MLS Fantasy Manager 2016 week 14
Major League Soccer returns to action this week and it’s week 14 for MLS Fantasy Manager 2016. It’s been two weeks since the league last held matches and every team plays this weekend. Teams and players have both had time to recuperate and nurse their wounds while regrouping ahead of the halfway point for the season. Let’s have a look at who is going to take advantage of their fresh legs.
TOP FORWARD PICKS
Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls, $11.1
Bradley Wright-Phillips was in great form before the international break as he started to help pull his team out of the early season hole they dug for themselves. I’ve written enough about Wright-Phillips and his abilities before so I won’t delve more into them but he’s hitting another level now and it’s amazing to watch. Seattle is still having a hard time finding their footing this season so I think New York will be able to tag a few goals on them and Wright-Phillips should play a part in at least a couple of them.
Cyle Larin, Orlando City S.C., $9.4
Both Orlando City S.C. and San José Earthquakes are fighting for their playoff lives already. Orlando City is just below the line in the Eastern conference while San José is above it in the West. Cyle Larin has to continue to step up for O.C.S.C. if they hope to still be playing in November. He’s been great so far as he’s already improved since last year but he needs to carry more of the goal scoring weight for his team. He will play the main role for scoring in this game regardless of the outcome because I don’t see this match ending as a clean sheet for either team. He won’t get the brace but a goal and assist aren’t out of the question.
Didier Drogba, Montreal Impact, $12.1
Didier Drogba continues to make an impact for Montreal every time he steps on the field. He hasn’t recorded a goal or an assist in only two of the games he’s played this season. He’s a legendary player who can create a moment of beauty from out of nowhere and I think he’ll be able to do it on the road against Columbus if he plays. I’m not going to guarantee he will start or even play the whole match but there’s a good chance that he’ll see the field since the Mapfre Stadium pitch is grass. If he sees the field, he’ll record big points and he’s worth moving around the rest of a roster to make his big price tag fit.
TOP MIDFIELD PICKS
Sacha Kljestan, New York Red Bulls, $12.0
Sacha Kljestan is another player I’ve picked many times because of his offensive abilities and importance to the Red Bull attack. I’m not saying that New York can’t score goals without him—I’m just saying they do exponentially better offensively when he’s running the midfield. The Red Bulls welcome Seattle into Red Bull Arena this weekend who have a woeful road record so far this season and I don’t see that changing Sunday night. Kljestan matches up well with the Sounders’ attack because he has one less threat to worry about with Clint Dempsey away on international duty. Kljestan should be freed up enough in the middle and near the top of the attack to tag a couple of teammates for some assists and attacking bonuses if he doesn’t score one himself.
Sam Cronin, Colorado Rapids, $6.0
Sam Cronin isn’t posting amazing numbers because of his role in the midfield but he’s consistently posting numbers that are well above the minimum. Cronin has earned only two points once this season, only three points twice, and has earned four or more points every other week because he has played the full-90 every game this year. It’s safe to say that he’s the rock of the Colorado midfield. The Rapids play host to the last place Chicago Fire this weekend and they shouldn’t pose any threat to Colorado’s undefeated home record. Cronin has a better chance at picking up most of his points from his defensive play and a clean sheet bonus but he’s capable of adding offensive bonuses as well.
Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution, $11.8
New England have yet to win a game on the road but that doesn’t mean they can’t have an offensively strong match in another stadium. The Revolution travel to Vancouver this weekend to play the Whitecaps who have only lost at home once this season. The good news for New England is that Vancouver has a -2 goal differential which means they’re letting in more goals than they are scoring. Nguyen is the creative force in the Revolution midfield and the team plays well when he plays well. Nguyen should be able to take advantage of a Whitecaps team that has a few of its stars returning from the Copa America Centenario. He’s bound to make the most of any opportunity earned from a set-piece but he will also play a major role in the any goal coming from the run of play.
TOP DEFENSIVE PICKS
Axel Sjoberg, Colorado Rapids, $5.9
Axel Sjoberg and other Rapids defenders will keep showing up in my picks as long as Colorado keeps earning clean sheets. Sjoberg is one of Colorado’s most dependable players and their most dependable defender so far this year. He doesn’t contribute much offensively so he doesn’t pick up many extra points but he makes up for it with his exquisite defending. It’s going to take a lot of mistakes from the Rapids defense to let in a Chicago goal this weekend and I just don’t see that happening. It’s not out of the question for him to earn 10 points this weekend but eight is more likely.
Connor Lade, New York Red Bulls, $6.3
Connor Lade has stepped into the Red Bulls defense magnificently since he started earning significantly more playing time in week 10. Lade has bounced around from loan assignment to loan assignment the past few seasons but looks like he’s finally permanently ready for the big time. Lade works hard every minute he is on the field and earns bonuses from his clearances as and passing. He stands a better chance at bigger points if he can help keep a clean sheet this weekend but I suspect he’ll earn most of his points from his stellar work rate. He’ll pull in somewhere between five and eight points which aren’t bad for a player who has spent more time in the second and third division than he has with his home club.
Drew Moor, Toronto F.C., $7.5
Toronto’s signing of Drew Moor was one of their smartest moves of the year. He brings a veteran presence to a back line that has needed solid leadership and great natural defensive ability. Moor and Toronto welcome a slightly depleted Los Angeles Galaxy team who still have a couple of offensive stars away on international duty. The Galaxy have had a rough time on the road this year and this weekend won’t be any different. I don’t foresee them scoring many goals this weekend, if any at all, and Moor will play a big role in the low scoring match. He’ll pick up big points from clearances and defensive bonuses if he doesn’t pick up more from a clean sheet.
GOALKEEPER PICK OF THE WEEK
Zac MacMath, Colorado Rapids, $5.3
Zac MacMath’s time is running out as the Colorado Rapids starting goalkeeper. Tim Howard is on the way but MacMath is doing his best to make the decision of who starts a tough one to make. He still has more than a month in net and he’s going to make the most of every minute. It’s going to take some big blunders for MacMath to not earn a clean sheet this weekend and I don’t foresee any of them happening. I’ll be surprised if Chicago scores one goal bit they definitely won’t score two. He could easily pull in a 10 point match this weekend.