By Jamie Dawe & Sam Martin
The first week of the MLS season was full of goals, thrills and spills. From Orlando City’s more than miraculous stoppage time comeback against RSL, to Michael Harrington and Joao Meira’s beautifully accidental assist for NYCFC striker Tony Taylor’s goal, the opening round of games had it all.
However, the first week of the MLS season also meant the start of the 2016 MLS Fantasy campaign and managers will be left with plenty to reflect on after the first weekend’s action.
Week 1 Review:
The Good –
The standout performance of the weekend has to be Ignacio Piatti’s ($10.2) two-goal and one-assist haul against Vancouver, which won Montreal the game and saw him rack up 20 points. The surprises of the first weekend were Daniel Steres ($5.2), scoring on his debut for the Galaxy in their 4-1 win over DC United and Khiry Shelton ($6.1), who not only started, but scored and picked up an assist along the way in NYCFC’s incredible 4-3 win over Chicago Fire. The only defender to score and to keep a clean sheet this week was Nuno Coelho ($7.7) of SKC, who earned 16 points in his first ever MLS appearance.
The Bad –
Demar Phillips ($6.8) of Real Salt Lake was probably the worst MLS Fantasy player of the weekend after making the biggest mistake on opening day. He was sent off just 19 minutes into his side’s game against Orlando City for picking up two yellow cards, the second of which was issued for his flying scissor kick, which connected with with OCSC front man Cyle Larin ($9.1). The defender received a score of -3 points for the opening weekend, and he will now miss a crucial game against Seattle. However, this was not the only red card at the Citrus Bowl, as Darwin Ceren ($6.6) picked up a straight red card on the stroke of halftime with his side already a goal down. Seattle Sounders’ Oneil Fisher ($5.3) was the other player to receive a red card during the opening weekend of the MLS season and won’t want to remember his negative points tally of -2.
It wasn’t a good day either for Chicago’s debutant Joao Meira ($7.4). The defender endured a woeful performance in his side’s 4-3 home defeat to New York City FC, in which he not only conceded four and pick up a yellow card, but was directly at fault for NYCFC’s second goal. He kicked teammate Michael Harrington in the head, and by doing so, prevented Harrington clearing a cross which Tony Taylor proceeded to convert. Not an MLS debut to remember for Meira!
Week 2 Preview:
The Must Buys –
New York City’s Khiry Shelton ($6.1) could be a cheap option in your fantasy team this week and beyond, as he should retain his starting place after his stellar performance against the Fire. With four consecutive home games upcoming against Toronto, Orlando, New England and Chicago, NYCFC’s Shelton could be the value for money option over the next few weeks.
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Jordi Quintilla ($5.6) is another cheap option to add to your side. The club also have a run of home games upcoming, the first of which is against the Vancouver Whitecaps, who surprisingly fell to the Drogba-less Montreal Impact on Sunday. Quintilla tallied eight points in a tough away fixture against Seattle last weekend as he picked up an assist for the game’s only goal. Could this performance be a sign of things to come?
Last on the list is Cyle Larin ($9.1). The Orlando City forward scored a goal and set up another in injury time to earn his side an impressive 2-2 draw in a rollercoaster game against Real Salt Lake. Larin must be licking his lips at the thought of getting to play against the already faltering defence of Chicago Fire next. This is a perfect opportunity for Larin to continue to prove that last season was no fluke.
The Must Sells –
Anyone who has Demar Phillips ($6.8), Oneil Fisher ($5.3) or Darwin Ceren ($6.6) I’m sure will consider selling them as they all received red cards, so their value could be spent better elsewhere for at least the next Gameweek. Some people may be worried about Kaka’s ($10.5) injury which looks set to keep him out for a few weeks yet – so taking a punt on Argentinian duo Mauro Diaz ($10.2) or Ignacio Piatti ($10.2) may be worth it – especially as neither of them will be affected by the international break in Week 4. Anyone who didn’t remove injured Red Bulls attacker Gonzalo Veron ($9.0) before Week 1 may wish to take their chance to now, along with the small percentage of people who still have NYCFC’s Jack Harrison ($5.5) in their side as he is still around a month from full fitness.
In the MLSGB Fantasy League, the top scorer with 101 points was Mack’s team, Mack Legend. Mack wisely placed Giovinco as captain, which gained him 22 points, while also picking up points from Ignacio Piatti, Cyle Larin, Fabian Castillo and Drew Moor in his Starting XI for Week 1.
You can still join the MLSGB Fantasy League by using code: 4670-1287.
Who will you be transferring in for Gameweek 2?