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 21 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 21: 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. Atlanta United
Player: Carlos Vela (LAFC)
Player Price: $12.5 million
Football is a game for big moments and for the best players showcasing their talents at the biggest level. What was made clear last weekend, that arguably the biggest fixture in MLS right now, especially for overseas viewers such as our selves, is the El Trafico derby between LA Galaxy and fledgling neighbours, LAFC, who are now into their second season as a club.
Week 21 picks up with our captaincy poll winner, Carlos Vela (how many times have we said that this season?) and his LAFC aiming to pick up the pieces after Zlatan Ibrahimovic backed up his words that Vela was a Beta to his Alpha status in the league, with a hat-trick and 18 Fantasy points.
Vela, who netted twice against The Galaxy, is however the Alpha in MLS Fantasy after picking up another 15 points on the road, taking him up to 238 points for the season. The Mexican international is now just 31 points shy of Miguel Almiron's 269 points from last season and has 14 fixtures to beat that record.
With Vela averaging 11.9 points-per-game, 14 games (which includes 3 Double Gameweek's still to come) would on average see the $12.5 million Forward earn another 167 points, taking his end of season tally to a mammoth 405 points.
The next hurdle for LAFC is not only to avenge their defeat against LA Galaxy, but to overcome an Atlanta United side who have just beat D.C. United 2-0 at home and have kept back-to-back clean sheets at home. Judging based on away form though, Frank de Boer's side are heavily reliant on home comforts as they've lost each of their last 5 trips outside of Georgia.
Atlanta's last 5 away matches:
New York Red Bulls 1-0 Atlanta United
Real Salt Lake 2-1 Atlanta United
Toronto 3-2 Atlanta United
Chicago Fire 5-1 Atlanta United
Seattle Sounders 2-1 Atlanta United
Vela, who is currently selected by 12.41% of players (a figured that is skewed due to inactive players), shouldn't have any problem in continuing his hot-streak of points for Fantasy players.
Scoring braces in back-to-back matches, Vela has scored in 8 of his last 10 league matches, only failing to find the net against Chicago (Week 10) and in a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Colorado Rapids (Week 17). In those last 10 games, Vela has contributed a total of 10 goals and 7 assists, so there is no need to be on the fence if you're considering your captaincy options this week.
Vela has the form, the superstar appeal, a winnable home fixture, will rise in price, is on course to smash MLS Fantasy records, and has been consistent all this season. If you've read the script that has been written by now. You're either on this hype train by now, or by avoiding Vela you're staring down the barrel of defeat.
Week 21: 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.
Stacking the deck with favourable home fixtures...
LAFC and Carlos Vela might have a stranglehold on the captaincy scene this season as their talisman became the quickest player to 20 regular season goals in MLS history, we'd be foolish not to look elsewhere at the potential that some teams offer in MLS Fantasy this week, as there are some delightful home advantages this week.
Starting in the cold north, Toronto's encounter against bottom of the Eastern pile, FC Cincinnati, should see Fantasy players flocking to acquiring both Jozy Altirode ($10.5m) and Alejandro Pozuelo ($11.4m). Since returning from Gold Cup action for the United States, Altidore has scored in all 3 league matches for Toronto, and is alsmost certain of another price rise. Cincinnati have conceded the most of any team this season, shipping 51 goals, with Altidore looking to add to that tally this weekend.
Pozuelo is in a similar boat, with the bonus points magnet missing the second leg of Toronto's recent Double Gameweek due to injury, so it is worth keeping an eye on the attacking midfielder and set-piece taker's involvement.
Elsewhere, another side in great form right now is Bruce Arena's New England Revolution side, who have gone 10 games unbeaten in MLS, propelling The Revs up to 7th in the East and within the play-off places. A home encounter against Orlando City should awaken captaincy potential in new signing, Gustavo Bou ($9.8m) and Week 20's star player, Carles Gil ($11.8m) who managed 29 points last week. Bou scored 16 points in his maiden weekend, scoring at home in the win over Vancouver, whilst Gil's 2 goals and 2 assists last week makes him Carlos Vela's nearest competition for the armband this week in a game against Orlando that has massive play-off stakes on the line.
Also, on home soil, San Jose welcome Colorado, with The Earthquakes midfield a likely source of points as San Jose look to solidify their 5th place in the Western Conference. Magnus Eriksson ($9.2m) has managed 21 points in 2 games, despite only scoring 1 goal, whilst Vako ($8.2m) has an explosive points potential, earning 10+ points in 4 of the last 6 Gameweek's. Vako has scored in back-to-back MLS games too, and over the course of those 6 matches has managed 5 goals and 2 assists.
Sticking with the theme of home advantage, NYCFC host a Sporting KC side sitting in 10th, with Maxi Moralez ($12.1m) on the radar for some in MLS Fantasy this week. NYC's set-piece specialist hasn't dropped below 5 Fantasy points since Week 7. Moralez has scored big in the last 6 Gameweek's, earning a massive 73 points, scoring 5 and assisting 7 in that time. If class is permanent in MLS, perhaps Moralez should be given more consideration ahead of Week 21.
The only away consideration is given to Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($10.5m) due to the form The Lion has been on, scoring 7 goals across 7 games, with 5 of those goals arriving in the last 3 games. The legendary Swede will have to compete with Portland's Brian Fernandez ($10.9m), with the Forward going directly against Zlatan this week. Fernandez scored 2 and assisted 1 in Portland's recent Double Gameweek and is ticking over nicely having earned 65 points in just 9 matches (an average of 7.22 points-per-game).
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