and notched scores of 8, 2, 5 and 9 points.
Johnson also won’t be missing time for international duty – Team Canada released their roster, and Johnson was not on it. He’ll also be getting a decent run of fixtures over the next two games, first playing in Vancouver and then at home against Seattle. The Seattle fixture may
scare some people away, but back to back Cascadia matches tends to bring out the best in some players.
4) The Captain Choice
The obvious picks: Robbie Keane, Federico Higuain
The risk/reward picks: Mike Magee, Graham Zusi
The pick they never saw coming: Maximiliano Urruti, Conor Casey
5) Last week’s roundup and the squad for this week
My score last week = 68 points
Average score = 44 points
Team value = $107.7
Last week played out pretty much like most people thought it would – and many people cashed in with some quality scores. Here’s what I’m trying this week:
GK – Zach MacMath
D – Klute, Berry, Wallace
M – Neagle, Donovan, Magee, Zusi
F – Urruti, Keane (c), Higuain
Bench – Kennedy – Rosales, Mitchell, Brovsky
Good luck everybody!