Here are a few tips to help you select your squad for Round 31 of Fantasy Soccer: Manager before Wednesday night’s action begins. Three teams play twice: Chicago, Chivas USA and Philadelphia. No team has a bye.
Field Player to Buy: Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire, $6.9 million)
Rolfe started his return season with Chicago in June with just one goal in his first eight games. However, things have taken a complete 180 degree turn since then, as he's scored seven goals in his last 10 games. In this span, Rolfe is averaging 6.7 fantasy points per game, scoring seven or more fantasy points in six games. Currently, he is tied for first among forwards for big chances created (5 BCC) and value form (1 VF). In addition, Rolfe is fourth among forwards in form (6.8 F) and sixth for points per game (5.2 PPG). In Round 30, he’ll be taking on the Philadelphia Union at Toyota Park and then travel to New York to take on the Red Bulls. With the success Rolfe has been having lately, he's a solid bet for your FS:M team this round.
Field Player to Sell: Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers, $7.6 million)
In August, Nagbe began showing promise for the Timbers, scoring in three straight games. However, since that streak was broken, he hasn’t seen the back of the net in Portland’s last six matches, tallying just one shot on goal. Also, Nagbe has averaged just 3.17 fantasy points per game during this span. In Round 31, Nagbe and the Timbers travel to Seattle for the latest edition of Cascadia Cup play. Seattle have allowed the least amount of home goals this season (10, 0.71 GAA). For this round, I’d walk away from Nagbe.
Goalkeeper to Buy: Brad Knighton (Vancouver Whitecaps, $4.9 million)
Recently, Knighton has taken over the No. 1 spot on Vancouver’s depth chart. He’s started their last four games, tallying 6.25 fantasy points per game, which is quite good – the overall leader in PPG among continuous starting ‘keepers is Andy Grunebaum (5.3). This round, Knighton and the ‘Caps host a Chivas USA team that has scored one goal in its last six games (0.17 GF).
Goalkeeper to Sell: Troy Perkins (Montreal Impact, $6.3 million)
Perkins and the Impact backline have allowed the third most goals in the league (49, 1.58 GAA) and third most away goals (31, 2.07 GAA) this season. This round, they’ll travel to BBVA Compass Stadium to take on the Dynamo, who are an undefeated 9-0-5 at their home. In addition, Perkins hasn’t had good luck away recently, allowing five goals Montreal’s last two away games (2.5 GAA). Stay away this round.
Surprise Player This Round: Juan Pablo Ángel (Chivas USA, $9.2 million)
Remember this guy? JPA hasn’t been having the season the Goats were hoping for when they acquired him in August 2011. He started off the right foot with them last season, scoring seven goals in Chivas’ last nine games, but that hasn’t been the story this season. In 18 games, Ángel has scored just four times. He’s been dealing with injuries and eventually found himself on the bench. However, last week he earned his way back in the starting 11 and played well in the 82 minutes he participated in. In Round 31, he’ll have two opportunities (at Vancouver and home against FC Dallas) to notch a goal. I say he gets one.
Surprise Player Last Round: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas, $5.5 million)
In Round 30, the rookie defender scored a goal for FCD in a 3-3 showdown with the San Jose Earthquakes. He also registered four defending bonuses and played all 90 minutes for Dallas to give his Round 30 fantasy points total to 11, the most out of any defender for that round.
Jimmy Bowers is a former MLS Fantasy champion.