Week 7 of Major League Soccer fantasy was nothing short of wild and spectacular. Goals were plentiful and several players stood out. Unfortunately for those banking on double game weeks, the teams failed to deliver.
Key Players in Week 7
Frederico Higuain – Columbus Crew SC: Higuain came up huge in the 3-0 defeat of Orlando City over the weekend, with a goal, an assist, and four attacking points. His 15 points earned him the top spot.
Fabian Castillo – FC Dallas: Despite two goals in the opening ten minutes of the match, Castillo was unable to keep the fantasy production going throughout the game. At 13 points, he finished second on the week.
Lamar Neagle – Seattle Sounders: Neagle, like Castillo, got two goals as well and finished tied for second on 13 points.
Felipe Martins – New York Red Bulls: Felipe was the main man in New York this weekend. 7 attacking points and 2 defensive points give him one of the highest scores on the season of a non-goalscorer that doesn’t get a 4 point clean sheet bonus. His 12 points are truly impressive.
Sebastian Giovinco – Toronto FC: Two goals weeks seem to be Giovinco’s strategy for fantasy success. Although his goals weren’t enough to come back against Dallas, they did help him earn 12 ponts.
Honorable Mention: Christian Maidana – Philadelphia Union: Maidana got the benefit of a double game week where he managed an assist in the first game and a stellar free kick goal in the second. His 12 points have to be mentioned, but two games makes it much easier.
Players Unavailable in Week 8
Jamison Olave – Real Salt Lake: Red Card
Rafael Ramos – Orlando City SC: Red Card
Sebastian Saucedo – Real Salt Lake: Red Card
Players on Yellow Card Warning
This is the first time this section has been needed this year. Players are issued a one game suspension upon accumulating their fifth yellow card of the season and every other yellow after that. If any of these players are shown another yellow card this week, they will be unavailable in Week 9.
Kendall Watson – Vancouver Whitecaps
Damien Perrinelle – New York Red Bulls
Amobi Okugo – Orland City SC
Alvas Powell – Portland Timbers
Teams on Bye
Montreal Impact, San Jose Earthquakes
Ike Opara – Sporting Kansas City: Out – Ruputred Achilles
Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy: Questionable – Groin strain. Missed last two games.
Sebastian Jaime - Real Salt Lake: Out: Tibia Fracture
Wil Trapp – Columbus Crew SC: Questionable – Concussion symptoms
Jose Goncalves – New England Revolution: Questionable – Did not play last week
Tony Taylor – New York City FC: Out – ACL Rupture
David Villa – New York City FC: Questionable – Limited minutes last week
Vincent Nogueira – Philadelphia Union: Questionable – Missed practice time this week
For a full list of injuries, please check out Homar Hernandez's full analysis here.
Week 8 Breakdown
The Chicago Fire will host New York City FC on Friday night for their first match in three weeks. The rested Fire led by Harry Shipp should have a lot of energy to throw at this one. New York City is fresh off a disappointing double game week. David Villa saw limited time while Mix Diskerud didn’t play at all. These two will hopefully be back in the lineup.
Dallas will be traveling to Colorado this week as they look for revenge from their 4-0 humiliation two weeks ago. Revenge games are always iffy, but don’t expect Colorado to produce like they did last time.
Philadelphia will face a red hot Columbus Crew side that is poised to challenge for the Eastern Conference title. Both offenses are capable of scoring in this one, but the Union will likely have the tougher time given the stout Crew defense they will be facing.
Real Salt Lake take to the road once again where they will face New England. The conservative play of the visitors, who are missing two players to red card suspension, will likely lead to a slow boring game. Defenses are a wise choice here unless you think the Revolution can break down Cassar’s packed in squad.
Rivalry Alert: Houston will host Kansas City on Saturday night in a game that is always intense and has the potential for anything to happen. Both teams could easily fire off three goals or get shut out down the stretch. Trust your gut on this one.
The league leading Vancouver Whitecaps will host DC United in a game that could go either way. Fabian Espindola will be available for his first game of 2015 this weekend and the extra attack may be just what DC need to bring back their dominate 2014 form. The reckless defense of the visitors may be exploited and punished with cards or goals as Vancouver are off to the best start of any team.
The LA Galaxy have had much better starts to the season than this and going to New York to face the Red Bulls is not an easy task. The undefeated Red Bulls should be able to get a result at home, especially if LA is missing several key players again this week.
Orlando City and Toronto FC are both underperforming so far. Orlando has broken down defensively in games and given up late goals to drop points while Toronto haven’t come together as a complete team. Look for goals both ways in this one as the defensive woes continue.
Rivalry Alert: The highlight of the weekend has to be the Cascadia Rivalry meeting between Portland and Seattle. These two teams hate each other. Odds are on the Seattle offense to overpower Portland, but like all good rivalry games, odds don’t matter. Take care when picking players from this one, but finding the gem from here could make your week as this game produces a hero in nearly every meeting.
The Colorado Rapids and New York Red Bulls will both be playing two games in week 9. Week 10 will be the first time four teams play two games each. The LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, Real Salt Lake, and San Jose Earthquakes will all suit up twice. If they were a questionable cut as you prepare for the upcoming round, you may want to think twice.
The Montreal Impact and Orlando City SC will both be on byes for Week 9.
Value Pickup for Week 6
Justin Meram – Columbus Crew SC: Columbus is a team on the rise and Meram is at the heart of it when it comes to fantasy. He has the fourth highest points per game of any player and costs just $7.8. While not the typical cheap value pickup, his production for the price is hard to pass up on. With Columbus hitting their stride, his output shouldn’t drop off and may actually increase.
Potential High Value Drop
Michael Bradley – Toronto FC: Bradley has a dismal 16 points overall this season and costs a flat $10.0. Even when Giovinco and Jozy Altidore are playing well, Bradley isn’t picking up major fantasy points. At under three fantasy points a game, there are much better and much cheaper midfielders out there to choose from.