Week four for Fantasy Soccer – hopefully your team is doing as well as RSL is this season. Last week’s RSL game had a few surprises, as did some of the games around the league.
Players on teams that played two games week last week were the way to go. Across the league, David Ousted (GK) and Chris Tierney (D) were the best choices with 19 points each due to shutouts. For attacking players, Kaká had a great debut weekend on the field, netting 16 points. Following behind him on weekly totals were Max Urruti and Michael Barrios at 15 points (courtesy of two games each), followed by the Dallas duo of Castillo and Diaz, Lamar Neagle and Kevin Molino at 12 points. No double games this weekend, so look to the matchups across the board or look down the road towards week 6 next weekend and stock up on double game players.
Thanks to a great win at KC this past weekend, a couple RSL performed quite well on the week. Joao Plata got beaten out by a surprise player this week – Justin Glad. His first MLS goal as well as solid defensive play had him leading the week with 9 points. Plata continued his season consistency with another 8 points, due to assists and his aggressive attacking play. Finally, Luke Mulholland’s first goal of the season netted him 7 points – a nice surprise total for him for his play as the creative midfielder.
Looking further down the list of RSL fantasy performance for the week, Maund is showing some good consistency and a solid performance this week kept him near the top. Sunny’s performance this week wasn’t up to prior games’ standards, but he pulled a respectable 4 points, with bonuses due to defending and pass completion. Unfortunately for Attinella, the questionable penalty kick killed his shutout, so he only earned 3 points. The rest of the team fared with close to minimum points for having played – unfortunately for Allen and Movsisyan’s total points, influence in the game doesn’t always add up to fantasy points if you don’t hit the key metrics of goals, assists, or attacking performance.
For season totals, Joao Plata is the runaway favorite – both in terms of point totals at 37 and in terms of overall fantasy interest with a whopping 15% of teams having picked up as of Friday. There’s a solid cluster of other RSL players well back from Plata, with Aaron Maund, Burrito Martine, Jamison Olave, and Yura Movsisyan all sitting in the mid to high teens. Traditional RSL leaders like Beckerman and Morales are actually well back in fantasy standings at 7 and 5 points respectively. Luckily their leadership helps the team out greatly, but fantasy doesn’t award points for that. Javi in particular has been affected by his injuries and absences from games.
A new metric this week for the season table is points per game. Unsurprisingly Plata leads both that metric and points per $. If his performance continues, he’s clearly the standout pick from RSL. From a value perspective, Sunny and Maund are the two next best options with points/$ metrics above 2. A number of other players do come close – Olave, Martinez, Glad are all close behind. From a points per game perspective, RSL’s defenders actually standout, with Maund, Olave, and Glad all showing pretty good numbers. If you’re looking for consistency from game to game, Plata is the clear choice, but Burrito Martinez and Olave are good choices. If we continue to see Glad, he might be worth keeping on your bench, but unless Jeff Cassar decides to start the young defender consistently, he may not be the best choice for your starting lineup.
So for this weekend – we should expect to see return of most of the players that sat out last week. Beckerman will see the field, Martinez will be back from DisCo jail, and Olave is likely to be starting in back too. Unlikely to appear – Morales will probably be out due to injury, so you may want to swap him out from your lineup for a few more weeks. Will Allen, Mulholland or someone else start in place of Javi? This week’s MLS injury report (http://www.mlssoccer.com/injuries) lists Javi as probable Place your bets – but I’d expect RSL to avoid risking Javi further and so the starter really depends upon who’s performed better in practice this week. In terms of left back – it sounds like Chris Wingert wasn’t seriously hurt by the soccer ball to the head and he may get the nod again this week. Movsisyan is listed with a groin muscle injury, but he’s likely to be in the starting lineup. I haven’t heard any word of Rimando missing practice and is listed as probable – count on him between the posts this weekend. The rest of the RSL players out injured aren’t normally starters.
For this weekend’s matchups, Orlando players would seem to be a better bet versus Philadelphia given both teams recent performances. Other teams to look at for good matchups and point opportunities should be New England, Sporting KC, Dallas and Houston. Houston is particularly interesting vs Seattle, since the Dynamo have been doing quite well, while Seattle is struggling for goals and points this year. Key players should be Bobby Shuttleworth and David Ousted in goal. Can Kaka have another good week? Otherwise, it seems like a bit of a toss-up – perhaps players like Fagundez, Urruti, and Will Bruin can continue their recent playing form and rack up more points for you. Good luck in your picks this week!