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MLS Fantasy Fisticuffs: Round 8

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Ben and Phil both had a miserable week, scoring 50 and 48 points. Ben leads the head-to-head with 583 points versus 557.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Fisticuffs pits angry combatants head-to-head in an MLS Fantasy soccer showdown. Each week, Phil and Ben argue over which players will perform. The stakes are high. The competitor whose team scores the fewer amount of points through Round 27 (September 3rd) will have to endure two laps of shaming around the Toyota Stadium concourse, Cersei Lannister style (though probably not nude)! Join our league using the code 35-1619 to follow along.

Round 7 Review

Despite a lousy week for the gurus, BDS still has 5 teams in the top 100. King Kenny Lives made a charge up the board posting a round score of 83, while DWB continues top of our board and finished his 3rd straight round in the Top 5 overall.

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Phil: After I brought in Ignacio Piatti (M-$10.5) last week, I sat there trying to figure out how to best use my second free transfer. I wrote about not bringing in Didier Drogba (F-$11.4). Then I thought that he would outscore Sebastian Giovinco (F-$12.2) through Round 8 due to his DGW, so I swapped them. It certainly hasn't paid off yet. Why did I listen to Ben!?

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Ben: In fairness to me, I didn't recommend Piatti, and I certainly didn't suggest bringing in Drogba at the expense of ‘The Atomic Ant". I would have suggested swapping out for Chris Wondolowski (F-$10.9), so that would have been an improvement, right? Ok, it wasn't a great week, but we're not freaking out about it. It's been a good year so far even with weird results like Montreal being the only home team not to win last round.

Round 8: Fight!

Who are you top 5 must-haves for the Round 8 DGW?

Phil:

  1. Fanendo Adi (F-$10.2) - 6 goals in 7 games. Golden Boot contender this year. At New England Revolution and then at home vs. Toronto.
  2. Ignacio Piatti (M-$10.5) - Leads all fantasy midfielders in scoring. At NYCFC, then home vs. Colorado Rapids.
  3. David Villa (F-$11.2) - Leads the league in shots and gets two games on the postage stamp of Yankee Stadium this week.
  4. Lee Nguyen (M-$11.1) - The Revs have been struggling lately but have an excellent chance of righting the ship with two home games. Nguyen will lead the charge and summon the rifle salute.
  5. Didier Drogba (F-$11.4) - Likely to score a goal or two or three but not likely to play all 180 minutes.

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Ben:

  1. David Villa (F-$11.2)- 2 Home games at the home of the Pinballs (slash) Pinstripes. I think you get 2 starts out of him and a possibly a double crooked number.
  2. Didier Drogba (F-$11.4)- One game at Yankee Stadium and one game at home. He's a tick lower than Villa because he has a greater chance of being rotated.
  3. Laurent Ciman (D-$8.8)- Averages 5 ppg after you subtract clean sheet points. He's probably the most certain way to add 10 points to your score this round.
  4. Nuno Coelho (D- $7.9)- Averages 4.4 ppg after subtracting the clean sheet points and the goal he scored opening weekend. He's the slightest of downgrades from Ciman because of extra risk of rotation and because you probably own him already. If he doesn't play 2 this round, you'll probably get 2 in round 10.
  5. Lee Nguyen (M-$11.1)- Given the lack of goals and assists, Lee's scored ok at home this year (4.6 ppg). He'll have free kicks and corners all to himself for 2 games this round, and 5 of his next 6 are at home so this looks like he could be due for a hot stretch.

Who are you top 5 must-have value picks for the Round 8 DGW?

Ben:

  1. Je-Vaughn Watson (D-$6.9)- I like this former FCD man a little bit more than London Woodberry (D-$5.0) because I feel a little more certain he's going to get 2 full games this round and due to some injuries* further up field for New England. Again, great schedule over the next month or so.
  2. Fraser Aird (D-$6.5)- I keep saying "take away the goals and the clean sheets" mainly because it's indicative of who's scoring the bonus points, and goals are kind of fluky for defenders. Take away the goals, and Aird is the highest scoring defender on Vancouver this year. They've got another DGW in Round 10 and 3 of their next 5 are at home.
  3. Jake Gleeson (G-$4.5)- Agree with Phil 100% on this one, especially for Travis Worra (G-$4.0) owners who might need a keeper once Bill Hamid (G-$6.0) returns (it could be in the next 2-3 weeks).
  4. Thomas McNamara (M-$7.2)- Less of a must have and more of a "could blow up", Tommy Mac has a pair at Yankee Stadium which I hope is eventually home of a certain German international defender (and current Leicester City stud) so they can start calling it "The House that Huth built".
  5. Ambroise Oyongo (D-$6.4)- Again less of a must have and more of a "he'll probably play 180 minutes and he's cheap", Oyongo will get the minutes with friendly fixtures, so eff it- you've got to get miserly if you want to bring in the big dogs.

*- I was really tempted to include Teal Bunbury (M-$6.9) on this because he's been playing as an out and out lone striker for New England, but he's now questionable (http://www.thebentmusket.com/2016/4/27/11516712/revolution-v-timbers-injury-reports) with a hamstring injury. With Juan Agudelo still out/questionable as well, there's a possibility we see Watson play up the field as a right or left mid.

***

Phil:

  1. London Woodberry (D-$5.0) - Chris Tierney's replacement is dirt cheap and has a home-heavy upcoming schedule. ***Check the latest injury report on Tierney and the Revs lineup tonight before your roster locks because I'm hearing that Tierney might not be out very long.
  2. Bobby Shuttleworth (G-$5.8) - Did I just put two Revs back-to-back? Well, they do have two home games this week. Plus, Shuttleworth leads all fantasy goalkeepers in overall points for under $6.0.
  3. Jake Gleeson (G-$4.5) - Kwarasey is out for several weeks with a torn finger ligament. Gleeson not only has a Round 8 DGW, but a R10 DGW as well.
  4. Dominic Oduro (F-$7.4) - Second former FCD'er on my list. Dom is playing right wing when Drogba is in and forward when he's out.
  5. Tim Parker (D-$6.6) - Some would put other Vancouver Whitecaps defenders like Jordan Harvey (D-$7.2) or Fraser Aird (D-$6.5) on this list instead, but Harvey ain't gonna score again and I'm backing Parker to pick up more bonus points from here on out.

Round 8: Final Thoughts

Ben: Think those DGW picks through. Only Vancouver gets a home game in Round 9, but they have a bye week in Round 13 (as does New England and Montreal). Keep your team in balance or be ready to use that wild card in a month. It's also a good idea not to go too crazy on one team due to the funky weather lately. Finally, you might want to go ahead and add the Disciplinary Report to your bookmarks. There's 3 players on Caution Accumulation Warnings this round, and that number shall certainly swell this week. Specifically, if you're looking at taking a chance on Octavio Rivero (F-$8.0) this week, he's a booking away from a suspension.

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Phil: I'm readying the Wildcard for next round. There are too many Round 10 DGW players that are different from the Round 8 DGW players I'm picking. I'll plan ahead for the many byes in Round 13. In Round 10, I'll rocket up the standings and surpass Ben, who's current fantasy score is the ultimate illusion, like Melisandre's appearance!