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MLS Fantasy Manager: Round 20

The 'D' in FCD stand for 'Defense'

Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

If you ignored the #sadFCDallas fan meme when making your fantasy picks over the course of the last 3 weeks, you're probably pretty stoked. The next 2 weeks have potential for more of the same. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Critiquing the expert:

I suggested Dan Kennedy and David Bingham last week in goal, and you were at least content with either of those picks. Bingham, in particular, netted 5 on the strength of saves and defending bonuses despite shipping 2 goals to Houston Dynamo at home in San Jose. Hard to complain with that and harder to complain about Dan-O, who pitched a 3rd consecutive shutout.

Attack-wise, I went out on a limb with Magee and Solignac, and while both of their teams notched upsets, they didn't chalk up the points to back up my predictions for their respective teams. If you have Magee, hang on for one more week. You won't be disappointed. If you have Solignac, well, I'm sorry I didn't recommend Charles Eloundou (selected by 0.0% of all players)

Verdict: B-/C+: I went out on a limb- how useful is it if I recommend Giovinco and Kamara every week? If you want me to start recommending 2 of the top 5 scorers every week to cover my ass, let me know in the comments. I also overtook our fearless leader this week. Let's see if I can pip Taylor this week and further enhance my legitimacy in this forum.

FC Dallas:

FC Dallas (minus the US Open Cup debacle) is officially on fire. Three consecutive wins (all by shutout) has the Hoops back at the top of the Western Conference with a game in hand over the two rivals (Seattle and Vancouver) currently tied with FCD. This week, they get the Eastern Conference's top dog, DC United

Once again, the Hoops catch a break with DC missing their top attacking force, Fabian Espindola, through red card suspension. It also appears that they'll be without Chris Pontius, Luis Silva, and Sean Franklin (more on this in a minute). Perhaps worst of all, they'll be dependent on Andrew Dykstra to thwart the FC Dallas onslaught now that Bill Hamid (for my money, the best MLS goalkeeper over the last 2 years) for 4 to 6 weeks.  Ouch!

On the other hand, Ben Olsen has been a maestro with the duct tape this year much as last. He's finally gotten some production out of McKinney's own Conor Doyle this year, and I was kind of shocked Perry Kitchen wasn't called in as one of the replacements for the US Men's National Team at the Gold Cup. That said, I still expect it to get ugly this weekend.

Adds: Fabian Castillo ($10.6)- I hate promoting the obvious pick, and Fabian Castillo is your top fantasy scorer this year for the Hoops(although Mauro Diaz leads in ppg). That said, Taylor Kemp and Chris Korb simply do not have the wheels to keep up with this guy. If Dallas scores early, I have zero doubt Fabian scores double digits this week.

Avoid: David Texeira/Tesho Akindele- Because of the circumstances surround DCU and the form of the Hoops, crooked number to zero looks like a probable outcome this weekend. Technically, there's few amongst the usual suspects that I'd tell you to avoid. That said, with Canada getting bounced, I'm not sure about usage with these guys, and you only have so many transfers anyway.

MLS:

You're getting back Gold Cup players now. Honduras is done. Canada couldn't muster a goal in Toronto, so they're done. El Salvador is probably done. Cuba was done before they were started, but that doesn't matter this year (although it could in Gold Cup 2017).

You know Columbus and Chicago are the double week matchup this week. In 3 weeks, it will be Montreal, Red Bull New York, Orlando SC, and Toronto. We'll start talking about the big bye weeks (27 and 32) next week, but I'll concentrate on nice matchups this week with an eye towards week 23.

Cyle Larin F ($6.0)- PASS IT INTO THE GOAL! So here's your Gold Cup Charlie Brown. Canada advances if it makes one of the more gift-wrapped goals you'll ever see. He's 2nd on Orlando City with 6 goals this year (1st when you subtract PKs). I'm not sure he gets the start this week, but he's a good caperoo this week, and he gets 2 in week 23. He's also still cheap. I think he gets over this miss shortly.

Chris Konopka G (5.2)-  If you don't already have Sebastien Giovinco on your team, he's really expensive. Konopka isn't so expensive, and on top of a juicy matchup against Philadelphia Union this week, Toronto's getting back all of their Gold Cup expats this week. They also have the extra tasty double home game DGW in week 23. Update: Chris Konopka suspended! Don't start him this week!!!

Laurent Ciman D ($7.7)- Here's another player I continue to pump up, and at least on paper with a road trip to Sporting Kansas City, this might seem a week too soon. Hear me out. Sporting generates roughly half of their chances inside the 6 via the cross, and Ciman is a CBI machine (1 bonus point for every 6). He's 5th in CBI in the league and 3rd in CBI per game (11.4) so he's good for almost 2 defending bonus every game.  Even if Spork score 2, he's still a good bet for 5+ points this week based on the workload he'll see.

Full Disclosure:

I've increased my ranking by over 60% since I took over this post. Taylor Hester, I'm coming for you this week.