MLS Fantasy Week 9: Offense Abounds

Week 8 of Major League Soccer fantasy saw insane goals, multiple four goal games occurred and the attacking core stood out. With Columbus, Kansas City, Houston, and New England all notching four goals and only three teams getting shut out, scores went up this week.

Key Players in Week 8

Ethan Finlay - Columbus Crew SC: Finlay's two goals and one assist propelled Columbus to an easy 4-1 victory and lands him at the top of the fantasy charts for the week with 16 points.

Juan Agudelo - New England Revolution: Agudelo got his second goal of the season and his first assist as New England dismantled Real Salt Lake. 13 points in round 7 earned him the second spot on the list.

Chris Tierney - New England Revolution: Tierney's first goal of the season earned him six points as a defender. New England's clean sheet added another four.  Tierney sits tied for third this week at 12 points.

Scott Caldwell - New England Revolution: The third Revolution player on the list with a goal and an assist. He tied Tierney with 12 points.

Benny Feilhaber - Sporting Kansas City: Two late goals save the performance from Feilhaber. With just two points on the game, his two goals boosted him to 12 overall in the final minutes.

Jozy Altidore - Toronto FC:  Another brace for Jozy is good news for Toronto fans and fantasy mangers. His 12 points earn him the final spot on this week's top performers.

Players Unavailable in Week 9

Andrew Jacobson - New York City FC: Red Card

Matias Laba - Vancouver Whitecaps: Red Card

Blas Perez - FC Dallas: Red Card

Jermaine Taylor - Houston Dynamo: Red Card

Macelo Sarvas - Colorado Rapids: Violent Conduct - available May 2.

Players on Yellow Card Warning

None of the four players on warning last week received their fifth yellow of the season. One more and the player will be suspended for a game.

Kendall Watson – Vancouver Whitecaps

Damien Perrinelle – New York Red Bulls

Amobi Okugo – Orland City SC

Alvas Powell – Portland Timbers

Teams on Bye

Montreal Impact, Orlando City SC

Injury Watch

Marcelo Sarvas - Colorado Rapids: Out - Knee Surgery

Bill Hamid - DC United: Questionable - Knee Injury, did not play week 8

Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy: Questionable – Groin strain, missed several games

Jose Goncalves - New England Revolution: Questionable - calf injury did not play week 8

Tony Taylor - New York City FC: Out - ACL Rupture

Javier Morales - Real Salt Lake: Questionable - Hamstring Injury, did not play week 8

For a full list of injuries, please check out Homar Hernandez's full analysis here.

Week 9 Breakdown

The New York Red Bulls will host the Colorado Rapids for the first of two games this week for each of these teams. While the double game week makes these players tempting both teams could find themselves on the wrong end of this one. New York is still unbeaten, but they have all been close games. Colorado failed to score in their first four games, but have found six goals in the last three.

Rivalry Alert: The Houston Dynamo host FC Dallas for the first meeting of the Brimstone Cup. Dallas started off the season hot, but Houston has come on as of late. Be careful with this one, but goals should come.

Real Salt Lake are finally back at home as the San Jose Earthquakes come back from an extended bye. The home side was destroyed by New England, but several starters should be back in the lineup. San Jose looks like the best team in MLS one week and the worst the next.  

Philadelphia host Toronto in an Eastern Conference showdown of two non-playoff teams from 2014. Both offenses can run up the score and neither defense has looked great. Playing your forwards and attacking mids from this matchup is probably the right choice.

DC United will host the red hot Columbus Crew on Saturday. This battle of heavyweights will likely go in favor of Columbus if Bill Hamid and Steve Birnbaum don't return to DC's lineup. Columbus has too many offensive weapons and a solid defense that DC will struggle to overcome.

The New England Revolution will host the New York Red Bulls in a game that could provide a lot of offense. New England likes to push while New York runs the high press. This could turn into a wide open affair before halftime.

For Colorado's second game, they travel to LA to face the Galaxy. The defending champs have been up and down all season and have struggled to find consistent offense from their star forwards. Alan Gordon has been great filling in for an injured Robbie Keane, but with LA's recent struggles Colorado may find another solid defensive performance.

Rivalry Alert: The Portland Timbers will host the Vancouver Whitecaps for another Cascadia matchup.  After a tough loss to Seattle, the Timbers will want to bounce back to stay alive as they chase the Cascadia Cup. Vancouver is still the leader of the pack in MLS and have the edge in every aspect of the game coming in. As with all rivalry matches, anything can happen.

Sporting Kansas City will host the Chicago Fire for the first Sunday matchup. These two older rivals from the East have a lot to play for. Both are barely in playoff position and need to add to their point total if they want to make the postseason. Sporting's offense looks formidable and will need to push games if they want to win. Chicago has struggled offensively, but has recently found a few more goals.

The Seattle Sounders takes to the road against New York City FC for the final game of the week. The small field will limit the space Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins have to work with. New York City is plagued by injuries already, and a low scoring game is fairly likely heading into this one.

Captain Suggestion

Felipe Martins - New York Red Bulls:  Felipe has been the main man in midfield pulling the strings in the attack. Bradley Wright-Phillips could have a monster week, but Felipe is more consistent. With a double game week ahead, he's a safe choice to put up decent numbers.

Look Ahead

Week 10 sees the first four team double game week of the season. Houston, Los Angeles, Salt Lake, and San Jose all have two games. Filling out final transfers with these players or hanging on to them for another week is advised. 

DC United and Orlando City will both have a double game week in Week 11. If you are on the fence about keeping or releasing these players, another two weeks might not hurt.

Value Pickup for Week 9

Michael Harrington - Colorado Rapids: Harrington was a preseason pick as one of the best valued players and he has paid off. His 29 points aren't the greatest for defenders overall, but at $5.3 and with a double game week, he's a prime candidate for an add this week.

Potential High Value Drop

New England Revolution attacking players. Lee Nguyen and Juan Agudelo are the only true locks to start in the attacking core. While the rest may not be the prototypical high value player, they are all pricey without the guarantee to start. Teal Bunbury, Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez, and Charlie Davies are all interchangeable and there isn't room for all of them at once. Even when these players do start, they are always a prime candidate to be subbed out as well with a lack of production and can easily finish a game with a single fantasy point.

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