Fantasy Forecast: Red Tide Rising?

Rituro returns to help get you set for Round 3

Hello once again, fantasy football fans!

It’s been tough going over at Fort Victoria SC, with a dismal second week leaving me wanting for solid performers. Still, as the old saying goes, “March showers bring April showers, May showers, and June showers because this is the west coast.” I’m not exactly sure how that saying is supposed to positive – in fact, I’m starting to suspect I may have been lied to – but we’ll roll with it as we roll into your Fantasy Forecast for Week 3 of MLS Fantasy Manager.

See-CL You Later

While LA Galaxy, Sporting KC and San Jose Earthquakes were all knocked out of CONCACAF Champions League, that's good news for Fantasy Managers who own players from those teams. How is that good news? Simple – the league’s loss in bragging rights is our gain in player availability. Starting next week, you can expect the likes of Robbie Keane ($10.8m), Graham Zusi ($11.0m) and Chris Wondolowski ($9.5m) to be starting far more regularly and producing better results than they have been to start the MLS season. Keane in particular is an interesting case, as his value has dipped $0.2m from opening day. If you’re in the market for a high-priced forward, Keane might not be a bad pickup once LA swings back into form. Be wary, though; LA has a bye in both Round 4 and Round 8. You may want to wait until past that point to grab any LA player north of $8.0m, let alone a wallet-buster like Keane.

Red Tide Rising

On the other hand, one high-priced forward you can consider grabbing right away is Toronto FC’s Jermain Defoe ($10.6m). The Englishman’s price is already climbing following his debut brace away against Seattle and, if DC United’s defensive woes continue this weekend – and we can probably expect that they will – Defoe could be poised to add to his goal tally and your fantasy points total. For the more cash-strapped fantasy owner, TFC’s Jonathon Osorio ($7.0m) could prove to be a serviceable depth midfielder if his team’s fortunes continue to be positive.

Goat Stampede

In my fantasy roundup over at Eighty Six Forever, I sung the praises of Chivas USA’s Mauro Rosales ($7.8m). I see no reason not to continue that here, so here we go: Mauro Rosales, Mauro Rosales, Mauro Rosales. Mauro Rosales. During the time between my roundup going live on Tuesday and the writing of this article, the former Seattle playmaker’s value has already gone up $0.1m and, should he perform against FC Dallas like he did against the 'Caps, will probably go up again. If you still have a free transfer left this round, grab Rosales. Even if you’re averse to grabbing Chivas players – an understandable position considering the team’s record the last few seasons – Rosales is a good buy purely for cap reasons. Let his value tick up and then sell him as soon as Chivas’ results start to turn. Your bank account will thank you.

Crisis Management

Speaking of selling, I spent both of my free transfers this week divesting myself of DC United and I strongly advise you do the same. DC and Montreal are not teams I would be placing any of my precious fantasy money into for the foreseeable future. Form dictates everything in fantasy and the form of both Eastern Conference teams has not been good. Also on the sell-because-of-form docket: Portland’s Maximiliano Urruti ($6.8m). As fast as his stock is falling, teammate Gaston Fernandez ($8.1m) is rising.

Looking Into the Crystal Ball

On the schedule front, I’m not predicting too many clean sheets this weekend. Real Salt Lake’s defence was uninspiring in a 3-3 draw last week and, while Los Angeles may be tired from Champions League duty, it would be foolish to count them out of scoring at least a goal. Over in Columbus, defender Michael Parkhurst ($7.6m) may not be ready for the tilt against Philadelphia, which opens the door for the likes of Jack McInerney ($8.5m), Sebastien Le Toux ($8.5m) and Cristian Maidana ($7.5m) to knock in a few goals. On the other side of the pitch, Federico Higuain ($10.5m) is the closest thing to a sure bet in fantasy these days that isn’t wearing an orange jersey. In fact, I’m making the rare decision to give the captaincy this week to Higuain, despite my noted reservations about putting the “C” on a forward. Here’s the Week 3 version of Fort Victoria SC:

Good luck!

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Rituro is a freelance writer and contributor to Eighty Six Forever, the SB Nation blog devoted to Vancouver Whitecaps FC. He also hosts the Eighty Six Forever MLS Fantasy League, which you should definitely join, and streams videos of his attempts to manage Whitecaps FC in Football Manager 2014 on his YouTube page.