With the final whistle in the FC Dallas/Portland Timbers match on Wednesday night MLS Fantasy Round 15 is in the books and the World Cup break is officially here. With 66 points in one night Halifax Blue is the weekly winner. The decision to hand the armband to Fabian Espindola over the popular choice of Diego Valeri really paid off. The three assists Espindola racked up helped him to 11 points (22 with the captaincy) in just 45minutes of play. With just two games on the schedule this round it was tough to distinguish your squad from all the others but Brandon Copeland’s Halifax Blue pulled it off. At the very top of the table Canadian Bacons held onto the lead and is sitting just one point away from breaking 1,000.
BREAK? WHAT IS THIS BREAK YOU SPEAK OF?
Sure there aren’t any MLS matches for a few weeks but that doesn’t mean that MLS Fantasy is on hold. This is the final time that MLSsoccer.com has given players unlimited transfers so start tinkering. The earlier you make your moves the more rewards you will reap when others clue back in after the World Cup.
From this point on there are basically two types of squads. The team that has used their wildcard and the team that hasn’t. In the latter case using the unlimited transfers this round on players with upcoming double games weeks is a wise move. Come out of the gates on fire and gain ground on the leaders or separate yourself from those trying to catch up. Montreal and Vancouver have DGW’s right off the bat in Round 16, they play each other in Vancouver in the mid-week game. The Whitecaps will then fly to Colorado while Montreal will go back home to host Houston. Three more teams have DGW’s in Round 17. Chicago will host TFC then go to Kansas City, Chivas will play in San Jose then host Montreal and finally TFC will come home from that Chicago game to play DC United.
If you are in the other boat and have played your wildcard already you aren’t alone. Thousands have played that card to this point but that means that this last unlimited transfer is even more important. Looking ahead there are two teams that you should be loading onto your squad, LA and Toronto. The Galaxy and TFC both had three byes in the front end of the season and LA also had to deal with the CONCACAF Champions League which they won’t have to do anymore. A trip to Kansas City, Columbus and Montreal are the only remaining Eastern Conference trips remaining on LA’s schedule.
VIEW FROM THE BUNKER
As stated previously Joe Bendik ($4.7), Nick Hagglund ($4.9), Doneil Henry ($6.4), Justin Morrow ($6.7) and Jermain Defoe ($10.8)are all good buys from a TFC stand point. In fact Bendik, Hagglund and Defoe have all seen their price rise $0.1m since Wednesday night. All TFC followers know the amount of games that are left in the schedule which means lots of points for TFC with 5 DGW’s left, more than any other team in MLS, fill your squad with Reds.
If the USA somehow makes it out of the Group of Death in Brazil Kyle Bekker ($5.5m) is likely to get more playing time as Ryan Nelsen seems to have confidence in Bekker in the middle. He and Jonathan Osorio ($7.0m) are both tied with Michael Bradley for points from the TFC midfield this season. Osorio’s price is a little too high for his points output thus far but Bekker has a budget friendly price at just $5.5m to stash on your bench.
Collen Warner ($5.9m) isn’t a name that is going to wow anyone but in the two games he’s played since coming to Toronto he’s put up 10 points. The other good news is that he’s either started or hasn’t featured so with some attention to the lineup on gameday Warner can be subbed in or out of your lineup.
Here are the top 10 in the WTR League at the half way mark: