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Ben's Fantasy (MLS Fantasy Manager Round 16)

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No, I said “USOC”

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

You literally need to pay attention to which MLS teams played literally their best players in the 4th round of the US Open Cup this week. Failing to do so will result in imminent disappointment as players are rested and come off the bench in situations when they’d literally normally be starting. Literally.

Don’t take my word for it, just ask Twitter. And don’t take anyone’s word for it on Twitter; do take Phil’s though. That’s Phil (I’m in 1st or 2nd place every week) to you slobs. Here’s a quick round of the popular pick and avoid to pair with that. Actually, US Open Cup weeks could be the best application of this analysis.

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Avoid:

F CJ Sapong

He’s the 4th most popular forward add this round, although still shy of 10% ownership. He’ll get Red Bulls at home (who also played a regular lineup in USOC at home), but that’s not particularly advantageous. He could get you a goal or he could get you two. Meh. Edit: Might want to add Cyle Larin to the list. Brutal.

Try: Hector Villalba

It’s a home match against a weary Crew opponent- they might not come in at full strength. Villabla is also now being pushed by the return of Josef Martinez, but he’s been reserved for the MLS match. With the early start, he’s a good front end switcheroo option.

Avoid:

M Miguel Almiron

He’s the 5th most popular add this round and was already popular from last round. Columbus should be a good matchup, but will he start? Eh...

Try: Albert Rusnak

Relaxed and rested- 90 minutes at home against some road wearyish Loons. Rusnak’s averaging more than 9/gm at home over his last 5.

Edit: Uhhhh....

Yeah, Rusnak won’t work here. I’m also getting the vibe that Almiron will be good to go for Saturday. Better make it avoid Meram and add Almiron (When in doubt, go with the home matchup). Nguyen (When in doubt, go with the home matchup for the guy averaging over 9ppg at home and who didn’t play in USOC).

Avoid:

D Florian Jungwith

He’s the 2nd most added and with good reason- he’s the 4th highest scorer. One small problem:

‘Questionable’

Try: Chris Mavinga

I’m putting my defensive eggs in the LA and Toronto baskets this weekend which is due to pricing, opponent, and venue. Morrow has been a popular add, as has Zavaleta, but in the case of the latter, are we sure he’s locked in as the starter? Maybe, but I can easily see him riding the pine now that Moor and Mavinga are healthy. I’m spending extra for the Frenchman. Edit: With Hagglund out due to a torn MCL, you can probably roll with Zavaleta, too.

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Byrd’s Ballers: (Round 15. 3-2-0, Season 49-21-9)

  1. Sebastien Giovinco F $12.5
  2. Romain Alessandrini M $10.1
  3. David Villa- F $11.1
  4. Albert Rusnak- M $9.2 Miguel Almiron- M $9.2 Lee Nguyen- M $10.5
  5. Hector Villalba - F $9.9

Last round great for me up until the Dallas-Portland match. At least, I picked the round’s high scorer and put him on my team (uhhh...yeah). The crummy part of a short slate is how it tends to magnify one’s mistakes. The good part about it is that even a bad mistake only yield so much fruit- even a top score of 94 for Blue Balls and Away Goals only managed to lift them one point closer to the leader, Pancho Villa’s Watch. This round definitely has potential for more movement.

Any of the Top 3 are worthy of the captaincy this round, but that’s my order of preference. You already know what I think about 4 and 5’s prospects. Those two should help your movement this round as well.

Skinflint’s Specials: (Round 15 1-4-0, Season 36-39-0)

  1. Ben Sweat D $4.4
  2. Julian Gressel M $4.4
  3. Bradley Diallo D $4.2
  4. Alphonse Davies D $4.4
  5. Carlos Rivas M $6.8

Well, at least I was back at .500 with the cheapies for one week. In fairness, it was considerably more difficult with a paltry 6 teams in action. Selling Portland last round sure didn’t help.

I like Sweat because he’s at home, Seattle’s coming cross country, and you get to make sure he plays since you’ll see NYCFC’s lineup before rosters lock. Gressel seems a good bet to play 60+ as does Diallo, who has locked down RB for LA. Davies looks like he’s back to starter status and has Medranda potential this weekend. Finally, I’m a sucker for Rivas, and I think he steps up with Larin out. Good luck gang!

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