Is this the week Portland Timbers finally come good? Experts say bet on it | MLS Fantasy Advice


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THREE BURNING THOUGHTS ON ROUND 6

  • It's pretty clear that the Portland Timbers have not lived up to the hype (yet, at least) that came with their banner 2013 season. But things are starting to click. Last week, their attacking core put up four goals against a visiting Seattle team. Diego Chara led the charge, which was somewhat unexpected, but Diego Valeri and Maximiliano Urruti also contributed goals of their own. Jack Jewsbury is the most-selected Timbers player at 13.6 percent ownership, which says a lot since he didn't even play last week. Also noteworthy, no other Portland player is owned by more 9.9 percent of managers. Well, this week they face off against Chivas USA at home, and with nothing but goose eggs in the clean sheet department through five games, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt and their first clean sheet of the 2014 season.
  • Justin Mapp is tied for the third most points of any midfielder in the game, yet he's owned by a measly three percent of fantasy managers. Why? Fine, Montreal don't have the cushiest schedule over the next few weeks, but they do face off against Chicago and Philadelphia at home - two teams that have had some struggles on defense. Want to be different (and stay competitive)? Go with Mapp. Prediction: He ends the 2014 season as a Top 10 midfielder in MLS Fantasy.
  • After watching the latest MLS Insider piece on Landon Donovan I'm jealous of any owner who has him on their team right now. I have Robbie Keane on my team, which helps me sleep well at night, but not owning Donovan is a pretty big risk in my opinion. LD has 19 points, two assists and six attacking bonus points in three games so far. He hasn't scored yet, but with the LA Galaxy switching to a 4-4-2 diamond formation with him up top, Donovan's bound to start scoring sooner or later. The best time to invest in him will be post World Cup when LA have three double-game-weeks between Rounds 24-27, but with a DGW in Round 12 (at home vs. Dallas and Philadelphia), you might want to add him before he leaves for Brazil.

MUST HAVE: MAURO DÍAZ

We've been on the Díaz bandwagon before the season started, yet he's still only owned by 22.5 percent of managers. Why? The Argentine is the top-scoring player in the game with 41 points, and he's still just getting started. FC Dallas play three of their next four games at home followed by two double-game weeks in Rounds 10 and 12. Furthermore, Díaz has home games in Rounds 11, 13 and 14. He's not exactly flying under the radar – he has been transferred in by over 5,000 managers since the season began and more than 1,200 in just this round alone – and the writing is on the wall. Add him to your team immediately before his price gets too high. Prediction: Díaz will have a $9.0m (or more) price tag by early to mid May.

DROP NOW: MAURO ROSALES

Rosales has been very good to start the season, but last week I dropped him from my team. With 29 points (T-4th-highest score among midfielders) Rosales has clearly been one of the bright spots in the transfers market, but I feel he's peaked in value ... at least for now. He's owned by more than 23 percent of managers (second-most among midfielders) and he was only transferred in by 65 people this round. He was transferred out by nearly 400. I don't love Chivas USA's match this week, despite Portland's defensive struggles to start the season, and I don't like his future matchups either. With better options to choose from and a limited upside when it comes to price, I'm moving in another direction. Maybe you should too.

NICKS AND KNOCKS

View Round 6 injury report

  • Brad Davis: Doubtful for Saturday's match against New England with an ankle injury
  • Fábinho: Likely won't play because of a hamstring injury suffered against Chicago on 4/5
  • Nick Rimando: Ruled out with a knee contusion. Will not play against Philadelphia.
  • Bobby Burling: Has not played since 3/16 and did not make the roster vs. LA on 4/6
  • Todd Dunivant: Ruled out with an abdominal injury. Dan Gargan (RB), AJ DeLaGarza (LB)

JATA'S SQUAD (ROUND 6)

I've included my bench this week so you can see my options. I have Eric Miller in my lineup over Armando because I think Miller could have a good week offensively.

Plus, Armando hasn't been all that impressive. If he's healthy come Saturday, I might change my mind, but for now Miller gets the go ahead.

How's your team shaping up for Round 6? Struggling to pick the right captain? Discuss it all in the comments below.