MLS Fantasy Manager week 27
MLS Fantasy Manager week 27 brings slim pickings for the league as half the league is on bye. Clubs have had to release many stars for international duty because it’s a FIFA international fixture week. Check your rosters and schedules to see what other players are available this weekend because there aren’t many. It’s also a wildcard week due to the heavy lack of teams playing—now is the time to rest your roster for the final stretch of the Major League Soccer regular season.
TOP FORWARD PICKS
Quincy Amarikwa, San José Earthquakes, $6.9
Quincy Amarikwa gets another pick from me this week because of the league schedule as much as his amazing current form. San José Earthquakes have found a great strike partner for Chris Wondolowski up top and both of them will be available and, most likely, in the line-up this weekend to face Philadelphia Union. San José has a lot to play for this weekend because they’re tied on points with Seattle for the final playoff spot. Amarikwa will contribute in big ways to the playoff push and that is going to continue this weekend.
Federico Higuaín, Columbus Crew S.C., $10.6
Federico Higuaín is getting less attention this season because of Kei Kamara’s goal tally but this doesn’t mean he’s having a bad year. Higuaín is picking up plenty of attacking bonuses and assists to make up for not scoring as much as his teammate. Kamara is away on international duty this weekend and that means that Higuaín will have more scoring responsibility weight on his shoulders against visiting F.C. Dallas. F.C. Dallas is a horrible road team this season and the Columbus offense will benefit from it, mainly Higuaín. Multiple goals aren’t out of the question for him this weekend.
Charlie Davies, New England Revolution, $8.8
Charlie Davies is performing inconsistently this season but he is not a bad season. He’s managed a respectable fantasy points tally for this time of year due to his streaky nature. He’s played well recently and that’s a good indicator for his form to continue at least another week. New England is at home to Orlando City S.C., another team with road woes, but I don’t foresee a blowout with the Revolution missing Jermaine Jones. This match will be a low scoring affair and Charlie Davies is going to tally points on the little offense that New England will produce.
TOP MIDFIELD PICKS
Ethan Finlay, Columbus Crew S.C., $9.2
This pick is a no-brainer for me. Finlay is one of the few players having an MVP season who is actually playing a league game this weekend. F.C. Dallas is a horrible road team so Finlay should have no problem with an F.C.D. midfield missing its two main stars, Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz. Finlay will be able to rack up a ton of points if he can connect with Higuaín and possibly McInerney as well as he does with Kamara. The truth is both teams will be missing quite a few key players but Columbus is the one keeping their key to offensive success this season and Dallas won’t.
Erik Friberg, Seattle Sounders F.C., $7.2
Erik Friberg has made eight appearances since rejoining Seattle and MLS but has become an integral part of their attack once again. He fills a hole in the offense this weekend with Clint Dempsey still unfit to play a full match. The Seattle attack is stacked but has been weakened at times this season by call-ups and injuries. They’re finally about to get back to the form that everyone expects of them and this weekend is the earliest that could happen. The longer Friberg stays in the match, the better his chances will get at contributing to the attack. Toronto F.C. will have Michael Bradley this weekend but will likely be missing Sebastian Giovinco and that means Seattle will attack hard. Friberg’s back on this team for a reason and he’s going to repay the front office in dividends this weekend.
Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution, $11.2
Nguyen is another recent pick who isn’t having a bad year but he’s definitely not having the kind of season he did in 2014. He’s been getting the job done for his midfield as of late and, even with Jones away on international duty, I don’t see that changing this weekend against Orlando City S.C.. Nguyen should still have enough of the usual Revs attack to outplay their visitors. I said before that I’m sure this game will not have a lot of goals but Nguyen will still pick up attacking bonuses, possibly some defending bonuses, and will contribute to any goal that New England is able to score.
TOP DEFENSE PICKS
Marvell Wynne, San José Earthquakes, $7.1
Marvell Wynne is one of the great workhorses of MLS during the past ten years. He isn’t always the best defender or the fastest and definitely not the most skilled player on the field but his work rate and soccer acumen are unparalleled. It’s safe to say that he’s been integral to San José’s recent clean sheet streak. One of the best things about watching MLS is how unpredictable it can be and the current San José run is proof of that. I pretty much left them for dead a month ago and they’ve since surged back into playoff contention. As unpredictable as this league is, I don’t see Philadelphia being able to stop the Earthquakes’ current run. San Jose has come together as a team and have begun to understand each other better every game. They have no stars missing because of international duty and Wynne’s back line will use that to their advantage against a weak Philadelphia attack.
Andrew Farrell, New England Revolution, $8.2
Andrew Farrell is piecing together an impressive defensive season for a team that is not living up to their expectations. You can try to place blame on New England’s current spot in the standings on a few players but Farrell isn’t one of them. He’s done everything he can to keep his team in the hunt. New England faces Orlando City S.C. in a key conference match-up, it’s what soccer enthusiasts call a “six point match” because whoever wins gains three points while the loser misses out on three points. Farrell will not have to deal with Kaká or Cyle Larin so I don’t see the Orlando attack having much bite. He’ll pick up a few defending bonuses to go with a probable clean sheet bonus.
Michael Parkhurst, Columbus Crew S.C., $7.6
Michael Parkhurst is another of the few regular starters still available for Columbus Crew S.C. this weekend. The F.C. Dallas attack is even more devastated by absences and injuries this weekend so I’ll be surprised if they pose any threat to Columbus back line on Sunday. Parkhurst is an amazing leader for the Crew and if anyone can pull together their patchwork defense, it’s him. It’s also going to be helpful that this game will be at home for Columbus since they’re going to need whatever extra help they can get.
GOALKEEPER PICK OF THE WEEK
Evan Bush, Montreal Impact, $5.1
First off, congratulations to Evan Bush and his wife on the birth of their new baby! Bush missed a rough game last week to be at home for his child’s birth. He should return to the squad this week for a must-win match against Chicago. This match is crucial to prolonging Montreal’s season because they will leapfrog Orlando City S.C. if Orlando can’t come away from New England with a result. Montreal has a new manager but that won’t be a problem against a poor road team like Chicago. Evan Bush will have to make a few saves but he will get big points this weekend for a clean sheet. He won’t have some his key defenders in front of him but it won’t stop him from having a big match.
Cesar Gutierrez covers MLS for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @namcopunk