Hello again Fantasy MLS owners! With our regular Fantasy Guru Jamie Umbach currently on vacation following his amazing experience at the Women's World Cup, I'll be your interim guru for just a few more weeks.
This Week's DGW Teams
Round 20 of FMLS will be about preparing for the DGW and the teams on bye weeks in the coming rounds. This round, the Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew SC will each face each other twice which means the MLS goal-scoring leader Kei Kamara ($9.4) and MLS assist leader Ethan Finlay ($8.8) should be on your team to face a thin backline without its highest scoring defender Jeff Larentowicz who could miss the rest of the season with a herniated disc in his neck. One Chicago Fire player worth considering is Eric Gehrig ($5.1) who has quietly risen up the "in-form" charts and is in position to play the full length of each game in the back for the Fire.
DGW and Bye Weeks on the Horizon
Making preparations for bye weeks instead of living week to week can save you from a lot of hassle. Picking up players right before a bye week can pay off, but that player will either cost you a transfer fee the next week or will ride the bench. Sometimes that works out, but with soccer being unpredictable as it is, it's always important to be prepared. In Round 21, the Colorado Rapids and the New York Red Bulls have a bye which means I wouldn't be rushing out to pick up Bradley Wright Phillips ($11.4) despite his impressive performance last week, Lloyd Sam (9.3), or Clint Irwin ($5.2) because they won't do you any good next week. If you have them, great - you can transfer them out or stash them on the bench later, but I wouldn't go out of my way to pick up these players this week.
While no team sits on a Bye Week in Round 22, Round 23 boasts 4 teams playing twice in Montreal, the Red Bulls, Orlando City, and Toronto with 2 clubs on byes in FC Dallas and the New England Revolution. What's important here is some players, including the Houston Dynamo's own DaMarcus Beasley, will be coming off time at the All-Star Game and a regular season game a few days before so stars like Michael Bradley could be playing limited minutes especially considering the Gold Cup will have just finished.
Other Players worth Picking Up
DF Kevin Ellis ($6.5) - Ellis is the most "in form" defender by a significant margin and this Sporting Kansas City side looks tough to beat as they took down the Vancouver Whitecaps on the road last week. Also, pick up MF Benny Feilhaber ($10.2) if you're going the SKC route.
DF Donny Toia ($4.9) - His popularity is likely on the rise because of his price, but Toia had an excellent Round 19 and picking him up will help you manage your fantasy dollars while also preparing you for Montreal's DGW in round 23.
MF Juninho ($8.8) - As I mentioned, the Quakes aren't primed for an upset here and Juninho could be partnered with Steven Gerrard to help pull the strings for the Galaxy.
MF Sebastian Giovinco ($12.5) - He's creating more points than any other fantasy player, is coming off a great performance/is in form, and is playing a team that has conceded the 2nd most goals in the lead.
FW Robbie Keane ($11.4) - Fresh off a bye-week, Keane and the LA Galaxy will take on an Earthquake side that has struggled lately.