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MLS Fantasy: What to Do About Orlando

A DGW This Week and a Bye Next Week Presents a Conundrum for Fantasy Managers

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This week features a tricky situation for fantasy managers. It's a small world of players with two games this week, as only Philly and Orlando have DGWs, but it gets even smaller if you consider that Orlando will be on a bye next week. Unless you have a wildcard, this means that bringing in Orlando players will likely require you to take a hit. Fantasy managers struggling with the decision to take a hit is a tale as old as time, but be my guest as we evaluate the top Orlando options to see if a hit is worth it.

*I'm assuming you only have to take one hit to transfer these players in and/or out next week. Look at your team, but if bringing these players would require a hit this week and a hit next week to transfer them out, then it's absolutely not worth it. a -8 means you're shorting yourself a goal and a assist. That gamble almost never pays off*

Kaka ($11.0)-Kaka if you have the cash could be an easy replacement for those of you who had Michael Bradley for the DGW and need to replace him as he heads off to Camp Jurgen for Copa duty. Kaka is maddeningly inconsistent. When he's on, you've never had a friend like him: 16, 7, 9 and 11. But he also has put up two stinkers of 2 and 3 which brings his points per game average to 8. There's thinking that you can reasonably expect a DGW player to produce 1.5 total points during a DGW than during a single week, we can expect Kaka to put up about 12 points. After a hit, that's only 8 points. 8 points is a decent score that many players won't reach, but it's not astronomical either, and comes with a serious risk both of rotation due to Kaka's injury history and plain inconsistency. If Kaka can go the distance, he's a reasonable gamble but even Timon and Pumbaa would have worries about this move.

Larin ($9.3)-Larin has scored goals in 5 out of the 8 matches where he played 90 minutes. He's as likely as anyone to go 180 minutes in a DGW. Taking out the games where he missed for injury or was a sub, he averages 7.125 points per match. That means in a DGW you can expect almost 11 points. Take 4 for a hit, and that's 7. That's good, but hardly revolutionary. Villa averages 7.3 points per game and Giovinco 9.25. On the other hand, Sapong who doesn't have a bye and is roughly the same price averages 6.5 points per game, meaning an expected DGW value of 9.75. That means that if you have to choose between Larin and a hit and Sapong without a hit, Sapong is the winner.

Now, Sapong and Philly also have the tougher schedule with two road matches. While the trip to Orlando isn't that terrifying, the road trip to Colorado to play their defense which has been one of the fairest in the land of MLS is. There's a good argument that Orlando with a home match and then a trip to play our beloved Pigeons can be expected to do much better than the Eastern Conference leaders. The seaweed isn't always greener on the other side, and it's just as likely that the players you already have like Valeri, Diaz, Sacha, Giovinco, Villa, BWP, etc. are likely to outscore the Orlando players after the -4 penalty is factored in. Yes the lions could rule the pridelands (or at least the Dream Team) this week, but it's probably smarter to just let it go and keep the players you have.

Now, Philly has a number of strong options. Blake in goal is a cheap keeper with great production, but he's leaving for duty with Jamaica after these two matches, so you'll need a backup plan for him. If you can get Blake as your second keeper so you can rotate with him and another keeper who plays in 13 that could be a strong combo. For defenders, Rosenberry is $5.9 and has been a great value. Good cheap defenders are the foundation for good fantasy teams as they allow to invest in the big money guys up front, so grab Rosenberry for sure. Speaking of cheap, Pontius is only $7.2 but has 60 points so far this year and could be a good swap for those of you burned by McNamara's poor showing. Pontus also started both games in Philly's last DGW (although he was subbed off in both of them), so he's not likely to be rotated out. I've seen some people recommend Barnetta at 8.1 but last week was the first week he played 90 minutes, so I'm thinking he's likely to be rotated so I'd stay away.

Last, double check to make sure you're clear of both international duty and the Week 13 byes. Chicago, Colorado, Montreal, New England, New York Red Bulls, Orlando, Toronto, and Vancouver all start their summer break early. While they're probably getting gorgeously tanned, you'll be seeing red arrows if you don't plan around that now.

Good luck!