The Armband: FMLS Week 21 Captain Rankings
The Armband: FMLS Week 21 Captain Rankings

This article is part of our The Armband series.

Double gameweeks usually make things a little easier when choosing a captain, and that stood out last week when NYC FC had two home matches and dominated the leaderboards. Maximiliano Moralez didn't win the week, but he still managed 18 fantasy points and that worked out fine for everyone who used him. Sure, the defender strategy with either Anton Tinnerholm (24 points) or Alexander Callens (23) would've been better, but that's being greedy.

Week 21 will be a little more difficult mainly because the team (Minnesota) with two home matches sits near the bottom of the table and the other (New England) has two on the road. Neither are as sure as NYC FC was last week, but Minnesota should be the most popular option against New England and LAFC. While going with a defender is a stretch, there are two guys who stand above the rest for the armband: Carlos Darwin Quintero and Miguel Ibarra. Quintero has the upside, with four goals and two assists in his last two home matches, though Ibarra isn't far behind with that total in his last six starts. The only issue with Minnesota players is that if they don't score, they won't get enough bonus points to hit double digits, even in 180 minutes. I'm choosing to ignore that to bank on Minnesota's home record (6-1-3) and that both the Revs and LAFC are allowing at least two goals per match on the road. The only other player who has enough upside for the Loons is Francisco Calvo, and I don't want to hope for a clean sheet or assist from him.

As for the Revolution, there's only one player to consider for the armband, especially with Cristian Penilla suspended. Even then, banking on Diego Fagundez's scoring to continue is a hard bet with two road matches, especially with one of those coming against the Red Bulls. That said, Fagundez has three goals and four assists in his last six starts, and he should come close to double-digit fantasy points even if he doesn't score or assist.

While Minnesota and New England have two matches, better teams with better matchups are also under the microscope with Atlanta (v. DC), Seattle (v. VAN), New York (v. NE), Columbus (v. ORL), Houston (v. DAL), RSL (v. COL) and Portland (v. MTL) all at home. That's a lot of places to look. If you get your captain wrong, you'll be in the minority because there are too many options to count.

Josef Martinez is close to a guarantee to score at this point, while Miguel Almiron is the safe pick without hat-trick upside. Almiron is always the smart play, but Martinez has scored in eight of his last nine starts and is always a threat for multiple goals against weaker competition (DC has allowed a league-high 27 road goals in 12 matches).

Nicolas Lodeiro and Diego Valeri are close to the same level, with Lodeiro a slightly safer bet because he has a higher floor. The difference for Valeri is that he's finding the score sheet a little more often, giving him a higher upside. At home against Montreal, there's a good chance Valeri can reach his upside with a goal or assist at a minimum.

The list goes on from there with mostly goal-dependent players like Gyasi Zardes and Bradley Wright-Phillips to midfielders Aleksandar Katai and Albert Rusnak. Going with upside is always a smart play, but taking away risk is usually the better route in the end, and since both Quintero and Ibarra have two home matches, they have the least amount of risk.

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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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