This week is a nightmare for fantasy owners. A bunch of injuries, most notably to Gerrard, combined with the byes and a few unexpected call ups (Congrats Sacha). As a results, even managers who had planned well are looking at 4 or more players on their squad that aren't playing this week.
A few weeks ago, I counseled taking zeroes over taking hits or using your wildcard for GW 25, which was a midweek game week. That's not the case here. This is a normal week apart from the byes, and so the rotation won't be as bad. There are going to be points in this week, so sitting it out is a lot riskier strategy whereas a midweek game you can expect players to perform not as well or not play 90 minutes.
And I think the wave of injuries actually makes the case for the wildcard. Drogba went down last week, and while a timeline hasn't been given he's not an enticing option for a DGW at his age coming off an injury. Giovinco's injury means there's one less player you'll need to transfer in 28. Dempsey being hurt diminishes Lodeiro's value as well. So with less players there that you'll have to be bringing in, a wildcard now is more feasible. What you have to do is stash some DGW players on the bench from Montreal and RSL (Glad and Piatti for example). Here's some options for if you wildcard. If you're determined not to wildcard, you can still pluck from this list.
Rowe: He's back healthy and on a DGW with two home matches right after.
Tarbell: He's 3.9 making him the cheapest player in the game, and he may be the starter with Bingham hurt. If he gets the starting job for a while, he could play in the DGWs in 31 and the round in 32. And if not, you're still saving money you can use elsewhere.
The usual suspects. Steres, Campbell, Glad to stash, Rosenberry. You can also stash Camara from Montreal for a cheap option. Montreal actually is really enticing: DGWs in 28 and 31 and a match in 29 at home against the Revs who likely will rest players ahead of the US Open Cup final the week after.
Valeri: He shifted back into the 10 role against Seattle and magically Portland was awesome again, so he's again a must-have
Piatti-One of the highest scoring mids in the games with that schedule we mentioned earlier.
Lletget-LA players are strong, considering they play in 27 with the DGW in 28. With Gerrard and Zardes out, Lletget will get playing time and should produce. He's also affordable.
Barnetta-He's been pretty good in the 10 role and he's affordable (It's a theme).
Diaz-Home at Portland is a good matchup, and he's a placeholder for next week as you'll likely transfer him out for Kaka or Morales.
Mullins: A $6.6 regular starter who's been hot and getting heaps of praise who's carrying a grudge against his former that can't defend? He's going to do work this week and at his price hard to pass him up.
Villa: In this post-Giovinco era, Villa may be the best option at forward. Can produce bonus points like few other forwards and his schedule is soft. No DGWs but he's a set and forget until 31.
Keane: He played for Ireland yesterday and scored. He may be subject to some rotation against RSL, but home matches against CLB and ORL? LA should score, and I'd rather Keane than Dos Santos.