Fantasy Forecast: Who to start and who to sit in Week 24

Chivas USA and Portland face off in the only midweek matchup on Wednesday (11 pm ET, watch LIVE online), and they’re both clawing desperately at the last playoff spots. With each team getting two league matches this week, each club has an opportunity to stake a claim on an invitation to the postseason in their head-to-head matchup.

This week, Fantasy Forecast casts an eye on those two rosters for some fantasy standouts.

Seattle, Colorado, Dallas, Toronto and LA have midweek Champions League play, while every MLS team is in action this weekend with a full slate of nine games.

Let’s get to the picks.

Start 'em

Dan Kennedy, GK, Chivas USA: If you’re looking for shutouts, Dan Kennedy is a much better bet than Troy Perkins. While both goalkeepers have been solid this season for their respective teams, Chivas have allowed a competitive 28 goals this season, as opposed to 41 for the Timbers. With Kennedy facing a second match against a suddenly unimpressive Real Salt Lake, he’s a good play between the posts.

Futty Danso, D, Portland Timbers: Futty’s ability to score on set pieces has landed him on the Forecast before. The Timbers’ weekend game comes against a patchwork D.C. United defensive unit. Danso might very well be able to score one off a corner kick, to the delight of his fantasy owners.

Heath Pearce, D, Chivas USA: The occasional US call-up is the most dependable of the Chivas USA back line, starting and playing the whole match in each of the Goats’ 25 league matches. He doesn’t spend a lot of time in the penalty area, but his crosses have netted him three assists this season.    

Nick LaBrocca, MF, Chivas USA: LaBrocca may be the biggest beneficiary of the Juan Pablo Ángel acquisition. Highly regarded around the league, LaBrocca has been the fulcrum of Chivas USA’s attack this year. Having a striker like Ángel who can potentially finish in the box at a higher rate than the current options can only help LaBrocca. Like Pearce, the New York native has been an iron man, starting all 25 matches this season, netting seven goals and five assists.

Jack Jewsbury, MF, Portland Timbers: If there’s a penalty kick to be taken, it belongs to Jewsbury. His value on set pieces alone makes him worth owning. It doesn’t hurt that John Spencer wouldn’t think of subbing off his on-field coach during either of Portland’s crucial upcoming matches this week. Jewsbury looks ready to expand on his season total of seven goals and eight assists.

Juan Pablo Ángel, F, Chivas USA: One game, one start, one goal. Certainly Robin Fraser would love for his new signing to continue that run of form indefinitely. Ángel said he was never happy with the way he played in LA, but his first match with Chivas showed glimpses of the form that made him one of the league’s premier goalscorers. Seeing the ball hit the back of the net against Colorado must have done wonders for his confidence.

Jorge Perlaza, F, Portland Timbers: The Forecast endorses Perlaza. One half of the “Colombian Connection” (with Diego Chara), the speedy striker connected with Chara for the first goal against Cascadia rivals Vancouver. Here’s hoping that Perlaza’s goal and assist last weekend can jump start the 26-year-old, who has been quiet for much of the season.

Sit 'em

Josh Saunders, GK, LA Galaxy: We’d probably all be disappointed if this weekend’s LA-NY showdown was a 0-0 draw, wouldn’t we?  I expect it to be a high-scoring match, with neither goalkeeper earning his weight in the fantasy world.

Nat Borchers, D, Real Salt Lake: Four losses in the last five make Real Salt Lake a sudden fantasy liability. That includes Borchers, who is usually a fantasy stalwart. Wait and see how RSL do on the road against a desperate Chivas USA team before plugging Borchers back in.

Davide Chiumiento, MF, Vancouver Whitecaps: A pair of crushing losses to D.C. United and Portland has Vancouver reeling. While they do get to return home after a pair of away matches, the Whitecaps attack does not inspire confidence recently, even at Empire Field.   

Danny Koevermans, F, Toronto FC: After a tough midweek CCL game against FC Dallas, Toronto will play again over the weekend against San Jose. The Forecast advises against this DP, even if he was rested during Toronto’s 2-0 loss last weekend.

Accountability:

Sporting Kansas City did get that one shutout, against D.C. United, to reward owners of Matt Besler & Co.

Dominic Oduro did his thing, scoring once against Toronto to bring his total to three tallies in the past four matches. Marco Pappa was unlucky not to score as well against the Reds, with TFC goalkeeper Milos Kocic making a superb sprawling save to keep the Guatemalan off the scoreboard.

On the negative side, Dwayne De Rosario and D.C. United finally cooled off. The Black-and-Red only managed a single goal in two road matches (courtesy of the ageless Josh Wolff), but the Forecast continues to believe DC attackers make strong plays going forward. 

Andrew Winner writes about Fantasy Soccer for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS