This article is part of our The Armband series.
Every week I tell myself that it usually doesn't work when stepping outside of the box in MLS Fantasy. It's rare when a second option outscores the hands-down stud on the roster. If you got cute and decided to captain someone other than David Villa last week, it didn't work out. It took some time in a rain-sodden match, but the Spaniard eventually scored twice in the second half and led the official MLS Fantasy game with 18 points.
The same statement can be made across the league, whether that's with Toronto, Chicago or Los Angeles. Sure, the Toronto defenders outscored Sebastian Giovinco, but was it worth risking a possible non-clean sheet when Giovinco is almost guaranteed to garner some kind of fantasy points? Maybe, maybe not. I probably shouldn't be talking about being smart after I captained Lee Nguyen, but at least everyone else performed. And now that a boring week with only 11 matches is behind us, we return to eight teams having doubles in Round 17.
Colorado and D.C. are automatically removed from the conversation as neither team has anyone worth captaining. Orlando (at SEA, at CHI) is part of that as well, with both of its matches on the road. Minnesota (v. POR, v. VAN) is the most intriguing side as the only team to have two home matches. The Loons may be last in the table, but a lot of that has to do with the two points taken from eight road matches. However, Minnesota isn't playing well in general, having not scored in its last three matches in all competitions. Christian Ramirez is hit-or-miss up front, but Kevin Molino and Ibson provide safety in the midfield even when they don't find the score sheet. And while Ibson may not be the best captain choice, he's one of my overall favorites this week due to a low price.
The rest of the teams split home and away and have numerous players to use. That said, the Galaxy (at COL, v. SKC) only have one player worth considering: Romain Alessandrini. After Alessandrini flubbed in home matches against Seattle and Philly a little more than a month ago, he hasn't been stopped with three goals and five assists in the last six games. His only worry is that the matchups aren't great, as the Rapids and Sporting KC have combined to allow just 15 goals in their respective 17 home and away matches. Yet, it's worth noting Alessandrini had nine fantasy points a couple weeks ago in a scoreless draw.
The Timbers are next on the list (at MIN, v. SEA), getting a boost because their road game is against bottom-of-the-table Minnesota. It also can't get be overlooked that Seattle has lost its last four road games by a combined 12-2 score line. Diego Valeri is the easy choice with three goals and two assists in his last five starts, while Sebastian Blanco is the slightly cheaper option. Some will use Fanendo Adi, but considering he doesn't accrue many fantasy points when he doesn't score, he's too risky to flop.
The Sounders (v. ORL, at POR) are bad on the road, but they get to host Orlando, which just allowed three goals at home, is traveling across the country and has scored only four goals in six road matches. I'm down on Nicolas Lodeiro because he hasn't been worth the price and that remains the case, having found the score sheet once in his last eight starts. Cristian Roldan has been their most consistent player with two goals and an assist in his last four games to go with usual defending stats, but I don't have it in me to recommend him as the top Seattle captain. Osvaldo Alonso also deserves a mention, though I won't be captaining him, either.
Atlanta (at D.C., v. COL) is a bit easier because you know Miguel Almiron will likely be its top point-getter this week. As Hector Villalba and Josef Martinez fight for time up front, Almiron almost always outscores Yamil Asad in the midfield. Leandro Gonzalez Pirez would be a sneaky captain because neither D.C. nor Colorado is good offensively. The Rapids have two away goals and D.C. has scored only four times at home.
Speaking of defensive options, Francisco Calvo is probably the best choice with two home matches, but captaining a Minnesota defender doesn't seem to make much sense.
For those that hate double gameweeks, Toronto (v. NE), Houston (v. DAL), Columbus (v. Montreal) and Chicago (v. Orlando) all have great matchups, making this week even harder to select a captain. Would anyone put it past Giovinco, Justin Meram or Nemanja Nikolic bagging a hat trick and making everyone hate themselves for overlooking stars for the armband? No. That's exactly what will happen, so thank me for the jinx when the week is over.