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: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto 3-0 Philadelphia Union) - 12pts
Away: Miguel Almiron (Chicago Fire 1-2 Atlanta United) - 10pts
Wildcard: Darwin Quintero (Minnesota United 1-0 Vancouver Whitecaps) - 3pts
Home: Carlos Vela (LAFC 2-0 Minnesota United & LAFC 2-2 NYCFC) - 18pts
Away: Miguel Almiron (Atlanta 0-2 Sporting KC & Orlando City 1-2 Atlanta) - 12pts
Wildcard: Darwin Quintero (Toronto 1-2 Seattle & New England 3-2 Toronto) - 16pts
Home: David Villa (NYCFC 4-0 Colorado Rapids) - 17pts
Away: Magnus Eriksson (Vancouver 2-2 San Jose & San Jose 1-3 D.C. United) - 7pts
Wildcard: Kei Kamara (Vancouver 2-2 San Jose & Dallas 2-2 Vancouver) - 9pts
Home: Carlos Vela (LAFC 1-1 D.C. United) - 5pts
Away: Diego Valeri (Colorado Rapids 2-3 Portland Timbers) - 7pts
Wildcard: Ola Kamara (LA Galaxy 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes) - 2pts
Home: Miguel Almiron (New England 1-1 Atlanta & Atlanta 3-1 Philadelphia) - 18pts
Away: Alberth Elis (RSL 2-1 Houston & Montreal 1-0 Houston Dynamo) - 8pts
Wildcard: Maxi Urruti (LA Galaxy 2-3 FC Dallas & FC Dallas 2-1 LAFC) - 3pts
Home: Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo 2-0 Colorado Rapids) - 2pts
Away: Sebastian Giovinco (Philadelphia Union 0-2 Toronto) - 6pts
Wildcard: Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas 2-0 Montreal Impact) - 13pts
Home Total: 3 (1), 10 (2), 0 (3), 2 (4), 6 (5), 20 (6), 10 (7), 10 (8), 15 (9), 12 (10), 18 (11), 17 (12), 5 (13), 18 (14), 2 (15) = 148 points
Away Total: 5 (1), 2 (2), 2 (3), 4 (4), 15 (5), 3 (6), 8 (7), 14 (8), 2 (9), 10 (10), 12 (11), 7 (12), 7 (13), 8 (14), 6 (15) = 105 points
Wildcard Total: 9 (1), 9 (2), 10 (3), 13 (4), 3 (5), 2 (6), 23 (7), 8 (8), 5 (9), 3 (10), 16 (11), 9 (12), 2 (13), 3 (14), 13 (15) = 128 points
Gameweek 16: Home Captain
Fixture: Toronto vs. D.C. United
Player: Sebastian Giovinco (TOR)
Position: Forward (CF)
Player Price: $11.5 million
On the horizon of the World Cup in Russia, MLS has no time to sleep with 6 matches on the morning on the tournament's opening fixtures (for the likes of us over in Europe). At the tip of the spear when it comes to conversation ahead of a 6-game Week 16, it is Toronto who have been gathering the most attention from Fantasy players.
When it comes to Fantasy and the field, Toronto haven't been matching up for us this season. Toronto, sitting 9th in the Eastern Conference with 14 points from 13 matches this season haven't been living up to expectations as the current MLS Cup holders. But yet in Fantasy, Sebastian Giovinco has been in the conversation most weeks, especially when at home.
The Italian's free role in attack is benefiting his attacking bonus potential, with Gio averaging 9 points-per-game over the course of his last 5 starts. Those numbers, if you don't play MLS Fantasy are more than enough to keep Toronto's star player in the conversation every week, despite Toronto's floundering season on the pitch.
Signs of life were evident in Week 15's 2-0 win away from home at Philadelphia Union, with Giovinco notching his 5th assist of the season. In fact, Giovinco has managed all of his attacking returns bar one, 3 goals and 6 assists, in his last 7 matches.
One caution for Giovinco owners is that the Italian has been removed from penalty kick duties, replaced with Victor Vasquez in the 3-3 away draw with Columbus Crew during Week 14, so Fantasy returns might have their limitations.
D.C. United's visit on paper should be a routine victory, though the team from America's capital have proven difficult customers on the road in recent months, and we envision that they won't give much away and stifle Toronto's attacking play wherever possible across the park. What Toronto need is their quality to shine, and they should do the business for Fantasy players this week. If not, it'll be a frustrating end before a mini-break for the start of the World Cup's festivities.
Most will captain Giovinco if we had to call it, so it might be a week where we all suffer, or celebrate, together.
Gameweek 16: Away Captain
Fixture: Columbus Crew vs. Atlanta United
Player: Josef Martinez (ATL)
Position: Forward (CF)
Player Price: $10.2 million
Form on the field is the order of the day when coming to pick our captains this week ahead of a 6-game midweek round of MLS fixtures. Whilst Sebastian Giovinco's home tie against D.C. United offers great appeal in a shortened Gameweek, perhaps the safest route to points lies with Atlanta's form player right now.
Josef Martinez was the first player to reach 10 goals in MLS this season, and has managed 13 from 15 appearances, despite frequently being axed early in games via substitution. Martinez has 5 goals in his last 3 matches, including a hat-trick against Philadelphia Union at home during Gameweek 14.
Even potentially without Miguel Almiron there is ample service from Barco and Gressel in particular for Martinez to continue his form, though he will have to find a way through a stubborn and gritty Columbus Crew defence, but we've stopped assessing opposition when it comes to form. If a player is decent enough for this league, he can score against any team on any day, and Martinez has that quality in spades.
Romario Williams was a live-wire when he replaced Miguel Almiron at half-time during the 1-1 draw against NYCFC at Yankee Stadium, a match which was Patrick Vieira's last as Head Coach, and Julian Gressel's delivery from the right against NYC was pinpoint on more than one occasion for us to believe that Martinez won't be shy of opportunities against a Columbus side who are there for the taking on the right day.
With Almiron at the heart of our attentions this season, this is Martinez's time to come to the forefront of attention for all MLS Fantasy players.
Gameweek 16: Wildcard Captain
Fixture: San Jose Earthquakes vs. New England Revolution
Player: Teal Bunbury (NE)
Position: Midfielder (RW / CF)
Player Price: $10.5 million
When picking our differential captaincy choice ahead of Gameweek 16, we were only really torn between two options, and one isn't really a differential as such. We initially pencilled Montreal Impact's Ignacio Piatti as the role of wildcard captain this week, but due to his likely popularity in a fixture against Orlando at home the appeal for putting the armband on Piatti is more likely a second home captain option.
Instead, we are sticking to our principle of form ahead of Week 16, and there's no team more overlooked than New England Revolution, and perhaps no player in MLS who can match Teal Bunbury's consistency good form this season.
New England have caught us off guard this season. In truth we didn't expect much from Brad Friedel's side as there is potentially greater commercial appeal with some of the more publicised teams in the league (your Atlanta's or Toronto's, who both feature in this article), so it's been a welcome sight to see the likes of Matt Turner, Wilfried Zahibo, Cristian Penilla, Diego Fagundez, and Teal Bunbury, among others than we couldn't name off the top of our head, become real assets to MLS this season.
Teal Bunbury is one player that week after week we too have overlooked in our Fantasy squads, despite being the 4th highest scorer in the league with 9 goals from 15 appearances, which includes goals in each of his last 4 games, and 5 goals in his last 6 matches. Perhaps it's a naivety or reluctance to bank on Bunbury when he's in direct competition with the likes of Higuain, Almiron, Kljestan, Valeri, Allesandrini, for attention, as well as having to contend with Diego Fagundez's elevated Fantasy potential.
Bunbury approaches an away tie at a struggling San Jose Earthquakes side with just 3.67% ownership from MLS Fantasy players, with his price rising $4.0 million between now and the start of the season. We've finally taken the gamble on Bunbury this week, and with just 6 matches, it's the right week to take the risk.
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