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 17 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 17: 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: Orlando (H) and Toronto (H)
Player: Wayne Rooney (DC)
Player Price: $11.0 million
We're back in to the swing of MLS action after an extended break. After being eased in with 6 fixtures for the Fall Season opener, Gameweek 17 throws caution to the wind with a huge Double Gameweek for 12 teams.
There are 18 fixtures this week and if there is anything that MLS Fantasy love more than a bumper round of games is a small budget to manage the upcoming selection headache (sarcasm intented).
The foundations of any teams this week should be built around captaincy considerations. Due to the on-going Gold Cup in North America and Copa America in South America, a few key MLS Fantasy players aren't available, leaving 4 options including eventual poll winner, Wayne Rooney.
The former England captain is the standout Forward selection this week and this fact has seen Rooney edge the in-form Diego Valeri, the high-ceiling of Alejandro Pozuelo, and a San Jose side with potential to hit big digits for Chris Wondolowski and fellow Fantasy players.
Is Rooney the right choice this week, however? Of the 12 teams playing twice this week, only D.C. United, San Jose and New England play both fixtures at home. D.C. United, who favour home comforts, entertain an Orlando side who can't find sustained form, no matter how hard they try, and an unpredictable Toronto side. The formula for visiting sides adds up to a potentially big Gameweek for DC players in MLS Fantasy players.
When setting up your teams this week, a triple up of DC options is likely going to be the main go-to, with Lucha Acosta, Bill Hamid and Frederick Brilliant other likely favourites this week.
Speaking of Rooney, the $11.0m Forward has scored 8 goals this season, though he hasn't found the net in his last 2 matches, though in Rooney's previous 5 fixtures the Englishman scored 3 times and assisted twice.
Rooney has the advantage of set-pieces on his side, as well as home advantage. With international tournaments, this is the perfect time for established 30-something players to earn their Designated Player wages (as proven with Valeri in Week 16), so this could be a chance for Rooney to boost DC's stock as they look to dethrone Philadelphia at the top of the Eastern Conference.
Week 17: 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.
Double Gameweek Options...
With D.C. United the main considerations this week, we can't have a conversation about Wayne Rooney without mentioning Lucha Acosta ($10.0m). The in-demand midfielder, unlike Rooney, has scored in back-to-back MLS matches, scoring against San Jose and Chicago at home, and offers a cheaper route in to your teams than both Valeri and Pozuelo.
With Portland Timbers finding their groove against a depleted Houston Dynamo side, Diego Valeri ($11.0m) and Brian Fernandez ($11.0m) are both looking to increase on their hot streaks. Valeri scored a penalty, and assisted 3 times, whilst Fernandez scored in his 4th consecutive MLS match. Montreal away and Dallas at home are ideal fixtures to bank on as a perfect opportunity to DC this week.
Due to a high-ceiling of points for Alejandro Pozuelo ($11.0m), we feel almost compelled to include the attacking midfielder due to set-piece potential, but we're beginning to wain on Pozuelo's appeal (slightly). With 117 points, Poz is the top MLS Fantasy midfielder, though has only managed 2 assists in 5 matches and only lasted 45 minutes against Dallas at the weekend in a 3-0 defeat. After winning 5 of their opening 8 matches, Toronto haven't won any of their last 8 matches, and with Atlanta at home and DC away, there is a chance Toronto may reach double-digits without a win.
One interesting team of note ahead of the Double Gameweek is New England. Bruce Arena is back in the fold and this had led The Revolution on a 4-game streak without a loss (2 wins, 2 draws). Of note for New England ahead of home fixtures against Philadelphia and Houston is Carles Gil ($10.5m). Another attacking midfielder in the captaincy fold this week, Gil managed both assists in a 2-1 away win at LA Galaxy, with Gil managing 4 or more points in 6 consecutive matches, so based on recent form it looks like Gil is a good bet for double-digits this week.
The last consideration is banking on San Jose's Chris Wondolowski ($8.0m). A perfect mid-range attacking option this week, the all-time MLS top goal-scorer is in great form, scoring in 4 consecutive matches, scoring 8 goals in that period. Rotation might be a slight risk, but if Wondo gets the nod and is paired with Danny Hoesen, home ties against Houston Dynamo and LA Galaxy could be lucrative this week.
Flying solo for Gameweek 17...
Staying in America without Gold Cup action to worry about, MLS Fantasy top-dog, Carlos Vela ($12.0m) is back in action and on a collision course with an away day at Colorado Rapids.
Statistics alone back up Vela's credentials this week. LAFC have had a fortnight off to recharge the batteries, and this could propel Vela to continue his fine form, which includes 5 consecutive Fantasy returns of 10 or more points. Vela has scored in 5 consecutive matches, and provided 5 assists in this time.
Vela's form ahead of the West's bottom side is enough for us to conside the Mexican Forward as a primary captaincy pick this week - 20 or more points is likely regardless of opposition.
Always Captain Vela?
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The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog 2016' by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), with the final presentation held at Old Trafford in Manchester.