MLS Fantasy Manager week 13
MLS Fantasy Manager week 13 kicks off two weeks of six teams getting two games for the week. This week players for Colorado Rapids, D.C. United, Los Angeles Galaxy, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, and Seattle Sounders FC all get their shot for double their fantasy tallies. It’s also the start of international competition season so check your rosters for any players getting called up to their national squads as well as any injuries.
TOP FORWARD PICKS
Kei Kamara, Columbus Crew, $9.0
Kei Kamara is unstoppable right now and is having his best season in years. He spent a couple so-so seasons in Europe but has played like a mad man since he’s returned to the league where first found his stroke. I’ve already recommended him before and if he hasn’t stayed on your roster then put him back on it. Columbus are on the road to expansion Orlando City SC this week, who is improving but I doubt will keep him from scoring at least once, and then next week Kamara gets a chance to double up when the Crew play twice. It’s as good a time as any to add him if you haven’t yet. His price is also going to keep going up as it already has gone up every week since he’s been signed to the league. Add him now or regret it.
Alvaro Saborio, Real Salt Lake, $9.6
Real Salt Lake is barely hanging on at this point of the season and Saborio is one of the main reasons they haven’t completely dropped off. He has yet to match his big numbers from earlier seasons but the whole team is having that slow start so it’s not completely his fault. Saborio will have two tough road games this week against Los Angeles Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps but I think both teams have dropped off in form recently as well so he’ll find a way to put the ball in the back of the net through pure determination. Vancouver started hot but, other than a big win against Philadelphia, have cooled since mid-April. Los Angeles has not had a great month of May and are still trying to find their great form. Saborio is going to take advantage of their current drop off in form even if his team doesn’t find a way to win.
Obafemi Martins, Seattle Sounders FC, $11.6
Obefemi Martins is a gamble this week because of his price tag and his health. He is the most expensive player for MLS Fantasy because his play always matches his price tag especially when paired with Clint Dempsey. Two weeks ago Martins received a tibial contusion that sidelined him immediately. While he wasn’t ready for action this past weekend, reports are stating that he will be ready to go against Colorado on Wednesday night. I don’t expect him to play the full 90 minutes in either game this week, though I won’t be surprised if he does, but I do expect him to play in each game because of how integral he is to the Seattle attack. If you can afford him without decimating your roster then picking him during a two-match week is the best time to do so.
TOP MIDFIELD PICKS
Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders FC, $11.8
If there was any week to find a way to fit both Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, this is it. Dempsey comes with a huge price tag just like his partner but the way the two play together, it’s worth every penny. Most rosters will have to sacrifice some other big names this week to make this work and I don’t think it’s a bad idea to take the -4 points hit for making an extra roster move just to get these two in your line-up. I wouldn’t recommend using the wildcard option this week only because during week 15 there will be ten teams with byes and most people will have to overhaul their rosters just to field a full squad. If you can play your cards right with some less expensive but productive forwards and midfielders (Gabriel Torres $7.6, Jairo Arrieta $6.4, Ryan Hollingshead $5.4, Davy Arnaud $6.5 all come to mind) or even bottoming out with $4.0 priced young talent who probably won’t play to fill out your bench then you should be able to afford both.
Perry Kitchen, D.C. United, $7.6
Perry Kitchen has played consistently well this season with the occasional big game and has yet to miss a minute of action. This week D.C. United is one of the teams with two matches and I think that manager Ben Olsen will want to rest some of his usual starters for some part of a game if not a whole game completely. There is a possibility that Olsen will finally give Kitchen a rest at some point this week, I don’t foresee it being for a full game. His points may not always show it but he’s more often than not the best midfielder for D.C. United during any game. Chris Rolfe ($8.9) has more points but plays fewer minutes with a higher price tag. If you want to save some cash to fit in other big name players, that extra $1 will go a long way. D.C. plays Portland on Wednesday and Philadelphia on Saturday. Portland is always a tough away game for anyone even when they aren’t playing well and Philadelphia has been resurgent as of late but I think Kitchen will rise to the occasion as he always done during both matches.
Luke Mulholland, Real Salt Lake, $8.3
Luke Mulholland was a pleasant surprise last season coming up from the second division North American Soccer League to join Real Salt Lake. He found a way in to the starting line-up of one of MLS’s more recent powerhouses and has stayed there with no reasons to see him leave it. This year he’s only had two games with less than three points and both of them were late substitute appearances early in the campaign. Since week four, Mulholland has averaged almost five points per game, that’s impressive for any player much less someone in a slightly less attacking role than most midfielders. That’s not to say he doesn’t contribute to the attack but he’s more grit than flash and that’s perfect for him. If Mulholland can keep his average points up this week then he’ll bring your team at least ten points by himself.
TOP DEFENSIVE PICKS
Kofi Opare, D.C. United, $5.2
Kofi Opare is having a breakout season that has surprised few. Opare was considered the type of young player with a ton of upside potential and natural talent that every team loves when D.C. United acquired him from Los Angeles Galaxy season. Opare hasn’t left the back line since week four and is averaging just under five points a game since then. His numbers aren’t coming from attacking play but from his stand out defensive performances for a dominant defense. As I said before, D.C. United has two tough games against difficult road opponent Portland and a hot Philadelphia side back home at RFK Stadium. Philadelphia has surprised with their form lately but I don’t think they can keep it up against the best team in the league right now. Look for a tough midweek game where Opare will scrap together at least four points and a big numbers game against Philadelphia. That price tag is perfect to offset any other high-priced players, too.
Tyrone Mears, Seattle Sounders FC, $6.9
Tyrone Mears is best known for being the player he’s not. Seattle lost a ton of speed and attacking prowess when DeAndre Yedlin left for Tottenham Hotspur but for what Mears lacks in speed he makes up for in defensive intelligence and passing ability. His style is much more traditional while still being able to fit in to the mold of today’s attacking defensive winger. His crosses are also more powerful and accurate than Yedlin’s which is scaring considering how good his crossing ability is. He won’t score many goals and he may find a way to pick up an assist but his points come from his defending bonuses and clean sheets both of which he’ll find a way to earn this week.
Dan Gargan, Los Angeles Galaxy, $7.1
Dan Gargan makes the pick list this week because of his current form and health. Los Angeles Galaxy has had three of their outside defenders (A.J. DeLaGarza, Robbie Rogers, and Todd Dunivant) miss out on games in the past few weeks due to various injuries. While they could all make a return this week, I doubt any of them will actually start. Dan Gargan had an amazing game against a tough Houston side that loves to attack on the wings. Gargan looks like the only sure outside back for LA going in to the midweek clash with Real Salt Lake and the same could be said for the weekend game against powerhouse New England Revolution. I doubt he’s going to have two games like last week’s games but he’s going to have at least one.
GOALKEEPER PICK OF THE WEEK
Bill Hamid, D.C. United, $6.4
Bill Hamid is considered by many to be the future starting goalkeeper of the U.S. Men’s National Team for a reason. He’s already as good a shot stopper as the two men in front of him in the pecking order (Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando while Tim Howard is still taking a year away from international duty) and just as intelligent a leader of his back line. He doesn’t have the footwork of Rimando or the international experience of Guzan but that doesn’t take away from his abilities. He’s had plenty of highlight saves this year and has kept his team in every game when his brilliant defense actually lets a ball through. Hamid and his back line will have their work cut out for this week but he’s never afraid to step out for a defending bonus and one of those games will end up a clean sheet because of it. He’s expensive for a goalkeeper but well worth the price with the double dip on points.
Cesar ‘Turtle’ Gutierrez covers Fantasy MLS for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @namcopunk