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MLS Fantasy Fisticuffs: Round 12

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Summer tournament defections, getting ready for next round's byes, and KAKA!

Kim Klement-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. After 11 rounds, Ben is back in front 1012-999*.

Round 11 Review

Round 11 wasn't quite the smorgasboard as Round 10, but there were still a trio of teams that broke the century mark. My 2nd place finish last week to Matthew Shadonix and Beerretriever SC gave me a decent cushion in the de facto rankings. I'm still only 2nd in the FC Dallas division as the inexplicable absence of Wesley Moorman and trolltollcrew's voice has yet to be heard.

Sebastian Giovinco (F-$12.7) laid two eggs and was outscored by teammate Mo Babouli (F-$4.8). If you capped him, don't feel bad because everyone else did, too. I'm probably the only fan of Patrick Viera these days. That's because his rotation last week lead me to skip David Villa (F-$11.6), use Tommy McNamara (M-$7.2) in a switcheroo with Michael Barrios (M-$8.0) netting me 3 extra points, adding Babouli who was good for 9, and adding another player that was originally of little interest. Bradley Wright-Phillips ($10.9) was the top scorer last week. I'll never pretend there isn't a large element of luck to this game.

Round 12: Fight!

Another round of shadow boxing this week. There's two teams with two games this round (Philadelphia Union, Orlando City SC), and it seems there are two pretty clear cut strategies this round depending on if you have your wild card or not.

Play your Wildcard! (if you got it)

Because of the limited options and the massive round 13 bye, your competitors this round will probably go light on Orlando City players because they have a bye in Round 13. This is an excellent opportunity to use your round 1-17 wild card (remember you get another round 18-34) and have 3 free transfers next round. You'll want some Philly players; CJ Sapong (F-$8.2) and Keegan Rosenberry (D-$5.9) should both play two even with two road games this round, and Philly does play in Round 13. Otherwise, go for the gusto. With injuries in the defense, Tommy Redding (D-$4.8) is cheap and will play two. Cyle Larin (F-$9.3) is pretty hot these days. Christian Higuita (M-$6.7) has been a fairly reliable scorer (when he's not getting red card, and Kevin Molino ($8.1) has had some big days. Both are on the low end price-wise. The jewel of the group is Kaka (M-$11.0) though. There's some talk about him not playing both games this week, but I'm betting he does. He's fairly low mileage this year, and since he's got a home game and a relatively short flight to New York for a Sunday game, you might as well go for it.

Play it safe, Plan for Round 13

I think Kaka is pretty must have this round, but you have to consider the massive bye week in Round 13. Chicago, Colorado, Montreal, New England, New York Red Bulls, Orlando, Toronto, and Vancouver all have byes next round. That encompasses a lot of popular players, so you're not alone in keeping an eye towards next round. Best practice here is probably to add an Orlando player (Larin or Kaka) for a player on a bye next round. Bank your extra transfer for next week and go from there. If you're looking at negative points next week regardless, you're looking at a -4 (or taking a zero) for any Orlando player you add this round. For a move like this to pay, you really need that player to put up 5 or more in their 2nd game in New York. I seriously doubt NYCFC is going to leak 7 goals again this round.

Round 12: Final Thoughts

On top of the Round 13 byes, you'll probably want to reference this beauty. That's your international absences starting this week. Of the list, only Andre Blake (G-$4.9) will play this round. Also, Bill Hamid (G-$6.0) returns this round, so be warned Worra owners. Enjoy!