OK, for the Semi Finals, I’m going to move away from the format I’ve been using. Instead of focusing on each position, I’m going to focus on each game and let you know what I think about the matchup and who I think is worth getting.
If you want to see more, keep reading after the break. But please join the discussion at r/FantasyMLS, that’s where a lot of planning is made and last second decisions finalized. If you have questions, please stop by!
New England v Sporting Kansas City:
This game should be a tough one. New England has been on a roll with goals, but Sporting Kansas City has the toughest defense in the league. I went back and forth a lot on this, but in the end I am going to go against our ELO Prediction and I’m picking SKC to get a clean sheet in this game. This makes Jimmy Nielsen my favorite pick for keeper this week and then any of the 4 main defenders. Collin and Besler are the two easy picks and since SKC plays first, you can watch for the lineups to make your final pick (I like Myers). I also like Graham Zusi in this game. He was off an on during the year, but he has 1 goal and 1 assist in the last 4 games he has played.
New England still has some injury concerns for Jose Gonclaves and that just adds to my concern, but if you feel like they will be able to keep SKC to a draw, wait for the lineups. Since I don’t think New England will be able to breach the SKC defense, I’m not going to recommend any of the New England players for this leg.
Seattle v Portland:
The performance that Seattle put on against Colorado was very impressive. I, and others, thought that Colorado would be able to get one goal past the Seattle defense, but they held strong. Now they have to face Portland ad I think the chance for goals on both sides will be even higher than before. Because of this, I’m not recommending any of the Seattle defense. The best chance for points will be from the attacking positions. If Dempsey is a good pick again because the Diamond formation put him in a good position for assists and goals. You also have to seriously consider Moffat because he had several very promising runs and looks at goal against colorado. Evans and Neagle are in the same area for me, they have potential, but can be a bit random. EJ is the obvious forward pick.
Even with the increased attacking pressure that Seattle’s diamond poses, there is still one Portland defender that I like this week, and that’s Rodney Wallace. Everyone knows he’s playing as a forward and his chance to score makes him worth the risk in my opinion. Portland does not have a forward that is worth relying on, but they do have several midfielders that provide nice attacking options. The two best choices are Valeri and Will Johnson. Both are on form and capable of scoring goals and providing service for assists. It’s not worth it to get both of them, so it may be price that is the deciding factor for you.
Houston v New York:
This was one of the toughest matches for me to decide. I was one the fence about New York being the best defensive option this week or SKC. The form that Houston played with against Montreal was just too much to ignore. They put on their playoff faces and I don’t think we’ll see a repeat of the blowout that New York handed them before. Because of this, it’s hard for me to recommend any New York defenders. Your only option would be Olave because of his bonus point generation and he is a threat on set pieces. The midfield choice is easy, Tim Cahill is the main who is making things happen. If you get 1 NY player this week, it should be him. New York actually has two forwards who I think are worth looking at: Henry is the one that will first come to mind, but don’t overlook Peguy Luyindula. Don’t recognize that name? Well he’s the guy who racked up 3 assists in the last game. He’s cheap and playing OOP in Midfield where NY can take advantage of his service.
We all know what Houston has because we saw them play last week. I’m keeping away from their defense because of the goal thread that NY has. In midfield, I’ve been disappointed enough in Brad Davis to drop him from my team but Boniek Garcia is playing quite well and has become the standout midfielder, he’s on PK duty. I know I was down on Will Bruin last week, but that 2 goal performance has put me in my place. He may have been in a slump, but he’s coming through when Houston needs him. New York will provide a challenge, but Bruin is now full of the confidence to face them.
Los Angeles vs Real Salt Lake:
Many people believe that LA will get a clean sheet this week, and their past form suggests that it is a possibility. BUT, LA and RSL have a history of scoring against each other this season and I think that is going to happen again. If you want to risk it, Gonzalez and Franklin are your best choices. THe attack is where most people will be investing in LA and Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane are the obvious choices. Keane was amazing in the Cup last year and it seems risky to leave him out of a team.
As for RSL, they have a couple of defenders that I really like, just not against LA at home. Salt Lake’s midfield has also not been playing up to expectations. They have not been bad, just not providing the service or goals that a fantasy manager would look for. Luis Gil stood out to me in their last game, but he’s a long shot. Morales i the name who comes to mind, but his play time has been inconsistent, so I believe you would be sage to leave him out this week in favor of a more sure thing. The main attacking threat for RSL comes from Saborio and Plata. Both a good choices, but Saborio takes the cake for he. In the last 8 games he has played in he’s scored in 6.
• If you want to include a Caparoo, I recommend MTL defender Karl Ouimette.
• Clean Sheets look to be few this week. If you can pick one, you could come well.
• 1 trade will cary over to next week. If you leave more than that, you still only get 1.
• Seattle broke the slump, but can they continue it against Portland?
• I like the 4-4-2 for this week, if you can pick a shutout.
These are my picks, if you think there should be more names on this list, or if you have questions, please leave a comment or come to r/FantasyMLS and comment on the post. You can also leave a message on our Facebook page or you can find us on Twitter @FantasyMLSTips. Keep checking back for more updates through the week for other positions. Good Luck!