MLS Fantasyland: Round 11

Steve Dykes

Not one team in MLS has a bye this week, and several teams are playing two matches. Resident fantasy guru Matty Jollie takes a look at how you can capitalize on such a massive week.

THIS is the week you've saved your wild card for boys and girls because it doesn't get much bigger than this! SIX matches on Wednesday, and multiple teams coming right back and playing on the weekend as well.

Why is that so significant? Simple: if you can load up your fantasy team this week with solid players that will play a role in BOTH matches their team plays this week, there is a more than good chance you can have a REALLY big week in MLS Fantasy Manager.

In plain English, just look at the schedule, see who is playing two matches, and try and double your chances at good match scores. I'm certainly not giving my lineup away just yet, but I will tell you that ALL 11 players in my starting lineup are on a double week. Incredibly important to try and maximize your games played.

As for last week, another stunning performance from All We Do Is Nguyen FC as I racked up 68 points and continue to climb the World Leaderboards right at 510th out of over 21,000 entries. To make it a little sweeter, I continue to top the Midnight Riders league for a second straight week!

Let's take a quick look back on some solid performers last week as we try to tweak our rosters.

FANTASY STUDS

Luis Robles, GK, NYRB ($5.6m). When it comes to keepers, it's all about clean sheets, and in Robles' case, saving penalties. Saving penalties is worth a whopping 5 points to a goalkeeper, and that makes a good week a GREAT week.

Graham Zusi, MID, Sporting KC ($10.3m). You just can't fill a stat sheet much better than Zusi did last week with a goal, an assist, some attacking bonuses, and for good measure, a defending bonus too. Best midfielder in the game, hands down.

Claudio Bieler, FWD, Sporting KC ($9.3). A two goal performance will put you on this list every week, and Bieler continues to shine. With Sporting KC one of those 2 match teams, he's definitely worth a look.

FANTASY SCRUBS

Darlington Nagbe, MID, Portland ($7.8m). A very popular pick up last week, given New England's difficulties with injury and suspension, and I was rather disappointed that he couldn't take advantage. Only scoring two points, 1 for 90 minutes played, and one for the clean sheet. Not impressed.

Robert Earnshaw, FWD, Toronto FC ($8.2m). You can't be a stud every week, and after being chosen by almost 22% of fantasy teams in the game, Earnshaw laid an egg. He's been good in 2013, so expect him to bounce back.

THE TRANSFER MARKET

Let's get down to business. This is a big week for you, and hopefully you've managed to hang onto your wild card this long. Luckily, I had, so I made some pretty big changes to my squad. First off, and I can't express this enough, go out and get yourself a couple of stud defenders. They put up points, almost ALWAYS play 90 minutes, and ones on the really good teams like Dallas and Sporting Kansas City, will almost NEVER hurt you. Here's a few:

Aurelien Collin, Sporting Kansas City ($6.4m)

Matt Hedges, FC Dallas ($5.6m)

Jamison Olave, NYRB ($6.1m)

These guys will play big minutes, and will help you get things started in racking up a big week in fantasy, plus it's always good to get guaranteed points right off the bat.

In the midfield, it can be a little more tricky, especially when trying to forecast goals and evaluate matchups. However, with so many teams playing multiple matches this week, you've got some margin for error.

Tim Cahill, NYRB ($8.2m)

Will Johnson, Portland ($8.0m)

Ricardo Clark ($7.1m)/Brad Davis ($8.9m), Houston

These are some guys that will play big minutes in the upcoming week, and should have an impact on your score. I don't think Tim Cahill will shy away from playing on the turf at Gillette like Thierry Henry, so expect his good form to continue. Also, when it comes to Davis, just monitor his injury status through the week, to make sure he's available.

As far as forwards go, it's a crapshoot. You've gotta take a roll of the dice and try to decipher which guys could get hot in the early part of the week and keep it rolling through the weekend. Here's a few good looks:

Claudio Bieler, Sporting Kansas City

Chirs Wondolowski, San Jose ($10.2m)

Jerry Bengtson, New England ($8.8m)

Bieler has been on fire, and leads all strikers in points so that should probably be a pretty easy choice. Wondo is the golden boot winner, and will have two cracks at scoring goals this week. Jerry Bengtson may not be scoring goals, but the Revs DO have two matches this week, and he also plays heavy minutes for the team given their lack of depth at forward, so even if he isn't scoring, you're at least not getting a goose egg.

FINAL THOUGHTS

With so many matches being played tonight, there's a great chance that fantasy owners across the land are all going to have good weeks. The puzzle is going to be how you can figure out how to not just have a good week, but a great one.

The formula should be pretty simple for you this week: load up on players with two games, start two or more stud defenders, and pick out a striker or two with two good match ups that he could score in. If you follow that you'll at least have a chance at it.

Keep in mind that players returning from injury, or who are allergic to turf, may not play both matches. Make sure you're selecting the right players and guys that will play a big part in BOTH of their team's matches.

Good luck this week, and I'll make sure to post my lineup just for full disclosure and conversation right after the lineups lock tonight!

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