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MLS Fantasy Manager: Round 21

Dallas goes for a perfect July

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, you think you're so cool Caleb Porter, but how are you going to feel Saturday night when those shades melt to your face? Contrary to the Shakespearean adage, revenge this weekend will be best served hot.

Critiquing the expert:

Fabian Castillo bagged a goal last week. He didn't quite hit double digits, but he certainly looked like he had it in him. What's more, he avoided getting a yellow card for ripping his jersey off after the winner- file that under 'found' points this season.

On the flip side under 'lost' points, my suggestion for adding Cyle Larin was a dud. He was sent off with a straight red in the first half. The only 'good' news there is that the card was rescinded. You can play him this weekend, but you won't be getting those points back. Ciman was a dud, too, but has 2 home games in week 23.

Verdict: C: It was a pretty 'meh' week on the clairvoyance front. 3 suggestions averaged out to 4 points a piece, and I've grown accustomed to delivering better.

FC Dallas:

FC Dallas is on top of the Supporters Shield table and trails only Sporting Kansas City in points per game. They can win their 5th in a row and extend their unbeaten run to 6 with a home match against the hated Portland Timbers.

Dallas will one again be without the services of Blas Perez and Je-Vaughn Watson who remain at the Gold Cub, but they did catch a break when Will Johnson was ejected after the whistle last week in Portland's draw with Vancouver. For the year, Portland has actually been a pretty decent road team, but in their last 2 road matches they've been drilled to the tune of 8-0. Given the heat this weekend, I think there's a decent chance we see the bad version of the Timbers, especially in the 2nd half.

Adds: Mauro Diaz ($9.9)- Again, I hate promoting the obvious pick, but he's the top scorer for the team in ppg, and he'll have a chance to pick on the Timbers without Johnson. He's averaged 9 points a game over the last 4 and has been playing out of his mind. Less obvious would be Kelln Acosta ($6.1) who comes at a reasonable price, but has averaged better than 7 over his last 4. I am a sucker for defenders who actually play midfield.

Avoid: Any of the Defenders. Portland does have a pretty dangerous attack, and I don't feel great about them getting shutout for a 3rd consecutive road match. It's certainly possible, but I am wary. Also, what happens when Watson gets back and Bakary Soumare gets fit? Also, the same applies to Ezequiel Cirigliano ($7.5). How soon will he have an impact? If he moves into Acosta's spot, I can see Kellyn moved to right midfield or right back (he's really playing too well to take off the field at the moment). Matt Hedges and Zach Loyd are fixtures, but they're kind of expensive. There's a strong chance that the 1st choice back line looks a lot different in a couple of weeks so I'm steering clear for now.


The Costa Rican Gold Cup contingent from MLS (Alvaro Saborio, Roy Miller, and Kendall Waston) should return to their teams this week as well as the MLS players from Trinidad and Tobago (Joevin Jones, Cordell Cato, and Kevan George) although I wouldn't bank on any of them playing this week.

4 teams will be on DGW's in week 23, and the same will apply for weeks 25 and 26. In week 27, half of the teams are on byes. Of the teams with DGW's next month, 6 will have matches in week 27, so I'm going to try and stick with these teams so I can smartly manage the crowded fixtures after week 27.

Columbus Waylon Francis D ($6.4)- Kei Kamara and Ethan Finlay are the obvious picks here, but Francis is on good form at the moment and Columbus loves to get their wing defenders into attack. They do have a bye before their DGW in week 25, but they get both those games at home as well as a home date (against FC Dallas) in week 27.

Chicago Matt Polster D ($4.6) -  I offer the immediate caveat that it is Chicago, and they've been bad. Polster will return to defensive midfield this week, where he's had a pretty good little rookie season. He's not going to make you a mint, but he does balance out the roster nicely when you have a lot of expensive guys.  Their DGW isn't until week 26 though, so you've got time to add him when the cheap filler will come in handy. Maybe this week if you add....

Orlando SC Kaka M ($11.7)- His salary has come back down $0.2 after a couple of bad weeks, but I have a feeling Orlando has blown through their bad red card karma. He still takes PKs and is the creative force behind this lineup. He's also 6th in total points among midfielders and is bye-week free until October. The DGW in week 23 (@Tor, vs. Phi) has double digits written all over it.

Montreal Donny Toia D ($4.9)- Not keen on pairing Polster with Kaka? Well here's a better idea. Toia's been bankable since Montreal finished CCL play, and they've got both their games in Week 23 at home. They do have a bye the week after that, but Montreal have a ton of catching up to do so you're going to get a lot of 2 game weeks and a lot of home games from here on out.

San Jose Quincy Amarikwa ($7.0)- Amarikwa for an injured (and called out of retirement) Ty Harden- this is what we like to call a fleecing. Amarikwa started off last year on fire before going cold for the 2nd half of last year, and the 1st half of this year. Now with a change of scenery, Amarikwa looks like he may be heating up, and he'll have the dangerous Chris Wondolowski returning next week. Now, his DGW in week 25 is a doozy- on the road at SKC and DC United. That said, San Jose has games in hand and a lot of home dates between now and the end of the season.

Toronto Ashtone Morgan D ($5.3)- It's extremely tempting to recommend Marco Delgado ($5.6) for Toronto because he's been extremely productive at a cut rate price. I'm waiting to see how he fits in when Michael Bradley gets back, but he's definitely worth keeping an eye on. Sebastien Giovinco is now the game's most expensive player and still probably worth every penny. Toronto's been shaky defensively, but again, it's a games in hand with a lot of home dates, including 2 home games in week 23. (Note: he's questionable for this week. Justin Morrow is a heatlhy option if you decided to add a TFCer this week).

Full Disclosure:

Despite 6 goals last week, FCBT remained roughly unchanged. Meh.