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
Home: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United 2-2 NYCFC) - 10pts
Away: Sacha Kljestan (Philadelphia Union 0-2 Orlando City) - 8pts
Wildcard: Maxi Moralez (NYCFC 4-0 RSL // Atlanta 2-2 NYCFC) - 23pts
Home: Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls 1-2 Chicago Fire) - 10pts
Away: Miguel Almiron (LA Galaxy 0-2 Atlanta United) - 14pts
Wildcard: Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo 5-1 Toronto) - 8pts
Home Total: 3 (1), 10 (2), 0 (3), 2 (4), 6 (5), 20 (6), 10 (7), 10 (8) = 61 points
Away Total: 5 (1), 2 (2), 2 (3), 4 (4), 15 (5), 3 (6), 8 (7), 14 (8) = 53 points
Wildcard Total: 9 (1), 9 (2), 10 (3), 13 (4), 3 (5), 2 (6), 23 (7), 8 (8) = 77 points
Gameweek 9: Home Captain
Fixture: Atlanta vs. Montreal Impact
Player: Miguel Almiron
Position: Midfielder (CAM)
Player Price: $12.8 million
MLS Fantasy Week 9 offers a lot of potential value to be had in home players this week, with Atlanta, NYCFC, Toronto, and LAFC, all playing in front of their own fans, so you'd think that picking a captaincy option would be difficult, right? That couldn't be further from the truth as we give top billing to the top player in MLS right now, Miguel Almiron.
Atlanta United are back at home against a Montreal Impact side who are licking their wounds following a 5-3 home defeat to LAFC, a loss which was greatly aided by a first-half dismissal of Victor Cabrera for denying an obvious goal-scoring chance without playing the ball.
The prospect of Atlanta playing at home means that Almiron must be a certain lock for your teams this weekend. 32.48% of players agree right now, which is an increase of 4% from the beginning of the week, which means he gears are rolling for Almiron to be another essential pick to keep players in and around the top pack for another week.
Atlanta are undefeated in home games this season, and haven't been beaten since an opening day 4-0 loss at Houston Dynamo. Atlanta recorded a 3-1 victory over D.C. during Week 2, a 4-1 victory against Vancouver during Week 3, managing a 5-0 rout over LAFC during Week 6, and drew 2-2 against NYCFC, all in home fixtures.
Almiron is a common sense pick this week that looks relatively safe in regards to another big return this weekend.
Statistics: Miguel Amiron
1 - Atlanta midfielder, Miguel Almiron is the most selected player in MLS Fantasy, with 9,007 owners (32.48% ownership)
2 - Atlanta's Miguel Almiron is the top points-scoring MLS Fantasy player, managing 77 points from 7 appearances, which is a result of 4 goals and 4 assists so far this season.
3 - Top points-scoring player by position:
Goalkeeper - Evan Bush (Montreal): 48 points from 7 appearances
Defender - Graham Zusi (Sporting KC): 65 points from 8 appearances
Midfielder - Miguel Almiron (Atlanta): 77 points from 7 appearances
Forward - Carlos Vela (LAFC): 61 points from 6 appearances
4 - Atlanta's Miguel Almiron boasts the best points-per-game average, with 11 points on average from 7 MLS league appearances.
Gameweek 9: Away Captain
Fixture: Colorado Rapids vs. Orlando City
Player: Dom Dwyer
Position: Forward (CF)
Player Price: $11.0 million
Sacha Kljestan and Carlos Vela have performed admirably for our away captaincy picks in recent weeks, helping prop up some points for teams on the road, and we go back to Orlando for our away selection this week. In truth we only tussled over two captaincy picks for this section this week, the first being Seattle's Nicolas Lodeiro who has been a consistent Fantasy performer despite only registering 2 assists this season. We ultimately landed with Dom Dwyer, whose introduction this season has completed changed the fortunes of the Lion's campaign.
Orlando currently sit in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference with 13 points from 7 matches played. Jason Kreis's side are on a 4-match winning streak.
Orlando's Winning Streak:
Week 5: Orlando 4-3 New York Red Bulls
Week 6: Orlando 3-2 Portland Timbers
Week 7: Philadelphia Union 0-2 Orlando
Week 8: Orlando 3-2 San Jose Earthquakes
Forward, Dom Dwyer, has only appeared in 4 matches this season, and it appears to not be a coincidence that the 4 appearances have been the stretch of Orlando's winning streak. Sacha Kljestan and Dwyer have formed a good relationship, and our reasoning behind Dwyer falls down to being a factor of form.
How could we overlook a player who has scored in all 4 appearances this season? Dwyer's been clinical and decisive in his 4 appearances this season, and 2,504 (9.07%) ownership agrees.
Gameweek 9: Wildcard Captain
Fixture: LAFC vs. Seattle Sounders
Player: Carlos Vela
Position: Forward (CAM)
Player Price: $12.5 million
After a run of 6 games away from home to open their MLS history, LAFC find themselves with a first ever home match after the Banc of California Stadium's completion. Bob Bradley's side will host Seattle Sounders, a side that LAFC beat on opening day in a 1-0 victory thanks to a lone Diego Rossi strike in the first-half.
A first game at home was too much to ignore this week in our captaincy article, and the allure of picking Carlos Vela as our wildcard selection seems a perfect fit for Week 9's action. You never know what you might get from a first-ever home match so the gamble on LAFC assets might come to bite us all on our rear cheeks.
Opponents Seattle Sounders registered a first win of the MLS season during Week 8, knocking off Minnesota United 3-1 at home. Cristian Roldan was exceptional for the Sounders. Will Bruin's also managed goals in back-to-back MLS games. Osvaldo Alonso is back in the starting lineup. We're talking about an improved Seattle side from their opening day defeat to LAFC, but one that still has questions marks above their head.
Heading into this encounter, LAFC site second in the Western Conference with 12 points from 6 matches, whilst Seattle Sounders are rock-bottom of the West, with 4 points from 5 games, though all 4 of their points have been won in their last 2 fixtures against Sporting KC and Minnesota.
LAFC will fancy themselves against a rigid and slow defence, especially with the Vela-Rossi partnership proving to be a hit in the early season. Marco Urena is also proving to be a workhorse in attack, chasing every lost ball, and won't give Seattle's defence a moment's rest in sunny California.
Currently, Vela is supported by 4,215 (15.2%) of MLS Fantasy players, and will be encouraged by a start to the season that has yielded 5 goals and 3 assists. Vela and Rossi are also the only Forward's to reach 50+ points this season, so it is a case of quality coming to the forefront, regardless of opposition.
Vela is just that. A quality addition to MLS, and we expect him to keep defying any doubters that he or LAFC are a team that could make play-offs this season.
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