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 23 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 23: 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: Houston (H) & Atlanta (A)
Player: Maxi Moralez (NYCFC)
Player Price: $11.7 million
Week 23 kicks off this evening, with a small Double Gameweek that features just the two teams - NYCFC and Houston Dynamo. Houston are on the road in the Eastern Conference with games against NYC and Philadelphia, whilst NYC also travel to Atlanta to end their brace of games.
With that in mind, our captaincy poll this week was won by a player that isn't Carlos Vela. Attacking midfielder, Maxi Moralez, who sat out Week 22, is back in the fold this weekend and looks set to be the key player for MLS Fantasy players, which was represented by a large minority victory in our poll this week.
With captaincy options light for Double Gameweek options, if you have enough trust in Maxi Moralez, he could be the superstar in your eyes that takes this Week by the scruff of the next and delivers the good.
The Argentine playmaker has been ticking along nicely this week, with 13 assists to his name and 6 goals, with 2 assists in the last 4 games. There is a wider sense that Moralez and NYC just aren't that reliable this season, though Moralez has been in great form, having managed to score 7 or more points in 9 of the last 10 games.
Maxi didn't feature during Week 22 due to a slight injury niggle, and prior to that in Week 21 came off early early Sporting KC after 52 minutes, gaining just a single point.
Come kick-off at midnight tonight for us in the UK, there's a highly-likely chance that both of us in our team here will be putting the armband on Maxi. It's the smart move to make as there's no way that we won't overlook the Argentine and other NYC players this weekend.
Week 23: 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.
Are any Double Gameweek options from Houston or NYCFC worth the gamble?
NYCFC head in to the brace of fixtures this weekend with a lot of Fantasy consideration. Beneath Maxi Moralez in the pecking order in midfield is Alex Ring ($8.5m) who has really come to the forefront of attention this week. Ring has scored in back-to-back games this season from central midfield, with Ring averaging 5.8 points-per-game.
Elsewhere in the Big Apple, Heber ($9.8) and Alexandru Mitrita ($8.0m) will be fighting for the attention of Fantasy players this weekend. Like Alex Ring, Heber has scored in back-to-back games, with the pricier Forward netting 3 times in those 2 games, whilst Heber also has 6 goals in 8 games, to help boost his appeal this week.
With Alberth Elis suspended for Houston's first fixture this weekend, the only option worth considering is Forward, Mauro Manotas ($8.5m), as we feel that there is only the faint hope of attacking returns for a Dynamo's side that has struggled in the second-half of the regular MLS season. Manotas is currently averaging 5.09 points-per-game, though the attacker has only scored 1 goal in 6 games, whilst he only has 2 goals in 13 games... So it's a very, very hard sell, but one for the crazies that might feel Maxi Moralez or Carlos Vela aren't worth the risk this week.
Who are the top captaincy candidates that only play once?
Another week in the game has presented itself nicely for Carlos Vela ($13.5m) to break all MLS Fantasy records. From 22 appearances (Vela has only missed 1 match due to injury), El Capitan finds himself on the verge of toppling Miguel Almiron's 269 points from the 2018 MLS Fantasy season.
Currently on 258 points, 11 games are left for LAFC this season, with Vela needing just 11 points to equal Miggy's points haul from last season, and just 12 points to be the top points-scorer in a single MLS Fantasy season. To accomplish this feat in just Week 23, Vela will have to bypass New York Red Bulls on home soil, and given his calibre of a player, we wouldn't be surprised if the Mexican international gets over the line this week.
Other players playing once, who are all in the bracket of 'attacking midfielders who we'll scramble to find room for' are Alejandro Pozuelo ($11.2m), Diego Valeri ($12.0) and Nicolas Lodeiro ($12.3m). The trio are all in a similar price bracket, all play at home, and are all set-piece specialists, so take your pick of the three ahead of this weekend, though we think Pozuelo's home encounter with Orlando offers the best value to produce a big return.
You can read more of our latest news from the world of MLS and MLS Fantasy by clicking here.
For more MLS, follow @RealHypeTrain and @HypeTrainMLS on Twitter for the latest social media insight from The Hype Train.
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in the Fantasy Premier League (#FPL), providing beautiful graphics and weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb ranking tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review movies, live sport, and professional wrestling.
As well as providing FPL articles on our website, we are a founding Contributor to the new Fantasy Football Hub, where you can find more unique articles, including weekly Power Rankings, from The Hype Team. You can support us and read exclusive members only content for just £2 per-month by clicking here.
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.
You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk