MLS Fantasy: Will Thierry Henry, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan play in Round 32? Here's a contingency plan
Round 32 of MLS Fantasy kicks off Friday at 7:45 pm ET. As you prepare to make your final lineup changes ahead of the transfer deadline, there are a few lineup questions worth taking a closer look at first.
1. Will the turf field in Seattle affect whether or not Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave play this weekend?
RBNY head coach Mike Petke is strongly considering leaving Henry and Olave behind when the team travels to Seattle and he had this to say about the situation regarding both players:
Petke on Henry - “I haven’t had a direct conversation with him about it yet, but going by history it would appear that he wouldn’t be available ... I know it’s very easy for supporters, even media, to say, ‘It’s a huge game.’ But you have to go with the doctors and talk with the doctors."
Petke on Olave - “Once you hear from doctors that you trust that are part of the organization and the medical staff that as far as turf goes with the way Olave’s knee is, and his knee has been great this year, but it could be [a situation where] he could go through all 90 minutes or it could be one bad turn on the turf and you lose him for the season."
Fantasy Advice: Before dropping both Henry and Olave from your lineup to free up some cap room, take the following into consideration:
- The New York Red Bulls will face the New England Revolution the following weekend at Red Bull Arena;
- In the last four games dating back to 2010, New York has outscored New England 9-2 at Red Bull Arena;
- Henry has scored nine goals in 2013. Seven of them have come at Red Bull Arena;
- New York beat New England 4-1 earlier this season at Red Bull Arena. Thierry Henry had 10 points in that match.
2. Will Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson recover in time to compete in Sunday's match?
Clint Dempsey was a late scratch last weekend due to a hamstring injury and it appears he won't return to full training any earlier than Friday.
Eddie Johnson did make an appearance at practice on Tuesday, but left early to get an X-ray on his shoulder. Johnson suffered the injury in last week's game against LA.
At this point, it's too early to tell if either player will be available for their match on Sunday, but it's not looking good.
Fantasy Advice: If you own Lamar Neagle or Obafemi Martins, this is good news. Two weeks ago, this duo started up top against Real Salt Lake with Dempsey and Johnson on the bench. The result: a 2-0 victory with Neagle and Martins both scoring for Seattle. Martins added an assist as well.
If you own Dempsey and Johnson, I'd sell now. Hold on to Neagle and Martins if they're on your roster. If you wait until later in the week for confirmation on Dempsey's and Johnson's availability, buy Neagle and Martins without hesitation.
3. Will Landon Donovan return to form against the Portland Timbers?
Fantasy owners got some good news on Tuesday regarding Landon Donovan's status for the Wednesday night CONCACAF Champions League tilt against Cartaginés. While most see this as a promising sign, there's no reason to jump the gun.
Fantasy Advice: Donovan racked up five goals, one assist and 47 total points in August. How many points does he have in September? Five.
If you're interested in buying or selling Donovan, you'll definitely want to tune in for Wednesday night's CCL game to see how many minutes he gets. And even if he does play, I'd still tread cautiously.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of what Donovan brings to the table, but injury news with players of his caliber scare me. I'm not buying or selling before Thursday, by which time the CCL match will shed some more light.