Greetings fantasy MLS owners! Our fantasy guru Jamie Umbach should be back soon to provide you with all the FMLS know-how you can imagine, but for the time being I'll do my best to guide you to a strong Round 19. If you're like me, last week didn't generate quite the point-surplus you hoped for. I was able to advance in the standings in Dynamo Theory's Head to Head league, but fell in our classic league. I should have taken my own advice and picked up Robbie Keane who notched a hat trick for the LA Galaxy in their 4-0 over Toronto FC, but I couldn't cough up the transfer dollars to make that possible.
Gold Cup Players Gone, Reinforcements Arrive
Looking ahead, fantasy owners are now left without players that will be participating in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but there is hope in reinforcements from some of the marquee summer transfers. Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, and Andrea Pirlo are just some of the players that will be available for selection. The price of each player is not yet known, though Lampard is expected to be an affordable $10.0 which should provide stability and plenty of goal-scoring for New York City FC's midfield especially with Pirlo creating opportunities for the former Chelsea midfielder.
Bye Week and DGW Impact
D.C. United and the LA Galaxy will each have time to rest up in Round 19 while Columbus Crew SC and the Chicago Fire have DGWs in Round 20. The Crew will play away this round in Montreal, but Kei Kamara ($9.5) and Ethan Finlay ($8.9) both lit up Round 18 and earned their way onto the Dream Team of point earners. Expect them to continue their strong run this round and extend that into Round 20 when they'll face the Fire twice.
Top 5 Reasons to Pick up Pirlo (or not to):
Finally is a brief segment on why picking up Andrea Pirlo for your fantasy team might be a great idea...or a really awful one. This is an idea Dynamo Theory's managing editor, Alicia Tolar thought of, and I jumped at doing it (especially since at the time of writing this it's impossible to pick him up).
Top 5 Reasons to pick him up:
1) It's Pirlo - a man capable of scoring goals in ridiculous fashion.
2) Houstonians are fans of beards. Look no further than James Harden of the Houston Rockets or Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros.
3) His fantasy price is reasonable (probably)! He's expected to be around Lampard's $10.0 range (much like NYCFC's star forward David Villa at $10.9) which is good news for fantasy owners. Though Lampard is a known goal-scoring threat from midfield, Pirlo is a provider, star playmaker, and assist king which means with a flick of his foot he's making one of his many targets happy.
4) He's expensive. Okay, not always the best indicator, and if you bothered to read the article I linked it's likely a bad thing overall for MLS, but NYCFC's ownership isn't dropping that kind of money for no reason.
5) It's not a party without Pirlo. Here are several t-shirts (and lots of other clothing) to prove that.
Top 5 Reasons not to pick him up:
1) Just because he's on your fantasy team doesn't mean he will drink wine with you. Maybe drinking enough wine you'll THINK he's with you, but it won't be so.
2) He's not actually available to pick up yet (at least as I'm writing this). Although he should be by the time this article is up, I make no guarantees.
3) He's 36! That's old in soccer years. Although he is capable of being a maestro on NYCFC's smaller pitch, travelling to larger fields could mean less productivity.
4) He'll be untested in a new league with an under-performing team.
5) This NYCFC midfield and team has just gotten a big face-lift and we don't know what it will look like post-op. It could be worth a wait to see how things look before partying with Pirlo on your fantasy team.
If you've done your research you've set yourself up well to weather the loss of players to the Gold Cup and can comfortably integrate (or ignore) some of the summer signings. If you're suddenly left with a bunch of players not available, now is the time to hit that Wild Card button and get yourself on track. Good luck in Round 19 fantasy owners!