After each round of matches for MLS Fantasy players, we'll be providing our Player of the Week, the player who we think is deserving of top spot, even if they didn't finish on the most points for a week. We'll take a look at the impact the player is having on his team, as well as the MLS Fantasy returns that they are providing. Strap in, it's time to get nostalgic. All aboard.
MLS Fantasy: Gameweek 4
For us in the UK, the first game of the weekend starts at 5:30pm, with New York City FC travelling to New England Revolution. 13 teams miss out on the action this weekend, and there are just 6 matches to be contested. You can check out the fixture list in full below.
You can also read all of our MLS Fantasy articles on our specialist page, by clicking here.
Gameweek 3: Atlanta United 4-1 Vancouver Whitecaps
Of the nine matches this weekend in MLS, Atlanta's convincing home victory against the previously unbeaten Vancouver Whitecaps, was the standout fixture from a round of games that largely bypassed on the excitement of the opening two weeks. In Atlanta, however, another loud home crowd and an exciting home performance cemented The Five Stripes as one of the teams to watch out for this season.
The 4-1 victory got underway when Vancouver captain Kendall Watson was shown a straight red card after a VAR review deemed that he elbowed Atlanta defender Gonzalez Pirez. Josef Martinez scored the result penalty kick to give Atlanta the lead going into the half-time break.
Down a man, Vancouver couldn't prevent a further three goals being shipped in the second half, with the first coming when Vancouver's Aaron Maund scored an own-goal, deflecting in Julian Gressel's cross from the right.
Just minutes later Miguel Almiron played Josef Martinez through, with the Forward beating the offside trap and waiting for Stefan Marinovic in Vancouver's net to commit before tucking a shot past the shot-stopper for his second.
Erik Hurtado managed to pull one back for the visitors after a ball over the top evaded Atlanta's defence, with Hurtado striking well past Guzan for his first goal of the season.
Substitute Andrew Carleton's back-post cross was then calmly headed home by Martinez to seal Atlanta's fourth of the afternoon, putting any doubts of a Vancouver comeback to bed.
Atlanta Starting 11 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Manager: Gerardo Martino
GK - Brad Guzan
CB - Leandro González Pírez
CB - Michael Parkhurst
CB - Franco Escobar
CDM - Jeff Larentowicz
CM - Darlington Nagbe
LWB - Chris McCann
RWB - Julian Gressel
CAM - Miguel Almiron
SS - Hector Villalba
CF - Josef Martinez
Gameweek 3 - Player of the Week: Josef Martinez (Atlanta)
An 18 point haul in MLS Fantasy ranked Martinez as the top player for Gameweek 3, and just like with Diego Rossi nabbing our Player of the Week last time out, this move was unavoidable.
Martinez not only scored the first treble of the MLS season, he did so backed by 19.89% of MLS Fantasy players, which is a great relief given that many of his owners would have been last minute David Villa transfers. When NYCFC announced that Villa had failed a late fitness test ahead of a home encounter with Orlando City, Martinez would have greatly profited in last-minute ownership, and he rewarded his owners handsomely, so much so that he was ultimately the difference maker for players and their ranks this week.
With Villa missing, Nikolic and Zardes without their shooting boots, Martinez's inclusion would have gone a long way to pull your Fantasy rank into a healthier state of mind, but we'll spare a thought for Hector Villalba owners, who watched the Forward only return with 3 points against Vancouver.
Josef Martinez's Gameweek 3 Points:
89 mins played: 2pts
3 goals: 15pts
5 shots: 1pt
After missing a penalty kick during Gameweek 1's 4-0 defeat to Houston Dynamo, Miguel Almiron stepped aside and allowed Martinez to take the spot-kick against Vancouver, which will boost players in the weeks to come when potentially choosing between Almiron and Martinez as Fantasy options.
Atlanta are not in action for Gameweek 4 due to the international break, and return to face Minnesota United away from home for Gameweek 5. We'd be cautious on any Atlanta inclusion as of writing due to Minnesota's good start to the season, a good start that has thrown many Fantasy players off their guard in the opening weeks of the season.
The 2018 MLS Fantasy Season
MLS has returned, and you can join our very own MLS Fantasy League by clicking here, or alternatively by using the league code RDPUAHR2 whilst on the MLS Fantasy site, or checking out our pinned tweet on our @HypeTrainMLS Twitter account. We'd love to have you aboard for the ride.
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The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in the Fantasy Premier League (#FPL), providing beautiful graphics and weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb ranking tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review movies, live sport, and professional wrestling.
As well as providing FPL articles on our website, we are a founding Contributor to the new Fantasy Football Hub, where you can find more unique articles, including weekly Power Rankings, from The Hype Team. You can support us and read exclusive members only content for just £2 per-month by clicking here.
The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog 2016' by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), with the final presentation held at Old Trafford in Manchester.