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: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United 4-1 Montreal Impact) - 15pts
Away: Dom Dwyer (Colorado Rapids 1-2 Orlando City) - 2pts
Wildcard: Carlos Vela (LAFC 1-0 Seattle Sounders) - 5pts
Home Total: 3 (1), 10 (2), 0 (3), 2 (4), 6 (5), 20 (6), 10 (7), 10 (8), 15 (9) = 76 points
Away Total: 5 (1), 2 (2), 2 (3), 4 (4), 15 (5), 3 (6), 8 (7), 14 (8), 2 (9) = 55 points
Wildcard Total: 9 (1), 9 (2), 10 (3), 13 (4), 3 (5), 2 (6), 23 (7), 8 (8), 5 (9) = 82 points
Gameweek 10: Home Captain
Fixture: Toronto vs. Philadelphia Union
Player: Sebastian Giovinco
Position: Forward (CF)
Player Price: $9.0 million
We begin our roundup of potential MLS Fantasy by throwing caution to the wind and putting the armband on a player from the opening game to open a round of fixtures in MLS. This season has seen some incredible opening day fixtures, with goal after goal to open the account of MLS Fantasy players. That appeared to be the case on opening day when many players banked on Toronto assets in a 2-0 home loss to Columbus Crew.
Fast forward 8 weeks and little has changed for the current MLS Cup holders, rooted at the foot of the Eastern Conference with just 4 points from 6 games. Their participation in the Champions League final against Mexican side Chivas has had a lot to do with their league form, with a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake to open Week 5 being the only success so far campaign.
Questionable form has led to key attacking assets being significantly cut priced heading into a Gameweek 9 opener against a Philadelphia Union side who often struggle in front of goal. Toronto go into the fixture as favourites, and Sebastian Giovinco has reappeared on the radar of many MLS Fantasy players.
Priced at $9.0 million heading into the encounter, Giovinco had a goal ruled out against Chicago Fire in an ultimately disappointing afternoon for Greg Vanney's side. The Italian registered an assist against The Fire, and has 2 in total this season, but has yet to find the net, officially speaking.
Underlying stats are in Gio's favour this week, rattling off 6 or more shots in his last 3 matches, so the emphasis this week is that the Forward will finally put one or more into the back of Andre Blake's net.
This pick is due to a highly accessible price and good fixture trumping form. This is the type of game that could kick-start Toronto's season, and one which we might not want to pass up the opportunity of finally being able to trust the likes of Giovinco and Altidore on a more regular basis in our teams.
Gameweek 10: Away Captain
Fixture: Chicago Fire vs. Atlanta United
Player: Miguel Almiron
Position: Midfielder (CAM)
Player Price: $13.3 million
When it comes to Miguel Almiron and Atlanta United, we find ourselves attracted to them as viable MLS Fantasy options like a moth is drawn to a flame. Besides an opening day 4-0 humiliation at Houston Dynamo, Atlanta have altered their formation and have gone 7 matches unbeaten in the league.
Atlanta's latest result was an ultimately convincing 4-1 home victory against Montreal, but for a large spell of the game the Canadian visitors threatened to spoil the party in Georgia. A second-half revival came down to the industry of Almiron, and a few chances that fell right into the palm of his hands.
Almiron has registered 45 shots on goal in 8 appearances and leads the MLS scoring charts with Josef Martinez, with both players on 6 goals for the season. Almiron is running away at the top of the MLS Fantasy standings, with 92 points in the bag, with Maxi Moralez second best on 75 points.
Atlanta's next challenge is an away day to Chicago Fire, who themselves have proved to be tricky customers in recent weeks. The Fire came back from 2-0 down during Week 9 to deny Toronto a first victory of the season, and in Week 8 prior they were the first side to beat New York Red Bulls at home in a 2-1 victory.
If our pick of Giovinco was due to the prospective fixture, and relative price of the palyer, our away pick, which is always harder to argue for, is purely down to the form of Almiron. There's no denying his significance in the season so far, so why back against another potentially huge haul?
Gameweek 10: Wildcard Captain
Fixture: Minnesota United vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Player: Darwin Quintero (CF)
Player Price: $10.5 million
Last up we have a wildcard slot to fill, and there's no better player in MLS this season who has made such a positive impact at a new club than Minnesota's first ever designated player, Darwin Quintero. The Forward has scored twice, and provided one assist in three appearances this season, and gets our nomination as a dark horse for the captaincy armband this weekend.
Minnesota were the Western Conference whipping boys last season, but they're anything but that this season, with the Loons proving to be a tough nut to crack when they're in full force, with Quintero adding a goal threat that has largely evaded Adrian Heath's side since their MLS debut last season.
The Loons are currently 7th in the West with 3 victories to their names, with two coming at home, including a 2-1 victory over Houston Dynamo in their last match during Week 9. Darwin Quintero's cool penalty kick levelled the score for the home side after Alberth Elis opened the scoring for the travelling Dynamo.
The only way was up this season for Minnesota, and we could have another interesting fixture on our hands when Vancouver Whitecaps visit. Vancouver have been erratic and unpredictable this season, with the side following up a 6-0 defeat away at Sporting Kansas City with a 2-0 home win over Real Salt Lake to open Week 9.
Quintero's selection is down to form, with his 10 points-per-match only bettered by Miguel Almiron this season. We'll certainly have one eye on Minnesota this weekend, with Quintero propelling the side into a limelight that this MLS club has yet to experience in their short history.
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