I spent several minutes trying to figure out the best way to summarize Round 27, and in the end, all I keep thinking is “Finally, it’s over”. If you read my last article you already know that I thought Round 27 was not one where you should take -4 transfer penalties or use your wild card, and with an average score of just 39 points, I feel like I was right. However Kurtis Briggs, manager of Bros Before Froese, did not agree and earned the top score of 107 points. Even a -8 penalty could not stop his team and that earned him a $25 gift card to the MLS Store. Congrats!
Now it’s time for Round 28 and unlike last week, every team is playing, we have more information about potential absences due to players returning from national team duty, injury reports are up-to-date (more or less), and the double-game week (DGW) teams have several players with the potential for excellent scores. If you still have your wild card, now is the time to play it, and I think many of the players below should be part of your new team.
I’m still a firm believer that value ‘keepers are the way to go, that’s why all of my picks are under $5.5, but you also want to balance value with this DGW and those in the near future. There are six players who make my final cut. The first four are names everyone should recognize by now: Orlando's Joe Bendik ($4.9), Philadelphia's Andre Blake ($5.0), Montreal's Evan Bush ($5.3), and LA's Brian Rowe ($5.4). The last two may be a bit less familiar: Houston's Joe Willis ($4.8) and San Jose's Andrew Tarbell ($3.9). Any combination of these players should set you up for the rest of the season.
When it comes to defenders, I’m sure many would like to follow the same strategy as above and load up on cheap players, but many of the best options are no longer that cheap so I say it’s time to branch out. Focusing on the DGW first, you’ll continue to find good value in LA's Daniel Steres ($5.5) and Real Salt Lake's Justen Glad ($4.9), but don’t be afraid to spend big on someone like Montreal's Hassoun Camara ($6.3) who’s quite capable of getting offensive and defensive points.
Don’t forget about the single-game week options though. Saad Abdul-Salaam ($6.0) is the cheapest way into a Sporting Kansas City defense that has not lost a home game in their last six and has two more coming up in Rounds 28 and 29. Finally, you may be able to get some unexpected points out of R.J. Allen ($5.4) and Marlon Hairston ($5.5) as New York City FC and Colorado may be able to take advantage of New England (8 pm ET; MLS LIVE) and Dallas (9 pm ET; MLS LIVE) if they rest players to prepare for the Open Cup final.
If you are looking for the one position where you can go all out for the DGW, then it’s the midfield. Build your core around the high point ceiling/big money players like players like RSL's Javier Morales ($11.0), Montreal's Ignacio Piatti ($11.5), and Orlando's Kaká ($11.6) and then balance it with value starter such as Orlando's Matias Perez Garcia ($7.7) and LA's Sebastian Lletget ($7.9) who don’t always score as big, but could surprise during the DGW.
To round out your wild card team, you’re going to need at least a pair of strong forwards. This can easily be accomplished with just DGW teams by going with RSL's Joao Plata ($9.7) or LA's Giovani Dos Santos ($11.7) who are on a run of good form and even Montreal's Didier Drogba ($11.7) if you trust the latest injury reports. If you want to find a single-game week option, then my favorites are Columbus' Ola Kamara ($8.7) because of his schedule, and Toronto's Jozy Altidore ($9.4) who I think has been re-energized thanks to his recent national team and club success.
These are the players who I think are worth looking at for Round 28, who are you considering? Post your thoughts in the comments below and if you are interested in more charts, tips, and the latest player Points per 90 numbers check out the posts over at MLS Fantasy Boss and advice from the other MLS Fantasy Experts.