Hello again Fantasy MLS owners! Regular fantasy MLS guru Jamie Umbach should be back soon, but until he's back you're stuck with me for better or for worse. Last week, I was able to climb the standings ladder in both of Dynamo Theory's fantasy leagues despite captaining Robbie Keane (he was on back-to-back hat-tricks, don't hate me Houston).
This week in fantasy, many of the CONCACAF Gold Cup stars are returning, but a few players on your roster may be appearing in the 2015 MLS All-Star match tonight against Tottenham Hotspur which means a few players may be on minute restrictions or may not even play for their squads when they rejoin their clubs.
Here is a complete list of all the players selected to join the All-Star game. I'm not going to be adjusting my lineup too much based on the All-Star game, but it's something that I'll factor in when transferring players into my squad. You, however, may want to take a different approach, but I don't think the All-Star game is worth blowing up a lineup over especially when it's unsure about when the players will return to their clubs and what role they'll play for those games.
Double Game Weeks and Byes
In Round 23, 4 clubs will have DGWs including the Montreal Impact, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, and Toronto FC while FC Dallas and the New England Revolution will be sitting the week out on a bye. Of these upcoming matchups, Montreal has two home games, but against quality opponents. Additionally, in Round 24, they're sitting on a bye week themselves so make sure you don't overload on Montreal players preparing for the DGW. Toronto also plays twice at home against an inconsistent Orlando City side and against a tireless Sporting Kansas City team.
Players to Pickup this Week
GK - David Ousted ($5.7). Yes, Ousted will be at the All-Star game, but he should be available to play a Seattle Sounders team in poor form.
Def - Donny Toia ($5.0). Besides being a bargain, Toia is a player that plays twice next week and won't hurt the bank to force you to transfer him out the following week.
Def - Damien Perrinelle ($6.9). Perrinelle has cooled off since his hot start to the year, but he's still a solid defender at an affordable price. Plus he's in form, playing the Philadelphia Union this week, and plays twice next week.
Mid - Ignacio Piatti ($10.2). Piatti will not be appearing in the All-Star game and now has an excellent target in Chelsea legend Didier Drogba to help the Impact.
Mid - Sacha Kljestan ($9.3). Kljestan is on the pricey side, but he's one of the most in form players not going to the All-Star game with a DGW next week.
FW - Cyle Larin ($6.0). Larin is cheap for a starting forward, has an upcoming DGW. A very good option if you're stretched on transfer dollars.
FW - Bradley Wright-Phillips ($11.3). BWP wasn't selected to the MLS All-Star Game and could provide fantasy owners with plenty to smile about playing the Union this week with a DGW the next.
The All-Star game throws a lot of things up in the air this round. If a player sees time in the game it doesn't necessarily rule them out of their club's match. However, it doesn't mean the player won't sit out to rest up either. Be smart. If you have a lot of All-Star players on your roster, transfer a few out to cover some of your bases, but if you only have a few you could keep them just in case. It's a risk, but these are quality players (they did make the All-Star Game for their efforts after all).