Who said crazy upsets were limited to the post-season? As we creep towards the final matchday of the 2015 regular season, the Portland Timbers registered what has to be considered a widely unexpected result over the LA Galaxy with a 5-2 win at the StubHub Centre. No, that is not a misprint; while it would not be unrealistic to see LA post a 5-2 at home, that is not what happened on Sunday. Yes, Robbie Keane ($12.4m) bagged two more goals to keep his form at a blistering 10.0 and, under normal circumstances, you'd be forgiven for thinking that would be the end of it. Apparently, the Timbers had other ideas as Fanendo Adi ($9.9m) scored a brace of his own, taking his DGW goal tally to 3, and the killing blows came from the usual suspects: Darlington Nagbe ($8.7m), Maximiliano Urruti ($8.7m) and... Diego Chara ($7.9m)?! OK, that's even further out in la-la land. Are we sure this result happened in the real world and not some Twilight Zone-esque parallel universe? My point is this: Portland had a great night and if you invested in them, bully for you. Are they a guaranteed, points-in-the-bank choice for their final match (at home vs. Colorado Rapids)? Normally, I'd say yes...
...except Colorado and Sporting Kansas City ended the "Round That Refused To Die" with the Rapids shocking the Sporks in KC with a 2-0 road victory. (Seriously, what was with the timing on this round? A DGW plus a Wednesday game? C'mon now. I have an article release schedule to keep to!) The Rapids seem intent on playing spoiler to the playoff hopes and dreams of the red-line teams. SKC now teeter on the brink, needing to defeat LA in what should be a favourable matchup; namely, play LA when they're on the road. Then again, Colorado came to town and stopped the Sporks cold. Then again again, LA just got shellacked by Portland and might be ripe for the plucking. Oh, and to finish my earlier thought about red-liners being disappointed, Portland is at home to Colorado to end the regular season. Exciting!
With that in mind, who should you be looking at for your final purchase of the year? As it turns out, Kei Kamara ($9.9m) helped make that decision a lot easier for us by getting himself suspended due to yellow card accumulation. Easily an all-star fantasy stud this year with a killer 203 fantasy points for under $10.0m, not having Kamara would've been laughable. Then he had to go and remove himself from contention and wa-hey, now I have space for Keane, Didier Drogba ($10.8m) and Mike Grella ($6.6m)! Seriously, that Grella kid? Pretty good. Not Cyle Larin ($6.2m) good - same points total, cheaper price - but good nontheless. Hey, fun fact, guess who is a point behind Larin and costs nearly $3.0m more? Octavio Rivero ($9.1m). I sure hope you sold for a profit way back in April or May. But I digress. Grella is the better pick over Larin based purely on matchup. I like New York Red Bulls on the road better than Orlando City SC, even though both teams get sad-sack opponents in the Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union, respectively. While we're on the topic, mad props to Larin for shattering the rookie scoring record. That'll be a fun record to cite for the foreseeable future.
Enough rambling. You need players and here are some suggestions:
- Sebastian Giovinco ($13.6m) - well, duh. The undisputed Captain Fantasy of 2015, owing to his MVP-calibre season, should be back on your roster and wearing the armband against Montreal.
- Jorge Villafana ($6.5m) - How the heck did this guy put up 135 fantasy points?! Best bang-for-your-buck defender in the game. Get him now and hope Portland shuts up Colorado like they're supposed to.
- The Entire FC Dallas Midfield ($6.5m - $11.0m) - Disgusting. Somebody please get Oscar Pareja a bigger job (ideally outside of MLS) so we never have to encounter his youth revolution teams again. I say this as a Vancouver fan and not a fantasy manager, since the fantasy manager side of me is going DING DING DING DING DING BARGAIN BARGAIN BARGAIN YAYYYYYYYYYY.
Round 33 Top Score
Since I don't expect a 181-point lead(?!) to disappear in a round, congratulations to Barbara Red of Paisley SC for handily winning the Eighty Six Forever fantasy league! By the by, Paisley SC is also leading in /r/MLS, American Outlaws, Total-MLS, The Kick Off, both Dynamo Theory leagues and the global Houston Dynamo rankings. Oh, and she's 3rd overall in the entire freakin' game, 45 points behind some fantasy football website from the UK. A dominating performance from Barbara and I can do nothing but tip my cap in recognition of such a dominating performance. I must also recognize the best score of this past round, a 143 from Drew Doop of ADJ FC:
So, that Mauro Diaz ($10.5m). 19 points in a DGW, behind only Adi's 24. Pretty good.
Matchups To Watch
3. All Of Them
2. Every Single One
Have you seen how this sprint to the finish line has played out? Anyone can get results. Anyone can show up huge.
I guess betting against New York City FC, Orlando, Chicago, Philadelphia, Colorado, Houston and San Jose seem like pretty good ideas. They are kinda garbage and whatnot.