MLS Fantasy 2018: Gameweek 7 - Captaincy Picks
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
Home: Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew 3-1 D.C. United) - 2pts
Away: Maxi Moralez (New England Revolution 2-2 NYCFC) - 4pts
Wildcard: Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls 3-0 Minnesota United) - 13pts
Home: Felipe Gutierrez (Sporting Kansas City 1-0 D.C. United) - 6pts
Away: Carlos Vela (LA Galaxy 4-3 LAFC) - 15pts
Wildcard: Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo 0-2 New England Revolution) - 3pts
Home: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United 5-0 LAFC) - 20pts
Away: Carlos Vela (Atlanta United 5-0 LAFC) - 3pts
Wildcard: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy 0-2 Sporting Kansas City) - 2pts
Essential Total: 3 (1), 10 (2), 0 (3), 2 (4), 6 (5), 20 (6) = 41 points
Away Total: 5 (1), 2 (2), 2 (3), 4 (4), 15 (5), 3 (6) = 31 points
Wildcard Total: 9 (1), 9 (2), 10 (3), 13 (4), 3 (5), 2 (6) = 46 points
Gameweek 7: Home Captain
Fixture: Atlanta United vs. NYCFC
Player: Miguel Almiron
Position: Midfielder (CAM)
Player Price: $11.8 million
It is another week in MLS Fantasy, and another home fixture for Miguel Almiron and Atlanta United, taking on a major Eastern Conference rival who may very well contest for the Supporters' Shield at the end of the season.
The quality of opposition isn't fazing Atlanta, having won 4 matches on the spin, with 3 of the last 4 wins coming at home. Simply put, Atlanta have really impressed this season, particularly in attack, and there is little surprise that Miguel Almiron enters the week as the top overall player in MLS Fantasy.
Almiron was able to steal much of the thunder from Josef Martinez during Atlanta's 5-0 victory over LAFC as Martinez had been subbed before set-pieces reigned in Almiron's favour to seal an unforgettable week in MLS Fantasy.
Almiron's Gameweek 6 Points:
89 mins played: 2pts
Clean sheet: 1pt
2 goals: 10pts
1 assist: 3pts
1 penalty earned: 2pts
1 big chance created: 1pt
8 recovered balls: 1pt
5 shots: 1pt
Yellow card: -1pt
Almiron was able to take 2 penalty kicks after the 84th minute, which ultimately proved the difference between another Martinez treble, or a rout for a Midfielder ed hot at home right now.
Averaging 10.61 pts per game right now, Almiron is a must-have right now, even when New York City FC visit for the final fixture of Gameweek 7.
Atlanta have 4 successive wins in MLS and look like extending that record and putting the squeeze on the Eastern Conference rivals next week in what will be another pulsating clash to look forward to. Almiron will of course be in contention yet again for a place in Fantasy teams, and why not, he is a points sponge at home, and it will remain that way this season.
The choice is simple, if Atlanta play at home, Almiron should be in your Fantasy team. Just look at the bonus points he acquires on a good day. If you're ever unsure of your selection, just remember that Almiron is pretty much nailed on for additional points, even without scoring or assisting.
Gameweek 7: Away Captain
Fixture: Philadelphia Union vs. Orlando City
Player: Sacha Kljestan
Player Price: $10.3 million
Orlando's Head Coach, Jason Kreis, has been talking about his side living dangerously in the past few weeks, having to come back from losing positions in back-to-back home games against New York Red Bulls (4-3) and most recently against Portland Timbers (3-2).
Living dangerously should be the motto of picking a captain away from in MLS. Points in the last few weeks for regular Fantasy hitters have been on home soil. Sporting Kansas City were the only team to win on the road during Week 6 of MLS action, beating LA Galaxy 2-0 away from home.
Our selection for our Away captain this week has found his feet this season, and in general Orlando have been asking some serious questions of opposition defences in recent weeks against good sides.
Sacha Kljestan is the free-roaming CAM of Orlando's side, their set-piece taker (yes, that includes penalties), and his inclusion into the side after suspension to begin the season, and the return from injury of Dom Dwyer has turned Orlando into a different force.
Kljestan scored his opening goal of the season against Portland from the penalty spot, and also provided an assist against Portland the week prior, highlighting his importance to the squad.
The American is much like Miguel Almiron in relation to absorbing points, with Kljestan adding points against Portland for creating 3 key passes, for producing 4 crosses, and for attempting 5 shots on goal.
Orlando were lacking their key players, but with Lamine Sane, Dwyer, and Kljestan in the mix, they could pose a danger to a Philadelphia Union side who were largely dominant against San Jose Earthquakes, but neither side posed serious dangers in the attacking half.
With an in-form Dwyer scoring in both of his appearances this season, Andre Blake will have an uncomfortable afternoon in goal as this wildcard Orlando side hit the road for the first time since a 2-0 defeat at New York City FC.
Gameweek 7: Wildcard Captain
Fixtures: NYCFC vs. Real Salt Lake / Atlanta vs. NYCFC
Player: Maxi Moralez
Position: Midfielder (CAM)
Player Price: $11.3 million
Attacking Midfielder's are all the rage this week, with Almiron, Kljestan, and our Widlcard captaincy selection, Maxi Moralez, getting the nod ahead of a Double Gameweek this week, making Maxi our top pick for captain this week as there is a chance to double-down on your chances for MLS Fantasy points, even though NYCFC travel to Atlanta for the second of their fixtures.
A home fixture on Wednesday evening in the Big Apple against Real Salt Lake should be enough to entice Fantasy players to stack their squads with New York's finest, with an away day at a fortress a likely occasion just to add to what is managed in the RSL fixture.
Patrick Vieira's side top the Eastern Conference with 13 points from 5 matches, with Atlanta sitting pretty in second with 12 points from 5 matches. We're under the belief that Vieira's well organised side could become a problem for any team, so it is worth putting some Fantasy assets on board just to cover your bases, and even if you don't like it (hell, you might need it if you didn't have Miguel Almiron as captain last week, just to keep pace with some big performers last week).
Our choice of captaincy is down to the status of David Villa's return from injury. The Spaniard posted on his Twitter account about looking forward to the RSL game, but he does it for every game, even if injured. Villa is the captain of the side after all, and their set-piece taker, so would get our nod of approval if and when we see his name on the team sheet in the first fixture, but if not, Moralez is the obvious deputy to have in his place.
With 3 goals this season, each managed in odd Gameweek's (1, 3, 5), Moralez is proving a threat in front of goal at home and away, which puts him in a good position heading into a Double Gameweek which will seee him play at home and on the road.
Moralez managed 12 points in his last home match, with NYCFC playing their last 2 away from home. Opponents RSL have looked uncertain this season, but did pick up a gritty 2-1 victory over Vancouver in Week 6 to build some positive momentum in this match.
We could be looking at another potentially tight game, with a few goals most likely in favour of NYCFC if they hit their stride, and could be the man to back on with the armband, especially if David Villa doesn't fancy an evening at Yankee Stadium.
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