Here it is, the most important round to date. The first double-game week is upon us and fantasy managers need to utilize these weeks if they want to stay in contention for prizes. As the masses rush towards the teams that play the most, the players in demand increase in cost.
As Sporting Kansas City and the New York Red Bulls are the only teams with two games this week, we take a change from our usual pattern and profile both teams.
We're tight for time before the 4:15pm PT deadline, so let’s get to it!
Sporting Kansas City - If you aren't part of the 44.4% of the league who currently own Graham Zusi ($9.9m) then there's a problem, he will be the most captained player of Round 8. If you think SKC will have a successful offensive production while visiting LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls, then Claudio Bieler ($9.3m) is your man, he's scored twice in the last two games. The safe play though is Kansas' defense. With four straight shutouts this team has finally found their form of last year.
The trio of Aurelien Collin ($6.4m), Matt Besler ($6.1m) and keeper Jimmy Nielsen ($6.0m) are the best in the business. Can't go wrong with any of those three. If managers don't have 3 players from Kansas this round, they will significantly fall behind.
New York Red Bulls – New York faces two strong opponents as both Kansas City and New England Revolution are significantly strong on defense. The saving grace is they are likely to earn a clean sheet versus the Revolution who have only one goal on the season. Not nearly as much can be expected in their matchup against Kansas City who are strong on all fronts: lethal at scoring and stringent on conceding. That being said, it is better to have defenders in difficult games.
So we start with the Red Bull’s back line. Best value by far comes from Markus Holgersson ($4.8m) as his value means he should be able to be slotted on any team and receive an uptick in price. The more expensive option is Jamison Olave ($6.0m). Olave’s value is significantly inflated though as he has scored as a defender in 2 straight games and many managers have jumped on board and driven up his price tag. We prefer Markus for straight up value.
Goalkeeper Luis Robles ($5.6m) should pick up a good number of points in New England but could be in for quite the rough night at Kansas so we prefer to avoid him and use our max 3 players from one team another way.
And that way is Thierry Henry ($10.5m), he's had a very rough year so far and has struggled with injury, but If anyone from the Red Bull lineup is going to score/create this round it will be him. He has the ability to take over games at any moment and at a steep $10.5m he's expensive but we like the gamble as the risk versus return has tremendous potential.
As always, keep an eye on the latest injury report updates HERE. Good luck in Round 8.
For more information on prizing and how to sign up for the Official Whitecaps Fantasy League click: HERE