MLS Fantasy Manager week 11 brings us another round of double game action for two teams. Both Orlando City SC and DC United are pulling double duty this week when they face each other Wednesday at 8 P.M. then play again this weekend. Don’t forget to keep an eye on suspensions and injuries.

TOP FORWARD PICKS


photo by Elise Amendola

Charlie Davies, New England Revolution, $8.9

Charlie Davies has almost regained his pre-201o form since rejoining Major League Soccer with New England Revolution. He isn’t the explosive player he was in his younger days before his career altering car accident but his scoring ability is just as good. He makes up for the speed he has lost with mature, intelligent play and goal poaching style of offense. Davies has alternated between a starter and super sub role but he’s playing every week. Davies is also on a four game goal scoring streak that I think will continue against the struggling Toronto FC defense. He isn’t playing twice this week but once will be enough.

Photo by John Geliebter/USA Today Sports

Jairo Arrieta, DC United, $6.5

Jairo Arrieta has not been DC’s main scoring threat but that doesn’t mean he has been absent from the attack. He’s helped DC United to 18 points in the league table in a stronger conference than more recent years. This week DC plays expansion Orlando City (12 goals against in nine games) and abysmal Philadelphia Union (21 goals against in 11 games) who both still have not found a way to quit bleeding goals. I think DC will have a harder time against Orlando than Philadelphia but I think Arrieta will still find a way to impact the scoreline both games. His price tag also means if you choose to add him to your roster this week in place of a higher placed forward then you will open cap to add a more expensive star. He’s a safe gamble this week if you play with your roster spots right.

Photo: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Federico Higuain, Columbus Crew SC, $10.4

Columbus Crew SC are away to San José Earthquakes this week but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to score goals. The Crew have been scoring goals with regularity this season tying for third most in the league at this point in the season. Higuain isn’t the one scoring the bulk of those, that distinction goes to Kei Kamara ($8.8), but I have read reports saying Kamara has a left groin strain this week which makes him questionable. Higuain will be more important to the attack this week with or without Kamara in the line-up and it’s going to mean more goals for him.

TOP MIDFIELD PICKS

Getty Images

Chris Rolfe ($8.9), Perry Kitchen ($7.6), Chris Pontius ($7.0), DC United

A few weeks ago I made a similar pick for New York Red Bulls when they also had two games in a week and it worked out great. It was a more broad pick due to their whole midfield being productive. I’m narrowing it down to three players this go round because the rest of the DC United midfield isn’t putting up the same amazing numbers. Chris Rolfe has a more advanced attacking role than Perry Kitchen or Chris Pontius but that doesn’t mean either one of those won’t contribute from the wing or hanging back. Perry Kitchen is younger and the more explosive of the three with a great ability to sniff out spaces and open players. Chris Pontius tends to use his experience and knowledge of the game to help shape attacks, more of a midfield maestro than an outright attacker. It also helps matters that they are playing Orlando City SC and Philadelphia Union which have both had troubles in the midfield. Whichever you decide to go with, you can’t go wrong because they’re all going to pick up points this week if they don’t get injured. Don’t forget that fantasy managers are only allotted two free transfers per week, any more and there’s a -4 point penalty, but using those two transfers on two of these three will be worth it if a roster doesn’t have any injuries or suspensions that need attention.

TOP DEFENSIVE PICKS

AP Photo

Jeff Larentowicz, Chicago Fire, $7.7

Jeff Larentowicz has had an amazing season so far even with Chicago’s -3 goal differential. His positive numbers are a more a reflection of his contribution to the Fire’s attack than his defensive prowess even though that’s not bad. He’s always good for at least one attacking bonus on top of his defending bonuses from constantly having to the be the best defender on his team. Chicago Fire play New York City FC this week and while there’s a good chance NYCFC may finally get their first win, I doubt that Larentowicz will be to blame. I expect him to continue his streak of putting up good numbers.


image credit: Tommy Gilligan

Sean Franklin, DC United, $8.2

Sean Franklin is managing to put together good numbers without scoring any goals and that says something of his importance to the DC United back line. He manages to make up for his lack of scoring with clearances, interceptions, completed passes and other intangibles that help add up the fantasy points. DC United are playing two teams this week that are not scoring goals or finishing games strong which means he has a good chance of getting at least one clean sheet bonus. If you decide to use a roster change on any defender this week, he’s the one you want to add.

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 04: Nat Borchers #7 of Portland Timbers holds up a Timber slab after the Timbers 3-1 victory in the game against the FC Dallas at Providence Park on April 4, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. The Timber slab represents a goal by that player. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR – APRIL 04: Nat Borchers #7 of Portland Timbers holds up a Timber slab after the Timbers 3-1 victory in the game against the FC Dallas at Providence Park on April 4, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. The Timber slab represents a goal by that player. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Nat Borchers, Portland Timbers, $8.1

Portland Timbers acquiring Nat Borchers in the off-season may have been the best defensive roster change this year for any team. He compliments his central defense partner Liam Ridgewell ($8.4) so well that you would think they’ve played together for years instead of a few months. Portland travels to Houston Dynamo this weekend for an important early season conference clash that will have bigger implications down the road. Both teams are not living up to their expectations and it’s early in the season but the positive turn around has to start this week. Portland and Houston are tied on points now only being separated by one goal which means neither team will want to concede anything. I expect it will be a very physical game which favors Borchers and Ridgewell more than the Houston back line. Borchers is also a focal point for any set piece and that means more chances for him to pick up attacking bonuses or a goal.

GOALKEEPER PICK OF THE WEEK


Victor Decolongon / Getty Images

Jaime Penedo, Los Angeles Galaxy, $6.2

Jaime Penedo gets my goalkeeper pick this week because of his current form. Most goals scored against him this season have had more to do with defensive lapses than his quality. He’s always been an unbelievable shot stopper and manages his back line better than any other Central American goalkeeper the league has seen in decades. His only shortcoming is his indecisiveness on crosses in the box but Orlando City SC tend to attack more up the middle because of Kaka which will play right in to his hands. OCSC will also be coming off a midweek game which will mean tired legs and rested stars that will stunt an already unimpressive attack. He’s this weekend’s best chance at a clean sheet.

Cesar ‘Turtle’ Gutierrez covers MLS for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @namcopunk

 

Cesar GutierrezAnalysisFantasyMLSSoccerArrieta,borchers,Chicago,Chicago Fire,columbus crew sc,ColumbusCrew,ColumbusCrewSC,Crew,davies,DC,dc united,dcu,DCUnited,Fantasy,fantasy manager,Fire,franklin,Galaxy,higuain,JairoArrieta,kitchen,la galaxy,LAGalaxy,larenetowicz,los angels galaxy,LosAngelesGalaxy,Major League Soccer,MajorLeagueSoccer,mls,MLS Fantasy Manager,mlsfantasymanager,new England Revolution,newenglandrevolution,penedo,pontius,Portland Timbers,PortlandTimbers,PTFC,rolfeMLS Fantasy Manager week 11 brings us another round of double game action for two teams. Both Orlando City SC and DC United are pulling double duty this week when they face each other Wednesday at 8 P.M. then play again this weekend. Don't forget to keep an eye...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?