Fantasy Fixes: Last-minute changes for weekend action
*Reminder #1: The cut off time to make roster changes is 15 minutes prior to the scheduled kickoff of the first match of the week. This week, that deadline is 5:15 pm ET on Saturday, June 23.
*Reminder #2: The Colorado Rapids are the only team without a game this weekend.
Top Player in Round 14: Landon Donovan – 16 points
Key Injuries: OUT – Milovan Mirosevic, Shalrie Joseph, Andrew Wenger, Gabriel Gómez, Joao Plata, Nick LaBrocca, Matteo Ferrari
In Wednesday’s edition of Fantasy Fixes, I recommended four different players who put up seven points or more in round 14. These players were all in my lineup, leading to a co-league-high round total of 78 points. With just one transfer in round 15, you might have to rely on the moves you made Wednesday to get through the weekend.
Will Sunday be the day we see Steve Zakuani return to action for the first time in more than 14 months? Thierry Henry is listed as questionable, so there’s a slight possibility he could return as well. Review the updated injury report that came out Saturday before finalizing your roster. With that said, here are my picks for round 15.
Osvaldo Alonso, $7.9m, Seattle Sounders (50 points, 141 recoveries)
Alonso matched his lowest point output of the season on Wednesday against Sporting KC, but look for him to rebound against a struggling Portland squad in Sunday’s Cascadia Cup faceoff. He had a season-low in recoveries (five) and matched his lowest CBI (clearance, blocks and interceptions) total of the season as well.
Portland will give the ball away much more frequently in the middle of the field than SKC. The Galaxy managed 59 recoveries against the Timbers, with 34 of them coming in Alonso’s average pitch position. The “Honey Badger” should produce a solid 90-minute performance, with decent defensive statistics. As always, attackers like Fredy Montero and Mauro Rosales are also good options against a Timbers side that’ll be without a few key defenders.
Jimmy Nielsen, $6.0m, Sporting KC (64 points, eighth among goalkeepers)
No other keeper in MLS could be facing a better matchup than Nielsen this week. Granted, Sporting are playing on the road in Philadelphia, but time and time again the Union struggle to even score a goal. In 12 games this season, they’ve managed to score a league-low eight goals, while giving up 15. Their minus-seven goal differential ratio is tied with Chivas USA for the second-worst in MLS. The Union will also be without starters Sheanon Williams and Gabriel Gómez, making Sporting’s offensive players look even more lucrative as well. Invest in basically anyone on SKC and it should pay off.
Patrice Bernier, $6.9m, Montreal Impact (51 points, T-20th among midfielders)
In Montreal’s first game at Saputo stadium, Bernier was the team’s ringleader, notching three assists en route to Player of the Week honors. In the last three rounds, he’s amassed 30 points, while playing the full 90 minutes just once. He’s been incredible on the ball as of late, but still has trouble making it through an entire match. In 15 games this season, Bernier is averaging just 42 minutes per game. Montreal midfielders are a hot commodity as of late, but with Bernardo Corradi out for the season and Andrew Wenger sidelined with a hamstring strain on Saturday, the question is who will score, not who will get the assist.
Andrew Weber, $4.5m, Seattle Sounders, (one game, five points)
Weber, who started his first MLS game since 2009 this past Wednesday, was quite pleased with his performance. Since no injury was listed for Bryan Meredith prior to the game, we have to assume he was benched for his sloppy performance against the Impact. Weber gave up just one goal to the potent attacking core of Sporting KC, while receiving bonuses for his 15 recoveries and four saves. Weber looks to return as the starter on Saturday against a team that offers a much less intimidating threat on offense, and at only $4.5m, Weber is an intriguing option – especially versus a Portland side that’s put up a goose egg in four of its last six MLS games.
Brad Davis, $9.6m, Houston Dynamo (68 points, fifth among midfielders)
Nothing has changed here. Davis has accumulated 50 points in the last five rounds – moving from 10th in points to fifth among midfielders in the past few days. At this point, it doesn’t even matter who the Dynamo are playing. He’s one of the most influential players on the field in any given match. One thing the Dynamo are concerned about, however, is the impact of the home team’s crowd. “They put a whupping on a pretty good team,” said Brian Ching about Montreal’s 4-1 win over Seattle in its first game at Saputo stadium. Regardless, you have to start Davis with confidence – I am.
Most added transfer this week: Andy Gruenebaum Most dropped transfer this week: David Estrada