Fantasy Forecast: Round 19

Plan ahead or get left behind.

It's the first week of the international marathon month of July! What changes have you made? There was good news regarding Graham Zusi ($10.1m) over the last week in that he will not be attending Gold Cup international duty. That’s music to the ears to over 40% of the managers in the league who own the player. While his fantasy output has been sluggish to say the least, we are confident that it's only a matter of time until he returns to his top form.

This week we feature two defenders who are well priced at under $5m who warrant your attention.

Sheanon Williams ($5.0m), Philadelphia Union – The hottest fantasy player over the last three weeks has undoubtedly been Williams. His past scoring has consisted of 13, 12 and 11 points so you definitely want to ride that wave before he reaches shore. He's been getting up the park non-stop and his opponent Real Salt Lake are once again the most punished team thanks to the international schedule with as many as five starters out of the lineup.

Leonardo Gonzalez ($4.8m), Seattle Sounders –  While Gonzalez hasn't been a great player to own with Seattle's recent defensive woes, a match at home against D.C. United should be just what the fantasy doctor ordered. Last round showed us D.C. United is in fact playing better, however when you have only scored 1 goal on the road this season it's not hard to see why we like Gonzalez and his buddies this week.

Team of the week (Round 19), Chicago Fire – With three wins and two draws in their last five, our team of the week is without question Chicago. Facing visiting San Jose Earthquakes without Marvin Chávez (Honduras), Chris Wondolowski (USMNT), Steven Lenhart (injury) and Víctor Bernárdez (suspension). makes for a good choice.

Keeper Paolo Tornaghi ($3.8m) will be filling in for the Sean Johnson ($4.8m) while he’s away on international duty which could prove to be a significant value play over the next few weeks if you need to spend more up front.

Speaking of value up front, how about Mike Magee ($9.2m). What more needs to be said about this player? We were worried about his health and how he'd transition to a struggling team but he’s proven to be one of the most consistent players around. Scoring a goal in each of four straight games, he has put the Fire on his back and doesn't look like stopping. While he hasn't netted more than seven points in any of those games, we need to remember that the secret to success is consistency.

Austin Berry ($5.2m) is the only defender we'd consider this week and with the key attacking absences for the Quakes the Fire could be looking at a clean sheet.

Dan Paladini ($5.3m) is an interesting situation with his price being so low if he plays he's a great value to any team. His performances over the last few rounds have been very good for Chicago so we see him being rewarded with another start, but buy with caution.

For more information on prizing and how to sign up for the Official Whitecaps Fantasy League click: HERE