I had a dilemma last week, choosing between either Franch in goal and Lloyd in midfield or Solo in goal and Chalupny in midfield. While all four performed admirably, I still probably made the wrong choice in the end, costing me some valuable points. Of course, the bigger disaster was captaining Abby Wambach, who pulled down just 9.5 points in two games and then eating a zero from a rather dumb decision to play Danesha Adams.
The end result leaves me #125 overall after a ridiculously high scoring week. This round’s not going to be any easier. While Sky Blue FC and Portland both have what look to be plum matchups on Saturday, both have been spinning their wheels a bit in recent weeks, and there’s no second game for them to make up points this round if anybody has a clunker. Who does have two games? Washington (avoid like the plague) and Western New York, who have both on the road in the middle of a brutal stretch. The Flash offense hasn’t looked right for much of the past few weeks (save the Spirit mauling), but how can you leave Abby and Lloyd off your team with two matches this round?
Some trade thoughts (with a fantasy perspective):
Boston: Not much doing for fantasy purposes. Leon wasn’t producing anyway, and Moscato doesn’t figure to be that valuable from a fantasy standpoint.
Chicago: Adriana Leon’s probably going to get every chance to show she can hack it as a starter given the Red Stars’ struggles up top. She costs an allocation spot though, so I’d avoid unless she gets red hot.
FC Kansas City: The Cuellar trade was a stunner considering she had started so hot for the team, and her replacement Melissa Henderson has done so little fantasy-wise in recent rounds. Henderson’s obviously a great option if she ever gets going spearheading this line, but if she continues to struggle making an impression, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Tiffany Cameron get a run out. Teresa Noyola’s probably going to be buried on the depth chart behind FCKC’s cadre of midfielders, so her fantasy value has essentially been erased.
Seattle: Jessica McDonald showed some definite fantasy potential by scoring in her Reign debut, but she’s far from the most consistent option and might be more of a fantasy factor in 2014. Cuellar’s obviously been brought in with an eye towards her leading the line. She bears watching, but you’ll probably want to hold off considering her a fantasy option until she produces consistently considering her allocated status.
Washington: The trade for Taylor, especially considering what the Spirit gave up, was a pretty damning indictment of the performances of Tiffany McCarty and Conny Pohlers, and it’ll be surprising if Taylor doesn’t get every chance to lock down a starting spot, ASAP. She showed brief glimmers of potential with Seattle, but Taylor’s got a long way to go before she’s a serious fantasy factor.
Round Thirteen Team Rankings
Solo (SEA) – She’s on fire! Averaging a ridiculous 11.75 points through six matches and coming off another huge round despite not keeping a clean sheet. Just one game and costs an allocation spot, but how can you not think about her in your lineup at this point?
McLeod (CHI) – Week rest + toothless Spirit team on short rest bodes well for Canada’s #1.
Cameron (SBFC) – Was a bust last round but can’t ask for much better in way of matchups, so consider her a top option.
Franch (WNY) – Two games and has been a decent producer, but matchups aren’t easy and Flash have stuttered a bit as of late.
LeBlanc (POR) – Has been aces in goal thus far but facing a dangerous and desperate opponent in Boston, so be cautious.
Barnhart (FCKC) – Matchup’s not the best, but Flash offense has been scuffling at times over the past month, and she’s raked in points, so don’t be afraid to use her if you want.
Naeher (BOS) – Consider her if you need an allocation enabler, but matchup is brutal.
Harris (WSH) – Two-gamer, but I don’t buy the hype about a Washington revival, and she’s been dismal fantasy-wise this year thus far.
Mathias (FCKC) – Playing in a more advanced role with Mewis back at full-back. Makes her an almost must have until the positions change again in a few weeks and should play major minutes without Cheney.
Robinson (FCKC) – Matchup proof at this point. You basically have to have her in your team.
Goodson (SBFC) – Scored against them earlier in the year, so don’t hesitate to use one of fantasy’s top defenders this round.
Marshall (POR) – Seems like a safer pick than Dougherty this week but be wary of potentially tricky matchup.
Fuss (CHI) – Most stable option in defense for Chicago and takes penalties, so worth a play.
Johnson (SBFC) – Not the most consistent option but should be room to counterattack down flank with Krieger pushing up for Spirit.
Taylor (WNY) – Shown some offensive chops despite playing center-back and seems like club’s steadiest option, so probably worth a look with two games this round.
Sahlen (WNY) – Picked up assist #3 last round and still looks a good bet if you’re loading up on Flash defenders this round.
Rampone (SBFC) – I don’t usually advocate tipping allocated defenders, but she’s a fine option if you’re looking that direction.
Sauerbrunn (FCKC) – Stacking up on FCKC defenders? If so Sauerbrunn’s still a solid play despite allocated status.
Dougherty (POR) – Normally an easy play but given injury worry after FCKC game, I’d be wary unless I know she’ll play for sure.
Wenino (CHI) – Not the best defender but has a nose for goal and a great matchup against Spirit.
Hemmings (CHI) – Key figure in Red Star defense worth looking at if you’re stocking up on Chicago backs.
Reed (SEA) – Probably a better option than Kyle, as she doesn’t cost an allocation slot.
Kyle (SEA) – Foul prone but on penalty duty, meaning she might be the pick of Seattle’s defenders.
Sinclair (POR) – Pretty steady in midfield for the Thorns for much of the year, and Breakers defense not that hot, so she’s worth a long look.
Lloyd (WNY) – Was explosive against hapless Spirit in first half of round but invisible in second half against Chicago. Always a threat to have a clunker, but almost a must have considering two game status.
Chalupny (CHI) – Top offensive option for Chicago by a mile has a great matchup, and club’s dependency on her means she’ll have chances.
O’Reilly (BOS) – Steady and productive against a team whose wingers probably aren’t going to do much effective defending, so she’s a decent option despite one-game status.
Rapinoe (SEA) – Good in first game, not so much in second this past round. Difficult matchup means I’d tread lightly with her this round.
Tymrak (FCKC) – Hard to ignore her recent production and looks to have locked down a midfield starting spot, so definitely worth consideration.
Freels (SBFC) – Well, somebody’s got to provide the points from midfield, right? Bock seems like she’ll still be out injured (and isn’t a great offensive option anyway), and Schmidt is suspended, so it’ll probably be down to Freels and Taylor Lytle, with the surging Freels probably a safer option.
Nairn (SEA) – Still providing pretty good bang for your buck as an unallocated player, so feel free to roll with her again.
Matheson (WSH) – Taking penalties, which helps, and has two matches, which also does, but offense still looks brutal, meaning she’s only a marginal pick.
Sanderson (BOS) – Cooled down after a red hot start but Leroux’s a fine target for her passes, so might be worth a chance.
Perez (WNY) – Figures to get major minutes given injuries, international absences, and necessary squad rotation, but how much? Provides a spark, but allocated status makes her a shaky pick.
Nogueira (BOS) – Dangerous in the air, and Portland’s been a little soft in the center other than Sinclair, so worth a look if you need an unallocated player.
Fishlock (SEA) – Pretty good week last time out but also a yellow card magnet with a fairly tough matchup this round against WNY.
Wambach (WNY) – Had a poor round by her standards, not scoring ten points in two games and doesn’t seem to be at top form without Kerr and Adriana partnering her up top. Hard to avoid given two-gamer status, but don’t be afraid to consider other options.
Morgan (POR) – Hard to look past her given Boston’s shaky defense despite lackluster performance against FCKC. One game only is a downer, but she has major potential this round.
Ocampo (SBFC) – I thought she’d have problems as a starter instead of super sub…and then she made me look stupid by scoring twenty points in one game. Cushy matchup, and she’s seemingly overhauled Adams in the fantasy pecking order.
Leroux (BOS) – Feast or famine player was very much in the ascendency last round with a whopping 37.5 points. Not the easiest matchup this round against a motivated Portland side, but A-List options sparse in attack.
Kerr (WNY) – Played just thirty-one minutes past round thanks to international duty but surely has to get minutes due to the road trip from hell and is a top unallocated option up top.
Weimer (POR) – Didn’t do much of anything against FCKC but was impressive on her debut, so she’s a sneaky unallocated option.
Grings (CHI) – Hasn’t been great but had a solid round last time out and facing a pliable defense.
Adams (SBFC) – Yeah, I’m still traumatized by the zero I swallowed after last round’s dismal showing. Buyer beware, even if you need a non-allocated option.
Henderson (FCKC) – Seems to be a lineup favorite now for FCKC, but has done very little fantasy-wise in recent weeks, so I’d stay away despite reasonable matchup.
Cuellar (SEA) – Limited minutes last round but Reign didn’t trade for her to stash her on the bench. I’d still wait to see how effective she is here though.
McCarty (WSH) – Helped win the penalty that saw the club draw with FCKC, but form seemingly eternally temperamental.
McDonald (SEA) – Didn’t do her chances of sticking in the lineup any harm by scoring on her Reign debut, but Cuellar lurking, so be careful.
Schoepfer (BOS) – Only if you need an unallocated option, and even then, she’s a middling option.
Pohlers (WSH) – Three games in, but looks like a flop already with just five fantasy points to her name. Sure to be a marked woman again this round, though she does have two matches to work with.