MLS Fantasy Manager week 25
MLS Fantasy Manager week 25 has some of the league’s top scorers playing twice. Whoever is going to come up big depends on who is going to get hot and where they’re going to be playing. Teams are gearing up for the final playoff push with big signings and returning stars. Who is going to come up big this week?
TOP FORWARD PICKS
Kei Kamara, Columbus Crew S.C., $9.6
Kei Kamara and Columbus Crew S.C. are returning from a bye week to play twice this week at home. They’ll be welcoming two tough, high scoring opponents in New York City F.C. and Sporting Kansas City. Kamara has appeared many times on my list this season, I doubt this will be the last time he shows up. Sporting K.C. and N.Y.C.F.C. both play to win as if their best defense is a good offense. This will mean a shot at two high scoring games for the Columbus attack. There is a possibility that Kamara could be rested part of a game but it’s not as likely after the bye week. Look for Kamara to get significant minutes in a game where his nose for goal is necessary for his team’s positive outcome.
Krisztian Nemeth, Sporting Kansas City, $8.5
Krisztian Nemeth has turned into Sporting K.C.’s best striker. He has posted better numbers this season and is a speedier threat than the more physical Dom Dwyer. He doesn’t always play the full 90 and may get some rest to start one of the two games but I don’t foresee that being a problem in his quest to light up the scoreboard this week. The game at home against San José Earthquakes will be his better chance at a monster game but going on the road to Columbus won’t be a total bust if S.K.C. can continue their great recent form.
David Villa, New York City F.C. $11.4
David Villa started out slow this season but once he got going, boy, did he get going. He has great games even when N.Y.C.F.C. loses which is good because they don’t win very much. They are not out of the playoff hunt yet which means the team will push harder as the season starts drawing to a close. Villa may get some rest this weekend but he’s more than capable of a brace or hat trick against any MLS team, even the high-flying Columbus Crew S.C. or surging Los Angeles Galaxy. I’ve picked him a lot recently but that’s because his team is more offense than defense and will try to outscore their opponent instead of stopping them from scoring. When playing the two opponents they will face this weekend, that means high scoring games.
TOP MIDFIELD PICKS
Ethan Finlay, Columbus Crew S.C., $9.0
Ethan Finlay won’t win the MVP award this season but he will definitely be on the ballot. He is coming off a much-needed rest from a bye week that came at the right time. No one should leave him off their roster and I doubt Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter will take him out at all over the next two games this week. He’s become the most integral piece to the Crew attack with his precise passing and great decision-making. Pairing him with Kamara on your roster this week will mean an accumulation of even more points because Finlay will assist on at least one Kamara goal, more than two isn’t out of the question.
Benny Feilhaber, Sporting Kansas City, $10.8
Benny Feilhaber is, hands down, the best fantasy player this season. His price paired with his output means you can build a team around him and still find a way to afford some solid players. He doesn’t have the highest point total but he’s close. He’s going to add many more points to that total this week with a game at home against the sub par attack of the San José Earthquakes and the underwhelming defense of Columbus Crew S.C..
Kwadwo Poku, New York City F.C., $6.9
Kwadwo Poku is becoming this season’s biggest surprise. He had a poor preseason where he was scouted as being tactically unsound and was brought into the roster as a mid-game injury replacement. He has not yet to become a regular starter but his current form have made it harder and harder to keep him out of the roster. He’s going to see significant playing time this week thanks to the N.Y.C.F.C. midfield full of aging legs and low performing stars. This week is the perfect time to step up and grab hold of that starting spot never to let go.
TOP DEFENSIVE PICKS
Jeff Larentowicz, Chicago Fire, $8.1
The Chicago Fire are the worst team in Major League Soccer but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of good performances. This week they play the just slightly better Colorado Rapids in Chicago. If anyone can have an offensively worse game than the Fire, it’s Colorado. Colorado is exponentially worse on the road than they are in home which should make for a great defensive performances for the recently returned Jeff Larentowicz. Larentowicz was one of the Fire’s few bright spots before an injury sidelined him for five games but he’s recaptured his early season form and will have a man of the match performance this weekend. A clean sheet is not out of the question.
Nat Borchers, Portland Timbers, $8.4
Nat Borchers is going into beast mode as the season hits its later stages. He’s always a threat in the air no matter what side of the ball he is on and cleans up any pass that comes through like a traditional sweeper, something this league hasn’t seen in years. He’s huge, fast, good with his feet and his soccer intelligence is off the charts. Portland is also almost impossible to score on at home which means a high chance of a clean sheet against a team who has difficulty scoring as does Houston Dynamo. Nat Borchers will notch plenty of defending bonuses this weekend and maybe more if he can open himself up on a set piece to be the giant target that he is.
Kevin Ellis, Sporting Kansas City, $6.6
Kevin Ellis is the type of defender who is as good as his teammates. It’s not a knock on him by any means but is more an explanation of his role on the field. He’s not the main guy in the back and isn’t the speediest of defenders who can contribute to the attack. But when the defense clicks or he can get forward on a set piece because his team is playing well, he’s quick to capitalize on anything that comes his way. He’s going to go as far as his team does this week and that means a great game against San José with the possibility of a solid game on the road in Columbus.
GOALKEEPER PICK OF THE WEEK
Tim Melia, Sporting Kansas City, $5.0
Tim Melia has the best shot at keeping at least one clean sheet this week while playing two games. The game against Columbus will be much tougher since it will be away to a high-octane attack but that just means more defending bonuses and saves. San José present their own set of problems but their attack is nowhere near as potent as Columbus’ which means a higher chance of a clean sheet in Melia’s first game this week. He’s going to come up big in both games, either way, and he’s cheaper than most starting goalkeepers in the league.
Cesar Gutierrez covers MLS for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @namcopunk