Fantasy Doctor, Clint Dempsey
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Fantasy Soccer Doctor: The Clint Dempsey conundrum and why it's time to sell the Sounders man

The Fantasy Soccer Doctor is in. Write to FantasyDoctor@mlssoccer.com with a link to your team and a summary of your issue.

MLS plays on through a FIFA international break this round, which means some serious handwringing over absences and transfers throughout the fantasy world. The conundrum: Do you bench big-money players or transfer them out and risk not getting them back?

The risk in transferring center arounds performance-based price adjustments. A $0.1m drop in player price can be the difference between getting back Robbie Keane ($11.1m and on international break) or not. So choose wisely. Because we all know what happens when your choose poorly...

If you have more international absences than two free transfers can solve, there’s no better excuse for playing the wildcard and making all the adjustments you’ve dreamed about. Or, if you're all about head-to-head results anyway, maybe one lost week is worth setting yourself up for DGWs down the line. Either way, it’s a good week to take stock of what’s working and which players can be pruned.

This week’s question comes to us from Josh Mondle, via twitter, whose international break question became an injury question overnight.


Dear MLS Fantasy Doctor,

I want to hold onto my big stars through the international weekend. I need to know who to sub Dempsey for and how would you set the line up?

This week Clint Dempsey is an MLS Fantasy two-fer. Josh started with a question about benching $11.3m in fantasy dollars for one weekend. Now we’ve learned a hamstring strain could keep Deuce out for 2-3 weeks.

Dempsey’s hot form to begin the season has made him the most expensive player in MLS Fantasy, but last week’s bye combined with his recent knock mean owners could go four rounds without the Sounders man when all is said and done. The Fantasy Doctor’s recommendation is to transfer.

As no player is on Dempsey’s price level in a like-for-like swap, be sure to bank the savings if you want to get him back. Since Kaká is already in your midfield, Pedro Morales the man for you. Morales stepped up against Orlando City on the road, and now Vancouver have three home fixtures in a row.

That’s a strong midfield even without my meddling, but Jose Villarreal is a red flag for me this week. He’s been a great sleeper pick stepping up into Landon Donovan’s shoes, but this week the Galaxy are on the road without Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes. Does Arena move Villarreal up to forward? Does Villarreal stay put and provide service for Edson Buddle and Alan Gordon?

I’d sub out Villarreal for Morales, and I’d keep it that way until Round 6. I might also captain Villa over Wondolowski, purely based on home vs. away fixture, but outside of all that, I like your lineup.

Hope this helps!

The Fantasy Doctor