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Ben's Fantasy (MLS Fantasy Manager Round 14)

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MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Swearing my allegiance to the orb last week worked out famously. I’m now at my highest position of the year. Woo Hoo! All hail The Orb!

Now that you have some vintage EDM to tweak your senses, let’s pick some winners.

***

Last round didn’t go well for a lot of players. Some of that was due to some popular players losing at home against two of the round’s longer shots, and some of that was due to FC Dallas resting some players during the DGW. Some of the rotation won’t be as pronounced this round since Orlando and NYCFC both have two home matches. If you’re in a spot where you can’t set your lineup an hour before rosters lock (there will be 6 teams revealed at that point), lean on OCSC and NYCFC and consider New England less likely to rotate with two conference matches and short travel. The 4 FCD players who did start twice scored 12, 11, 8, and 6, so if you can pick the guys who double up, there’s still great value with DGWers.

I’m going to go with a variation of a scheme I suggested in Round 12. This time, I’m shooting smaller. I’ll pick one of the top transfers to avoid at F, Mid, and D and suggest a less popular alternative. I’ll be shooting for <10% ownership to maximize effect. Remember, this move isn’t for the squeamish.

Avoid:

F Cyle Larin

The spot I butchered this bit the last time was the forwards, but hear me out. Larin is the 4th most added player (and most added forward) this round and, if you subscribe to the ‘He’s due’ theory, he should be good for at least one goal. The thing is, he wouldn’t necessarily be ‘due’ had he converted a penalty against NYCFC 2 weeks ago. By hitting the post, Larin prolonged his goal-scoring drought and might have lost spot kick duties in the process.

Try: Kei Kamara or Juan Agudelo

You’ll have 66 players to choose from by 5:45 CDT tonight, and if I’m going to use a 3rd forward, I’m picking one of these guys. The short trips and the potent offense (2 G/gm over their last 6) leads me to believe one of these guys goes off this round. With Agudelo coming off injury, I’m leaning Kamara, but this isn’t a choice you have to make until well before rosters lock. If that doesn’t float your boat, you can always turn this into a cheap bench spot.

Avoid:

M Justin Meram

Meram is the 2nd most transferred in player this round and looks like he’ll also be the 2nd most rostered by actively managed teams. I’m taking a pass.

Try:

M Maxi Morález

Three reasons I prefer Moralez to Meram here.

  1. Free kicks and corner kick belong to Maxi, so he’s got a higher potential floor and hasn’t gotten yanked in the 1st half of a game recently.
  2. Over 25% of Meram’s points this year came from one round, and most of those came from a hat trick on the road. That seems like chasing points to me.
  3. 2 home games and 2 conference games means I’m more likely to get two starts for Maxi.

Avoid:

D Alexander Callens

I know, I know- he’s cheap, and he’s got 2 home games. All of this is true, but without Ring tonight, their defense isn’t nearly as good and they’ve only got one clean sheet at home this year. Philly will come in on full rest, and I kind of think that game will be loosy goosy, too. I think Orlando’s a far better bet for one (and possibly two) clean sheets this round.

Try:

D Scott Sutter This is practically cheating because he’s been added in a fair amount, but he’s outside the top 10, and he’s just over 5% owned. That’s too low for one of the better defenders who joined the league this year. If you’re going full Lion (I’d recommend it), he’s another guy I want before Larin this round.

***

Byrd’s Ballers: (Round 9. 3-1-1, Season 32-19-8)

  1. David Villa F $10.9
  2. Lee Nguyen M $10.3
  3. Federico Higuain - M $10.1
  4. Nicolas Lodeiro- M $11.6
  5. Maxi Morález- M $9.5

My 90 was good for 2nd best in the league last round to Ball Busters FC who took top honors with 99. This pushed both of us into the top 10 and slightly closer to PVW and Lamah JKAM who still have a 30-40 point cushion over the next group of riders.

Villa is the obvious play here and despite his age, I’m not worried about rotation because they’re at home and they’re conference matchups. The same applies to Moralez and probably Harrison as well with potentially juicy matchups on tap for both games. Nguyen gets the nod over Lodeiro for me this round, and there’s reason to worry about Lodeiro with Seattle missing so many weapons. His floor and matchups are just too much to ignore. Higuain’s another player I like more than Meram this round for almost the same reasons that I prefer Moralez. Pipa’s looked very lively this year, and he’ll take the penalty kick if Columbus wins one.

Skinflint’s Specials: (Round 9 2-3-0, Season 31-34-0)

  1. Scott Sutter D $5.0
  2. Carlos Rivas M $6.9
  3. Ethan White D $4.1
  4. PC D $4.6
  5. Jared Jeffrey M $5.3

I’m all in on Orlando’s defense this round. PC makes the list after OCSC limited Minnesota to 5 shots last week, but I’ll change if he and Toia swap. I’m gambling that whoever starts 1st will play both. White is the cheapest entry into the NYCFC defense this round, and if you’re skeptical of their ability to earn cleansheets this round, they play both of their matches before Spork plays theirs- meaning you can use Medranda as a switcheroo sub. Jeffrey is a poor man’s Alonso/Godoy; he’ll get you fewer points but at a cutrate price. Finally, Rivas is taking the shots gang. He could easily be the round’s Meram. I’m placing that wager so bet accordingly. I’ll be doing some on the fly edits and replies in the comment section tonight because of the large slate so chime in for last minute tips around 5:30 CT tonight.

Complaints, comments, suggestions, slang? Email bmlyon (at) yahoo.com