Fantasy Fixes: Bank on busy Columbus in Round 26
*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 7:15 pm ET on Wednesday night.
*Reminder #2: D.C. United, Toronto FC and Columbus all play multiple games in Fantasy Round 26.
Top Player in Round 25: David Ferreira – 20 points
Key Suspensions: OUT – Víctor Bernárdez, Steven Lenhart, Sheanon Williams, Emiliano Dudar, Branko Boskovic
Round 25 brought us a few terrific goals, but along with them came a ton of suspensions. There aren’t that many updates to the injury report this week, but regardless be sure to have a look before submitting your lineup. This week you’ll want to capitalize, once again, on the teams playing multiple games. Sure, there will be a few guys who’ll get their glory in one match, but multiple opportunities could mean serious points. Just look at what FC Dallas did in Round 25 – five different players made the Dream Team. Invest right and you could be this weeks’ Alabama Arsenal.
Federico Higuaín, $7.4m, Columbus Crew (four points, 45 minutes played)
If you missed the Crew’s most recent game, then you are in for a treat the next time you watch them play. Higuaín came on at the start of the second half and made his presence felt immediately. He blew by Adam Moffat and fired a shot on goal just minutes after stepping onto the pitch, and that’s not all. Higuaín finished the match with a beautiful game-winning assist to Eddie Gaven, four recoveries and three key passes. All that production in barely one half of play makes me think that the Crew really got something special with their newest addition. Look for Higuain to help Columbus make a serious run at the playoffs as the season winds down.
Luis Silva, $5.6m, Toronto FC (61 points, 1210 minutes played)
After logging back-to-back games of 90 minutes to start the season, Silva’s playing time became more and more sporadic. However, this isn’t the case anymore. Since Round 19, Silva has played almost every single minute, gaining 39 of his 61 total points within that same stretch. The rookie midfielder is playing higher up the field than both Terry Dunfield and Torsten Frings. His predominantly attacking role causes confusion for most defenses and his teammates seem to be looking for him as well. Silva has an assist or a goal in four of his last seven games, and in Round 26 he’ll get the opportunity to play in two more games, making his production and price a great starting option in your midfield.
Andy Gruenebaum, $5.9m, Columbus Crew (126 points, second among goalkeepers)
Columbus are starting to make their push toward the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Standing in their way this week are the New England Revolution and Toronto FC, the ninth- and 10th-place teams, respectively, in the conference. Gruenebaum remains a top option at goalkeeper week in and week out. He had a slightly off week in Round 25, giving up three goals, but let’s not forget that he was also playing against two of the top teams in all of MLS. Gruenebaum is second in saves with 82 and third in recoveries with 275. Look for him to find his form this round.
Jeff Parke, $6.5m, Seattle Sounders (89 points, 19th among defenders)
If the Sounders want to have any shot of advancing come playoff time, they’ll need to tighten up their defense. Parke has 22 total points in his last three games and his performance last week even earned him a spot on the Dream Team. He currently ranks fifth among defenders in CBIs (clearances, blocks, interceptions combined) with 188; however, he won’t do much for you on the attacking end – one assist, no goals. It’s no question that their opponent this week has struggled severely, both offensively and defensively. Chivas USA have scored just 15 goals in 22 games this season, eight less than any other team in MLS and 33 less than San Jose’s league-leading 48. Bank on Seattle shutting down a rather stagnant Goats offense en route to their ninth clean sheet this season.
Jairo Arrieta, $7.2m, Columbus Crew (30 points, 510 minutes played)
With the addition of Higuaín, look for Columbus to become even more potent in the attacking half. Arrieta (above) has quickly become a focal point of the offense, and with Higuaín playing behind him, this new partnership should prove beneficial to both. Last game they worked well together, causing major problems for Houston’s back four. Arrieta is communicating well and has proven to be a great addition for a Crew attack that’s was somewhat inconsistent in the first half of the season. In the last three rounds Arrieta has played nearly every single minute, notching three goals, one assist and 24 total points. His permanent role at striker in a well-balanced attack should be a positive for weeks to come.
Most added transfer this week: Chris Pontius Most dropped transfer this week: Jay DeMerit