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- MLS Injury Report
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- BYES IN ROUND 25: NE, NY
- UPCOMING DOUBLE GAME WEEKS: CLB, NYC, SJ, SKC (Rd. 25), CHI, COL, HOU, NY (Rd. 26)
- MMCB: Did you hitch your wagon to this week's fantastic four fantasy standouts?
- Bonus Points: Home and away splits, and why Columbus Crew SC players are Round 25's best bet
- Fantasy Doctor: Double your score twice by choosing the right captain during double-game weeks
Heads up, MLS Fantasy players – Round 25 of the fantasy season starts today and it’s the first of two big double game weeks. There’s also a free wild card coming up soon, so now is a great time to load up on premium and differential players to take advantage of these extra games. Below is my list of players who I think will help you score big in Round 25.
Home Strong: When Donovan Ricketts left Portland before the season there was a big hole to fill in goal, but Adam Kwarasey ($6.0m) has proved up to the task and has helped the Timbers become one of the top home defenses in the league (No. 1, in fact). He’s currently sitting on a run of three consecutive clean sheets and has a good shot to earn a fourth as the Timbers take on a Dynamo team that has one of the worst road scoring records.
DGW Pick: If you are looking for the best double game week 'keeper option then Tim Melia ($5.0m) is your guy. Not only is he one of the most affordable starting goalkeepers in the game, but SKC is the only DGW team with a defense in the top 10 at home and on the road (seventh and eighth). Still, even if SKC are the best team in MLS, he’s not worth a four-point penalty if you’re already happy with your current 'keeper.
Old Favorite: If you dropped all of your Montreal players last round, then it’s time to start phasing them back in. Who better to start with than Donny Toia ($5.0m)? He was rested during Montreal’s last DGW, so he should be ready to go, and the Impact have a couple of promising home games coming up over the next three weeks.
Budget DGW Pick: He may not be the SKC’s cheapest defensive player, but it’s hard to deny that Kevin Ellis ($6.6m) represents great value. For his price, you get a player who has become a goal threat during the latter part of the season and someone who can put up clearance, block and interception numbers similar to the more expensive Matt Besler ($9.6m). He’s simply the full package if you want to splurge a bit on your backline.
SGW Punt: If you want to take a risk this round, then grab the Fire's Eric Gehrig ($5.2m). Chicago may have started to figure out how to score again, but they are still a little rough when it comes to keeping clean sheets. However, with a promising home game this week against Colorado and a DGW in Round 26, they could be worth a risk and Gehrig is the clear defensive standout.
Must Haves: There are three players who I believe are essential for a great midfield this week: Benny Feilhaber (SKC $10.8m), Ethan Finlay (CLB $9.0m) and Sebastian Giovinco (TOR $12.9m). The first two make the list due to their DGW schedule. Columbus is one of the top-scoring teams at home, so Finlay should have plenty of opportunities. SKC are in the top five for scoring on the road and at home. The Giovinco pick seems obvious, but with such a high price, I know many are considering dropping him to bring in a couple lower-priced players. Just remember, Orlando have the second-worst road defense in the league.
The LA Factor: It’s that time of the season again, the time when LA decide they are ready to play and start knocking off opponents left and right. This has also meant high goal totals recently, with the Galaxy scoring 13 in their last five games. This week could be more of the same and there are two midfielders to look at, Sebastian Lletget ($6.6m) and Giovani Dos Santos ($10.2m). Lletget is the clear budget pick and he has a record of MLS Fantasy consistency that is rarely seen. Dos Santos is a bit more of a wild card. He’s been very involved in his first two games, but is still an expensive unknown quantity.
KVK: If you’re looking for the best forward lineup, then consider the old classic of Kei Kamara (CLB $9.6m), David Villa (NYC $11.4m), and Robbie Keane (LA $11.9m). Kamara has two home games this week, Villa should be able to get some points with his two games, and Keane is just on fire right now. It’s a deadly combination that has proved profitable in the past and should do so again.
Differential Pick: If you’d rather go against the pack, then grab Krisztian Nemeth (SKC $8.5m). He’s only owned by 6.4% of managers and has earned a goal and an assist over his last two games. With one of the best DGW schedules this round, he and SKC could be in for a good weekend.
These are the players I like for this Round 25 double game week. Who do you like who’s not on the list? Post your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to stop by MLS Fantasy Boss for all of our latest charts, articles, and live chat.