Picking a Captain to double down on in MLS Fantasy is the most important choice ahead of each round of games for players around the world. There's a lot of self-help out there for MLS enthusiasts, with our Hype Team providing three major consideration for the armband for each and every week. We'll be detailing the popular choice for captain, a few alternative picks in case Plan A doesn't go to plan, and a Wildcard pick of our choosing to add to the chaos. All aboard.
MLS Fantasy: Week 4 Deadline
For the 2019 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 Week progresses.
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 for the 2019 we will have one major essential pick, decided by a poll, as well as a series of alternatives in case your original pick doesn't go to plan, and a wildcard selection who might prove to be a worthwhile differential
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
Week 4: Essential Captaincy Pick
Our essential captaincy picks is voted on by members of our community on Twitter over at @HypeTrainMLS. We pit four popular choices against each other to see who wins the popular vote.
Fixture: LAFC vs. Real Salt Lake
Player: Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Player Price: $11.8 million
An international break has heavily reduced the state of play in MLS this week, with just 5 fixtures on the table this weekend. The matches at hand have offered a few weighted MLS Fantasy encounters which has impacted on the essential captaincy poll that we run every week, to the point where we have narrowed our search down to a couple of picks.
With LAFC hosting Real Salt Lake and New York Red Bulls entertaining Orlando, the weight of expectation this week couldn't be an heavier on RBNY and LAFC. We ultimately decided to pit Bradley Wright-Phillips and Carlos Vela against each other in a bid to be realistic about captaincy forecasting this week - and as many of you might expect, Carlos Vela won by a landslide.
The announcement of the Mexican international side for fixtures against Chile and Paraguay was a big, big boost for MLS Fantasy players this week with Carlos Vela omitted from Gerardo Martino's selection. LAFC, who have started the season strongly with a brace of home wins and a 2-2 draw away at NYCFC, look set to be the dominant force for Fantasy players as a bruised and battered Real Salt Lake visit California.
RSL were whipping boys on the road last week in a 5-0 defeat at Eastern Conference pace setters D.C. United, in part greatly aided by Jefferson Savarino's dismissal just before half-time.
This match will have added stakes for LAFC as they look to avenge their Knockout round loss to RSL at home in the play-offs last season, and with the current form of Bob Bradley's side, with Vela particularly impressing, we're not in doubt of a home win this weekend.
As for Vela, with 33 points on the board so far, only Columbus Crew's defensive asset, Gaston Sauro, has started the Fantasy season stronger (with 36 points), with Vela building on his first season that could have seen the Mexican finishing as the top player had it not been for the World Cup robbing LAFC of their star man for a handful of matches.
Vela, who is on set-pieces for his side, has been the driving force behind LAFC's strong start, has scored 3 goals in his last 2 matches, including a brace last weekend at NYCFC. Vela has currently scored 10+ points in back-to-back matches, and will be the go-to pick for the majority of players this week.
The fixture reduction ahead of Week 4 has streamlined captaincy selection, so our advise is to just stick on course this week in full confidence that all of your mini-league rivals will be fielding very similar Fantasy squads. It's not the week to make a big captaincy gamble given the strength of LAFC and RBNY's fixtures. Putting the armband on Vela appears to be the first port of call this weekend and we'll be entrusting the in-form Forward to continue his hot streak.
Week 4: Alternative Captaincy Picks
We don't have one specific alternative captain, but a few choices for consideration. This method bodes well with the flexible approach of MLS Fantasy of being able to chop and change your decision until the minute before a game.
The main captaincy alternatives for Carlos Vela are in short supply, but you might some solace in his LAFC teammates, with Adama Diomande in fine form heading into Week 4's collision with Western Conference rivals, Real Salt Lake. Despite not playing more than 45 minutes in a game so far this season, Dio scored during both Week's 1 and 2 and has an assist to his name as well. One to keep a watch of if his name is in the starting lineup at the weekend for sure.
New York Red Bulls welcome an Orlando side who have drawn 2 of their 3 games so far this season, with Fantasy players likely to bank on Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer in their masses this weekend. BWP managed to find the net in RBNY's 4-1 home triumph against San Jose, whilst Royer both scored and assisted, and at $8.0 million, comes in as essential property for Week 4's action.
Dallas, fresh off a narrow 1-0 away loss at Columbus Crew, return to home comforts at Toyota Stadium to take on a Colorado Rapids side that are definitely more competitive this season - home draws against Portland Timbers and most recently against Sporting KC proves this. Dallas will start the weekend as favourites, however, with the weight of goals on the shoulders of Dominique Badji. The Forward has failed to find the net so far during the 2019 campaign, and missed an open-goal in the victory against LA Galaxy, but at some point the goals will arrive for the Senegalese attacker, and with Colorado yet to keep a clean sheet, there's every chance Badji gets off the mark during Week 4.
With Columbus Crew missing a few key players this week, the door for Philadelphia Union to pounce on international call-ups has opened, with a returning Marco Fabian, the most likely source of Fantasy points. Fabian has found mixed fortunes so far this season - scoring on his debut during Week 1, before missing a penalty and being sent off at Sporting KC in Week 2 - so here's hoping we see Week 1 Fabian as Philadelphia look for their first win of the campaign.
Week 4: Wildcard Captaincy Pick
We pull focus on a left-field choice for captaincy, with these selections typically coming away from home due to the home field advantage that MLS clubs tends to enjoy throughout the season.
Fixture: New England Revolution vs. FC Cincinnati
Player: Carles Gil (NE)
Player Price: $9.7 million
The meaning of a differential pick in Fantay terms is to unearth a gem of a pick, somebody that is lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce on your weight of decision. New England's Carles Gil has been just that for the first few weeks of the season, with the international break proving to be the time in which Gil steps out of the shadows as a differential, all the way to a top midfield pick this week - so much so that the official MLS Fantasy team have ranked Gil as thee top midfielder ahead of New England's upcoming home game against FC Cincinnati.
Gil's importance ahead of Week 4 has seen his ownership greatly rise from below 2% after the 3-2 loss at Toronto, to 11.60%, rising 3% in the time we created the below info-graphic less than 24 hours ago until the time of publishing.
Brad Friedel's New England side are still adopting the high press, a tactic which saw them caught out numerous times against Toronto, and a tactic that a deep Cincinnati defensive line will be hoping for this coming weekend. Gil's been at the forefront of what New England are getting right in attack, with the attacking playmaker having the most touches (88) against Toronto, registering 4 shots on target and completing 75% of his passes.
Gil, who has scored all 3 of New England's league goals this season, is also joint-top of the scoring charts (with Vela there too), and is without doubt the top Fantasy pick from the Revolution as the newest expansion side visit town.
Of the few captaincy choices at hand this week, Gil might be a shrewd move if you are completely adamant that Carlos Vela or Daniel Royer aren't your horses to back this weekend - the only potential drawback is a compact Cincinnati defence that might restrict chances for a side, that aside from Gil, have struggled to create too many clear chances this season.
Nevertheless, Gil will be in most Fantasy sides this weekend and it is only fair we pitched the idea of New England's latest Designated Player in a position of power this weekend, after all true quality always shines in MLS, and there's no doubting Gil's quality at this level.
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