Fantasy Fixes: Place your trust in EJ, Keane, Higuain
*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 8:15 pm ET on Friday, September 28.
*Reminder #2: The Montreal Impact are the only team without a game in Fantasy Round 30.
Top Players in Round 29: Matt Besler – 21 points
Key Injuries: OUT - Lee Nguyen, Flo Lechner (several key players listed as DOUBTFUL)
In Round 30 the Montreal Impact are the only team without a game. However, try to avoid dumping these players because the Impact will be one of seven teams with multiple games in Round 31. Like I said last week, try to load up your team with players on playoff-bound squads. These players are fighting for the best seed possible, plus once playoff time does come you’ll be able to make fewer moves than your counterparts.
As always, pay attention to this week's injury report. If possible, use the report that will be out later this afternoon to confirm all injuries before finalizing your lineup. Don’t forget to review the list of suspensions and you should also keep an eye on the entire list of yellow card accumulations as well. Those players scheduled to play multiple games may not always be worth picking up.
Eddie Johnson, $9.0m, Seattle Sounders (111 points, 11th among forwards)
Johnson is well-rested and will look to rebound after missing last week's game due to yellow card accumulation. Fredy Montero is one yellow card away from a suspension, so if you’re looking to add a Seattle forward down the stretch, Johnson is the safer move. Not only is he safer, he’s actually been more efficient too. In the last 11 rounds Johnson has played in, he’s found the back of the net nine times. Seattle have a multi-game round coming up next, so it’s safe to say that Johnson will hold his value, unless of course Sigi Schmid decides to reduce his playing time.
Federico Higuaín, $8.1m, Columbus Crew (59 points, nine games played)
In less than nine games, Higuaín has racked up 27 key passes and 23 crosses, ranking him ninth and second, respectively, among forwards. There’s no doubt in my mind that he would be leading them both – by far – had he started the season at the same time as everyone else. There are a few other forwards in the league that take both corners and free kicks, but no one is more effective. In the last two fixtures he’s amassed 10 crosses and 11 key passes. His BCCs (big chances created) have shot up, too – zero in his first seven games and three in his last two games. He’s definitely worth a transfer this week with the Philadelphia Union traveling to Crew Stadium tomorrow (7:30 pm ET; watch LIVE online).
Robbie Keane, $10.4m, LA Galaxy (137 points, 4th among forwards)
In the last six rounds Robbie Keane (above) has been one of the hottest players in fantasy: five goals, one assist and 42 total points. If it weren’t for Chris Wondolowski’s 43 total points during the same stretch, Keane might just be the hottest player, period. Thierry Henry can be great at times and his matchup against Toronto FC at home is better, but if you’re looking for reliability, Keane is a much more appealing buy. With David Beckham possibly returning for the Galaxy’s away match against the Rapids this Sunday (7 pm ET; Galavision), Keane’s value increases even more.
Tally Hall, $6.5m, Houston Dynamo (154 points, 2nd among goalkeepers)
In Hall’s last 14 games, he’s put up less than five points on just four separate occasions. Hall is tied for seventh among goalkeepers with 83 saves, 28 below Andy Gruenebaum’s league-leading 111. Saves are great to have, but what this tells us is that Columbus rely more on their keeper and less on defenders. Between July 3 and Aug. 3, Hall and his defensive unit recorded six clean sheets in seven games. That’s an amazing accomplishment for a goalie at any point in the season, but lately he’s struggled to maintain that same type of production. Even though he’s let in some goals as of late, Hall had one clean sheet and 16 total points in the last two rounds. His 11 total clean sheets are good for second-best among all goalkeepers. All future fixtures look promising for Houston, so if Hall can keep his back line in check, this move could be beneficial well into the playoffs.
Bill Gaudette, $4.8, New York Red Bulls (50 points, 20th among goalkeepers)
Last week I said that Gaudette would bring in six to eight points for you. Well, he brought in six, and had he not received a yellow card, he could’ve escaped with seven. Now, if you made the move to get him, don’t just consider holding on to him, because this week you really should consider playing him. New York are playing at home again against a Toronto FC squad that’s been decimated by injuries. On top of that, TFC will have traveled several thousand miles and played a full 90-minute game just days before kicking off against the Red Bulls (that's the CONCACAF Champions League for you). Gaudette is still a bargain at $4.8m and he’s got one of the best matchups for any ‘keeper this week, based on this year's stats. It might be wise to start a Tally Hall or an Andy Gruenebaum, but don’t force the change if it’s going to cost you too much.
Most added transfer this week: Chris Rolfe
Most dropped transfer this week: Felipe