*Reminder #1: The cut off time to make roster changes is 15 minutes prior to the scheduled kick off of the first match of the week. This week, that deadline is 7:45 pm ET on Saturday, July 7
*Reminder #2: DC United are the only team with a bye in Fantasy Round 18.
Top Player in Round 17: Patrice Bernier – 10 points (Most Added Player this week)
Key Injuries: OUT – Heath Pearce, Franck Songo’o, Andrew Weber
Now that we’re heading into the latter part of the season, every round becomes more and more important. There are nine games in Round 18, set to take place Saturday and Sunday As always, monitor the injury report and all suspensions. This week, there are a few key players serving suspensions for yellow card accumulation (see disciplinary report here), so sub them out if possible. With that said, here are five sleeper picks for this weekends’ games.
Joe Cannon, 5.7m, Vancouver Whitecaps (86 points, 2nd among goalkeepers)
Vancouver claimed their first road victory of the season against Chivas USA earlier this season and they’ll look to complete the road double this weekend. Cannon has logged more clean sheets (7) than any other goalkeeper this season, which has helped him retain his No. 2 ranking among net-minders.
You’re not so much investing in Cannon as you are Chivas USA, losers of a league-leading six games at home. Not only that, they are still struggling to find the net as well – a league-low 11 total goals scored. With Oswaldo Minda out due to yellow card accumulation and Juan Agudelo possibly out with knee swelling, the Goats will have to put it all together in order to get a score, let alone be victorious.
Kwame Watson-Siriboe, $3.8m, Real Salt Lake (8 points, 1 start)
This first-time starter in 2012 had a top-notch performance against Seattle this past Wednesday – scoring eight fantasy points. Jason Kreis admits that Kwame was “a roll of the dice”, but either way his decision paid off.
Jamison Olave has been out with a calf strain and is listed as probable on the current injury report. If he sits out again Kwame could be the biggest bang for your buck so far this season. At just $3.8m, you won’t find another player with this much potential. RSL host the Portland Timbers on Saturday, a side that’s been shut out five times while scoring just two goals in seven games away from home this season.
Eddie Gaven, 8.3m, Columbus Crew (67 points, T-12th among midfielders)
Gaven isn’t the flashiest midfielder in MLS, but he’s been extremely consistent, playing the full 90 minutes in every single round this season. He’ll get you a point or two for crosses and key passes every now and then, but that isn’t his strong suit. Gaven is great at dribbling with the ball going forward and will likely be involved in a few counter attacks throughout the game.
Montreal’s defense has been awful as of late, allowing 11 goals in their last four games – including eight at at their new home (Stade Saputo). If the Crew can benefit from the return of their captain, Chad Marshall, they should be in for a decent outing.
Roger Espinoza, $5.8m, Sporting KC (58 points, 23rd among midfielders)
Similar to Gaven, this Sporting KC midfielder possesses the ball and looks to dribble before passing. Espinoza’s real strength is recoveries – winning the second ball. In 16 games this season he’s tallied 143 recoveries, third only behind Dax McCarty and Osvaldo Alonso.
Houston has slightly tightened up their defense as of late, but Espinoza should see considerable time on the ball in the attacking a half. With Beckham and Felipe out this week due to suspensions, Espinoza is a low-cost-fill-in with a reasonable amount of upside.
Michael Farfan, 6.7m, Philadelphia Union (49 points, 84 recoveries)
The Union will look to build upon their most recent victory against the LA Galaxy, in which Michael Farfan was strikingly successful – notching an assist and the game-winner in impressive fashion. Farfan was quiet to start the season, but in the past three rounds he’s recorded 19 points.
The Union will be facing a Toronto FC team that has seen some improvement defensively, but still have given up the second-most goals in MLS (30) – in just 16 games. Michael Farfan will have to keep it going if Philadelphia hopes to continue their current hot streak.
Most added transfer this week: Patrice Bernier Most dropped transfer this week: Felipe Martins