Picking a Captain to double down on in MLS Fantasy is the most important choice ahead of each of the 34 regular season Gameweek's in MLS's season. There's a lot of self-help out there for MLS enthusiasts, with our Hype Team providing three major considerations for the armband for each and every Gameweek. We'll be detailing the top choice for captain in home and away matches, and a Wildcard pick of our choosing to add to the chaos. All aboard.
MLS Fantasy: Gameweek Deadline
For the 2018 MLS Fantasy season there is a 'Rolling Lockout', which means you can make substitutions and transfers until the second a player's game kicks off, which means you can chop and change your lineup as any Gameweek progresses.
You can view the schedule and a real time Gameweek deadline countdown clock (in the London GMT timezone) on our dedicated MLS Fantasy page.
Captaincy in MLS Fantasy
There are a few differences with picking a captain in MLS compared to playing other games such as FPL. The major element to note with our Captaincy article is that we'll be picking a captain who is playing home and away, as well as a Wildcard player of our own choosing.
We've listed the differences below that make captaincy in MLS Fantasy unique:
- With the Rolling Lockout, you can change your captain until the selected captaincy pick plays
- Once the team your captaincy pick takes to the field, you can no longer change your captain
- If your captaincy pick doesn't play, then you'll end up with nothing
- There is no option to select a vice captain
CAPTAINCY HYPE: 2018 SEASON PERFORMANCE
In each Captaincy article we track our progress throughout the 2018 MLS Fantasy season. Below you can check how our captaincy selections have performed by week to week in Major League Soccer.
Home: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto 0-2 Columbus Crew) - 3pts
Away: Josef Martinez (Houston Dynamo 4-0 Atlanta United) - 5pts
Wildcard: Nicolas Lodeiro (Seattle Sounders 0-1 LAFC) - 9pts
Home: David Villa (NYCFC 2-1 LA Galaxy) - 10pts
Away: Yamil Asad (Atlanta United 3-1 D.C. United) - 2pts
Wildcard: Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps) - 9pts
Home: David Villa (NYCFC 2-0 Orlando City) - 0pts
Away: Nemanja Nikolic (Minnesota United 2-1 Chicago Fire) - 2pts
Wildcard: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United 4-1 Vancouver Whitecaps) - 10pts
Essential Total: 3 (1), 10 (2), 0 (3) = 13 points
Away Total: 5 (1), 2 (2), 2 (3) = 9 points
Wildcard Total: 9 (1), 9 (2), 10 (3) = 28 points
Gameweek 5: Home Captain
Fixture: Sporting Kansas City vs. D.C. United
Player: Felipe Gutierrez (SKC)
Position: Midfielder (CM)
Player Price: $9.7 million
For the first time this season 11 fixtures grace the MLS fixture schedule, with only FC Dallas missing out, meaning that the array of MLS Fantasy talent involved is greater than any point of the season, so it is a big week for players across the board.
At the heart of the captaincy discussion, Kansas's new Designed Player, Felipe Gutierrez, will go a long way to softening your players decisions this week. Reasonably priced compared to some heavy hitting Midfielder's at $9.7 million, Gutierrez has scored in each of Sporting's 4 MLS fixtures this season.
Playing in a central role with Roger Espinoza, with Gutierrez willing and able to get into advanced positions with every attack, the points are flowing and sits as the best overall player with 40 points heading into Week 5.
Gutierrez was instrumental in a comeback during SKC's 2-2 away draw at Colorado Rapids, with Sporting's attack ticking in every fixture this season. Gutierrez is a lock for points and will ease the burden of your squads expectation this week, which makes him the undeniable captaincy choice for players, especially against a D.C. United squad who have struggled in the early season.
Gameweek 5: Away Captain
Fixture: LA Galaxy vs. LAFC
Player: Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Position: Forward (CAM)
Player Price: $10.5 million
Arguably the most anticipated game of the season so far arrives this weekend, with LA Galaxy hosting LAFC in the first ever encounter between the sides, and there's a lot of ground to cover in the last few weeks that have added to the hype and anticipation for the encounter at what will be a sold out StubHub Center.
Bob Bradley's side haven't played for back-to-back Gameweek's, last featuring in a 5-1 away victory at Real Salt Lake during Week 2. LAFC have made the league stand to notice, winning both of their matches so far this season, and with several weeks passing since their last match, it could be easily to forget about the impact that the likes of Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi have made for MLS Fantasy players.
LA Galaxy have also been in the news lately, signing former Manchester United attacker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, to their roster. The Galaxy's latest signing will have taken notice of the club drawing 0-0 away at Vancouver Whitecaps during a reduced Week 4, with Ola Kamara not featuring due to being whisked away on international duty for Norway.
Zlatan has arrived in LA, and trained with the team today (Friday), and could make his debut, and we had considered him for the armband, but due to a wealth of existing options we have opted against the move for now, as he will undeniably be a big hit for MLS in general this season.
Instead, we've banked on what we know is working, and there is no two better Forward's in MLS right now than Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi, who have shown a high pedigree this season.
Fearless in attack, Rossi and Vela are instrumental in making LAFC tick, linking well in both games this season, and as Gameweek 5 arises, we think that Vela is growing into his role at LAFC, and we've banked on the Mexican international to be the one to put the pressure on LA Galaxy's injury-ridden side in the LA derby.
Vela has managed 1 goal and 2 assists from 2 games so far this season, and beats Bradley Wright-Phillips to our away captaincy spot this week, as we're well aware of missing out on another potential big haul from Bradley's team. Rossi would also get a thumbs up if you're asking about putting the armband on the Argentine, we have just preferred Vela on this occasion.
Gameweek 5: Wildcard Captain
Fixture: Houston Dynamo vs. New England Revolution
Player: Alberth Elis (HOU)
Position: Forward (RW)
Player Price: $10.5 million
It's not been as easy writing any captaincy article as it has been this week, with a wealth of options on show. At home, Felipe Gutierrez is a safe and assured option to bring home some points. Away from home there is a natural sway towards LAFC's fine start to the season, which made Carlos Vela's inclusion an easy one too. Lastly in our designated wildcard spot, a player of our own preference, there is no safer bet than Houston's Alberth Elis, who has impressed most, if not all, Fantasy players to begin the season.
Playing on the right wing of the Dynamo's three-pronged attack, Elis has scored in his last 2 matches against Vancouver Whitecaps and D.C. United, and assisted twice on the opening day of the season in a 4-0 demolition of Atlanta United.
Elis has been a standout player of MLS this season, and heading into another home fixture, there is no safer Fantasy potential than backing a man who is currently owned by 10.28% of players against New England Revolution, who were dreadful in their first away encounter this season when defeated by Philadelphia Union.
Elis has some major competition for a place in attack this week, with Villa, Ibrahimovic, Nikolic, Wright-Phillips, Martinez, and many more, all available for selection this week, so this stamp of approval goes a long way to show our faith for Elis.
If Houston are firing in attack against Brad Friedel's side, Elis will be in and amongst the points, and with many Fantasy players backing him, you might want to negate others in your Fantasy leagues to keep pace with the leading pack. It also doesn't hurt that our wildcard picks have been solidly performing in our captaincy picks, so it can never hurt to back your own preferred horse.
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