It's just not easy to keep a flu-strength squad on the field these days. FIFA international dates, upcoming World Cup qualifiers, as well as the vaunted Gold Cup are all on the horizon, and it has fantasy owners shuddering in fear.
Here at All We Do Is Nguyen FC, we've managed to stay successful, and after a 71 point week in Round 13, we continue to hover right around 350th in the world out of 22,000 entries.
HOWEVER, and it's a BIG however, daunting times are ahead. Call-ups are already decimating teams, and it's time for you to get ahead of the game and make sure you're prepared for the difficult times ahead.
Brace Yourself. Summer is Coming.
ROUND 13 STUDS
Rodney Wallace, PTFC, DEF ($5.7m). A goal, a clean sheet, and almost 90 minutes played catapulted Wallace to the top of the board this week among defenders. Portland aren't exactly known for their stout defense, but Wallace showed that every week is different.
Marco Di Vaio, IMFC, FWD ($8.9m). Hat trick heroes are immediate studs. His performance would have been even BETTER if not for the yellow card and the -1 attack bonus, which still baffles me because, ya know, the guy scored three goals. With the Impact continuing to impress, Di Vaio is a huge part to their meteoric rise.
Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy, FWD ($10.4m). Every time I think I'm done with Robbie Keane he pulls me back in! A hat trick, a huge chunk of minutes, and he even threw in an assists just for shucks and gigs. He's owned by over 17% of teams, and after this 20+ point performance (an extremely rare bird), expect Keane's ownership percentage to rise after he returns from Ireland duties.
ROUND 13 SCRUBS
Chris Wondolowski, San Jose, FWD ($10.1m). Is Wondo worth the $10m tag anymore? It's been an extremely up-and-down season for the former golden boot winner, but when he's been on, he's produced quite well. With forwards being such a crapshoot, you may be best off spending your cash elsewhere.
Eddie Johnson, Seattle, FWD ($9.7m). I've had EJ on my team quite a bit this year as well, but with a 72 minute performance only netting him 1 point, the 7% of teams that picked him certainly didn't get their money's worth.
Patrick Nyarko, Chicago, MID, ($8.8m). It's tough with speedy winger type players as far as consistency goes, but Nyarko has had a decent season thus far. With Chicago beginning to improve a little, and with Mike Magee on his way in, don't jump ship on Nyarko just yet.
THE TRANSFER MARKET
This is where we're going to win and lose our matches and rankings this week. First and foremost make sure you are aware of who is away on international duty. The website does a great job of telling you right at your team's home screen who is away, and who is injured/suspended. Make sure you're aware of who you need to replace.
If you've got a wild card, now might be the time to use it, given that teams are all seemingly losing several players to the FIFA dates. I personally, am losing 4 players. It's a good idea to take note of who is going away for the Gold Cup as well. It's never too early to plan ahead.
Here are a few rising stars that may be a good replacement for some of your departing superstars.
Juan Agudelo, New England, FWD ($7.9m). Two games, two goals as a Revolution striker and with his fitness gaining every day, he's a great pickup for a very tiny price tag.
Diego Fagundez, New England, FWD ($6.0m). The boy wonder just can't stop scoring, and with the Revs facing a depleted Galaxy on Sunday, and his incredibly reasonable price tag, Fagundez is another good option on a surging Revs team.
Drew Moor, Colorado, DEF ($5.3m). I've had Moor on my squad all season, and he's just so darn steady. He'll never bust out with a 15 point performance, but those 5's and 6's all add up. With the Rapids at home to FC Dallas this weekend, Moor is a good option at a good price.
Mauro Rosales, Seattle Sounders, MID ($8.5m). How can you not at least think about picking a couple of players on the team that plays Chivas USA every week? Rosales is definitely one of the most talented players on the Sounders roster, and with a few of his teammates missing in action this weekend, Rosales will be relied upon heavily.
Austin Berry, Chicago, DEF ($5.0m). I've got a sneaking suspicion that this Fire-United match on Sunday is going to be a dud. Picking up a defender or two from either team is a good idea. I like Berry because he may surprise you offensively as well.
It's a big week for fantasy owners. Not necessarily because of a big amount of matches, it's more about how you're going to get creative to cover the players you're going to be without.
Make sure to keep an eye on decent matchups, and always make sure to check that injury report one last time. Get a little familiar with the substitution rules as well to make sure you can get the absolute most out of your team on game day.
Lineups lock in just a few hours, so make sure you're prepared and ready to go! Good Luck!