After what can only be described as an indifferent start to the fantasy season, my squad kicked it into high gear last week, only held back by all the clubs who captained Sydney Leroux and my own unfortunate decision to captain Lori Chalupny over Alex Morgan. I’m in touching distance of the Top 100 overall and hoping to make another big move forward this week with four double gamer teams.
Round four also probably revealed that double gamers aren’t necessarily automatic plays either. The Red Stars didn’t really deliver much value, other than Zakiya Bywaters, Alyssa Mautz, and to a lesser extent, Lori Chalupny. Avoiding Chicago players this week seems like a pretty good bet though, even with home advantage against Portland.
Given the above, I’d be wary of springing for too many Seattle Reign players. The club’s come up empty for the most part fantasy-wise, and given the double game status of three other clubs, I’d steer clear unless I’m desperate for some non-allocated options.
Obviously, you probably want to put the maximum of five Portland players into your lineup, with Alex Morgan probably a must have. The question is whether you’re comfortable doubling up with Christine Sinclair on the frontline as well. She’s worth the allocation spot, but I’m generally not a fan of putting two players from the same side at the same position in your fantasy lineup, especially in attack. Few of the other double game options up front are consistent though, so it might be worth looking into.
Among the single gamers, it’s really hard to look beyond Boston’s Heather O’Reilly and Sydney Leroux, who both have had banner fantasy seasons thus far. Washington’s a good matchup for the Breakers, so you’ll probably want at least one or two Boston players in your lineup if you aren’t going strictly with double gamers.
One last note. Player positions will be adjusted after round five. A total list of changes will be forthcoming, but one definite change will be FCKC’s Merritt Mathias switched to defender, making for another good attacking full-back option for fantasy owners.
Round Five Team Rankings
LeBlanc (POR) – Yeah, she might not be forced into a ton of saves, and the Portland defense wobbles occasionally, but you have to figure she’s good for at least one clean sheet this weekend. Only question is if you can afford to burn an allocated spot on a GK.
Harris (WSH) – The good? Seattle. The bad? Boston. Clean sheet a possibility against Seattle, but sometimes shaky defense could be exposed against Breakers, meaning she could be in for a busy and potentially damaging fantasy day.
Cameron (SBFC) – Enabler deluxe if you want to use an allocation further forward. Be wary though, as her form appears to be eroding based on recent evidence, and Loyden’s return looks to be coming sooner rather than later.
Betos (SEA) – For the truly brave. Stops a ton of shots but playing on a side looking increasingly bereft of confidence.
Dougherty (POR) – A no-brainer as Portland’s best fantasy defender option who doesn’t cost an allocation.
Goodson (SBFC) – Pretty much the best center-back in the league from a fantasy perspective given her aerial ability. Doesn’t cost an allocation either, so might be worth a whirl.
Buehler (POR) – You probably want at least two Thorns defenders in the lineup this round, and Buehler’s likely the steadiest of the remaining non-Dougherty options. She costs an allocation though, which is the downside.
Williamson (POR) – Not going to give much other than clean sheet bonuses, but has looked good and is a guaranteed starter.
Johnson (SBFC) – Back in the points after an assist against Chicago. Good shot at a clean sheet against Seattle and dangerous going forward.
Krieger (WSH) – Hasn’t been a dynamo fantasy-wise this season but has two games and reasonably favorable matchups. A little difficult justifying spending an allocation spot on her though.
Foord (SBFC) – Scintillating run against Red Stars showed it’s a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ Foord breaks out with a big offensive game. Could be worth a flyer if Marshall can’t go for Portland.
Marshall (POR)/Avant (POR) – Check the injury report (if it’s provided). Marshall hobbled off late against Washington and little word has been provided about her status. Avant came in and looked dodgy defensively, but that means little in fantasy, with the reserve left-back a threat to get forward. I’d stay away from both given the uncertainty though.
Matheson (WSH) – Matchups aren’t bad, and she’s been the Spirit’s most consistent offensive performer by a mile, so don’t hesitate in springing for her if you’ve got an allocation free.
Schmidt (SBFC) – All she does is score goals. Literally, from a fantasy perspective. Virtually all of her points come from her goal tally this season, meaning she’s boom or bust, but she’s been very much in a boom phase recently. The whammy of a zero is coming, but matchups are appealing this weekend.
Lindsey (WSH) – Has been decent but not spectacular, so I’d spring for Matheson if I’m looking for a Spirit midfielder.
Nairn (SEA) – If this fantasy season’s taught us anything thus far, it’s to not bet on bad teams, even with double games. Seattle fits that mold, but if you’re looking for scoring options, Nairn might be it.
Fishlock (SEA) – Great in real life, not so much in fantasy, though there could be a goal in her somewhere with two games on the docket.
Winters (SEA) – Hasn’t been awful fantasy-wise, but there are better options available, especially for an allocation spot.
Freels (SBFC) – A fantasy disappointment thus far, but starting spot looks safe, so she might be worth a look if you need options.
Shim (POR) – If you’re looking for a gamble on a Thorn midfielder, she might be worth it. Started up top against Washington, and though she didn’t show much refinement offensively, could be worth a look if she keeps her spot in the lineup.
Makoski (SBFC) – If you need an enabler for allocated players elsewhere, Makoski might be worth a look, as she’s been a decent option as a starter. A potential Bock return looms though.
Morgan (POR) – En fuego. To say the very least. Looks like a fantasy stud already and Portland’s top attacking option. Two favorable matchups and in form. What are you waiting for?
Sinclair (POR) – Deeper role has curbed some of her fantasy value, but she’s still a solid points scorer, especially with two games this week.
De Vanna (SBFC) – Everyone’s favorite phantom point scorer has to come through sometime right? Steady stream of SOGs and fouls won, but still waiting for first goal, though matchups this week could be appealing.
McCarty (WSH) – Benching last week might’ve been a wake-up call, as she was lively in second half against Portland. Two games, but still very inconsistent.
Ochs (WSH) – Probably most consistent Washington option outside of Matheson. Not a big scorer though, so tread lightly, despite two games.
Adams (SBFC) – Steady but unspectacular, though that’s not necessarily what you’re looking for in a big double week.
Washington (POR) – Only if you need a non-allocated player, and only then if you’re playing a major hunch, as she’s been inconsistent so far.
O’Hara (SBFC) – Looks like a fantasy bust. Not scoring points and had to deal with injury in midweek fixture. Avoid.
Miller (WSH) – Wasn’t impressive in start against Portland. Two games, but I’d pass.
Phillips (BOS) – Decent matchup, and doesn’t cost an allocation, so if you’re looking for a single-game enabler, it’s probably her.
Barnhart (FCKC) – Can’t argue with results, but tricky matchup and one game makes her a middling option.
Franch (WNY) – Might have to make a lot of saves, but probably better options out there, even for a non-allocated keeper
Sauerbrunn (FCKC) – Assist was a reminder of her sublime skills on the ball going forward but probably won’t be a common sight for fantasy owners. Odds for clean sheet not great against high powered WNY offense, but she’s likely the pick of FCKC defenders.
Robinson (FCKC) – Loves to get forward in FCKC system and will probably pick up a few assists this year. WNY defense sometimes dodgy, so use her if you need a single gamer.
Whitehill (BOS) – Decent matchup if you’re looking for a non-allocated single gamer. Seems most likely to start, least likely to get booked for Boston.
Taylor (WNY) – If you fancy WNY to be the team that stops FCKC, Taylor’s the WNY defender you want. Not a great matchup though, so I’d stay away.
O’Reilly (BOS) – Has been on fire and gets a great matchup, probably against rookie Hodak on right flank. Only quibble is using an allocation spot on a single gamer this week.
Farrelly (FCKC) – Probably not going to be the most consistent option in midfield, but WNY’s soft in the center of the park which could mean opportunities, though she’s only a single gamer.
Chalupny (CHI) – You’re probably crazy to put any Red Stars in your lineup with a game against Portland and in the face of all the double gamers, but she’s without a doubt the best fantasy option for the strugglers.
Nogueira (BOS) – Spirit can’t defend in the air on set pieces, and she’s a beast aerially, so she could be a really sneaky play.
Zerboni (WNY) – Club might need her energy in the middle of the park, but her value is raiding on the flanks. If she stays in the middle, she’ll likely be swallowed up by the Scott-Buczkowski machine.
Bywaters (CHI) – Showed some signs of life against Boston after an indifferent start but gave little against SBFC. There are much better options until she shows more consistency.
Mautz (CHI) – Why she was on the bench for so long against SBFC was anyone’s guess, but she’s one of the club’s better offensive options. Not guaranteed to star though, so look elsewhere.
Leroux (BOS) – Can you go without her after her season so far? One gamer status isn’t great, but she’s got a good matchup and can’t argue with her form.
Cuellar (FCKC) – Has destroyed defenses thus far, and midfield figures to dominate WNY in middle of the park, so opportunities could be plentiful against shaky Flash defense. Single game status is the only hangup.
Kerr (WNY) – Might be the Flash attacker to own if you’re going that route, as she faces inexperienced Mathias on the left flank.
Wambach (WNY) – Can FCKC defense hang with her in the air? Maybe not, but could find service hard to come by given her midfield’s limitations.
Cheney (FCKC) – Has done well for herself after round one, but there are better options this weekend.
Schoepfer (BOS) – Has had a good season but probably not worth it this week as a single gamer.
Sanderson (BOS) – See above.
Adriana (WNY) – Clear third banana on the Flash totem pole in the attack. Could be worth a flyer if you need an unallocated option going forward.
Masar (CHI) – A fantasy disaster so far, but if you fancy Chicago to nick one against the Thorns occasionally forgiving defense, you might tab her for your team.
Simon (BOS) – Back from injury off the bench last week and chipped in with an assist. Might want to wait until she carves out a starting spot to insert her into your lineup.