REMINDER: Set your lineups for Round 27 before the 10:15 pm ET deadline tonight!
Have you looked at your MLS Fantasy team lately? Maybe you look at it a little too much. Either way, on August 30 at 6:45 pm ET, everyone starts from scratch.
This season has been an up and down ride for several fantasy owners, but regardless of your current overall rank or how poorly you've done over the last few weeks, redemption is just around the corner.
Jason Saghini joins Andrew Wiebe to debate Captain picks and must-haves in this week's edition of "Starting Lineup" (above), but that's not all. They also run through some of the details on the upcoming fantasy tournament.
Before I give you my picks for Round 27, we have to discuss the MLS Fantasy Cup Challenge.
Take a look at the image to the right. Yes, my overall rank has dropped. Yes, my current team value is $110.1m. But that's not important right now.
Do you see that box in between Global leagues and the Transfers/Finance section? Yes, the one that says "Cup." Click on it!
In a nutshell, MLS Fantasy Cup Challenge is an opportunity for everyone, even those who have not yet created a team, to participate in a head-to-head tournament against the top scorers from Round 28.
Your overall ranking matters in the long haul and your private leagues still remain, but they don't play any part when it comes to qualifying for the Cup Challenge.
If you're already an active player you don't have to worry about a thing. Finish amongst the top (16,384) scorers in Round 28 and you're in.
If you're new to MLS Fantasy the process is still pretty simple. Sign up before the deadline (August 30, 6:45 pm ET) and you're eligible to compete.
Stay tuned for more information, including a round-by-round breakdown, prizes and eligibility requirements.
Now let's get into my picks for Round 27...
Oh Captain, My Captain
Jason and Andrew gave their Top 4 choices on who to Captain in this week's Starting Lineup (top), and while I don't agree with either of them completely, there are some similarities. Each of them chose one defender, one forward and two midfielders and both had Javier Morales and Diego Valeri.
I've Captained a player at every position this season and you could make the argument that players will perform at all positions this week as well.
However, I think goals will be flowing so I've decided to go with attacking players in Round 27. There will be clean sheets, but I'm not betting on defenders this week. Here are my picks.
4. Robbie Keane - I'm going to keep this one short and sweet. Normally I wouldn't recommend anyone not playing a double-game week, but Keane has been on a tear as of late. Five goals, four assists and 63 total points in his last six games. He's arguably the best in player in MLS and Vancouver aren't particularly great on defense either. In their last six meetings dating back to 2012, the LA Galaxy have scored 12 times. They haven't been shutout once.
3. Blas Perez - I took a minus-four point deduction to bring Perez into my lineup because I think the risk of losing out on points is too high. Look, I am against taking deductions, but Perez is too good to pass up, in my opinion. He has an away match against Chivas USA and a home matchup against San Jose. He's proven that he can score no matter where he plays: eight goals this season (three at home, five away).
And, FC Dallas are undefeated this season when he scores (2-0-4). I expect Dallas to concede goals, which means that they'll have to score to earn a result. I also don't expect a lot of people to give him the armband so it's a nice sleeper pick if you're looking to climb the rankings!
2. Darlington Nagbe - Similar to Perez, Nagbe has also proven that he can score anytime, anywhere: seven goals this season (three at home, four away). He's a significant part of Portland's attack and has been playing higher up the field as of late. His speed and unpredictability make him a threat at all times and it doesn't hurt that I enjoy watching Porterball as well. People will give him the armband because they expect him to produce. Nagbe has a scored in two of his last three games and should go the full 90 minutes in both games.
1. Alvaro Saborio - This is high-risk, high-reward decision, but something you have to do every now and then. Real Salt Lake are the No. 1 team in MLS and lead the league with 41 goals scored. They've scored 15 times in their last six away games and 12 times in their last six home games. Saborio has nine goals, two assists and 72 total points despite only playing in 12 games all season.
This, along with the fact that Saborio only played 66 minutes in the team's most recent loss against LA, would worry most people, but I'm expecting at least two goals from the Costa Rican striker by the end of Round 27, if he does play. As always, be sure to monitor MLSsoccer.com and Twitter for posted lineups in order to get the most up-to-date information on Saborio's status.