The Armband: FMLS Round 12 Captain Rankings
The Armband: FMLS Round 12 Captain Rankings

This article is part of our The Armband series.

If your captain didn't have double-digit fantasy points last week, you're doing something wrong. The majority of players who started two matches reached at least 10 points, and if you backed Columbus, it was hard to go wrong after they secured two clean sheets and scored four total goals. Gyasi Zardes led the week with 22 fantasy points from three goals, with Crew defenders close behind, though only three started both matches (Zack Steffen included). LA FC were also a good place to turn after scoring four goals, with Carlos Vela totaling 18 fantasy points.

There are more doubles in Week 12, but maybe not ones to get excited about. Vancouver host San Jose on Wednesday and then both play again Saturday, with the Whitecaps going to Dallas and the Earthquakes hosting D.C United. I don't feel comfortable about either of those squads, but there are players to consider for the armband.

Kei Kamara has made the score sheet in five of six starts this season, yet he's not a guarantee for the starting XI, especially given his early injury issues. Kendall Waston should start both matches and has decent bonus point possibility, so he's not a bad place to turn even without a clean sheet.

It's the same iffy situation for San Jose, especially with how little Vako has done since the first two matches, failing to surpass six fantasy points in his last seven appearances. It'd make more sense to captain Magnus Eriksson, who has reached seven fantasy points in five of his last seven starts. He'd be my pick over Danny Hoesen because Hoesen's largely dependent on goals for fantasy points. Florian Jungwirth has 32 fantasy points from the last four matches and has shown a good floor when not on the score sheet, so he may be the safest pick.

For everyone not interested in either of those sides, Atlanta (v. NYRB) and NYC FC (v. COL) are the first places I'd look for captain. After some difficult trips (New York, LA FC), NYC FC are back at home against a side that has lost four straight and has just two goals in four road matches. It's been a while since David Villa was on this list, but that changes this week, especially with NYC FC winning their four home matches by an 11-2 score line. Maximiliano Moralez should also be in the mix even though he hasn't been as productive in the last month. This is a great spot for a clean sheet, but I'm not sure the upside is there for anyone, with Alexander Callens maybe the best bet if you want to captain a defender.

Atlanta are home again after falling to SKC in their last appearance. A match against the Red Bulls could be equally as difficult since they've scored five goals in their last two on the road, but both teams should have chances. Miguel Almiron is the Mohamed Salah of MLS Fantasy in that he's a worthy captain every week. He didn't score or assist last gameweek yet still managed 12 fantasy points from two matches. That should change in this one because the Red Bulls have struggled defensively even though they are winning. A lot of people will look to Josef Martinez and Bradley Wright-Phillips, but Kaku may be the better play of the two. He's been great for New York with two goals and five assists over the last three matches, and even in a difficult spot, it wouldn't be surprising if the Red Bulls bagged a goal or two.

Unfortunately, I can't trust anyone from Toronto due to Sebastian Giovinco's red card and Victor Vazquez's ongoing back injury. Jonathan Osorio is worth a spot on the squad, but his upside is limited.

There are more places to look, though not many can be trusted. Ignacio Piatti (v. LAG) showed his inconsistency last week, and this may be the last week I look to him in a nice spot against a faulty back line that allowed three goals in each of their last three matches. Graham Zusi remains a popular differential and gets a decent matchup even on the road at Minnesota. He has reached 10 fantasy points in five of his last six starts, which is the best rate of any defender. New England (v. CLB) and Philadelphia (v. RSL) are always more intriguing at home, but I'm not ready to captain Cristian Penilla just yet.

I'm more inclined to turn to Portland against LA FC with hopes of four or five goals between them. There is some worry that the Timbers haven't allowed a goal in their last three, but there have been at least five goals in four of LA FC's last five road matches. Something will have to break and I'd put my money on Diego Valeri slightly above Carlos Vela only because the match is in Portland. Valeri has reached eight fantasy points in five of the last six matches, which is what he often did last season.

On the other side of Vancouver in their double gameweek is Dallas, who have scored five goals in their last two home matches. The only problem is that Mauro Diaz isn't a guarantee to start, Maximiliano Urruti is goal-reliant and Roland Lamah is extremely inconsistent. They could win big and have a clean sheet, but I'm not ready to give my full support, at least in terms of the armband.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.
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