MLS Fantasy Manager Week 8
MLS Fantasy Manager week 8 ends the month of April with a bang. Week 8 is full of rivalry matches, conference match-ups and star-studded affairs. Keep one eye on injuries and another on teams’ twitter feeds to stay up to date on who is going to make the game day rosters or not. Remember: you have until the start of a match to substitute players.
TOP FORWARD PICKS
Kei Kamara, Columbus Crew, $8.4
Columbus Crew SC are looking much stronger as this season trucks along while Philadelphia Union keep losing points late in their games. Kei Kamara is an explosive player who brings energy the entire game but shines in the second half which is when Philadelphia is weakest. His season is only going to get better so it’s an even better idea to sign him up now before his price increases.
Mike Grella, New York Red Bulls, $6.2
Mike Grella has been quietly having a solid season for a team that still has yet to lose a game. Grella is a great option up top along Bradley Wright-Phillips who still contributes a lot to an offense even when he doesn’t score goals. Grella is also a smart pick if you have Wright-Phillips on your team because if one is assisting and the other is scoring then you reap the benefits of their strong play. He’ll easily fit in your budget at his price. New York are playing Los Angeles Galaxy who are a strong opponent but they’re a mid-to-late season team who has yet to hit their stride—this will help keep NYRB scoring and winning this week.
Darren Mattocks, Vancouver Whitecaps, $7.8
Darren Mattocks is a streaky, inconsistent player who can have an amazing week or two and then be a dud for a few games. Mattocks scored last week and has looked strong the past two game—he’s streaking now so sign him up. He also tends to play better in home games and this week Vancouver welcomes DC United to BC Place. He’s a gamble since this form may not last longer but ride that wave until it disappears.
TOP MIDFIELD PICKS
Lamar Neagle, Seattle Sounders FC, $8.6
Lamar Neagle is back! He’s had a rough stretch of games to start the season but that had to do more with injured teammates than his quality of play. He’s definitely the type of player who has better games when those around him are healthy and firing on all cylinders. Look for him to have another strong week with both Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins returning to the line-up again. This will also be a Cascadia Cup game against hated rivals Portland Timbers, he always brings his A-game for this fixture.
Harrison Shipp, Chicago Fire, $7.9
Chicago Fire have had two bye weeks but they’re back this weekend against New York City FC Harrison Shipp has been the anchor of the Chicago midfield this season, any positive play is going to come through him. Shipp isn’t just a strong attacker but also isn’t afraid to track back to play defense. He may be small but there is a lot of power and skill in that small frame. Shipp will be solid again against NYCFC who still aren’t clicking the way most Jason Kreis teams do.
Benny Feilhaber, Sporting Kansas City, $9.5
It’s getting to the point where you might as well just keep Benny Feilhaber on your roster. He’s the top points earner at this point in the season while showing no signs of dropping in form. Sporting Kansas City is going on the road to Houston Dynamo but it won’t affect his game. Houston has been nigh unbeatable at home the past few seasons but that doesn’t mean Feilhaber will drop in quality. Feilhaber is also reasonably priced for such a high-quality player, especially when compared to other star midfielders in the league.
TOP DEFENSIVE PICKS
Jeff Larentowicz, Chicago Fire, $7.5
Jeff Larentowicz was really rounding in to form for Chicago Fire before the two bye weeks. He’s been one of their key players the past couple seasons because of his ability to contribute to the attack while being a brick wall of a defender. He plays hard, tough-as-nails MLS defense better than most defenders in the league. New York City FC have a skilled, high-paced offense but they tend to falter against strong-willed defenses…they’re fragile, to be blunt about it. They will definitely make some pretty moves against Chicago but Larentowicz will not let that keep up all game.
Michael Parkhurst, Columbus Crew SC, $7.9
Michael Parkhurst is having another phenomenal season for a mediocre team. Columbus has the ability to come up big some weeks but have stretches of losses or low scoring draws. While that may not bode well for forwards, that isn’t bad for defenders. Clean sheets are clean sheets and the points add up when a player contributes to the attack the way Parkhurst does. He’s going to have a solid home game against floundering Philadelphia.
Omar Gonzalez, Los Angeles Galaxy, $9.5
There’s a good reason Omar Gonzalez is the highest priced defender in MLS Fantasy Manager—he’s the best defender in the league now. He’s a guaranteed four points most weeks and is always the main target on set-pieces. LA is going up against the red-hot Red Bulls but that doesn’t mean they’re going to fold for them. He had a solid game against Mexico last week and he’s going to keep that form this weekend.
GOALKEEPER OF THE WEEK
Steve Clark, Columbus Crew SC, $5.7
Steve Clark is another player quietly having a solid early season. He’s had three clean sheets against strong offenses, imagine what he can do against a bad one. He’s going to benefit against Philadelphia just like the rest of his teammates, another clean sheet is definitely not out of the question.
BARGAIN PICK OF THE WEEK
Dillon Powers, Colorado Rapids, $7.7
Dillon Powers’ importance to the Colorado Rapids attack is what separates him from other similarly priced midfielders. There aren’t many players who are cheaper that are putting up his numbers and a lot more higher priced midfielders who aren’t a lock for the starting eleven. He’s a guaranteed two points every week, great for your bench if you have room in your budget for him. He’s also one of the few attacking options for Colorado. They aren’t winning games but that isn’t taking away from his performance week in, week out. He might be gone from the league soon, as Serie A clubs are scouting him (I keep hearing Palermo are his main suitors), so add him before he disappears.
Cesar “Turtle” Gutierrez covers the MLS for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @namcopunk