MLS Fantasy players, and especially Houston fans, will get an early start this week for round 31 on Wednesday thanks to double game weeks for Toronto FC, the San Jose Earthquakes, and the Dynamo respectively.
Wednesday's matches could be the breaking point for some team's playoff runs, including the Dynamo and Toronto, who line up against each other on Wednesday night at BMO Field.
Round 30 Recap
Eight clean sheets were on the cards in Round 30, coupled with a total of 20 goals, including two off the foot of Round 30's top point scorer Rodney Wallace from the Portland Timbers in a 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes. Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Sebastien Fernandez matched that total with a brace against FC Dallas, but would draw a yellow card and force a suspension for next game due to yellow card accumulation.
The emphasis placed on the Chicago Fire last week from holding the only DGW in Round 30 was met with mixed reviews. Did you end up picking up goalkeeper Sean Johnson? If you did, you probably have no regrets, except the fire conceding an 88th minute goal to the Philadelphia Union and denying you another valuable clean sheet bonus. Robert Earnshaw's late sub heroics pulled one back in the 92nd minute to preserve a draw for the Fire.
Johnson's clean sheet against the Impact, along with the 1-1 draw with the Union was enough to see him into Round 30's Dream Team with teammate Bakary Soumare. Robbie Keane and Obafemi Martins didn't disappoint again for managers, each scoring 12 points. Dan Gargan threw a wrench into many sides thanks to a late scratch against Toronto.
So how will you line up in Round 31? With three DGW's and a lot of playoff implications and national team interferences, smart picking and doing your research is the key. But we're here doing all the legwork for you, so all you have to do is push a few buttons.
The Dynamo head to Toronto for a mid-week clash on Wednesday before facing off against heavyweights DC United this weekend. Their Small playoff hopes shrunk even more with Honduras calling on the services of Boniek Garcia and Luis Garrido, with Toronto most likely fielding a full roster as they push on with their own playoff ambitions. Bill Hamid is likely to feature on Sunday following his international call-up with the USA when the Dynamo travels to DC.
The Dynamo are getting no favors this week, and I might want to leave my attacking options open for the big names like Robbie Keane and Obafemi Martins. Stick to the proven guns with this week's uncertainty around the playoffs and while the golden boot race heats up.
I'm banking on Toronto to get things done thanks to a full line-up against the Dynamo (unfortunately), and it might be a good week to get Michael Bradley in your side. Jermaine Defoe played 31 minutes in their 3-0 loss to the Galaxy, so I'm hopeful he gets back in for a full 90 minutes. Any TFC forward would pair well with Bradley, but a nice sleeper is Dominic Oduro at $8.6M.
Expect big minutes from the Dynamo's defensive line with Kofi Sarkodie and David Horst. Pending certain results, players could see an early return or late departure to and from international call-ups, such as San Jose striker Chris Wondolowski and the Dynamo's Brad Davis. Your DGW players could only see the field for 90 rather than a full two matches. Pick around this to avoid missing out on the big points.