Here are a few tips to help you select your squad for Round 29 of Fantasy Soccer: Manager before Wednesday night’s action begins. Eight teams play twice: Chivas USA, Columbus, D.C. United, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Jose and Sporting Kansas City. FC Dallas are the only team that has a bye.
Field Player to Buy
Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls, $10.7 million) – After going goalless for five straight games, Henry finally looked back in full form last week, scoring two goals and tallying one assist in a 3-1 win over Columbus. He’s currently second among forwards in “total score,” “key passes” and the and weeks in the “Dream Team” in FS:M. Henry is also first among forwards and second overall in points per game (6.9 PPG). In Round 29, Henry and the Red Bulls will host Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, then travel to Gillette Stadium on Saturday to take on the Revolution. If he can play like he did last Saturday, goal No. 14 of the season will be no problem for TH14.
WATCH: Thierry Henry Olimpico!
Field Player to Sell
Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo, $8.3 million) – After scoring 10 goals in the Dynamo’s first 19 games of the 2012 season, Bruin has found the back of the net just once in his last 10 games. In this span, he’s only averaged 2.8 points per game and tallied two or fewer fantasy points seven times. On Sunday, Bruin and the Orange will pay a visit to the Philadelphia Union, who’ve allowed just three goals in their last four games (0.75 GAA). For this round, I would walk away from Bruin.
Goalkeeper to Buy
Bill Hamid (D.C. United, $5.5 million) – Hamid is having a great season with United, going 9-6-2 with a 1.16 GAA. He’s ninth among goalkeepers in points per game (4.8 PPG) and tied for fourth in save percentage (76 percent). In Round 29, Hamid and DCU play the two teams in the league who’ve scored the least amount of goals: Philadelphia (26 goals, 1.0 goals per game) and Chivas USA (21 goals, 0.78 goals per game). First, they’ll hit I-95 on Thursday to take on their northern neighbors, who’ve scored just two goals in their last four games. Then, on Sunday, the Black-and-Red will host a Chivas USA team that has scored just one goal in their last three games. Facing two teams that have a combined three goals in their last seven games (0.38 goals per game on average), Hamid is a no-brainer.
Goalkeeper to Sell
Joe Bendik (Portland Timbers, $3.9 million) – After Timbers starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts suffered a separated shoulder in the 57th minute on Saturday, Bendik made his second career MLS appearance and was scored on within seconds by Fredy Montero. Portland are one of two teams to play twice away this round. On Wednesday, they’ll visit MLS’ No. 1 team, the Earthquakes, who’ve scored a league-leading 58 goals (2.07 goals per game), including 36 home goals (2.57 goals per game). On Saturday, Bendik will defend the net against Real Salt Lake, who are tied for second-most home goals in the Western Conference (25 goals, 1.67 GF). Add in the fact that the Timbers have allowed the third-most goals both away from home (28, 2.15 GAA) and overall (47, 1.68 GAA) in MLS, I wouldn’t even think about fielding Bendik this round.
WATCH: Fernández heroic at Toyota Park
Surprise Player This Round
Barry Robson (Vancouver Whitecaps, $5.7 million) – Robson looked to be the real deal for the Whitecaps back in July when he registered a two-game goal streak, but hasn’t been able to contribute a point for Vancouver in their last seven games, notching just two shots on goal. Going up against a Colorado Rapids defense that has allowed the second-most away goals this season (29, 1.93 GAA), I believe Robson will find his spark again this round.
Surprise Player Last Round
Álvaro Fernández (Chicago Fire, $8.7 million) – In Round 28, "Flaco" was involved heavily in the Fire’s 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact. He scored the third goal and assisted on the game-winning goal. Fernández also registered an attacking bonus, two defending bonuses and a clean sheet for a grand total of 21 points.
Jimmy Bowers is a former MLS fantasy champion.