MLS Fantasy: Team-by-team injury breakdown and projected lineups for Round 7
If you haven't done so already, don't forget to make transfers and set your starting lineup for MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager before 3:45 pm ET on Saturday! You can find all the injury news, projected lineups and sleeper options you'll need to make informed choices below.
WEEK 7 FANTASY PRIMER
Arne Friedrich ($4.8m) will likely be making his official return to the field this Sunday against the Houston Dynamo, and at that price it’s hard to argue not snatching him up, regardless of Chicago’s recent defensive struggles.
Patrick Nyarko ($8.9m) should make his return this week after missing last week’s game with a strained hamstring. Dilly Duka ($6.1m) is eyeing a return as well, but will not factor into the starting XI. With Nyarko returning and Daniel Paladini ($5.3m) in fine form, it’s quite possible that Joel Lindpere ($7.8m) could find himself on the bench for this one.
After Maicon Santos’ ($5.6m) impressive performance last weekend against the New York Red Bulls, expect him to get the start up top over Sherjill MacDonald ($6.4m) on Sunday.
Juan Agudelo ($8.3m) and Edgar Mejía ($7.2) are listed as questionable this week with hamstring and groin issues, but both have been practicing this week and are expected to play against the Colorado Rapids this weekend.
Drew Moor ($5.3m) is back from his two-game suspension, but head coach Oscar Pareja isn’t guaranteeing him his starting job back just yet. Chris Klute ($4.4m) and Shane O’Neill ($5.0m) had great performances last weekend, earning the teams’ first clean sheet of the season against Real Salt Lake. If Moor doesn’t get the nod, things will remain the way they are. But if he does start, look for O’Neill to remain as part of the central back tandem, while Marvell Wynne ($5.0) and Brian Mullan ($5.9m) would occupy the outside fullback positions. If Wynne, who is listed as “Questionable” with right knee pain can’t suit up, look for Klute to remain in the starting XI.
Nick LaBrocca ($5.4m) is also questionable with some tightness in his groin. If LaBrocca isn’t ready in time, look for Jamie Smith ($6.4m) to come in and fill the void.
Federico Higuaín ($9.7m) is listed as questionable this week with a calf contusion on his left leg. If he can’t go, expect Jairo Arrieta ($8.0m) to get the start up top with Eddie Gaven ($7.7m) sitting behind him in Higuaín’s usual spot. If this is the case, Dominic Oduro ($6.6m) and Ben Speas ($5.2m) would operate the flanks.
Note: Higuaín traveled to Montreal with the team. The only thing that could prevent him from starting is the weather, which is supposed to be terrible. If he goes, look for Oduro to get the starting nod over Arrieta as the loan striker up top. This is a serious concern for Arrieta owners, whose value would be greatly diminished if he continues to see the same amount of time (just 45 minutes) that he saw last weekend against the Philadelphia Union.
Dwayne De Rosario ($9.4m) is fully recovered and ready to go against the New York Red Bulls after missing last week’s game with an adductor strain. Marcos Sánchez ($7.0m) played very well last week and should continue to start at right midfield while Nick DeLeon ($7.5m) recovers from a hamstring injury.
All starters are healthy and fit for their home matchup against the LA Galaxy. George John ($5.8m) was the only question mark, after he left last week’s game at halftime due to a head injury. However, John is not listed on the injury list, so start him with confidence.
Will Bruin ($8.7m) and Boniek García ($8.3m) missed last week’s game against the Portland Timbers with hamstring and ankle injuries. Both players are eyeing a return this Sunday against the Chicago Fire, but Bruin is expected to go. Boniek Garcia on the other hand is listed as questionable so find a replacement for him if possible. Andrew Driver ($7.4) will start in his place if he doesn't suit up.
The Galaxy played all of their regular starters in their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal second-leg match against Monterrey on Wednesday in Mexico so how head coach Bruce Arena decides to line them up this weekend depends solely on the players’ abilities to recover in time.
Juninho ($8.2m) suffered an injury in that game, but is ready to play according to the latest injury report. But there are some questions regarding Mike Magee ($8.8m). The star midfielder's value has risen by nearly $1.0m since the start of the season is listed as questionable with some soreness in his right leg. He subbed on in the second half of their midweek CCL game so he should be capable of playing this weekend. How much he plays is the question. Look for Michael Stephens ($5.7m) to get the start with Magee possibly entering in the second half depending on the score.
Landon Donovan ($9.8m) started his first full game this year against Monterrey so expect him to be in the starting lineup alongside Robbie Keane ($10.5m) again on Saturday.
Alessandro Nesta ($4.9m) returned to practice this week without any limitations and should be ready to go against the Columbus Crew on Saturday. Karl Ouimette ($3.9m), who has been filling in for the veteran the past two games, will head to the bench as long as Nesta has no setbacks.
New England Revolution
The New England Revolution return from their bye with hopes that veteran goalkeeper Matt Reis ($5.0m) will be able to return to action. Reis, who's listed as questionable, has missed two of the Revs first four games in 2013 with left knee soreness and there’s still some concern that he won’t be ready to return this week either.
Kevin Alston has been diagnosed with a rare, but treatable form of leukemia and will be out indefinitely for the remainder of the 2013 MLS season. Chris Tierney ($4.9m) will likely get the nod, regaining the position he occupied for the better part of last season.
Diego Fagundez ($5.7m) is expected to start.
New York Red Bulls
Thierry Henry ($10.3m), Fabián Espíndola ($8.5m) and Péguy Luyindula ($7.5m) are all listed as questionable this week. Luyindula is expected to be unavailable, but both Espíndola and Henry should get the most action they’ve seen since the middle of March. The fact that New York are playing on grass as opposed to turf could help Henry get his first start since March 16. Will Espíndola start or come off the bench?
Connor Lade ($4.1m) is close to returning, but unlikely to see any minutes this weekend.
Conor Casey ($7.9m) has earned a starting spot a forward alongside Jack McInerney ($8.1m) in Philadelphia’s new-look 4-4-2. This is extremely bad news for the 4,000-plus Sébastien Le Toux ($8.5m) owners who thought he was in for a breakout season after starting the year in such great form.
Michael Farfan ($7.7m) is healthy and primed to start this weekend. The Union’s midfield foursome should look a little something like this: Gabriel Farfan ($4.8m), Keon Daniel ($5.9m), Brian Carroll ($5.8m) and Michael Farfan on the right, taking precedence over Danny Cruz ($6.2m).
The Union’s new Designated Player, Kléberson ($7.3m), is fit and eager to play, but is head coach John Hackworth ready to deploy his new weapon just yet?
David Horst ($4.6m) got his second start of the season at center back last weekend against the Houston Dynamo, but only lasted 18 minutes. Horst had surgery to repair a displaced tibia plateau fracture in his right leg and is expected to miss at least six months. Andrew Baptiste ($4.5m) will be inserted back into the starting lineup alongside Mikaël Silvestre ($4.8m), who should start this weekend as well despite being listed as questionable with an adductor strain.
Diego Valeri ($7.9m) left last week’s game in the first half after taking an elbow to the face from Houston’s Jermaine Taylor. He’s not listed on this week’s injury report, but his status for Sunday’s game against the San Jose Earthquakes is unknown at this point. @MLSFantasy will update you more on this situation later in the day.
Real Salt Lake
Robbie Findley ($7.3m) is still nursing an adductor strain, but Joao Plata ($7.0m) should return after missing last week's game with a hamstring strain. Both players are still listed as questionable. Rookie Devon Sandoval ($5.5m) started up top alongside Álvaro Saborío ($10.1m) last week, but Plata could get the start in his place.
Javier Morales ($8.2m), who's also listed as questionable, played 45 minutes last week. However, playing on the turf field in Vancouver could prevent him from seeing much more than that this weekend.
Chris Wingert ($5.3m) made the trip to Vancouver with the team, but is he ready to crack the starting XI just yet?
San Jose Earthquakes
Alan Gordon ($7.2m) started alongside Chris Wondolowski ($10.3m) for the first time this season last week against the Vancouver Whitecaps. This duo should pair up again this week while Steven Lenhart ($8.2m) remains a second-half substitute for the time being.
Shea Salinas ($8.0m) is doubtful with a bone bruise on his left knee so expect Cordell Cato ($6.0m) to get the start in his place.
Newly acquired Designated Player, Obafemi Martins ($9.3m) is out with a tendon injury in his left leg. David Estrada ($7.7m) is also out with an eye injury. Eddie Johnson ($9.9m) is questionable with a hamstring strain and could be held out of this weekend’s match against the New England Revolution. If Sigi Schmid does decide to sit his star forward, Sammy Ochoa ($7.4m) would get the start up top.
Projected front six: Steve Zakuani ($7.8m), Osvaldo Alonso ($7.9m), Shalrie Joseph ($7.8m), Mario Martínez ($7.3m), Mauro Rosales ($8.7m) and Ochoa.
Terry Dunfield ($5.8m) is still out with a left knee sprain, but look for head coach Ryan Nelsen to go with the attack-minded Luis Silva ($7.1m) over Jonathan Osorio ($5.5m) this time.
Richard Eckersley ($4.8m) is also out this week after tweaking him hamstring while celebrating after teammate Darel Russell’s ($5.0m). Ashtone Morgan ($5.0m) will get the start in his place.
If Nelsen decides to go with the hot hand we could see forward Justin Braun ($6.7m) get his first start of the season. In this case, Reggie Lambe ($6.5m) would go to the bench and Hogan Ephraim ($6.5m) would move out wide.
Head coach Martin Rennie really shifted things up last weekend, benching Darren Mattocks ($8.8m) in favor of Corey Hertzog ($5.7m). Hertzog has been battling a virus and will likely miss this weekend’s match against Real Salt Lake.
Kenny Miller ($8.0m) is still nursing an injury to his hamstring which could keep him out for the second straight week in a row. Erik Hurtado ($5.4m) will likely be inserted back into the starting lineup and Gershon Koffie ($8.0m) should return for Russell Teibert ($5.2m) as well.