Round 17 sees a total of 10 teams playing 2 matches during the round. With the usual caveats about matchups and travel, shrewd selections this week have the potential to launch you up the leader board. Here are my thoughts including the usual warning about heeding my advice.
Critiquing the expert:
Last week was in a large degree about preparing for this one. If you hopped on the LA and Portland bandwagon (an expert suggestion), there's a chance you were handsomely rewarded. If you avoided Seattle, then you're pleasure was twofold as they dropped a 2-0 decision at home to San Jose. If you spent your transfers on Toronto FC and Red Bull New York, you probably weren't thrilled about it (especially if you picked up Bradley Wright-Phillips). Toronto has 2 home games this week, and Red Bull's 'road' game is in Yankee Stadium so stay the course. I won't grade myself on these recommendations until next week.
Lacking a grade for the general recommendations, I will grade myself on how my transfers went last week. I transferred in Sebastian Giovinco, Diego Valeri, and Richie Marquez. After the -4 for the extra transfer, I netted a measly 2 points from 3 transfers (and that was only because I captained the 2 points scored by Giovinco). Compounding the agony, I started Marquez because Jose Villareal did not make the XI for LA. Villareal and Valeri's natural replacements (Baggio Husidic and Gaston Fernandez) combined for 22 points last week.
Verdict: F. And it's only that high because I still managed to improve my overall ranking. A ghost team won overall team of the week, so it was pretty brutal week for a lot of players.
After 5 weeks and 5 road matches that saw the Hoops only score 3 goals and 2 points in the standings, FC Dallas finally returns home to Toyota Stadium for a match against the hated Houston Dynamo. After a draw to NY back in May, FC Dallas was on top of the Western Conference. As of today, they have a tenuous hold on 6th place and are in desperate need of a win.
In their last match against Houston, they traveled down I-45 and unleashed a 4-1 thrashing upon the hapless Dynamo. Houston's run of form since that match has been significantly better, yielding 7 points from 5 matches. Giles Barnes returns from international duty with Jamaica at the Copa America. Both teams will be virtually at full strength, and I'm expecting a much tighter game than what we saw back in May.
Adds: Blas Perez ($9.1)- Dan Kennedy was oh so close to a shutout last week, and I'd probably recommend him this week too if there wasn't a choice of 10 keepers who will probably play twice this week. Blas has scored all 5 of his goals on the season at home, and I'm definitely going with the 'due' theory on this p
Avoid: Tesho Akindele ($8.1)- He's too expensive, he's no guarantee to start, and he's gone after next week on Gold Cup duty for Canada (as is Kyle Bekker). He did play well with Canada against Caribbean mites Guadeloupe, but he's too risky for my tastes until he gets back from the Gold Cup.
Here's 4 for this week. My hunch is all of these guys start twice this week.
Sebastian Giovinco M ($12.1)- Last chance to hop on the train. I think Toronto's going to be a little ticked after last weekend.
CJ Sapong F ($7.1)- If you think Giovinco, Kei Kamara, or Chris Wondolowski lead the pack in goals scored, you'd be right. If you think they lead in goals per 90 (500 minutes or more this season), you'd be wrong. That honor falls to Sapong who has been on good form as of late. He'll get 2 starts at home this week against a depleted Seattle side and Montreal (who has 2 road games). He's also really cheap.
Justin Morrow D ($6.2)- He's good value and good for 2. If you don't have Giovinco money, here's a good budget option and Toronto has 2 at home.
Devon Sandoval F ($5.6)- I don't know what you'll get for goals and assists this week from Sandoval, but I'm pretty sure you'll get 2 starts given Alvaro Saborio's absence (at least until after the Gold Cup, possibly forever). Again, I'm going cheap here. Cheap is good.
It'll be up before 1st kick, as of this writing, I'm probably only adding one (allowing me to carry over a transfer to next week for 3 free in Round 18).