MLS Fantasyland: Round 9

USA TODAY Sports

As the calendar readies itself to turn the page to May, the fantasy studs are beginning to distance themselves from the pack. Can your fantasy team take advantage?

After an off week, I was really looking forward to getting back on track last week in a big way. Well, 109 points later, and with a ranking of 662 out of over 20,000, I think I accomplished my goal.

The most important thing to take away from last week, is that you need to learn to take advantage of teams that have two match weeks whenever you can. They don't come around terribly often, but when they do, you've got to make sure you load up and give yourself a chance at scoring big.

My biggest star was Aurelien Collin, who produced a massive 36 point week for me as my team captain, given Sporting Kansas City's two match week. I also picked up a couple of Red Bulls, Thierry Henry and Brandon Barklage, to try to capitalize on both of their matches as well.

Who stood out last weekend? Let's take a look!

STARS

Nick RImando, GK, Real Salt Lake ($6.0m). Huge 14 point week from RImando and you need to look no further than his uncanny ability to save penalty kicks. They're worth 5 points, and when you add that to a 90 minute match and a clean sheet, you can see where the points add up.

Landon Donovan, MID, LA Galaxy ($10m). Fresh off his spiritual journey, LD showed all MLS fans and pundits alike that he's just the same ol' Landon we've grown to love. He pumped the stat sheet full of numbers, with a goal, an assist, a clean sheet, and staying on for all 90 minutes. He might be worth a pick up if you have the cash.

Jack McInerney, FWD, Philadelphia ($8.5m). Another strong showing from Jack Mac, this week with two goals to put him on top of the leaderboard amongst forwards for Round 8. Fans have been waiting for a breakout year, and this might be it.

SCRUBS

Lee Nguyen, MID, New England ($8.3m). This one hurts. I named my team after the guy, and he just hasn't produced. His two points last week came merely for being on the field for 90 minutes. No shot bonuses, no assists, and definitely no goals. I cut him a long time ago, but it also may be time to change up the team name. Which hurts. A lot.

Chris Wondolowski, FWD, San Jose ($10.2m). Wondo has been an absolute feast-or-famine fantasy player this year, and it's certainly frustrated a bunch of owners. Owned by over 27% of teams, his 1 point performance last week left lot of fantasy owners scratching their heads.

THE TRANSFER MARKET

BUYING - LANDON DONOVAN. If LD can take that much time off, and then come back and make THAT big of an impact immediately, I'm completely riding that wave.

BUYING - JACK MCINERNEY. I know we touched on him already, but if you look at his past three weeks he's scored 6, 7, and 12 points. With the Union heading to face the struggling Revolution, his current form might be worth picking him up.

BUYING - MATT HEDGES (DEF, FC DALLAS). Dallas have shown huge leaps in their defensive quality, and Hedges is right on the thick of it. He's been a stalwart in several clean sheets, and also isn't afraid in front of goal. Take a look at Hedges with Vancouver next on their docket.

BUYING - ZAC MACMATH (GK, PHILADELPHIA). MacMath may not have been piling up the points, but anyone with defensive responsibilities playing against New England, you've got to like the matchup. At only $4.9m, the price is right too.

SELLING - BRAD DAVIS (MID, HOUSTON). The nagging injury definitely worries me, and with a $9m price tag, that's too much money to tie up in a guy who might not go a full 90, and even worse, be less effective in the minutes that he does play.

SELLING - FEDERICO HIGUAIN (FWD, COLUMBUS). Chosen by almost 18% of the teams in fantasy, Higuain has been a bit of a disappointment. With only 5 points in his last 3 matches, the Crew striker has struggled to find form. With a difficult matchup this week against a defensively sound D.C. United, it'll be tough to see the struggles end.

SELLING - JERRY BENGTSON (FWD, NEW ENGLAND). One goal. That can be used to describe Bengtson, and the Revolution, in 2013. At $8.9m, there are jus far too many other options that will produce much better for a price tag like that.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It's starting to become a little more clear to fantasy owners where they can turn to for consistent points. As I said in our season preview, defenders are a great way to guarantee yourself some points every week. Four of the top five point-getters in MLS fantasy are defenders, and your team should be stacked with solid options at the back.

Make sure you're keeping an eye on the injury report each week, as it will not only tell you who isn't playing, but it can also shed a little light on whose form may not be completely up to par as well. With a few key injuries coming last week (A.J. Soares, Dax McCarty, Juan Aguedelo), you need to make sure your team is healthy, and on form.

Hopefully you're enjoying the fantasy coverage, and remember, it's YOUR community, so make sure to jump in the discussion in the comment section below and together we can build the ultimate fantasy side!

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