MLS Fantasy: How to fill the holes left by the injury bug and when to use your Wildcard

MLS Fantasy Soccer: Manager Experts Jason Saghini and Andrew Wiebe are back with another episode of Starting Lineup (above), taking the questions you submitted to @MLSFantasy and offering their insider advice free of charge.

We get some great questions each and every week so keep sending them in. If you don’t see your question below, make sure you check out the video above. It’s loaded with great tips!

1. Dan (@dan95c) – Why does it say that both Chivas and Montreal have bye weeks next week? Before it said it was just the Revs. (@MLSFantasy comment)

Due to CONCACAF Champions league semifinal second-leg matches, MLS has rescheduled both the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders games for Round 6 until a later date.

  • Seattle will make up their game against Chivas USA in Round 29 (Sept. 4). Several teams will be playing multiple games in that round.
  • LA will make up their game against the Montreal Impact in Round 35 (Oct. 16). These two teams will be the only ones with multiple games in that round.

Tip: In Round 8, we’ll finally get to see our first Wednesday night game of the season – New York Red Bulls vs. Sporting KC (April 17). These two teams will be the first to experience multiple games in a round this season, so keep that in mind as the date approaches.

2. Ethan Kennedy (@ClassicKennedy) asks: When is the best time to use my Wildcard? (@MLSFantasy comment)

This is a big concern for some people and not so much for others. If you manage your transfers the right way and study the schedule in advance, you may never have to use your Wildcard. Last year, I used it very early in the season and still managed to put up good numbers, even after ensuing multiple (-4) point deductions for extra transfers.

Tip: If I had to pick a specific time, I’d suggest somewhere near Round 15 and 16. This section of games could cause a lot of problems for fantasy owners, especially those who have already used their Wildcard.

3. Allen Wannamaker (@awannam) I'm now a believer that Chivas USA is the real deal this year. What good values are there to be had on this team? (@MLSFantasy comment)

Edgar Mejía ($7.1m) and Juan Agudelo ($8.2m) are popular buys this week, especially after their outstanding performances against the Chicago Fire. I’d take that game with a grain of salt for now. However, if we're talking about bargains, Chivas USA are full of them.

Carlos Alvarez ($5.2m) dropped significantly from his $5.5m starting price. Zero minutes in the first two games, but since then he’s played 45 minutes in Week 3 and 90 minutes in Week 4. I think he’s locked down a spot as an attacking mid, sitting just beneath the two forwards in a 5-3-2. He could be a potential candidate for “Sleeper of the Year” if this continues.

I already spoke about Mejía and Agudelo, but these two are very good values as well right now. Agudelo looks like he’s in the best form of his career and Mejía is their main orchestrator. He’ll be around the ball all game, doesn’t get many cards and he never gets subbed out.

Marvin Iraheta ($4.1m), Joaquín Velázquez ($4.9m) and Bobby Burling ($4.4m) are all bargains, but these guys have limited potential. Yes, I said Bobby Burling – to a degree.

Tip: Chivas USA have a bye next week, so I’d suggest holding off until Round 7. I’m also interested to see how they perform against a stronger opponent this week in the Vancouver Whitecaps.

4. Patrick Favole (@pfavole) Which midfield/forward combo do you like better? Le Toux/Earnshaw or Jackson/Martins? (@MLSFantasy comment)

At this point in time, Obafemi Martins is not someone I recommend. He’s got all the potential and will likely produce for Seattle at some point. Will it be it this weekend? Maybe. But for me, it’s still too early to invest that much money. Plus, as I said in the question above, the Sounders will now be dealing with a bye in Round 6. If you really want Martins, I’d wait until Round 7. If Columbus weren't on a bye right now, I’d suggest Jackson or Federico Higuaín and not look back. However, Sebastién Le Toux and Robert Earnshaw have both been extremely productive. Even though I’m a huge fan of Jackson, I’d go with that tandem for now and look to readjust in a week or two.

Tip: Le Toux has had eight points in three straight games to start the season. He leads the entire league with five big chances created – the next closest player has two. He’s also among the league leaders in key passes.

5. Cameron Evans (@ecuaman801) asks: I'm not too impressed with Kekuta Manneh now. What striker should I get if I can scrounge up another million to trade up? (@MLSFantasy comment)

Manneh started at $5.5m and he’s been dropping ever since. He’s down to $5.2m so I’d sell now before he drops anymore. Vancouver are loaded with attacking talent and new additions Daigo Kobayashi and Nigel Reo-Coker don’t help his situation either. The obvious move here is to grab Colorado’s Deshorn Brown ($5.9m), but with Edson Buddle possibly returning to action this weekend, he could see a decrease in playing time. Jack McBean ($6.0m) is a potential candidate now that Robbie Keane could miss time due to a calf injury. You can also monitor the situation at Chivas, where Tristan Bowen ($5.0m) and José Correa ($5.3m) are competing for Agudelo’s partnership up top. Either way it’s hard to get a consistent, point-accumulating forward for less than $6.5m.

Tip: Look for ways to free up some more cash and grab Robert Earnshaw ($7.8m). There are also some great candidates in the $8.0m range that have the potential to score big from week to week.

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That does it for Round 5 of Q & A with the Experts. Tweet your questions to @MLSFantasy and continue commenting on our fantasy articles and blogs. And if you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, take a look at the ”Stats” section we added to FS:M. It has all the information you need to help you field your Best XI on a weekly basis.

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