Remember when I recommended Patrick Doody and not Joao Meira? Yeah, me neither. Doody didnít get a clean sheet with Chicago, but he managed three assists in his second start of the season and led defenders at the official MLS Fantasy game for Round 22. Otherwise, it was run of the mill for fantasy performances last week. Oh wait, Sebastian Giovinco and Nemanja Nikolic combined for six fantasy points. Never mindÖ
At least David Villa and Clint Dempsey came through in tough situations, both finding the score sheet three times. Ilsinho surprisingly led the midfielders, but Ignacio Piatti was close behind in his return to the starting XI for Montreal. Either way, it was a hit-or-miss week and anyone (me) who rolled with both Giovinco and Nikolic likely fell behind.
The upcoming round brings 10 Saturday matches, with Atlanta and Minnesota getting the week off. There are a couple teams that stand out, with the Red Bulls at the top of that list at home against a struggling Orlando side that has one point in its last four league matches. New York is at the opposite end with 17 goals in its last five. Bradley Wright-Phillips is gaining steam, scoring a brace last match to total four in his last three games. Sacha Kljestan is probably a bit easier to trust, though, with double-digit fantasy points in each of the last four matches. Felipe Martins would be a great differential, while Daniel Royer is dealing with a knee injury. With most of the scoring coming on the attacking end, Iíd stay away from captaining anyone on New Yorkís back line.
Houston (v. San Jose) and Dallas (v. Colorado) are both at home again, but Iíll tone down the hype after they disappointed two weeks ago when that was the case. Still, itíd be hard to argue giving the armband to Alex, Mauro Manotas or Maximiliano Urruti. None of them stand out, but the Earthquakes have a minus-16 goal differential on the road and the Rapids have scored just three times away from home. These are the situations that could lead to huge wins, but neither home side is in great form. A clean sheet is a decent possibility for both, with Urruti having the best chance to find the back of the net.
Seattle against Kansas City will be an interesting game because the Sounders havenít allowed a goal in three straight matches, while Sporting have allowed only 10 in 11 away matches. Backing Joevin Jones or Chad Marshall may end up being a better choice than someone like Dempsey or Nicolas Lodeiro. Dempsey has games where he goes off, but he also hasnít surpassed four fantasy points in five of his last seven starts.
Giovinco will try and rebound back at home against the Timbers. Portland gives up close to two goals per away match so Toronto should be in line for that amount with 27 points in 11 home games this season. The last time Giovinco was at BMO Field, he scored twice and assisted against a solid NYC FC squad.
Columbus hosts Chicago and since that usually is a feisty match, Iíll stay away from both teams. In their two matches this year only three goals have been scored in total.
Villa is in the conversation per usual, and while the Galaxy held a clean sheet the last time they were at home, Iím not confident in their abilities, having allowed 16 goals in their last six matches overall. As for Villa, heís not as easy to trust on the road, with one goal in his last four trips, but Iím never going to doubt the Spaniard.
C.J. Sapong gets the last mention because I called him out last week, but then said heís hard to trust. He went on to score a brace against Dallas and now has four goals and two assists in his last three home matches. At home against the Impact, who give up more than two goals per road match, Iíll give the respect Sapong deserves. Given the teams, the Union and Impact should be in line for an exciting match with more than three goals a likely scenario.