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MLS Fantasy: Prepare to Get Pablo'ed

Friends Don't Let Friends Get Pablo'ed

The expression of fantasy managers when the Colorado lineups come out during a DGW
The expression of fantasy managers when the Colorado lineups come out during a DGW
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Gameweek 6 features 6 teams with Double Game Weeks, and with only four free transfers between now and then, you should be focusing your transfers to get ready for 6. Gameweek 6 is going to be a little quirky, with every DGW team playing another DGW team for both games of their DGW. This can make things tricky, as you might like Portland's Diego Valeri and Dallas's Matt Hedges, but one's success likely means the other's failure as far as clean sheets and goals/assists are concerned.

This means you need to pick one of two strategies: Either (1) you go all in on certain teams in this DGW while avoiding others, or (2) you go for the players who are most likely to pick up bonus points regardless of the goals scored or against that player's team. Let's look at each team to see who would be your best bets.

Colorado Rapids


FC Dal...sadly, I can't do it. You have to pay attention to Colorado, which is filling all experienced fantasy managers with utter dread. The reason this post is about getting Pablo'ed is that Mastroeni is notorious for pulling weird and shall we say "unexpected" rotations. Here's an older example where he managed to bench the entirety of the good players on his team and lose by 2 goals to Chivas USA. Even good managers are challenged to rotate players in DGWs, but Pablo's "eccentricities" can throw some serious curveballs to fantasy owners.

Moreover, in Game 2 of this DGW, Pablo will have to Pablo. Colorado's seventh game of the season is the second game of this DGW, and that's important because that's also the first game that Jermaine Jones will be eligible to play for Colorado. What will Colorado look line lineup wise with Jermaine Jones? Great question, and only Pablo knows. Here's the invaluable Matt Doyle's best guess. His lineup has Michael Azira (who at $5.5 with 19 points is getting a lot of attention from fantasy owners) moving to the bench, with Marco Pappa ($8.3 with 26 points) taking a more forward role on the right wing. That's interesting, as a lot of Pappa's value has come from bonus points as he's been a central mid.

You can do educated guesswork, but that's all it will be: guesswork. So why are fantasy managers being lured by the siren song of the ghost of Pablo's mustache? Colorado has a bunch of cheap midfield options that have put up solid points. Dillon Powers ($7.6) hasn't scored lower than 4 points. Pappa is the 9th best midfielder in the whole game at a very cheap $8.3, although he still hasn't played a full 90 minutes since returning from his offseason injuries.

Also, Colorado has conceded a league-leading few of 2 goals. This means cheap defenders like Sjoberg ($5.5) could be a nice ticket onto a clean sheet.

My advice here is that Colorado is playing @ RSL, so there isn't a rush to get these players onto your team for this week. I'd probably give myself another week of information and bring them in for Week 6.

FC Dallas

The biggest story of Week 4 was FCD's Mauro Diaz (10.6) He scored 12 points in the first game of FCD's DGW, but then failed to make the 18 in the second game due to an undisclosed injury picked up in training. It sounds like the injury wasn't too serious, so you're probably safe to keep him in your lineup, although have a sub ready just in case. If he can play, he's a must have in a DGW.

Dallas's defense had some success last week with a clean sheet in Game 1, but it's forward Maxi Urruti ($8.7) who's been one of the stories of the year. At 33 points he's good for 7th best points per game at 6.6. If he wasn't in your lineup before, he should be by Week 6.

Simply put, the Dallas players you had in your lineup in Week 4 are probably worth keeping around through 6.

New York Red Bulls

The Red Bulls have struggled a lot this year without Matt Miazga, and their defensive issues have been compounded by injuries/suspensions. Sacha Kljestan has been impacted a lot, with the $11.2 midfielder putting up paltry scores for his price of 4,4, and 2 outside of the second half offensive explosion against Houston which got him 14 points. If you bet on Kljestan, you're betting that the first few games are an aberration. That said, NYRB are on the road for both games of the double header against teams in SJ and Colorado which doesn't suggest offensive explosion. A cheaper option with a higher floor but lower ceiling is Dax McCarty ($9.1) who's scored 4,4,6, and 7 so far.

Then there's Bradley Wright-Phillips who is $10.8 and still hasn't scored a goal yet and with scores of 3,2,3, and 4 is hardly an inspiring fantasy figure this year. The best argument for BWP is that there aren't many other good forward options in these DGW teams.

Portland Timbers

Diego Valeri's team got blown out against Orlando, with Diego's teammates slipping and sliding on the artificial Citrus Bowl turf, but Diego still managed to put up a great score of 9 points. He's a must-have immediately.

However, it's hard to load up on too many other Portland players because there's a bye in week 7. That's unfortunate for managers, as Portland is then back for a DGW in 8 and again in 10. You'll have to plan your transfers carefully to juggle Portland players, even one as good as Valeri, as it's difficult to keep up with a 10.4 player on your bench. That's unfortunate, as Portland outside of the Tower of Terror that was their trip to Disney World has been a good team and is the only DGW team in Week 6 with both matches at home.

Fernando Adi had a horrible game in Week 4 with a missed PK and an early shower giving him a -1 score and a price deduction of $0.2. Before that, he had scores of 7, 4, and 15. At $10.0, he's still a good option for your forward position.

San Jose Quakes

There's not a lot to recommend in San Jose. Their best fantasy option was Clarence Goodson ($7.6) but he's been out for two games with back issues. That leaves Chris Wondolowski ($10.7) who quietly hasn't scored less than 5 points in any game all year, but most of his production has been goals, not bonus points, until his last match against DC.

Sporting Kansas City

Last, but not least, SKC presents fantasy managers with as many headaches as Colorado. SKC has 3 DGWs from now until GW 10. Of those 9 matches from now until May 15, 6 of them are on the road. Peter Vermes is going to have to rotate squad members in and out.

We haven't talked GKs yet, for good reason, but Tim Melia is $5.5 and GKs aren't as likely to be rotated as other players.  Coelho ($7.3) made it onto many manager's radar after his 16 point performance in Week 1, but since then his scores are 4, 8 and 3 suggesting a few bonus points and perhaps a clean sheet are the best you can expect with him. Myers ($6.5) is also a popular pick but he hasn't scored a bonus point at all this year, which makes me leery (H/t to Andrew Corolla for that nugget).

Benny Feilhaber ($11.0) will get a lot of attention for his outstanding production last year in fantasy, but his one match so far would have seen him get the minimum 2 points (after the -1 deduction for a yellow) had he not made a late (and questionable) PK. It seems that Benny has been shifted into more of a defensive role, with Zusi and Davis taking a lot of the free kick/corner opportunities that helped Benny generate so many points last year. Right now, Benny doesn't justify the price tag. That's also true for Zusi and Davis. On the other hand, Soni Mustivar ($7.5) has generated a number of bonus points, scoring 6,5,4, and 5. At that price, he's an incredible option with the DGWs.

At Forward, Dom Dwyer is the best option, although I expect Rubio (8.0) to get some rotation with Dom. Dom hasn't generated much in terms of bonus points, so you're banking on him scoring or assisting.

Single-Game Week Players

There's not too many guys here with the glut of DGWs, but two to consider:

Joao Plata ($9.4): Plata has a full point per game more than any other forward in the game so far. He's cheaper than most options, his lowest score is a 7, and much of this production is from bonus points. If you're giving up on Villa/Giovinco (I would't) and want some cash, Plata is as solid a single game week guy as you'll find,

Kaka ($10.7): The schedule isn't great, but the 16 point performance against Portland showed what he's capable of. Personally, I think there are a ton of great DGW options in midfield, so I wouldn't transfer him in.

HRB League:

My bet to go big on the DGWs last week paid off, as I scored the highest round in the league, pulling me to 5 points of our leader, Herman Martinez.

Good luck this week and as always, if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below or hit me up on twitter at @mikedattiger.