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MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 4 Fantasy Forecast

August 28, 2020

| The Hype Train |

 

Ahead of each Week in MLS Fantasy the Hype Train provides its informative Fantasy Forecast, where members of the Hype Team will duel for MLS supremacy in predicting scores, as well as going head to head in picking a Scout Picks squad for the relevant round of games. In addition, we give our insight into who are the players to watch and those to drop, as well as providing insight into captaincy picks, differential players for the week, and more. Welcome to the Forecast. All aboard.

 

How does our Forecasting work?

The Hype Team will compete in a weekly head to head dual of wits. The 3 members of the team will provide weekly insight for the Gameweek ahead, providing score predictions, a Scout Picks squad that follows MLS Fantasy rules, and will provide what insight they can for the fixtures at hand.

  • MLS Fixture Prediction: As pundits, we are testing our football acumen with MLS predictions and will be providing regular updated tables and stats in each edition of the MLS Forecast. A perfect score is worth 3 points whilst a correct result is worth 1 point. An incorrect score is worth nothing.

  • Gameweek Insight: We've left an open space for the team to write that helps with the Gameweek hustle; identifying captaincy picks, transfers, attacking options, clean sheet potential, teams to look our for and avoid, differential players, as well as general analysis and comments.

  • Scout Picks: Picking a squad of 15 for a single Week, within their budget limitations, using the rules of MLS Fantasy - formations, the player limits of 3 players-per-club, and each team must pick a captain.

 

 

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 4 Fixtures (12)

Montreal Impact 1-1 Toronto

Atlanta United 0-0 Orlando City

FC Cincinnati 0-0 Columbus Crew

Philadelphia Union 1-1 D.C. United

NYCFC 0-0 Chicago Fire

New England Revolution 0-0 NY Red Bulls

FC Dallas 1-1 Minnesota United

Colorado Rapids 1-1 Sporting KC

LA Galaxy P-P San Jose Earthquakes

Portland Timbers P-P Real Salt Lake

Nashville P-P Inter Miami

Seattle Sounders P-P LAFC

 

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 4 Insight

As you can see by my predictions there are no winners in the MLS anymore. I am not a political person one bit, but after what has happened in the first Gameweek back since the COVID-19 pandemic it is abundantly clear that football is now second in the conversation. Five games were cancelled in short notice due to the shooting of Jacob Blake as the MLS made the decision to make a statement by cancelling fixtures. There are investigations into certain owners, debate about the future of fans in stadiums, and of course the pandemic which is also being navigated with most teams having to double down on planning and preparation.

 

Personally, games being cancelled isn’t the way to achieve change. Politics win when it enables cancel culture in sport. Sport must rise above and being English I have an example that puts it into context. England played Bulgaria in their capital city Sofia in a European Championship qualifying game a couple of years ago. FIFA has racism rules about having criteria for games to be cancelled, and the Bulgarian fans in attendance were signing racist songs in unison towards the large contingent of black players in the England team. The referee had stopped the game, the manager and players of the Bulgarian team were pleading with their fans, and England had the choice to walk out of the fixture. They didn’t. They showed unity in strength by not allowing it to affect their performance. England went on to win the game 6-0 and they didn’t let the racists win. They showed what unity looked like, and progress isn’t achieved by racists being allowed to call the shots. There are different ways to achieve change, and with many owners criticising the cancellations it also draws in the capability of MLS teams to run their respective clubs.

 

MLS teams aren’t flush with cash like in England (in comparison, though there are a coule exceptions to the rule), and I have sympathy for the workers, the supporters, and the key workers that are dedicated to these games. LAFC travelled out to this event and that is a 2000 miles trip. I do believe it showed disrespect to all the planning done by clubs in the current climate, and it is the weaker choice to cancel games. Sport shouldn’t be dictated by politics; it is meant to be the great equaliser of people regardless of their origins. The World Cup, or the Olympics, wouldn’t cancel events.

 

The MLS is running out weeks to complete the season. This means five games need to be added to an already crazy footballing calendar. The MLS, club owners, and the players all need to be on the same page about decision making such as what happened in MW3. It has opened debates and conversations that shouldn’t exist.

 

I also have concerns that this year is pretty much dead and buried. We are few days out of going into September. Let’s do some maths here. There are 16 weeks of the calendar year left, and most teams would, on a typical 34-game regular season, need to fulfil 30 games to complete the season. Most teams would need to play 2 games a week to complete the regular season. There is of course a reduced schedule this season, but any further hiccups will cause huge fixture ramifications.

 

That also doesn’t include the MLS Cup post-season games if that is still happening. This also doesn’t account for the fact that we are approaching the hectic Christmas period, and there could be other setbacks such as environmental factors such as bad weather like freezing temperatures in the Midwest, in a time when games are not scheduled because of weather. Snow, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, freezing temperatures, storms, and whatever act of god will interfere don’t care for MLS deadlines. Unless games are held in neutral venues in warm weathers states like Florida or California in camps, then the regular season can’t continue into the new year.

 

There is also Canada, with three teams (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal) in the MLS which are having difficulty already having their fixtures arranged. Currently, they are playing a 3-team mini-league all up on their lonesome to fill their schedule. Canadian winters are rough too, and I can’t see games being hosted deep into winter. What I am trying to say is that the whole MLS is in a strange place right now, there are so many question marks, and not enough answers. I have doubts the season can be completed. I hope the MLS can make a difference and be an exemplar of change, but it can’t do that if it puts football second.

 

Week 3 Review:

Because of all the cancellations, I only had a nine-man team after substitutions…in a Double Gameweek. GW3 was essentially a single Gameweek, especially with the new and crippling rules to the points system. I relied on Portland and LAFC players who had their second games cancelled. Because of the time difference in the UK, and not having all the direct news of what is going on in America, I found out about everything that has happened before doing this weeks forecast, and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway with the rug pulled out of ten teams games.

 

Teams to Watch / Avoid:

LA Galaxy, San Jose, Portland, Real Salt Lake, Nashville, Inter Miami, Seattle, and LAFC (Avoid): Based on last week, teams at the business end of the gameweek will most likely be at risk of being cancelled. Basically, you need to get your points in early, if there are more cancellations.

 

Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Ruidiaz (SEA)

Alternative: Postponed

Differential: Postponed

 

MLS Scout Picks Squad: Week 3

Budget: $125.0 million (fixed)

Formation: 3-4-3

 

Starting 11

 

GK: Maurer (DAL)

 

DEF: Duncan (RBNY)

DEF: Hedges (DAL)

DEF: McKenzie (PHI)

 

MID: Martinez (ATL)

MID: Valeri (POR)

MID: Kinda (SKC)

MID: Monteiro (PHI)

 

FOR: Ruidiaz (SEA) (C)

FOR: Pulido (SKC)

FOR: Urruti (MTL)

 

Substitutes

 

GK: Gallese (ORL)

MID: Cuello (LA)

DEF: Calvo (CHI)

DEF: Bye (RBNY)

 

 

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 4 Fixtures (12)

Montreal Impact 2-2 Toronto

Atlanta United 2-1 Orlando City

FC Cincinnati 1-2 Columbus Crew

Philadelphia Union 1-0 D.C. United

NYCFC 0-0 Chicago Fire

New England Revolution 2-0 NY Red Bulls

FC Dallas 1-0 Minnesota United

Colorado Rapids 1-1 Sporting KC

LA Galaxy 3-2 San Jose Earthquakes

Portland Timbers 2-0 Real Salt Lake

Nashville 1-2 Inter Miami

Seattle Sounders 3-1 LAFC

 

MLS Fantasy 2020: Week 4 Insight

 

Week 3 Review:

At Hype Train HQ, there are weeks where I struggle to keep on top of following the MLS matches due to being based in the UK, but in no way was I ready for the analysis portion of Week 3.

 

Wednesday evening saw MLS postpone five matches as a response to the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old African American, who was shot and injured in front of his children in Wisconsin. The only game that evening that took place was Orlando’s 3-1 home win over Nashville in the Eastern Conference.

 

Postponed Matches (Week 3):

Inter Miami vs. Atlanta

FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids

Real Salt Lake vs. LAFC

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers

LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders

 

The decision by MLS to call the above games off reduced Week 3 to 19 fixtures, meaning only 7/12 games as part of a Double Gameweek took place during the second round of matches.

 

The ramifications on this shooting, and subsequent fixture cancellation, hurt my MLS Fantasy team hard. I captained Vela (2pts) and had a host of Dallas, LAFC, Atlanta and Portland players – a total of 9 starters who were denied the chance to better their scores, leaving me at the 60-point mark.

 

 

Teams to Watch / Avoid:

Philadelphia Union (Watch): Defensively, the Union look sound so they might be worth a punt on home soil.

 

New England Revolution (Watch): Putting Alex Buttner on my bench for Week 3 paid off – I barely remember him from his time at Manchester United. The left-back hit 23 crosses in 2 games during Week 3 and will be slotting in most teams. Bou in attack is also in-form and that’s 90% of the battle in MLS, picking up those on a hot streak.

 

LAFC (Avoid): No Vela. A home loss to LA Galaxy last time out. A pointless trip to Utah in midweek. A trip to a Seattle side that rattled Portland 3-0 away from home. Best to avoid until the grass is greener.

 

Inter Miami (Watch): Nashville are struggling at both ends of the pitch. Miami should be comfortable winners here and Pizarro should be among the top point scorers.

 

Captaincy Picks:

Essential: Pity Martinez (Atlanta)

Alternative: Gustavo Bou (New England)

Differential: Rodolfo Pizarro (Inter Miami)

 

Other Week 3 Comments:

As an outsider living in dreary England, I’d just like to point out that wherever possible, sport should be a release and free from political influence. As a Politics graduate that studied in-depth the relationships between sporting institutions and national politics, the USA alongside Colombia stands out as two countries that struggle to separate sport and state more than most.

 

The Black Lives Matter movement saw another gun in the chamber of its desire to rid the country of discrimination, and rightly so, as its powers now extend to forcing the MLS, an organisation who have proudly been on the frontlines of this battle, to pull matches from the schedule at a whim.

 

I’ve got sympathy for club owners and staff, as well as players that have to travel long distances for games – the beautiful game comes at a beautifully high cost to organise, so I don’t want to see any postponed games cost jobs, club security, investment and community engagement in the long run, though the luxury of football is one we probably shouldn’t be talking out in all honesty in the United States as the Covid-19 pandemic still rages on in conjunction with its raging social causes.

 

Fans of MLS, and the few that set a line-up in its MLS Fantasy game, should understand that the 2020 season, if it didn’t have already, might just be the most perverse season in the league’s 25-year history and will have a huge asterisk next to any outcome – thankfully for MLS, there is no relegation so club’s a relatively secure in their position. We should be past the mid-point of the season by now, not scrambling to count a club’s fixtures on one hand.

 

Purely from a Fantasy perspective, the need to stack your bench with quality players couldn’t be more prevalent now – we always have to plan for the worst case scenario so our teams can stand the test of time in uncertain times. This might also change the way I play the game as I might fill my squad with players from earlier fixtures as last week proved one thing – time is not our ally in MLS Fantasy so get your points on the board as quickly as possible.

 

MLS Scout Picks Squad: Week 4

Budget: $125.0 million (fixed)

Formation: 3-4-3

 

Starting 11

 

GK: A. Blake (PHI)

 

DEF: A. Butter (NE)

DEF: R. Ziegler (DAL)

DEF: J. Araujo (LA)

 

MID: P. Martinez (ATL) - (C)

MID: A. Pozuelo (TOR)

MID: D. Valeri (POR)

MID: R. Pizarro (MIA)

 

FOR: G. Bou (NE)

FOR: A. Pulido (SKC)

FOR: C. Pavon (LA)

 

Substitutes

 

GK: J. Willis (NSH)

MID: G. Busio (SKC)

DEF: B. Lennon (ATL)

DEF: R. Gaddis (PHI)

 

 

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.

 

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

 

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.

 

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.

 

You can follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook, follow Hype Train FC on Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel for exclusive content, or visit our website here at www.thehypetrain.co.uk

 

All aboard.

 

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