MLS Fantasy Manager 2016 week 23
TOP FORWARD PICKS
Cyle Larin, Orlando City S.C., $9.6
Cyle Larin had a bad game last weekend against Seattle but a rough game like that is happening less for him as the season carries on. Larin played wonderfully the past month and he’s heating up at the right time as his team fights to stay in the playoff hunt. I don’t usually like to pick strikers on the road but the Chicago Fire are having a hard time stopping goals where ever they play. Larin should be able to put at least one in the back of the net even if Orlando City doesn’t manage to win this match. He could also come away with an assist and attacking bonuses if this game heats up with teams trading offensive blows.
Ola Kamara, Columbus Crew S.C., $8.9
Ola Kamara’s surprisingly awesome season is continuing into the late summer months even if the Columbus Crew aren’t winning the matches they need to win. Kamara also had a bad game last week but is playing a New York City F.C. team this weekend who lets in as many goals as they score. This match-up has the makings of a goal scoring knock-down-drag-out for both squads and Kamara will be the Crew’s haymaker against N.Y.C.F.C.. Kamara could end this match with multiple goals and an attacking bonus which means a 10-plus point match.
C.J. Sapong, Philadelphia Union, $8.2
C.J. Sapong has not played badly in recent weeks even if he hasn’t scored a goal since week 19. He’s doing all the right things—making good passes, making great runs, and keeping defenses honest—but he’s not getting the ball in the back of the net. I think that will change on the road against a tired New England team that played a physical match midweek in one of the U.S. Open Cup semifinals. Philadelphia isn’t a great road team but the Revolution are a vulnerable home team which means that even if the Union don’t manage to win, Sapong could still come away with a goal or great offensive match.
TOP MIDFIELD PICKS
Sacha Kljestan, New York Red Bulls, $12.6
The New York Red Bulls have recently been the victim of some tough injuries to a few of their starters which means Sacha Kljestan will need to step up for his squad if they want to catch their crosstown rivals. The Red Bulls play Montreal at Red Bull Arena this weekend and I think this will help New York transition their new starters into the rotation. Kljestan will be key to keeping the ship steady as he continues to be the driving force and main creator of the Red Bull attack. He’s going to pick up passing and attacking bonuses this week for sure but could also get an assist and/or a goal if he Montreal can’t contain him or the offense.
Michael Barrios, F.C. Dallas, $8.0
Michael Barrios had an exhausting Thursday night while helping his squad win their U.S. Open Cup semifinal match. He’s become even more important to the F.C. Dallas attack now that Fabian Castillo is gone which means more minutes and more opportunities to score. Barrios may not play the whole match this weekend and it’s possible he will not start but he’ll see some playing time because of his importance to F.C. Dallas’s attack. I think it’s most likely he start and play 60 minutes for the squad but that will be enough time for him. He’ll pick up a goal or an assist and definitely an attacking bonus for a possible seven point match. Barrios could surprise us all with a monster game with multiple goals but I doubt it and even a game just below 10 points is still a great game.
Justin Meram, Columbus Crew S.C., $8.5
I don’t hear enough experts or commentators talk bout Justin Meram as one of the best midfielders in the league and that’s a shame. He’s so important to the Columbus attack this year that I think they’d be at the bottom of the league without him. Meram will have his work cut out for him against the offensively charged New York City F.C. line-up but I think this match will turn into a goal scoring melee. Meram’s numbers will benefit the most from this type of match because he’ll make up for the loss of a clean sheet with plenty bonuses from his attacking, passing, and assisting. This match will have a few 10-plus points performances and Meram should be one of them.
TOP DEFENSIVE PICKS
Jelle Van Damme, Los Angeles Galaxy, $8.7
Jelle Van Damme didn’t see the field on Thursday night in the Galaxy’s heartbreaking U.S. Open Cup loss so he should be well rested for this weekend against Colorado. This match won’t be as offensively charged as some of the other matches this weekend because the Rapids win games with their defense and they don’t score a lot on the road. I won’t be surprised if this match ends in a 0-0 draw but Los Angeles are the more likely team to keep the other from scoring because they’re at home. Jelle Van Damme should pick up some defensive bonuses for his work clearing the ball and stopping the attack but the big points gain will be from the clean sheet.
Steven Beitashour, Toronto F.C., $7.8
Steven Beitashour continues to be an integral part of Toronto F.C.’s defensive revival this season with his stellar work in the back. He’s been able to help his team start the attack from the back while also playing lights out defense to give his team the best season they’ve had in their short history. Toronto F.C. play on the road in the hot South Texas heat this weekend but it shouldn’t make much of a difference because of how much better T.F.C. is than Houston Dynamo. I don’t think the Toronto attack will be as strong but their defense should be at their best. This is another match with the makings of a 0-0 draw but that’s okay because to a defender a clean sheet is a clean sheet.
Kendall Waston, Vancouver Whitecaps, $8.6
Kendall Waston has been all over the place this year with some big points in some matches and negative points in others. He’s definitely a wild card who could make you or break you depending on the week but I think this is will be a strong weekend for him. The Whitecaps welcome the road winless San José Earthquakes to town this weekend and I don’t foresee San Jose’s road record changing. Kendall Waston should pick up a couple defending bonuses but the clean sheet will be what pushes his points total up.
GOALKEEPER PICK OF THE WEEK
Brian Rowe, Los Angeles Galaxy, $5.1
Brian Rowe keeps standing on his head and playing some amazing matches in a season where he wasn’t expected to play too many games. He had an amazing night on Thursday in the U.S. Open Cup loss and should keep that form this weekend against the low scoring Colorado attack. I think this match will end in a clean sheet for both teams but as a said earlier, a clean sheet is a clean sheet.