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MLS Fantasy Fisticuffs: Round 21

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Get ready for the DGW with us (me).

John E. Sokolowski-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.

Only 7 rounds to go until you get to see Phil nude these Fisticuffs are settled for the masses. It was a good round for me as I expanded my lead over Phil by 14 (1659-1609). It was a great round for Cesar Gutierrez and his SATx Academicals (great name) as they lead the league last week with a whopping 125 (on a non-DGW round, no less). On to the countdown!

Round 20 Review:

Phil's 101 was a solid number last round, but he'll rue picking Benny Feilhaber ($11.3) over 17 point man Ignacio Piatti (same). I missed out too, and he's on the road in DC this round (unlike Feilhaber) so he might be prime for the low floor this week. It's also possible that DC, minus Boswell and Hamid, could be prime to be picked apart. I'm a Didier Drogba (F-$12.3) owner, so I'm biased- hang on to MON this round and the future; the schedule ain't bad.

When I'm not sending mixed messages, I'm fielding a 115 point team. Everyone captained Sebastian Giovinco (F-$13.2) last round, but if you're not everyone you're probably screwed. I wouldn't mess with the armband until Round 23 at the earliest. My best add from last round was Dom Dwyer (F-$10.2). He fell short of Drogba and Giovinco's goal exploits by one, and I'd strongly recommend him if all signs weren't pointing to Greece. I'm hoping to wake up to a severe straightening out by Sam McDowell.

Round 21: Fight!

NO MORE FIGHTING UNTIL WE FIGHT AGAIN K!!!!!!

You've got a DGW for Toronto and Real Salt Lake next round. I won't be recommending any Cobalt and Claret this week as their schedule is kind of ugly. Need proof? I own Javier Morales (M-$10.7), but I'll be transferring him out this round; RSL has problems. Justin Glad (D-$4.9) is dirt cheap, but I'm wary of him playing 2 games next round. The rest of the team is pretty meh.

Toronto FC is a different story. They've got a home game this round and 2 the next round- by all means, load up. You own Giovinco (and if you don't, you really suck at this game), but how else to load up? If you buy Justin Morrow (D-$7.9) or former FCD man Drew Moor (D-$7.7), you're ok if you've got the money. Moor's got more goals, but Morrow is more likely to play in an advanced position (occasionally 'out of position' at left mid and overlaps), so you're smart either way. I'm not bullish on Bono- Alex Bono (G-$4.5)- but Irwin won't be back just yet. If you want to grab a Red Patch Mid, Jonathan Osorio (M-$7.0) is your guy if you like attacking verve and bonus point. He gets the start more times than not these days.

Final Thoughts:

I want to focus on your wild card here. Yes! You have another group of free transfers outside of the unlimited transfers between now and the end of the season. That's on top of unlimited transfers between Rounds 32 and 33. We like to look long term in this forum, so I'll give you my spiel on the pros and cons of using that wildcard between now and your inevitable defeat at the hands of my luxurious genius the end of the season.

Round 25:

If your team sucks now, load up on DGW players and hold out for this round. There will be 66 players to choose from, and you should be able to pick a decent team for the following round. Remember- Round 18 produced a lot of zeros so you can get a lift here. The downside is that you're a long way from the end of the season, and Round 27 and 32 are ultra screwy.

Round 27:

For teams that suck less- this is a normal game round unlike Round 25 which is a single day. This seems like the odd ball in the group, so you can really differentiate yourself here. You can also prep yourself by going long on Los Angeles Galaxy, who have a DGW the following round (spoiler alert: everyone will be LAG long in round 28).

Round 28:

See round 27. You'll have a better opportunity to prep for round 31, I guess.

Round 31:

Oh hey! 8 teams on the DGW, but do you honestly think you can score on that? You might, and you'll have 3 free transfers for Round 32 when only 6 teams play. If you can make it this far, then you'll be golden.

Round 32:

If you can field a full 11 here, you stand to rule the round. A ton of your competition will not field a full team this round. If you're sucking hind tit at this point, go differential and captain someone nobody cares about. This is the round that Marlon Hairston (D-$5.2, playing as an attacker, and someone I promoted in Round 2) becomes your favorite player in MLS history. The bummer with this is that you miss out on the extra free transfer (because of unlimited transfers the next round) so you won't get your fix. Let's call this the Rehab Round.

Round 34:

Hey, it's Rehab Round, part 2. If you haven't used your wildcard yet, you've still got one! There may be a strategic advantage here (although you'll miss out on the extra free transfer again), but I doubt I'll know about it. Seriously, you'll be in select company if you make this play. The cool thing about this round is that everyone kicks off at the same time (it's amazing no one thought of that before...well played, MLS) so you have pick of the litter. If you're trying to wrangle differential, there might not be a better opportunity than holding out until October 23rd.

Byrd Turgler's choice: No idea yet...just know, peons- I'm going to win. More winning than Sheen; More winning than Trump; More winning than Celtics- I'm winning baby. I'll be fabulously wealthy, I'll have gorgeous foreing ex-wives, and the trophy will be YUGE. Don't like my bravado, low-energy prols? Come and get me.