Hello Fantasy Owners! I'm still serving as the interim fantasy guru while Jamie Umbach is away and if you're like me, you're pretty happy about last round. I was able to finish Round 20 with 105 points which put me in the top 10 scorers of the Round for Dynamo Theory's leagues. While I managed to climb up in the Classic League for Dynamo Theory, my Propaniacs fell just short of Dan Coker and his FlyingPigs in our Head-to-Head League, so congrats to you Dan Coker!
This week, I want to discuss the importance of matchups and how they can be utilized to maximize point potentials for your squad. Looking at which teams are playing can be a quick indicator about whether or not players will be productive. Let's take a quick look at a few of the clubs that have been performing well, or could be expected to within Round 21.
Pickup Players from these Clubs:
1) The LA Galaxy: Things are simply humming for the Galaxy at the moment. Robbie Keane ($11.6) has scored a hat-trick in back-to-back games and now has the service of Steven Gerrard ($10.2) behind him. The Galaxy aren't as good on the road as they are at the Home Depot Center, but they're coming to face our Houston Dynamo who will have several playes suspended and will be playing their 3rd game in a week's time. This doesn't bode well for the Dynamo, but could help you out as a FMLS owner if you load up on players that are influential to the LAG offense. The Dynamo typically score at much higher rates at home than they do on the road, but tired legs will factor in. Picking up LA defenders couldn't hurt this round either.
2) Columbus Crew SC /Toronto FC: These two clubs will play against each other and neither of these teams have been playing tremendous defense lately. I expect respective defenses to struggle with the likes of Kei Kamara ($9.5), Ethan Finlay ($9.0), and Sebastian Giovinco ($12.6). Jozy Altidore ($9.9) will also be in the mix to give defenses bouts. I would not pick up defenders in this match unless I was looking ahead to other Rounds.
3) Vancouver Whitecaps: The Whitecaps will be taking on the San Jose Earthquakes. The Quakes do not travel well and have been in a bit of a funk lately with players like Wondo out. Picking up players like GK David Ousted ($5.7), Pa-Modou Kah ($6.6), or Pedro Morales ($11.4) could really pay off against the struggling Earthquakes. Furthermore, the Whitecaps will be playing the Sounders next week in a Cascadia Rivalry match and the Whitecaps are the team in form now.
4) The Montreal Impact: The Impact will be at home against the sinking Seattle Sounders. Without Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, the Sounders have been desperate for goal scorers. Picking up Impact defenders like Laurent Ciman ($7.7) or the incredibly affordable Donny Toia ($4.9) could help against a stagnant Seattle offense. Picking up their playmaker Ignacio Piatti ($10.2) could also help out.
5) Sporting Kansas City: SKC utilized largely a 1st team against the Dynamo and have tired legs from playing their 3rd team in a week, but somehow SKC has managed to grind out results. They'll travel to Rio Tinto to face Real Salt Lake, and while RSL remain difficult to beat at home (and have beaten SKC once there this year), a depleted RSL side shouldn't be too hard for Benny Feilhaber ($10.4) and Co. to deal with.
Bye Rounds and DGW Ahead:
This week, you should not be playing players from the Colorado Rapids or the New York Red Bulls because they will not be playing - they're on a bye this week. If you have players from those clubs, stash them on the bench, or make a swap for someone mentioned above. While no team plays twice in Round 22, Montreal, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City, and Toronto all play twice in Round 23 with FC Dallas and New England on a bye then.
Learning about teams in form, extra games (tired legs), and road/home games can mean the difference between a very good Fantasy week and a very poor one. Look a few weeks ahead to see if making the sacrifice one week is a short or long term solution to your lineup. This kind of research can make a big impact on your score.