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 12
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.
MLS Fantasy Gameweek 11 - Player of the Week: Zack Steffen (Columbus)
MLS Fantasy players were treated to their first big Double Gameweek of the season during its 11th round of fixtures, with 9 teams competing twice across midweek and weekend fixtures, and none impressed more than Columbus Crew.
After winning their opening 3 matches of the season, Columbus didn't win in their next 4 matches between Week's 4 and 7, and have now gone 5 unbeaten in the league since Week 8.
Columbus's Last 5 MLS Results
Week 8: Columbus 2-2 New England Revolution
Week 9: Columbus 2-1 San Jose Earthquakes
Week 10: Seattle Sounders 0-0 Columbus Crew
Week 11: Columbus 1-0 Philadelphia Union
Week 11: Columbus 3-0 Chicago Fire
A trifecta of home victories has propelled Gregg Berhalter's side back up the MLS table, with The Crew sitting 2nd in the Eastern Conference with 21pts from 12 games played, and ahead of NYCFC on goal difference.
For MLS Fantasy players this past week the struggle was getting many points out of midfield, with the usual suspects failing to deliver. Piatti (7), Almiron (12), and Vasquez (5) headed a queue of players that we all expected more from over the course of two games.
Forward's largely had their moment this past week with Giovinco (16) and Vela (18) coming to the forefront, but the difference this week for Fantasy players this week was their choice in defence and goal, and there's no better example of Columbus Crew's defensive resilience highlight potential missed opportunities.
Afful, Mensah, and Zack Steffen played both games, and due to his popularity and important for the week, the U.S. international keeper, Steffen, gets the accolade of Player of the Week.
Zack Steffen's Gameweek 11 Points - Columbus 1-0 Philadelphia Union:
90 mins played: 2pts
Clean sheet: 5pts
3 saves: 1pt
15 recoveries: 2pts
Zack Steffen's Gameweek 11 Points - Columbus 3-0 Chicago Fire:
90 mins played: 2pts
Clean sheet: 5pts
4 saves: 1pt
10 recoveries: 1pt
No matter the format of game (FPL, Fantasy Bundesliga, or MLS Fantasy), Goalkeeper's can often come to the forefront of attention, and Steffen's 19.91% ownership highlights the importance and and impact one man can have. The near 20% ownership might be low, but due to inactivity of a large wash of players not changing, this ownership is the 6th highest in the game.
Other contenders including Columbus players Afful and Zardes, Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, and had he not been sent off for putting his hands all over New England's Wilfried Zahibo, Sebastian Giovinco.
Steffen's 19 points during Gameweek 11 is as many as he's managed in his previous 5 round of games, and has pushed up to the 3rd top keeper behind Montreal's Evan Bush who has saved 2 penalties this season, and Sporting KC's Tim Melia who has kept 5 clean sheets and earned 10 save points from 11 fixtures.
All proved secondary this week as non-Steffen owners were made to pay the price of Alex Bono's inclusion, and a big factor in potential Head to Head leagues. With Columbus also rotating their defence in both games, Steffen was a reliable source for points, and delivered the goods on a mixed-to-good round of games that will have Fantasy players rethinking their strategy for a tricky 12th round of fixtures.
Columbus travel to New England Revolution, so the expectation for many players this weekend is to twist, rather than stick, with Columbus's defensive options. Columbus drew 0-0 with Seattle in their last game on the road, but where Seattle have been lacking in an attacking sense, Brad Friedel's New England side have attacking prowess in spades.
Christian Penilla's stock continues to rise, and Wilfried Zahibo is proving the most overlooked defensive midfielder this season from a Fantasy point of view. It will be up to Columbus to get their defence to continue their standards at home in the last two, if they're to have any chance of snatching a point or more.
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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