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MLS Fantasy Manager: Round 26

Tonight kicks off the round.

Jim Urquhart-USA TODAY Sports

I am not doing you wrong people!!! Bingham- 2 shutouts last week. Poku scored you a brace and bonus points. Ok, Sean Johnson was speculative, but he's a fluke goal away from a shutout. I also warned you about Spork last week. See any SKC on my team? My only regret from this week is picking a bad switcheroo and not having a piece of LA this week. Sometimes it's hard to balance the desire for MLS's version of the Yankees to get destroyed by the team that actually plays in Yankee Stadium with reason. That said, it's hardly like Villa and Poku left you in the lurch this week.

I have been telling you for weeks to get ready for Week 27 since only 10 teams play next week. Recently, I have learned that there are unlimited transfers next week. I suck.

FC Dallas:

PPG since 2014 with Mauro Diaz: 35 GP 20W-6D-9L 66 points 1.89 PPG

PPG since 2014 without Mauro Diaz: 23GP 7W-5D-11L 26 points 1.12PPG

With Mauro, we're legitimate contenders to win silverware. Without him, we're basically the Colorado Rapids. Got it?

The thing is, that's almost the perfect sample size. That's almost exactly a regular season worth of MLS games. It translates to roughly 64 points per season, and that's almost always enough to win the Supporters' Shield. It doesn't always translate in goals and assists, but Mauro's tactical gifts and  pure genius seeing the field aren't always quantifiable in the fake game. He draws attention (and a lot of fouls) from opponents, and he frees up a ton of space for Kelly Acosta, Michel Barrios, Fabian Castillo, and (flavor of the month striker). They clearly give his team a bump over a reasonable sample size so (we're all happy he's what the fuck this week).

Speaking of which, there's a chance he plays this weekend. Once again, we miss out on the bonus of playing a fatigued team playing in midweek, but FC Dallas will have such matches in September against Vancouver and Sporting Kansas City.

Adds/Drops: Jesse Gonzales GK ($4.0)- He started working as the backup before Dan Kennedy's injury, and he had a pretty steady game against Vancouver. As far as raw talent goes, he may be the best of the bunch, and he's really cheap. If you're nervous about adding him this week, just make sure you have a keeper that will autosub in. DK's out for a while (partially torn knee ligament). If I'm dropping players this week, Victor Ulloa has Ezequial Cirigliano nipping at his heels now. It may be just a matter of time.

MLS:

Your four teams with 2 games this week: Colorado, Chicago, Houston, Red Bull New York. Outside of RBNY, that's a pretty boring slate. You know your Red Bulls, so I'll take a stab at the other 3 for my picks this week.

Picks to click:

Will Bruin (8.1) F- He's been hit and miss this year, but quietly, he's got his 3rd 10 goal season in his 5th season. The road game at Colorado is probably tougher than it looks, and the home game with Vancouver is probably easier than it looks (deciding game of the Canadian Championship tonight) so I'm betting on a goal or two here and two starts (with Giles Barnes possibly missing both games).

Harry Shipp (8.1) M- For his popularity (probably due mostly to ghost teams), Harry's been pretty meh this year. That said, with Shaun Maloney out of the picture, I'm anticipating him moving to the middle and creating a lot more chances for Chicago. I'm expecting 2 starts, at least 3 attacking bonus points, and at least one goal or an assist.  That's 10-12 points this week. You certainly could do worse for the price. Update: No Shipp in the lineup tonight- I'm pretty surprised at that, but then again, I'm surprised Yallop still has a job (How did we lose to them again?). Polster and Gehrig have been surprisingly reliable, but if I were picking a loan Fire defender, I'd go with Larentowicz since he takes PKs.

Marcelo Sarvas (7.5) M- I saw an interesting stat on Charles Eloudondo regarding chance creation was tempting, but that's a 1-pointer waiting to happen. Five different Rapids players are a yellow away from a suspension, so forget that. So I'm going with Sarvas. He starts regularly, picks up defending bonus points, and he's averaging a very steady 4 points per game at a reasonable price. That's your safe play from a blah team with 2 home games this week.

Full Disclosure:

I'll be posting my lineup at about 7 pm CDT if you're curious. I'm creeping steadily closer to the Top 500, after a really lousy start to the year.

Update- Here you go!