Fantasy Forecast

Rituro goes all-in on Union in double-week

If you’re reading this on Wednesday afternoon – and I hope that you are – there’s still time to get in on the Philadelphia Union’s double-week action before the rosters are locked at 4:15pm PDT. In fact, I spent this morning reminding (read: incessantly nagging) a co-worker to make his free transfers for the round, which he finally did. Since I can’t hover over the shoulders of all you fine, wonderful readers individually, you’ll have to accept this hastily written Fantasy Forecast as a none-too-subtle reminder to bolster your squad with the likes of Andrew Wenger ($6.2m), Leonardo Fernandes ($5.4m), or Zac MacMath ($5.4m).

With that, we now return to your regularly scheduled, nagging-reduced prognostication.

All Those Other Teams

As much as Philadelphia is the star of the round, all the other MLS squads still have matches this week. It may be tempting to sell off your high-priced stars for Philly equivalents but resist the urge. Swapping Clint Dempsey ($10.3m) for Maurice Edu ($9.2m), for example, is hardly a worthwhile long-term trade. Even in the short term, it’s hard to see how Edu’s double-week is any better or worse than Dempsey’s prospects against Chivas USA. Sure, the Rojiblancos will be at home but it would appear Seattle has found their scoring touch for the time being. Ignore that strike potential at your own peril. Likewise, dumping Benny Feilhaber ($8.1m) for Vincent Nogueira ($8.5m) is a step in the wrong direction. Feilhaber is currently tied with teammate and former “Captain Fantasy” Graham Zusi ($10.8m) with 29 points. I wouldn’t be so rash to get rid of Feilhaber at his current production rate; factor in a home match for Sporting KC against the Montreal Impact and Feilhaber’s potential to come away from Round 7 with a big haul increases.

If I had to pick one non-Philly match for fantasy owners to watch this week, it would be FC Dallas at home to Toronto FC. I know, I know – the last time I did this kind of prediction was against Columbus and we know how that went. Dallas is no Columbus, though, and the Hoops (can we still call them that if their new jerseys have been significantly de-hooped?) have a midfield star in Mauro Diaz ($8.5m) that has all the makings of a Toronto destroyer.

Doubles Down The Road

Round 8 and its tasty double-week matches aren’t that far away, though unlike Round 7 where every team had at least one game, there are three teams on bye weeks: Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto. Those of you who have been feasting on a captained Robbie Keane ($10.9m) or hoping for a just-like-he-was-in-week-one Jermain Defoe ($10.7m) will need to find an alternative source of attacking points. Now, you may be thinking to yourself that means grabbing someone from the Houston Dynamo or the New York Red Bulls – the teams with midweek matches in Round 8. Sure, that might be good for the first match, in which the two teams play each other and goals will probably be scored (neither team has exactly impressed as of late), but New York then goes on the road to Columbus while Houston entertains Portland at home. Neither is exactly a welcoming fixture though considering Portland’s form, Houston probably has the better chance of making their home date count. Here are some options for the interested buyer:

HOUSTON:

  • Defender: Kofi Sarkodie ($6.6m)
  • Cheap Midfielder: Ricardo Clark ($7.1m)
  • Pricy Midfielder: Oscar Boniek Garcia ($9.9m)

NEW YORK:

  • Reasonable Midfielder 1: Lloyd Sam ($6.7m)
  • Reasonable Midfielder 2: Dax McCarty ($7.8m)
  • Reasonable Midfielder 3: Eric Alexander ($6.8m)

Get ‘Em While They’re Cheap

So, you’re looking for a budget player to bring in using your last free transfer? Well, it’s been a very nice start to the season fantasy-wise for San Jose’s Shea Salinas ($7.7m), whose 29 points ties him with Zusi, Feilhaber and Sebastien Le Toux ($8.8m). Considering how much cheaper Salinas is than those three, it would be wise to pick him up with a view to selling him down the road for a profit. Meanwhile, Dan Gargan ($5.5m) is second in points for all LA Galaxy defenders with 19. Considering the injuries that have ravaged Los Angeles’ backline, Gargan is the perfect fit for anyone looking to upgrade on the now-minutes-challenged Dylan Remick ($4.5m). Finally, Dan Kennedy ($4.5m) remains one of the cheapest and most reliable starting goalkeepers in all of MLS Fantasy Manager. Despite the considerable handicap of playing for Chivas USA, Kennedy’s 22 points are nothing to be sneezed at. If you have a little more cash to spend, Columbus’ Steve Clark ($5.0m) has the same amount of points with the added bonus of a double-week in Round 10. Considering the second of those two matches is against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, however, perhaps we shouldn’t root for Clark too hard…

My Team for Round 7

Good luck!

~

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.