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Ben's Fantasy (MLS Fantasy Manager Round 8)

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First Double Game Week of the season

MLS: Houston Dynamo at New England Revolution Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

This is the first ‘Double Game Week’ of the season, so I’m not going to screw around and lecture you about not gambling enough or what position Kellyn Acosta must play at all times because he can’t do anything else. No, we’re going to explain the ‘DGW’ for the newbies and give a refresher to the vets on managing DGW rounds.

Double Game Week= DGW...and that means? Well, it refers to rounds where a team or teams play two games in the course of the round. During this round, New England will play two home games, and San Jose will play two road games, and players from both teams will accrue points for both games going towards their round score. This gives a boost to any player’s “floor” during a round simply by virtue of having an extra game to play. That said, there are some pretty big caveats. Here are some considerations beyond the individual match ups to consider when building your roster during DGW rounds.

  1. A player’s age and general fitness level. Fitter and younger players generally are better candidates to start both games and play the minimum of 60 minutes necessary for extra points for participation and clean sheets.
  2. Player’s position. If you look at an Opta passing graph with average player position, it correlates impressively well to a player’s chances of starting both games. Forwards and wing attackers are the most likely to be rotated, with central midfielders and wing defenders being less likely to be rotated, and with goalkeepers and central defenders being very likely to play both.
  3. Where are the games played/how much travel? Typically, teams will play one at home and one on the road during a DGW. This round, however, New England enjoys two games at home while San Jose travels for both. New England probably won’t require as much rest because of the travel, but the turf field does tend to be more taxing on the players. That’s particularly important for San Jose, who travel 2700 miles to Boston, play a match on turf, then travel another 1600 miles to play against Houston during the hottest and most humid part of the day on Saturday. Not only is rotation almost guaranteed, Houston might actually provide good value this round for a stompdown of the Quakes. Dom Kinnear coached in Houston for a long time; I’d expect moderate to heavy rotation between Wednesday and Saturday.
  4. Upcoming schedule. Both teams revert to a normal schedule next round, so this isn’t a consideration this week. During US Open Cup play, however, several teams will end up playing two games a week two and three weeks in a row. This is less of a consideration than it was in previous seasons when CCL group play was still a thing, but this should definitely factor in to your selection choices in the future.

Keep all of these things in mind when you choose your players this round and the next. A guy like Florian Jungwirth (D-$5.6) might seem like a good shout to play two because he’s a central defender in his prime, but what will his teammates have left in them for a sweltering fixture in Sewer City? He could easily end up with four points or less after two lackluster performances. Kinnear could give the German the day off in Houston because he’s not used to the heat. Or he could totally blow up both rounds and end up with 20. Choose wisely.

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Byrd’s Ballers: (Round 7. 3-1-1, Season 19-13-3)

  1. Lee Nguyen- M $10.0
  2. Diego Valeri - M $10.4
  3. David Villa- F $10.5
  4. Sacha Kjlestan- M $10.2
  5. Romain Alessandrini - M $9.6

Solid week record-wise for the ballers, but all of the wins were tepid. That will happen when there’s five in the back on the dream team. On the one hand, Steel City is doing great having earned top score for the second week of six this season that count towards cumulative score. On the other hand, they’re somehow still trailing me. Both Jake and I need big rounds to catch up with Pancho Villa’s Watch and BadKompany, but this is a good round to do it.

For my DGW ballers, I’m scoring them as though they’re average per game needs to meet the threshold for a game score single week player. 6-7 is a win for a midfielder is most rounds. Yeah, I think Nguyen is good for a minimum of 12. I’m sure someone else in the pricey range will go for double figures this round from New England and/or San Jose. I’m just not sure who.

Valeri, Villa, Alessandrini- I don’t know how you can sit any of those gents at the moment with tasty to decent matchups at home (Seattle has defensive issues at the moment). Kjlestan looks like he’s made the move inside, and it seems pretty likely that there will be some goals to be had in their home match with Columbus this weekend. Regardless of goals or assists, I think Kjlestan’s floor in this game is pretty high.

Skinflint’s Specials: (Round 7 2-3-0, Season 15-20-0)

  1. Anibal Godoy M $7.3
  2. Joshua Smith D $4.6 Nathan Smith D $3.9
  3. Diego Fagundez M $7.2
  4. Nick Lima D $4.6
  5. Xavier Kouassi M $7.0 Jack Elliot D $4.0

This is easily the more difficult of the picks each round, but the DGW makes it considerably easier to get a point per dollar. Fittingly, this is the class of player I feel most comfortable loading up on because of the DGW since the downside of rotation is minimized due to lower salary cost and these players are (generally) less likely to be rotated at all, in general.

Kouassi and Fagundez do carry some rotation risk, although I do expect each to play both games. Cropper (G-$4.0) looks like a good play this round, but I don’t include keepers in the SS, per my rules. Any and all of these picks have a decent chance at double digit points this round- load up!

Edit: No DGW for Josh Smith and Kouassi. Adjust accordingly!

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