MLS Fantasy Manager 2016 week 20
MLS Fantasy Manager Picks Week 20
TOP FORWARD PICKS
Ola Kamara, Columbus Crew S.C., $8.7
Ola Kamara is continuing to tear through the league with his goal scoring as the season passes the halfway point. Ola Kamara has scored in six of his last eight matches and I think that he’ll keep scoring this weekend as Columbus welcomes to town a struggling Orlando City S.C. side that just hired Jason Kreis as their new manager. Kreis is a great manager but I don’t think he can turn this O.C.S.C. team around this quickly while on the road considering they’ve only won once on the road this season. Orlando won’t be able to stop Ola Kamara and the rest of the Crew attack that has learned to work with their new star striker. Don’t be surprised if he has another multiple goal match.
Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto F.C., $13.0
Sebastian Giovinco is the best player in the league, there’s no denying that, but some weeks it’s better to have him in your squad than other weeks. Toronto F.C. play at home this week against D.C United, who have only one win on the road this season. The D.C. United roster has been in a bit of flux recently and I’m not convinced that they’ll be able to come together as a unit on the road to stop Giovinco from running circles around them. Giovinco is the best goal creator in the league with a good majority of T.F.C.’s goals coming from him or through him. This won’t change this week with him playing a part in any goal scored by T.F.C. to outshine a team that’s just not there yet.
Kei Kamara, New England Revolution, $11.2
Kei Kamara is having a good season, not a great season and not a horrible season, and he’s slowly finding his scoring touch with his new team as the year moves on. Right now is the perfect time for Kei Kamara and the Revolution to play a horrible, winless road team to help them find their scoring boots again. Kei Kamara should still find a way to score or contribute to a goal even if Chicago finds a way to miraculously win this match—there’s no way this match ends scoreless.
TOP MIDFIELD PICKS
Benny Feilhaber, Sporting Kansas City, $11.3
Benny Feilhaber and Sporting Kansas City are getting better as the season moves deeper into summer. Benny Feilhaber is still the driving force of Sporting K.C.’s attack, this isn’t to say that they’d be lost without him but they’re a better squad when he’s in the line-up. Sporting K.C. welcome Seattle Sounders to Children’s Mercy Park this weekend and the Sounders are heading in the opposite direction of where Sporting K.C. is moving. Seattle just can’t seem to get a solid foothold on anything this season to move them into a playoff spot, they’re having a horrible year compared to where they’ve been in the past and it can’t be blamed on just one thing. Feilhaber should have no problem handling the Sounders midfield this weekend and will play a big part, if not the main part, in the scoring chances that come Sporting K.C.’s way.
Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers, $11.2
Diego Valeri is having another amazing season as Portland’s attacking foundation. He’s one of the few players in the league who can be mentioned in the MVP argument with Giovinco and it’s a shame Valeri’s team isn’t doing more to help him out. Portland is barely holding on to the last playoff spot by one point in the Western Conference. Portland plays at home against the Galaxy this weekend so this match should be full of great midfield action and plenty of opportunities for Valeri to shine against one of the league’s less fortunate traveling squads. Portland’s pitch situation could factor into the outcome of the match with certain aging stars not being fond of playing on turf fields. If this is the case then look for Valeri to have an even better game than expected—a 10 or 12 point match isn’t out of the question.
Felipe Martins, New York Red Bulls, $8.7
Felipe Martins is part of one of the best midfields in the league, if not the best, and his role is even more important now that the Red Bulls traded away Lloyd Sam. He is a creative player whose ability to move the ball around sets up some amazing scoring chances for his team. He doesn’t have the defensive ability of Dax McCarty or the dead-ball skill of Sacha Kljestan but he makes up for it with his great feet and vision. This weekend is another New York Derby which have so far been high scoring affairs. Felipe Martins should find ways to contribute to at least one goal that the Red Bulls tag on N.Y.C.F.C. but he will also pick up bonuses from his passing and attacking.
TOP DEFENSIVE PICKS
Justin Morrow, Toronto F.C., $7.9
Justin Morrow is playing great soccer now for the Toronto F.C. defense. He’s part of a back line that has transformed this season with a couple of additions that brought speed and experience to help his great defensive ability. Morrow has found the back of the net a few times this summer to help cement his place in the T.F.C. line-up. He’s got another great shot at a clean sheet this weekend against the transitioning D.C. United. If Morrow can find a way to contribute to the attack as he has in recent weeks while also picking up clean sheet and defending bonuses then he could have another 10-plus-point match.
Jared Watts, Colorado Rapids, $6.0
I figured enough fantasy managers have Axel Sjoberg in their line-ups that I can focus on another great Colorado defender. Jared Watts isn’t having the type of season that Sjoberg is having, I’m not sure anyone is, but that has a lot to do with him missing nine games this season. Watts has posted some great numbers since returning regularly to the Colorado back line. Colorado plays at home this weekend against league leading F.C. Dallas. This is quite possibly the best match to watch this weekend because both teams are so evenly matched. Colorado sits three points behind F.C. Dallas in the Supporters’ Shield race and the Rapids could take the lead from F.C.D. on goal differential with a win. F.C. Dallas plays horribly after midweek matches and have had some horrid games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park so I don’t expect much fight from the F.C.D. offense. This bodes well for the Colorado defense and I wouldn’t be surprised if this match ended in a 0-0 draw, if that’s the case then Watts will benefit greatly.
Aaron Maund, Real Salt Lake, $7.0
I’m not sure many MLS followers outside of Salt Lake City know who Aaron Maund is but he’s having a quietly solid year for a team that’s sadly not turning a lot of heads. Real Salt Lake had a hot start but they’ve tapered off as the season has worn on but still hold on to playoff spot in a tight race in the Western Conference. Real Salt Lake are undefeated at home this season and play a San José Earthquakes team that has yet to win on the road this year. Maund and the Real Salt Lake defense should have an easy time dealing with the Earthquakes’ lack of powerful attack. Maund has picked up a lot of his points this year from clean sheets and I expect him to do so again this weekend but don’t be surprised to see him pick up bonuses for his defense and passing.
GOALKEEPER PICK OF THE WEEK
Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake, $6.3
Nick Rimando is still one of the best goalkeepers in the league even at the age of 37. He’s a league legend at this point and his shot stopping ability is the stuff of lore. Rimando should get the start in net against San José this week and, as long as he gets support from his defense, should have no problem holding on to the clean sheet. San José has a hard time scoring on the road and Rio Tinto is a fortress that Rimando protects better than any other goalkeeper. He could also pick up defending and passing bonuses as he has the best feet a MLS goalkeeper has ever had.