MLS Fantasy 2019: Week 7 Captaincy Picks
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 7 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 7: 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.
Fixtures: Colorado (H), Toronto (A)
Player: Nicolas Lodeiro (SEA)
Player Price: $12.0 million
The end of Week 6 and the start of Week 7 for MLS Fantasy players is merely a pit-stop, with less than 2 days separating Cincinnati's 1-1 home draw with Sporting KC to close the sixth round of games, and D.C. United's Tuesday evening clash with Montreal Impact.
With the shortest of layovers for players to get their Week 7 affairs in order, the first port of call is course with our captaincy contenders. This week we decided to play the field and didn't need more than 50 people to tell us what anyone who plays MLS Fantasy already knows - the odds are heavily stacked in Nicolas Lodeiro's favour as Seattle enter the first Double Gameweek of the season.
Seattle Sounders sit comfortably behind table-toppers LAFC in the Western Conference after 5 games. The Sounders have won 4, and drawn 1, of their opening fixtures, and have the best defensive record in the league - joint with Columbus Crew in only conceding 3 goals so far this season.
Whilst defensive Fantasy returns are taken care, attacking stalwart, Nicolas Lodeiro, looks the main captaincy squeeze for players this week, if even by default. Lodeiro's back-post volley was the only goal in Seattle's 1-0 home win over Real Salt Lake last weekend, with the home side looking less of a threat without the injured Raul Ruidiaz to continue his goal a game habit.
The Uruguay international has the benefit of set-pieces on his side, a potentially telling factor this coming week as Fantasy players look for assured points, though there is a small grain of doubt that Lodeiro is having a quiet season by his own standards as Brian Schmetzer's side are predominately playing wider with Rodriguez and Morris in support of a lone Forward.
Lodeiro has 2 goals and 3 assists to this name, and based off his average of 8.4 points-per-game, the realistic expectation is that the creative midfielder will likely hit the 15-point mark this week. Lodeiro has scored or assisted in every other game too, so early season form suggests a struggle for points against Colorado on the road could be a reality to live with as MLS Fantasy players gear up to play safe with Seattle's good start to the season.
Only New England's Carles Gill (46) has more points than Lodeiro (42) from midfield, is the 6th best overall player in the game, level with teammate Kelvin Leerdam, and currently has the 3rd highest ownership of any player (21.08%). It's safe to say that Lodeiro will be the go-to pick ahead of the first Double Gameweek of the season, and we ourselves will be likely to give Lodeiro the chance to prove why.
Week 7: 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.
Hedging bets on players seeing double...
Wayne Rooney's dismissal at home to LAFC last weekend could be seen as a blessing in disguise, or a potential nightmare for D.C. United as they look to bounce back against Montreal on Tuesday evening.
The main attraction for Fantasy players will be Luciano Acosta (DC), with the attacking midfielder missing out on his lethal partnership with Rooney, though numbers suggest that Acosta will have to fight for every point - the Argentine has picked up just 3 points from 3 of 5 occasions this season. With Rooney out of commission however, set-pieces look set to be on Acosta for at least one game, so there's every chance a revival of form is at hand.
Challenging D.C. United this week at Audi Field is Montreal Impact, with midfielder Saphir Taider (MTL) the main port of call for the Canadian visitors. Taider (39 points) is the only Montreal player with more than 25 points after 5 games of the season, with the Algerian scoring 3 and assisting 1 so far this season.
Montreal will be without Piatti, so responsibility will fall on the 7.8 points-per-game average of Taider to get Fantasy players across the line this week.
What about those flying solo?
Week 7 plays devils advocate with your potential Double Gameweek picks, with some very favourable fixtures for some of the leagues best attacking talent, enough so that is making us question just how many players from the 4 Double Gameweek sides we truly wank to bank on.
In-form Minnesota host out of form NYCFC in their first ever match at the newly-minted Allianz Field, with Darwin Quintero (MIN) hoping to mark the occasion with enough attacking returns to spell a second defeat of the season for Dominic Torrent's NYC side. It's a big game, with Quintero a big game player - it's only right that he is the only to christen the new stadium with a goal.
After a first win of the season during Week 6, San Jose travel to Houston, with Alberth Elis (HOU) waiting to capitalise on recent good form in the league. The Honduran has managed a huge 32 points from his last 2 fixtures, with San Jose the perfect opposition to add to the 2 goals and 3 assists accumulated over the last 2 matches.
FC Dallas return to home field this week, with Paxton Pomykal (DAL) backing up his pre-season status as one to watch for Fantasy players this season. Portland Timbers, rock bottom of MLS right now, the MLS Cup finalists from last season who can't buy a win right now, offer a cheap route into midfield, with Pomykal looking to add a 3rd goal of the season against a defence that has leaked 15 goals, more than any club.
Finishing strong with some ultra-heavyweights, Carlos Vela (LAFC) is currently untouchable in MLS Fantasy and should be the first name in your squad on a weekly basis. 7 goals and 4 assists, with 16 bonus and 72 points so far, Vela's average of 12 points-per-game meets a Cincinnati side who have a 2-2-2 (W-D-L) record so far, and there for the taking for Vela to add to his ridiculous start to the season for LAFC.
Staying in the same State, LA Galaxy entertain a Philadelphia Union side who are showing some real punch in recent weeks, though The Union are entering the lair of Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA) on the heels of a fine goal and assist display at Vancouver last week. Zlatan and Vela will be fighting for your Forward spots this week, irregardless of the Double Gameweek, and if you're a bit tepid about Lodeiro or Acosta, the first plce to start is with the potential fortunes of either LA side this weekend.
Week 7: 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.
Fixtures: Seattle Sounders (H) & D.C. United (H)
Player: Kei Kamara (COL)
Player Price: $9.0 million
Perhaps unfancied ahead of Week 7's Double Gameweek offering, Colorado Rapids are gearing up as the only team to feature twice at home this coming week, with The Rapids welcoming Seattle Sounders on Wednesday evening, before hosting D.C. United at the weekend.
Colorado haven't won a game after 6 attempts this season, only 1 of 5 teams to remain without a win this season, though there are signs of life that the veteran Forward, Kei Kamara, can spoil the Double Gameweek festivities for the heavily popular Seattle and D.C. United.
Kamara, the 5th overall top scorer in MLS history with 114 goals to his name, is Colorado's top MLS Fantasy player with 29 points, scoring 3 goals across 6 games this season, including goals in back-to-back games, netting at home against Houston during Week 5, before claiming a goal at Orlando last weekend in a dramatic 4-3 loss for The Rapids.
The real challenge for Fantasy players this week will be ignoring favourable fixtures for Carlos Vela (LAFC) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA), and instead opting for Kamara in two tough games on home field.
Reasonably priced, and recently going through a $0.3m price rise, there's every chance that Kamara will be the overlooked entity this week after D.C. United showed major signs of organisational fragility in their recent 4-0 home loss to LAFC, whilst anything against Seattle would be a welcome bonus given their good start to the season.
If there's anything we know about MLS, it's that quality sticks and typically performs. Kamara is a quality attacker, who can bully defenders with strength and poise in the penalty area. We wouldn't rule him out of contention, not just yet.
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