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Fantasy Round 18: Preparing for Bye Weeks and Gold Cup Call-Ups

Following last round’s point bonanza, Fantasy Owners should prepare for upcoming bye weeks and international call-ups

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Hello Fantasy MLS owners! I hope that you all are in as good spirits after reaping the huge point possibilities in the previous round of FMLS. I finished Round 17 with 118 points, meaning only a handful of you were as lucky prepared as me which helped push me up in both of Dynamo Theory's fantasy leagues. But let's not talk too much about the past as it's time to begin looking ahead towards bye weeks, international call-ups, and key matchups and players to keep an eye on in the chaos of it all.

First, Sporting Kansas City and the Philadelphia Union are sitting on a bye this week so all of you Benny Feilhaber owners should stash him on the bench or transfer him out for the week (though be sure to pick him up again because he will earn you points). Secondly, D.C. United and the LA Galaxy have a bye week in Round 19 which means a couple of different things. One, the DCU train - with all of its DGWs and high ranking in the standings for several weeks, turned out to largely be a bust for many fantasy owners. Head Coach Ben Olsen rotated his lineup so that players rarely started both games in a DGW. If I were to pick up DC players, I'd examine matchups, not rely on DGWs, and would realize that DC players may not be long term since lineups vary week-to-week. DC is still playing well, but Ben Olsen has made them unpredictable for fantasy owners. Also, Robbie Keane is in form for the Galaxy and could be worth picking up despite a bye week coming up.

Something else to look out for is the Gold Cup which will impact Round 19 and could affect subsequent rounds depending on how well a team does. This provides opportunities for some players to break into lineups, but also affects matchups and how we, as fantasy owners, construct and prepare our lineups.

Many of the players I suggested for last round still hold up: Kei Kamara ($9.3) and Ethan Finlay ($8.7) each lead the league in goals and assists respectively and have manageable matchups against the New York Red Bulls this week and the Montreal Impact next week. Sebastian Giovinco ($12.3) performed very well last round, travels with Toronto FC to face the LA Galaxy and then New York City FC the following week. Two road matches may seem daunting, but Giovinco is the most in-form player in the league at the moment and could be worth his price tag.

After last week's Dynamo/FC Dallas match, I'm convinced that Fabian Castillo ($10.4) is the real deal. He'll face the New England Revolution, a team that has given up more goals than any other team in the league followed by mid-table opponent Orlando City SC.  Lastly, two players quietly finding their form are Portland forward Fanendo Adi ($9.7) and NYCFC's David Villa ($10.7), however Adi's playing time has been inconsistent leading me to prefer Villa of the two - along with his matchups.

Remember, keep an eye on a week or two in advance to allow yourself time to make transfers without feeling the pinch of point penalties for extra transfers. This means avoiding players that have been called up or are about to be called up (unless part of your plan is to bench/transfer that player in the next round). Do your research, check which players are in-form, and look at the matchups. Best of luck next round Fantasy MLS owners!