The Memorial Day weekend was a killer for me and put me behind. Sorry for not making separate posts this week, but I thought a roundup would be better. I’ll still try to get some charts and a captain poll out though. This article will again be a bit more free form and will cover all the positions.
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!
First general points/reminders. I’m sure everyone is aware that Internationals are upon us, I hope you have been planned and that you planning did not hurt you last me (like me argh!). Second, remember that Portland players have a bye this week but they have a game in week 15 and a double game in week 16 so you might want to hold onto at least one payer if you can.
I think this is the craziest week for keepers that I have seen! Many of the top teams have challenging games this week or are on the road. Also, FOUR teams have lost their starting keepers. I honestly don’t know much about the second string keepers so I’ll cover them all at the end.
As for this week, it’s hard not to like Luis Robles again this week. This is New York’s last home game before a set of bye weeks and Vancouver has a string of injuries and a couple of international players that will be missing. I think good things can come for this last week. Another couple of keepers I think could have good weeks are Carlo Cudicini and Michael Gspurning. This biggest advantage these two players have is that they have games in Week 15! They also have good match-ups this week so take a look at them if you have the cash. As for two of the big standards, I worry about Jimmy Nielsen because Montreal have been playing very well and SKC is missing several key players. Houston is also missing so many players that it makes Tally Hall hard to feel confident about.
If you’re willing to take a gamble, here are a few second string keepers that could get a call ups: Chris Seits from Dallas, Josh Saunders from RSL, Paolo Tornaghi from Chicago, and Joe Willis from DC. As for New England, I still don’t know, Matt Reis is playing in the Open Cup tonight so you never know.
I see the defender choices suffering from similar problems as keepers, difficult games and international callus. There are a few standouts, but I think it’s easier to look at each game. Toronto v Philly: This is a no for me. Toronto has been struggling and Philly have had major defensive problems the past several games. New York v Vancouver: You have to like Jamison Olave for this game. He’s on form, gets bonus points, and at home. An easy pick. Many people have an argument for Young-Pyo Lee, but were not a big fan. Columbus v Houston: Houston is bad on the road, and missing players, so no picks from them. As for Columbus, Josh Williams quickly comes to mind, but he has been getting a lot of 2-point games recently so take caution (he does have a week 15 game though).
Sporting KC vs Montreal: SKC is missing Besler but they still have Aurélien Collin he may be a guy you want to trade with the coming duo of bye weeks, but worth playing if you have him this week. We covered Montreal defenders last week, and what we said still stands. Colorado v Dallas: Colorado has some cheap players that may be able to round out a team, but nobody that stands out for me. Michel Garbini Pereira is still the standout for Dallas and his stacking nature should help this game. Matt Hedges is also a tempting option still, if he’s healthy again.
Real Salt Lake v San Jose: too many injuries and callus, a no for both teams. Chivas v Seattle: Chicas is a no, but Seattle has some promise. Djimi Traore is the standout player that I think managers should look at, especially with a game next week. He’s also a nice differential. New England v LA: I’m actually looking forward to this game because I think it will be fun. LA has lost a few players to call ups and New England has found a big a form and has boost with some new trades. As for defenders Jose Goncalves still standouts for NE, and I’m going to tap Todd Dunivant one more time with the hope that he was just being rested last week.
Finally, Chicago v DC…. BIG NO.
There are a lot of options in the midfield, and with many of the big names being gone, the big decides is who to keep and who to sell, if any? There are two who standout as pretty essential for teams over the next couple of weeks. With Zusi gone and Will Johnson on a bye Amobi Okugo is now the highest scoring active and I can’t recommend him enough. Of course the other essential midfielder is Landon Donovan. He’s not being called up for the USMNT and he’s already falling back into his key role for the Galaxy.
Fortunately, while international duty hit some other positions hard, there are still several good midfield choices. One of the tempting ones in (but for a new reason) is Mike Magee. He’s not playing for Chicago, and they desperately need something. I think he is definitely going to be their target man and big playmaker. He’ll also play in week 15. Will it work? Maybe. Is he a short-term Zusi replacement? Maybe. It’s definitely a move that will show others what your balls are made of (sorry ladies). Tow other players who have home games in week 15 that are worth looking at this week are Javier Morales and Lamar Neagle. IT was surprising to not see Morales do well against Chicago, but San Jose could provide another good chance because their defense is already weakened and is being hit again by internationals. Neagle just has some good matchups; Chivas (away) and Vancouver (home) just look nice. And with the form he’s been in recently, I like his chances. If you’re feeling a bit more daring, or willing to sit a guy for week 15, Dax McCarty is getting back into the fray and could get some good numbers while Cahill is gone and even when he comes back.
Finally I have a couple of differential picks that could be tempting for people, well, at least one. Justin Mapp ($6.9m @ 2.8%): Montreal may have a couple of bye weeks coming up but just look at his last four games… two goals and three assists. They could have a tough game against SKC, but he could be worth the risk. Keep an eye on him. The other popular pick is Kyle Porter ($5.0m @ 2.8%): a lot of people are calling him the next Okugo. He does have some nice numbers, but I’m just really hesitant to grab DC players.
Just like last week, I still think you have to have Jack McInerney. He scored last week, has a good-looking game this week, and plays in week 15. Another good-looking, but more expensive, option is Alvaro Saborio. He’s been injured for a few weeks but was able to get a goal last week in under 30min. He’s playing two homes games against teams that have weakened backlines, so he has a good chance to get some points.
If you’re planning to use a trade on a forward, or bench one, then I think three players definite standouts… OK so maybe 2 standouts and one guy I fell like I need to mention this week. Marco Di Vaio, I’ve been a fan all season and last week was a great example of why. Some bye games coming up, but at least keep an eye on this guy. Great value compared to many other forwards. Thierry Henry v Vancouver is another matchup that I like this week. It’s the last home game before a bye week and one I think is winnable for them. Though, at $10.6m, I would not call him ideal for just this one week. Then there is also this Chris Wondolowski guy. He’s not producing numbers I like for the price he is. But he has some decent games coming up after his week 15 bye. He’s a no for me this week.
I’d like to be able to give several forward differentials, but I really only see one and that is Diego Fagundez ($6.0m @ 5.4%). He’s got a lot of goals over the past several games and good playing time. With hope, Juan Agudelo will not cut into that too much. Now, I know some people might want to look for some players at Portland or Seattle for some under the radar picks, but I just don’t like the play time I see from the likely forward choices. So thank lady luck if you pick a winner.
• Internationals make picks really hit or miss
• Here’s where your week 15 planning should pay off
• Remember the Week 15 bye and Week 16 Double Games
• Watch the Chicago v DC game
• Mike Magee?
• Get ready for Wildcards
That’s all I got. I hope the stream of consciousness was not too hard to follow. Blast these early games!
These are our picks, if you think there should be more names on this list, 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!