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MLS Fantasy Manager: Round 15

Time for a re-vamp. Plan ahead.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

If you have a short attention span, skip past the 'FC Dallas' section. If you're moderately attentive, do the same. If you're part of the masochistic 1%, read what I write with pleasure.  Sometimes picking the (barely 2nd) best midfield as a prime transfer isn't enough to elevate your standing. Other times, making him captain still sees you drop. It's the spring of Fantasy MLS; it's time to be re-born.

Critiquing the expert:

Captaining Ignacio Piatti worked out well. Including Laurent Ciman and Evan Bush in my suggest squad worked, too; they were good for 9 and 8, respectively. Minus a late PK and a very late goal by Federico Higuain, Montreal was very close to 2 shutouts. They're the hottest team in MLS, and yet I am un-sated.

This is namely because Columbus disappeared. I had Kei (there was nothing over 115 minutes). I added Tony Tchani hastily for a deuce over 2 games, and Finlay doubled Tchani's output only because he got a couple of starts. The Crew disappointed many last week.

Aside from that, Bill Hamid didn't play last week. No note on MLS or Twitter, so I grant myself a FULL PASS! Well, three quarters anyway. Hamid's been good, and I should have discerned that his absence from the USMNT (the recently undefeated against 2 of the top 3 at last World Cup USMNT) meant he might be on rest.

Verdict: B-.  The bold stroke on Le Impact deserves high marks. The Columbian complement hurts badly (especially with Tchani, who only played in the 2nd game of the DGW). Captaining Montreal's prime offensive threat keeps it a good week for the 'expert', but only because he's earning extra credit this week.

FC Dallas

After an absurd match in San Jose that saw 3 ejections total, FC Dallas plays their 2nd to last on the road before heading home to Frisco. Their opponent are table topping Seattle who bring a near full-strength squad to the table. In contrast, the Hoops will be short Kellyn Acosta, JeVaughn Watson, Atiba Harris, Tesho Akindele, Moises Hernandez, and possibly Matt Hedges. With so much defensive depth missing this week, I wouldn't bet on a clean sheet.

Adds: Mauro Diaz ($9.5)- I wouldn't bet the farm on him having a big week in Seattle, but he's only missed out on bonus points once since he came back from injury (the Sporting Kansas City debacle). It's free transfers this week so add him now before he costs a transfer and presumably benefits from more favorable fixtures in the near future.

Avoid: Otis Earle ($4.0)- He's owned by 30% of owners because he's tied for the lowest number, and you can use him as a caperoo. I also know that getting production from a low figure guy this week is tempting since there's a decent shot he plays this week. If you do, you're banking that an angry Seattle team doesn't score 2 goals on their return home and that Earle doesn't pick up a card. He's a prime candidate to lose value this week, so I'm steering clear.

MLS

Since only half of the teams are in action this week, it's unlimited transfers for all. This will be my 2nd time blowing up my squad, and I plan on applying the following steps to zoom up the charts as we near the 2nd half of the season.

1. I'm adding 2 minimum players who don't have DGW's or bye weeks that overlap (so I can use the caperoo) and who almost certainly won't see the field.  Ben Mckendrey (M VAN $4.0) and Raymond Lee (D PHI $4.0) fit the bill nicely.  Don't try the caperoo with these guys this weekend though-- it won't work since they're on bye.

2. Most of the players I rostered this week have 2 games in 2 weeks. Almost all of them have started both ends of a DGW once this year. Of the teams playing this week Seattle, Columbus, LA, Montreal, New England, and DC all play 2 in Round 17.

3. Speaking of Round 17, that'll be the last week MLS players going to the Gold Cup play for at least a couple of weeks. Here's a list of guys who are on the provisional rosters. I'm keeping Clint Dempsey because he's going to get me some points over the next 3 weeks and Cyle Larin because he's cheap. I'll probably keep Larin through the Gold Cup, so I only have one player to replace after Week 17. Be wary of those Gold Cup call ups.

4. Toronto has at least 2 games in hand on all but 3 teams. Montreal has at least 4 games in hand on all but 3 teams. You're going to get some good volume from these teams over the 2nd half of the season, and In Toronto's case, a significant majority of those games will be played at home. Stock up!

Full disclosure

I'm still debating a tweak here or there, but this is most likely how I'm rolling this week. I'm probably overly bullish on Montreal.