Here are a few tips to help you select your squad for Round 33 of Fantasy Soccer: Manager before Wednesday night’s action begins. The Philadelphia Union are the only club to play twice this round. No team has a bye.
Field Player to Buy: Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union, $7.1 million)
Last round, I predicted Jack Mac’s three-game goal streak would end against the Houston Dynamo and of course, what happens? The guy scores again. Just like when you’re playing roulette at the casino and a number or color is hot, you keep playing it until it misses. I should’ve known better, so for this round, I’m going with McInerney. He is currently first among forwards in “value (form)” with a 1 and sixth in “form” with a 7.2. In Round 33, McInerney and the Union play twice: first at Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday and then at home against the Red Bulls on Saturday. If you haven’t already, place your bets on McInerney.
Field Player to Sell: Chris Pontius (D.C. United, $8.0 million)
After starting the season with 10 goals in D.C. United’s first 21 matches, Pontius earned a spot in this year’s MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea and even scored the game-tying goal. But since then he’s only scored two goals in United’s last 12 games. In this span, Pontius has only tallied four or more fantasy points four times and averaged 4.17 ppg. In this round, he’ll be traveling to Toyota Park to take on a Chicago Fire back line who boast a 1.19 GAA at home, and have only allowed multiple goals three times there as well. I’d explore other options for this round.
Goalkeeper to Buy: Kevin Hartman (FC Dallas, $6.1 million)
Hartman and FCD didn’t have the season they wanted, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Among goalkeepers, though, he ranks first in penalty saves (three), sixth in saves (96), seventh in clearances, blocks, interceptions, seventh in value season (23.6), eighth in points per game (5) and 15th in clean sheets (6). So while FCD didn’t fare as well as a team, Hartman actually had a pretty good season. In Round 33, he’ll be patrolling the goal against a Chivas USA squad that has scored the fewest goals in MLS this season (22, 0.66 GF) and the second-fewest away goals (13, 0.81). I see Hartman getting his seventh shutout of the season here.
Goalkeeper to Sell: Freddy Hall (Toronto FC, $4.5 million)
Hall did a great job in Round 32, posting his first MLS shutout in a 0-0 draw against the Montreal Impact at BMO Field. However, my magic eight ball tells me that he will not do as well this Sunday against Columbus at Crew Stadium, where the Crew have only been shut out twice this season and have scored six goals in their last three games (2.0 GF).
Surprise Player This Round: Marvin Chávez (San Jose Earthquakes, $8.8 million)
On Saturday, it’s going to be one crazy show at JELD-WEN Field as forward Chris Wondolowski attempts to tie or break Roy Lassiter’s MLS record of 27 goals in a season. San Jose will attack Portland with everything they’ve got, but who will be able to get “Wondo” the ball? Chávez is the answer. This season, the Honduran international has chucked in 10 assists and many of them have been connections to Wondolowski. Furthermore, among midfielders, he is first in value (form) (1.1 VF), second in big chances created (eight), sixth in crosses (55), seventh in points per game (5.2 ppg) and eighth in key passes (54), which is why he’s my surprise pick this round.
Surprise Player Last Round: Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders, $8.3 million)
The Sounders midfielder stole the show last week, registering two goals, one clean sheet and four defending bonuses in 180 minutes for Seattle, adding up to a round’s-best 19 fantasy points. His contributions helped his side defeat FC Dallas and draw Real Salt Lake despite playing a man down for most of the evening.
Jimmy Bowers is a former MLS Fantasy champion.