So, how 'bout 'dem Seattle Sounders? They have one of the league's deadliest striker tandems in Clint Dempsey ($10.5m) and Obafemi Martins ($9.4m), are atop the Western Conference standings with an eight-point lead on Real Salt Lake and are level with Sporting Kansas City on points in the Supporters' Shield race. Naturally, this all adds up to them laying a goose egg at home against the LA Galaxy to the tune of 3-0, which is the point where I throw my notes and general guidelines into the garbage and go take a beach day because why the hell not. Yes, LA showed up the Sounders with authority, though this should not be taken as a sign that Seattle is floundering (even though I so desperately want them to). Seattle is a team that can and should recover with authority, especially since their next opponent is the hapless San Jose Earthquakes. That match could be a bonanza of points for fantasy owners once Sigi Schmid gets his team back on track.
(Side note: don't let one good San Jose result fool you. The 'Quakes are still not a good team; they just happened to be better than the also-not-good Chicago Fire.)
Let's not forget the other half of Monday's match, the Galaxy. They seem to have shaken off their early-season doldrums and are now charging up the standings like one would expect Bruce Arena's team to. Here's the crazy part: LA could be primed to get better.
Reports rumours are suggesting USMNT midfielder Sacha Kljestan is considering a six-month loan from Belgian side Anderlecht, with the Galaxy being the obvious target for the California native. Now, if true, Kljestan would be subject to the allocation order - the allocation order in which LA traded up to third spot after sending Kofi Opare to D.C. United. Seems pretty legit, though the villainous scoundrel in me wants the Columbus Crew to use their #1 allocation spot to swipe Kljestan purely to thumb their noses at the Galaxy. What can I say? I'm a devious little so-and-so. One final fantasy note about the LA: three DGWs coming up in the next seven rounds. Yum.
Speaking of devious, let's all congratulate this week's master evil planner (as I call all winners of the best round score in the Eighty Six Forever MLS Fantasy Manager league) Todd Paulhus and his 89-point darlings, CANAUS. What do 89 points look like? Why, like this:
Fun fact: captaining anyone with the name "Morales" is a solid plan. Thus, on the backs of Javier Morales ($11.2m), Landon Donovan ($10.8m) and Drew Moor ($8.3m), Todd was able to overcome sub-par performances from Robbie Keane ($11.0m) and Matthew Fondy ($3.9m) to post round's best score. Congratulations, Todd!
Hey, who likes DGWs? You do? Great! Round 21 has plenty:
- Looking at the DGW teams with potential to rake in fistfuls of points, I like D.C. United, Toronto FC, the New York Red Bulls and the Colorado Rapids. Anyone with matches against Houston, New England and/or Montreal is pretty much money in the bank these days, so grab whatever you can afford.
- I'll give a shout-out here to MLSSoccer.com's Jason Saghini for recommending Steve Birnbaum ($4.6m), a budget-priced D.C. United defender who is likely to pick up points and value as D.C.'s fixture schedule clogs up with CONCACAF Champion League. D.C. is not a bad team to invest in at all and Birnbaum's price plus his upside equals a very taste fantasy option.
- I've had Stefan Ishizaki ($6.6m) on my team now and, while he was worth the price even during LA's down period, he's a steal now. He's getting involved in the attack, has scores of 10, 1 and 9 in his last three games and is trending in the right direction. Also, he's playing for LA, so, there's that.
- Not all DGW teams are created equal. While Harrison Shipp ($7.1m) remains the best (and perhaps only) value on the Chicago Fire, that's about all I can safely recommend from a team that is trending in the worst direction: down. The rest? Ditch 'em. Goodbye, Quincy Amarikwa ($6.2m). Adios, Sean Johnson ($5.1m).
- I fear for the fantasy value of penalty saving machine Zac MacMath ($5.1m). Philadelphia recently announced the acquisition of starting Algerian national team goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi, which likely spells the end of MacMath's time as Philly's starter. There is the hope that MacMath will be traded for offensive help but I wouldn't hold your breath for it.
- The New England Revolution remain in quarantine. Do not pick them for your DGWs. Do not stash Patrick Mullins ($5.0m) on your bench thinking he might heat up again. Do not stare wistfully at Lee Nguyen ($8.6m) and try to force his point totals up through sheer will. Avoid, avoid, avoid.