*Reminder #1: The cut-off time to make roster changes is 15 minutes prior to the scheduled kickoff of the first match of the week. This week, that deadline is 7:45 pm ET on Wednesday, September 5.
*Reminder #2: Nine different teams play multiple games in Fantasy Round 28.
Top Players in Round 27: Shalrie Joseph and Ramiro Corrales – 19 points
Key Injuries: OUT – Saër Sène, Teal Bunbury, Daniel Woolard, Torsten Frings, Shea Salinas, Justin Mapp, Hamdi Salihi
Last round kicked off the Fantasy Cup Challenge. For those not moving on, don’t get discouraged, there’s no (tangible) prize for the winner this year – just bragging rights. If you are moving on, however, advancing to the next round will not be a cakewalk by any means. The competition will get tougher and the amount of transfers you make will eventually catch up with you. Pay attention to the upcoming fixtures and make sure you aren’t loading up on players with multiple byes in the rounds ahead (i.e., Montreal do not have a game in Round 30 or 32).
Round 28 will run from Sept. 5-15, so be sure to set your lineup and subs accordingly. As always, pay attention to this weeks’ injury report (Note: Saër Sène has a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season) and don’t forget to review the list of suspensions as well. Be on the lookout for those players missing time due to International duty as well.
Fredy Montero, $11.3m, Seattle Sounders (110 points, ninth among forwards)
Montero got shut down in Round 27, but look for that to change significantly in Round 28. This time, he’ll have two games to help him climb up the forward rankings. Remember what he did to Chivas USA less than two weeks ago? Let me refresh your memory – three goals, one assist and 20 total points. Montero has acquired the reputation of being a late starter the past few seasons. If there’s any truth to that, you shouldn’t waste any more time picking him up. He’s scored seven goals in his last seven games, and before last weekend’s match vs. FC Dallas, he had racked up 48 points in his previous six outings combined – 8.0 points/game. Trust me, with multiple games coming up for Seattle in Round 28 and 31, Montero is someone who will intimidate almost any opponent you face off against in the weeks ahead – don’t let it be you!
Chris Rolfe, $6.5m, Chicago Fire (62 points, 27th among forwards)
You might be thinking to yourself, I haven’t heard much about Chris Rolfe lately, and while that may be true, the stats don’t lie – 11 key passes, 31 recoveries, four goals and 36 total points in his last six matches. He’s getting more minutes at forward than anybody else on Chicago’s roster, and even when Oduro subs on, Rolfe tends drop into the midfield where he can create chances for others. Similar to Seattle, Chicago play multiple games in Round 28 and 31. Plus, at $6.5m, you will not find a more intriguing option at forward. Save some money with this transaction and use the extra cash elsewhere.
Matt Reis, $5.6m, New England Revolution (117 points, eighth among goalkeepers)
Reis was a bold recommendation in Round 27 (according to some of my colleagues), but those of you who came along for the ride were suitably rewarded. Reis landed on the Dream Team for the second time this season, logging 16 total points over a two-game span. In Round 28, he’s due for another multi-gamer, this time, however, against much stronger opponents – D.C. United and the Columbus Crew. His matchups aren’t flattering by any means, but instead of wasting your only waiver on a 'keeper, consider saving it to fill a position of greater need.
However, If you have the funds available and only wish to change up your goalie, I recommend securing Michael Gspurning, $6.2m, Seattle Sounders. He has a home game against a struggling Chivas USA team and an away matchup vs. Portland. Both teams are capable of scoring, but these are two of the more favorable matchups for any keeper this week. If you can’t afford him, I’ve listed below some other 'keepers I like this round as well – all capable of grabbing that ever so beloved clean sheet.
***Other Notable Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson (CHI), Matt Pickens (COL), Milos Kocic (TOR)***
Chad Marshall, $7.2m, Columbus Crew (83 points, T-38th among defenders)
Marshall missed eight games due to concussion symptoms earlier in the season, but lately he’s been showing no ill effects, helping one of the hottest teams in MLS climb up the Eastern Conference standings. Somehow he has placed himself among the top 10 in CBIs (clearances, blocks and interceptions combined), with 197. Want to know how many have come in the last three rounds? Ninety-four. You’ll only be able to take advantage of Columbus’ games in hand for the next two rounds, after which they’ll be playing just one game a week to finish the season. Marshall is a bit pricey, but remember, he started the season at $7.5m – making him somewhat of a bargain now.
Steven Smith, $4.6m, Portland Timbers (45 points, 15 games played)
It’s easy to sit here and recommend the heavy hitters, but the fact of the matter is that you need those inexpensive players to produce as well. Smith, while playing on team that’s given up the third most goals in 2012, has still managed to score six points on six different occasions this season – two of them coming in the last three weeks. Now, if you have the money to get a Chad Marshall or a Jeff Parke, by all means do it. But if you’re like me and have most of your money invested in attacking players, then Smith is a great bargain to sub in. I have Connor Lade, but this week he only has one game and I’m not banking on him to get a goal or hold the Crew scoreless. Smith, on the other hand, has multiple games, including one against a Rapids side that’s tied for sixth from the bottom in goals scored this season.
Most added transfer this week: Federico Higuaín
Most dropped transfer this week: Saër Sène