Fantasy Report: Higuain, Saunders best bets in Round 27

Here are a few tips to help you select your squad for Round 27 of Fantasy Soccer: Manager before Wednesday night’s action begins. Five teams play twice this week: Chivas USA, Columbus, D.C. United, New England and Philadelphia. No team has a bye.

Field Player to Buy

GOAL: Higuaín beats Reis with precise FK

Federico Higuaín (Columbus Crew, $7.7 million) – Columbus’ newest Designated Player addition has grabbed the league’s attention, snagging this week’s MLS Player of the Week honors with a sterling display against New England. In his first three games as a member of the Crew, Higuaín has notched three goals and tallied two assists, earning 27 fantasy points. He’s currently first among all players in the league for “points per game” with nine. In Round 27, he plays twice against the Philadelphia Union and the Montreal Impact.

Field Player to Sell

Kenny Cooper (New York Red Bulls, $8.8 million) – After starting the season with 11 goals in 13 games, Cooper has only scored three times in his last 13 games. In this span, he’s only earned three or more fantasy points twice. In his previous 13 games, Cooper scored six or more fantasy points nine times. He also hasn’t scored an away goal in his last seven games. Traveling to RFK Stadium to take on a D.C. United squad that has shut him out twice this season suggests there are different field players to spend your money on.

Goalkeeper to Buy

Josh Saunders (LA Galaxy, $6.6 million) – Saunders and the Galaxy backline have only allowed one goal in their past three games. This round, they’ll host the Vancouver Whitecaps, who have only scored one goal in their last three games and won’t have leading goalscorer Darren Mattocks because of suspension. Don’t be hesitant to pick Saunders even though he’s not within the top six of any goalkeeper fantasy statistic. Look for him to earn his first “Dream Team” slot this round.

Goalkeeper to Sell

Dan Kennedy (Chivas USA, $6.0 million) – After making the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star team, Kennedy’s luck has seemingly taken a complete 180-degree turn, as he’s allowed 11 goals in his past three games. In this span, he’s only achieved eight fantasy points. In Round 27, he’ll be guarding the net twice, at New England and at San Jose. The Earthquakes have scored the most goals in the league (52) and at home (32), averaging 2.00 goals per game. With this in mind, it's time to walk away from Kennedy. 

Surprise Player This Round

GOAL: Pérez pulls Dallas level late

Blas Pérez (FC Dallas, $9.1 million) – After making 12 consecutive non-appearances for FCD, Pérez finally took the pitch last Sunday as forward Fabián Castillo suffered an injury in the 41st minute. Despite so much time away from the pitch, he’s currently third in big chances created and has five goals. Going up against the Seattle Sounders at FC Dallas Stadium this round, look for Pérez to take full advantage and earn his way back into the starting 11. 

Surprise Player Last Round

Alan Gordon (San Jose Earthquakes, $7.8 million) – Hopefully you took my advice last round and picked Gordon. He scored two goals and assisted on a Simon Dawkins strike, earning a stellar 14 fantasy points.

Jimmy Bowers is a former MLS fantasy champion.