MLS Fantasyland: Week 5

Rick Yeatts

With the international break and a few key injuries wreaking havoc all over MLS Fantasyland, the time may be right to use that first wild card. Unless of course, you've increased your world ranking four weeks straight like resident Fantasy Manager fanatic, Matty Jollie.

All around the MLS fantasy landscape there are cries of injuries, bye weeks, and international call-ups, but for some reason, I've found a way to keep chugging along in my quest for fake soccer glory.

For the fourth week straight, All We Do Is Nguyen eclipsed the 50 point mark, and now sit amongst the top 3,000 or so teams out of 20,000. A couple of savvy moves last week helped ease the pain from the international break, and the great call on Juan Aguedelo (who scored another goal this weekend) definitely made the loss of Jerry Bengtson sting a little less.

With fellow managers across the Fantasyland universe using wild cards and looking for answers, it's certainly a great time to break down last week, and look ahead to find a few gems that can get your team back on track.

STARS

Matt Reis, GK, NER ($5m). Our beloved Matt Reis is turning the clocks back a bit and producing some stellar performances in the early stages of 2013. Two matches, two clean sheets, and a plethora of strong saves have all attributed to Reis' strong start. At only $5m, and with the Revs back line looking strong, Reis is a good option if he stays healthy.

Josh Williams, DEF, CLB ($5.4m). We had mentioned earlier that defenders who can score the odd goal are a huge boost to your fantasy team, and Williams did just that AGAIN last week. Williams found the scoresheet once again in yet another 90 minute performance for the Crew, as fantasy owners continue to see his stock rise.

Jackson, MID, FCD ($7.6m). Player of the Week, and one hell of a full stat sheet. A goal, an assist, a full 90 minute performance and a clean sheet. It REALLY doesn't get much better than that on any level.

Juan Agudelo, FWD, CUSA, ($8.2m). My big pick up of the week really helped me out on a difficult week to pick players. A goal, assist, and the full 90 for Aguedelo handed owners a 10 point performance that could hopefully continue his strong start to 2013.

SCRUBS

Austin Berry, DEF, CHI ($5.5m). Chosen by over 10% of the owners in fantasy, Berry's Chicago Fire let in 4 goals against Chivas USA, which is NOT good for your fantasy value. With the Fire seemingly in shambles, it's tough to see Berry holding that $5.5m value much longer.

Kenny Cooper, FWD, FCD ($9.4m). A forward chosen by almost 8% of owners, Cooper has done nothing but disappoint thus far. While he's not failing at the rate of teammate Eric Hassli, he's certainly underperforming for a man with not only a pretty strong resumé, but a hefty price tag as well.

THE TRANSFER MARKET

GOALKEEPERS. I've already mentioned Matt Reis, who is sixth in MLS amongst 'keepers in fantasy points, even with missing one of the Revs' three games. With FC Dallas coming to Foxboro and struggling to score, Reis is a good start. I wouldn't mind a choice of FC Dallas' keeper Raul Fernandez either, with the Revs struggling to score early on.

DEFENDERS. This is a Revs blog, and I may sound like a homer, but how can you argue with a Revs defense that's only surrendered 1 goal in three matches? Jose Gonçalves has been on the team of the week a couple of times, and has been very strong in the early going. Also, veterans like George John and Aurelien Collin continue to produce week in and out with strong performances. Jump on these transactions before they become more expensive to your squad.

MIDFIELDERS. 2013 may have a couple of surprises, but for the most part it's the big names doing the job. Players like Graham Zusi and Patrice Bernier have shown their worth early, but if you're looking for value, lesser known players like Edgar Mejia and Oriol Rosell are near the top of the stats among midfielders, but won't break your transfer bank. So if you may not have the biggest transfer fund at the moment, players like these two can still produce results without costing you a fortune.

FORWARDS. If you're trying to replace Federico Higuain this week like I am, you're on the lookout for a good replacement with some cash to spend, and luckily there are a few options. While we've already mentioned Aguedelo in this column as being one of the forwards that are heating up, it bears mentioning that goalscorer extraordinaire Chris Wondolowski has seemingly found his scoring boots recently as well. While Wondo IS one of the most expensive players in the game, it's a good idea to keep monitoring his progress. Big name players like Fabian Espindola and Claudio Bieler also have good matchups this week and could see some points, so don't be afraid to use that extra cash to go out and get the players you really want.

**********

It's been a fun start to the season, and there are certainly plenty of good players out there that can change your fortunes in a hurry. With most of the star players coming back from international play, I would definitely advise you to at least look into how much certain players played while they were away. Players like Zusi and Jerry Bengtson played hefty minutes (Zusi in a blizzard, and then at altitude) so you can't be totally sure of they're going to play a main role on Saturday.

As for me, I'll be posting my lineup later this week in hopes of securing a fifth-straight 50-plus point week and another march up the table!

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