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So, it turns out sometimes there are reasons to take a -8 deduction in a round. Reasons such as "I could bank a metric whack-ton of points, so what's an extra eight", and so forth. While realistically the only move I needed to make was Kendall Waston ($8.9m) for Omar Gonzalez ($9.7m) - captaining Gonzalez was definitely the way to go - the rest of my supporting cast did their job and I made off with a not-too-shabby 94 points in the round (86 after the penalty). So, what does this tell us? One, the LA Galaxy may be about to shake off their traditional slow start, so investing in the LA midfield might be prudent; and two, it never hurts to at least have a few players on DGWs when given the opportunity. Heck, even on the San Jose Earthquakes, there were goals for Adam Jahn ($5.3m) and Chris Wondolowski ($10.9m) to go with a penalty save(!) for David Bingham ($5.2m). With that in mind, you'd better be loading up on D.C. United players for this upcoming DGW. D.C. may have suffered from a lack of Fabian Espindola ($10.2m) during their 1-1 draw with Sporting Kansas City but their two matches this week see them take on Orlando City SC and the Philadelphia Union. Little tip: always bet against teams doing poorly. No Espindola? No problem - Chris Rolfe ($8.9m), Perry Kitchen ($7.6m) and Kofi Opare ($5.1m) are all great fantasy buys for this week and beyond, considering D.C. is part of that glorious Round 13 slate of DGWs you should all be planning for. Bill Hamid ($6.4m) is worth consideration in goal though his price is a major turn-off when you consider the options ahead of him like Tyler Deric ($4.9m) of the Houston Dynamo and David Ousted ($5.7m) of our very own Vancouver Whitecaps.
Speaking of the Ousted and the Whitecaps, have you seen the MLS Fantasy Dream Team to date? I may be slightly regretting my decision early on to drop Pedro Morales ($11.4m) as the Chilean maestro is the third-highest scoring midfielder in the game, ahead of FC Dallas' Fabian Castillo ($10.2m), the Seattle Sounders' Clint Dempsey ($11.8m) and the current "Captain Fantasy", Sporting KC's Benny Feilhaber ($9.7m). That's elite company for Morales to be in and he's not the only Whitecap rubbing shoulders with the game's elite. Four Whitecaps, one from each position, are represented on the Dream Team: Ousted in goal, Waston on defense, Morales in midfield and Octavio Rivero ($9.0m) up front. Suddenly, being an unabashed homer to start the season (I had all four of those players on my Day 1 roster) doesn't seem like such a bad thing.
One final Dream Team note and it comes from the "Best of Round 10" squad - keep an eye on Real Salt Lake's Demar Phillips ($7.1m). If he's earned a regular starting spot for the Claret & Cobalt after this past DGW, he's a great pick at that price point. If he's still only getting spot duty, forget about it.
Round 10 Top Score
Over yonder at the Eighty Six Forever fantasy league, my 86-point haul was good enough to climb seven positions to 33rd with 591 points - a single point behind my good friend Greg Olaussen of Craigflower FC. While I may not be able to catch forum regular Chris Corrigan of Clavin FC barring a calamitous drop in form, I've got a chance of catching Greg, which is now my official goal for the season. Meanwhile, atop the table, Ben LeFevre of the Harlem End Hooligans overcame a disaster on his backline thanks to captaining Bradley Wright-Phillips ($11.3m) to remain eight points clear of second place with a round score of 94 - doubly impressive because of the zero(!) transfers he made in the round. It wasn't the best score in the round, though; this week, that honour goes to Duncan Nicol of VanCity Villains, whose score of 107 was one of three triple-digit scores in the league this round. Here's what a triple-digit haul looks like:
Admit it: how many of you chuckled when you saw Taylor Peay ($4.0m) and Patrick Doody ($4.0m) next to one another on the bench? You did? Horrible. This is a classy column, people - we do not resort to pointing out Peay and Doody for laughs. Hmph.
Matchups To Watch
3. New York City FC vs. Chicago Fire
If there's still fantasy life left in Harry Shipp ($7.9m), we'll hopefully see it when the Fire visit NYCFC on Friday. Shipp's form has plummeted while Jeff Larentowicz ($7.7m), a cheaper option, is heating up (sorry). If Shipp under-performs again, switch horses before you get burned (again, sorry). On the other side of the pitch, if your top overall players are a goalkeeper and a defender and your top form player is Mehdi Ballouchy ($6.6m), you are a toxic dumpster fire and should be avoided at all costs.
2. FC Dallas vs. New York Red Bulls
I wouldn't start any defenders for this one. There will be goals, assists and attacking points galore in what will probably boil down to a Castillo vs. BWP battle. Both are great pickups if you don't have them already, not just because of their own numbers but the numbers they inspire those around them to put up. If you're stocked with NYRB and/or FC Dallas players (hello, Ben LeFevre), you'll be grinning once the round is over.
1. Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United
I mean... it has to start turning around for Philly soon, right? Right? Surely we expunged Chivas USA-esque teams when we got rid of, well, Chivas USA, right? If nothing else, Maurice Edu ($7.9m) is a steal at his current price point. Will that stop a D.C. United slaughter? Unlikely.