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 18 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 18: 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: Sporting KC (A), Vancouver (H)
Player: Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Player Price: $11.5 million
Last week was the biggest Gameweek of the season for MLS Fantasy, both in terms of the number of fixtures and the high ceiling of points. That is until now. 19 fixtures await us MLS fanatics, with a huge 14 teams in the Double Gameweek mix.
Our captaincy poll this week was only going to have one eventual winner with Carlos Vela in the running ahead of a double for LAFC. It turns out that our half century of voters voted for a Vela majority, even though the appeal of Maxi Moralez, who scored a huge 23 points in one fixture last week, has a brace of home fixtures against staples of the Western Conference play-offs, Seattle and Portland.
Vela's credentials, if you follow MLS are self-explanatory at this point of the season. 27 attacking returns (16 goals, 10 assists) from 17 fixtures is a great haul, with Vela's 187 Fantasy points unmatched by any player by 43 points - Alejandro Pozuelo is Vela's nearest competitor with 134 points.
The Mexican international, who wasn't part of the final squad for the Gold Cup, stayed in Los Angeles, though he didn't have a good time last weekend after Bob Bradley's side lost 1-0 away to Colorado Rapids. The loss broke a 5-game scoring record for Vela, with 3 points during Week 17 the lowest points tally since Week 10.
Colorado's win against LAFC moved the Rapids off the foot of the West, at the expense of Sporting KC, and just a single point below Vancouver Whitecaps - sandwiched between LAFC's opponents for the Double Gameweek.
Week 18 on paper offers a safe and secure root to points for LAFC. They're playing sides at the foot of their respective Conference, and after a hiccup in the rocky mountains, should be back up to second gear after an international break.
Vela's set-piece potential, and lethal left-foot is enough to tempt anyone due to class being permanent in MLS. At the very least, you'll know that fellow players will be banking on Vela, helping to minimise a potential nightmare in case you go with an alternative pick.
Week 18: 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.
Looking at double...
With LAFC the likely destination for your spots in defence, midfield and attack this week, central midfielder Eduard Atuesta ($11.0m) is a Vela alternative if you'd like to bank on bonus points. Of Atuesta's 112 Fantasy points this week, 57 are bonus points. 57. That's a huge number, especially with 27 points coming from pass success rate alone. 1 goal and 6 assists are just a welcome bonus to the bonus points magnet who has just missed 1 fixture this season?
If you're looking to dine in another geographical area with your captaincy picks, the Big Apple offers a varying menu of fine Fantasy delicacies away from the West Coast, with Maxi Moralez ($11.5m) providing a tempting Vela alternative. With 114 points, Maxi is the 6th best player in the game so far this season, with the last 2 games a major factor in Moralez's sudden upturn in form.
Moralez scored 1, assisted 3 and claimed 19 points in Week 15's win against Cincinnati, and then managed to trump that haul with 2 goals and 2 assists against Philadelphia, earning a huge 23 points - totalling 42 points in just 2 games. A brace of home games, with set-pieces and form in his favour, if Maxi repeats his form, an 80-point captain is on the cards.
If you like Maxi, then there might be good supporting roles for Valentin Castellanos ($7.5m), who scored 2 goals in the win against Philadelphia, whilst Alexandru Mitrita ($8.6m) offers direct goal threat with 2 goals in 4 homes.
Speaking of Philadelphia, Kacper Przybylko ($7.5m) is the perfect mid-range Forward pick this week, has scored in back-to-back games, and faces Orlando in home and away games. A regular feature of The Union team, typically starting on the right of a 3-man attack, Przybylko faces a battle with NYC attackers for a spot, but pose a real captaincy potential if form is where your heart lies.
Being based in the UK, we occasionally wake up, open the MLS app and go to the Schedule page, our eyes popping open over a crazy scoreline from the games just gone. Last week was no different, with Minnesota battering whipping-boys Cincinnati 7-1 at home (two years ago, Minnesota were on the end of this beating). Darwin Quintero ($10.5m) hasn't lived up to our pre-season billing as one of the top Fantasy players, but did managed to break his spell of no goals or assists in 9 matches with a brace of assists against Cincinnati - a low figure considering he wasn't involved in 5 goals. San Jose at home and Montreal away too are hard games to nail a performance on, but if you're a gambling man, this could be a wild alternative if Darwinism returns to the fold.
San Jose are the team in form right now, with their players saving the day during Week 17. Vako ($7.0m) scored in both fixtures last week and managed 31 Fantasy points. He's guaranteed a price rise for next week and is in good enough form to trouble Minnesota (A) and Real Salt Lake (H).
Lastly, we're avoiding the route of Nani or Nicolas Lodeiro this week, instead looking towards a brace of home fixtures for Sporting KC and their bonus points magnet, Felipe Gutierrez ($9.8m). 3 goals in 3 games is complemented by 36 bonus this season from 7 appearances. If you need someone to tip you over the edge with points aside from goals and assists, Felipe is your man.
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