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 27 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 27: 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: New England (H)
Player: Maxi Moralez (NYC)
Player Price: $12.1 million
26 down. 5 to go. The end of the MLS Fantasy calendar is quickly upon us with just a month of action left to go in the regular season. Part of the schedule is a round of games during the international break during September, with 5 MLS games on the horizon this weekend.
A host of top midfielders are all in action during Week 27 and they have all featured on our essential poll, with Maxi Moralez favoured over other attacking midfielder - Pozuelo, Valeri and Lodeiro. Carlos Vela, an injury doubt for the trip to Orlando, missed out on the initial poll.
Attacking midfielders are the order of the day for MLS Fantasy players, with a combination of the foursome in our captaincy poll, and New England's Carles Gill, all top contenders for a place in your final draft squads this week.
Maxi Moralez's minority victory has been achieved in part due to New York's form, and also due to the calibre of opposition this weekend. NYCFC have won their last 4 matches in MLS, with 7 wins in their last 9 too. It's also been 14 games since New York were last involved in a draw, lending reason to the notion that something will have to give between New England, a side that has only lost a single game in their last 16 league outings (which of course was a 2-0 home loss to LAFC during early August).
Maxi's form also lends favour to a top-pick for the armband this week, with the $12.1 million midfielder managing 5 assists and a lone goal in his last 5 fixtures, earning 43 points in that time. Set-pieces work in Maxi's favour still, so there is only real option to consider from the Big Apple this week.
Unless Vela makes a quick recovery from injury, most, if not all, MLS Fantasy players will be captaining an attacking midfielder, so it is a matter of picking your poison and banking on a collision between two in-form teams in New England and NYCFC.
Personally, our gut instinct is telling us to hold with baited breath over the result in this fixture. Moralez has a tendency to let Fantasy players down when he is a top option, and we'd rather head West where there are calmer waters.
Week 27: 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.
So, what's happening with Carlos Vela this week?
Week 26 saw Carlos Vela ($15.0m) miss a freak loss at home for LAFC, with the Californian side losing 2-0 to Minnesota. Vela's hamstring, an injury picked up during the 3-3 El Trafico against LA Galaxy, means that the 311-point Forward is a big doubt for a pretty straight forward tie away at Orlando.
Vela will without doubt be a top captaincy pick should team news work in our favour as players of the game. One trend we think will happen is that Maxi Moralez might see his captaincy potential curbed whilst team news from the sunshine state floods in. If Vela isn't starting, there are still opportunities to captain Fernandez and Valeri for Portland, or a host of Seattle options in a tie at Colorado Rapids. For those that will set-and-forget their Fantasy squads, Maxi might find some suitors.
27 goals and 15 assists means the equation is simple is Vela plays (you captain the attacker), though you'll have to be keeping up to date with team news in order for your captaincy plan to work.
With a host of premium attacking midfielders all available, you might also be fighting to find room for Vela in your team given your circumstances, so you'll have to decide on putting in faith in an MLS Fantasy god, or backing his underlings for one week in a reduced fixture list.
Are the rest of the field up for the captaincy challenge?
Opposing NYCFC this week is New England, with Carles Gil ($12.7m) the first midfield candidate of note. Playing away, yes, and to a team in good form, there rule is simple with good players in MLS. They're fixture proof. Gil's form has taken a bit of a hit in the last 3 games, earning 18 points across 3 games, though he provided assists in 2 of those 3 games. Gil's 9 goals and 12 assists though, combined with a mighty 81 bonus points, means that Gil is one to include at the very least and is the next best thing to Vela in Major League Soccer.
Talking of a player with a good reputation in the league, on paper Alejandro Pozuelo ($9.6m) looks like a good call to have based on the first-half of his season, and one that many will captain away at FC Cincinnati, the East's worst team by quite a margin, though any such inclusion will have to be fleshed out slightly. Poz hasn't scored or assisted in 5 matches and this is despite Toronto not losing in 4 matches, we have seen Pozuelo's stock slightly fade, which puts him at risk of burning out once again.
If you'll be monitoring your team as the games are live this week, Portland Timbers will be your last captaincy call, with The Timbers taking on Sporting KC in Week 27's final outing at Providence Park. We're going to go down the tried and tested route and think that Diego Valeri ($13.1m) and Brian Fernandez ($9.8m) will be central to Portland cracking a Sporting side that have won 3 matches on the spin and are competing in a do-or-die match to potentially decide a play-off spot.
Portland are in 8th (40 points, +3 goal difference), with Sporting in 9th (37 points, -4 goal difference). A win for SKC would be huge and would put them in reach of the 7th golden play-off slot, currently held by LA Galaxy (42 points, -4 goal difference). A win for Portland would see them essentially kill off the hope and momentum that has been gathered after 3 consecutive home wins.
As a captaincy option, Fernandez is a big risk, having only scored a brace during Week 24's Double Gameweek, failing to score in the 5 league appearances around that time. Valeri however, has scored in back-to-back games, gaining 10+ points in both games and is the form player from the home side, who are expected to win this tense play-off encounter.
Lastly, Colorado Rapids have occasionally provided a banana peel for some of the league's bigger sides, with LAFC suffering a 1-0 defeat in the cold rocky mountains, though the MLS Fantasy climate is suggesting that Nicolas Lodeiro ($12.7m) might provide enough influence for the captaincy armband during Week 27. Lodeiro has picked up 23 points in his last 3 games, despite only assisting once, picking up 10 points at LA Galaxy during Week 24 without scoring or assisting. Base stats are healthy for Nico heading for a road trip to the rocky's, with any goal involvement pushing Lodeiro into great territory this week with a high ceiling for Fantasy points.
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