How unpredictable has the NWSL been in recent weeks? Only the top two teams have more than nine points in their past six matches, indicating enormous volatility throughout the rest of the table. As you might expect, it’s also proving to be a nightmare for fantasy owners.
I still managed to scrape through with over a hundred fifty points (probably) this past round, no doubt helped by lucking into Naho’s huge haul off the bench for me after I stupidly started Megan Rapinoe, who missed out injured. The Japanese forward is undisputedly the top forward option for Seattle right now and should probably be in the running for a spot in your lineup every round until the end of the season.
Of course, success now is all about guessing right with a fleet of double-gamers and a select few single gamers. Unfortunately, none of the teams with two games this round are Seattle or FCKC, meaning you’re probably going to be guessing again in large part in filling out your roster. There aren’t exactly any standout teams to put at #1 either in team rankings this round, meaning you’re going to have to do your fair share of guessing to hit it big this round.
Chris’ Round Fourteen Team Rankings
BYE – SBFC
Ohai – Will Henderson acquisition open up opportunities for her or cut into her points going forward? Hard to gamble on her until we get an answer.
McCarty – Cooling down after torrid stretch and seems likely to lose points with Henderson coming on board.
Jackson – She clearly makes things happen when she’s on the pitch, but will Waldrum realize it and start her? A sleeper if she starts, and you’ll know with HOU-BOS first match of the round.
Ochs – Best bet defensively if she starts, as she may be played further up the pitch but still think better options out there.
McLeod – Defense looked abysmal against WNY, but she still ended up breaking even. Should be plenty of chances for saves, even if goals against are likely.
Taylor – Prone to some stinkers, but hey, law of averages and all says she’ll have at least one good game, right?
Matheson – Back to scoring form. Two solid matchups. Go for it.
De Vanna – No longer fantasy poison, but I’m still of belief better options in attack for this team.
Nairn – No lie, I’m very wary about stumping for her when she wasn’t starting in one of the club’s two games a few rounds ago. She produces, but can you justify using her if she’s not starting both games?
Harris – Two matches on the road hurts but matchups aren’t exactly most difficult. Beware temperamental defense though.
Dial-A-Defender – To be honest, there aren’t any real standouts fantasy-wise on defense here. Dunn’s clearly the best option, but I’m not sure she’s worth gambling an allocated slot on. Looking elsewhere, you might want to roll the dice on Huster.
Morgan – I’m very conflicted. At first blush, she’s a must play and likely captaincy contender. But Portland also has seven matches this month, including six games in twenty days. This is the second week in a row of double games for Portland…so I worry she’s a rotation risk for the midweek game against Chicago. But the Thorns are desperate for every point, so Riley may have to run her until her legs fall off. My verdict? Start her, but consider every option for your captain.
Vero – Steady. Should be good for a decent haul every two-game round and isn’t costing you an allocation spot.
Angerer – Defense hasn’t kept a clean sheet in five matches. I’m worried she could be on the end of a Thorns hiding against FCKC this weekend.
Long – Still on penalty duty, which is nice but also can be foul prone.
Sinclair – Value’s plummeted with Morgan back. Not automatic first choice either, as McDonald start last round shows. I’d steer clear, especially with FCKC this round.
Marshall – Until Huffman’s switched to defender in the game, she’s probably your best bet for points on defense here…that’s not saying much.
Heath – I don’t think she’s worth the allocated spot. Can probably get similar production from Vero or Long.
McDonald – Get used to playing hot potato with the mercurial forward who scored in one match bageled the other this past round. With FCKC as one of the games this round, I’d avoid.
Little – You know the drill by now.
Naho – Pure class. Great option, even with just one match on deck.
Solo – A sleeper this round, as odd as that sounds. Chicago looks like it’s pulling a Titanic right now, so the four points for a win look to be in the bag, and with their last meeting a veritable bloodbath, it’s not likely she’ll get slammed with goals either.
Fletcher – See above, with added potential for set piece goals with surely a lot of fouls coming.
Goebel – Probably not a top option but could excel in down and dirty type match as target forward.
Fishlock – Not a top pick with just one match, but she could net a handful of points.
Leroux – Bageled last time out. Has been a massive disappointment for most of the season.
FC Kansas City
Holiday – Not as consistently deadly as last year but still capable of big numbers, as last week shows.
Hagen – Might she maul Marshall and Van Hollebeke? She might. Incredible aerial presence with a soft touch in front of goal.
A-Rod – Poached a goal late against SBFC, but you wonder if her scoring rate will dip with Hagen in town.
Tymrak – Premium non-allocated option in your midfield. Plenty of targets to aim for now.
Robinson – Safest bet if you’re aiming for clean sheet points. Assist threat too.
Barnhart – Grabbing fantasy points by the chunk with clean sheet after clean sheet…but do you fancy her doing it again against Portland? Risky, but could be saving lots of shots so big number possible.
Kerr – Good news? She’s on fire! Bad news? She has just one match. Good news? Washington’s shaky defense is the opponent. So flip a coin basically.
Lloyd – Decent-ish return last round but this might not be the time to use an allocated slot on her with one match.
Vicky – Looking to be growing a bit more mercurial down the stretch. That’s not especially great news with just one game to work with.
Williams – Big round last time out. Not sure she’ll be as productive against explosive Washington attack.
Zerboni – Been a whiff most of the season but could be a sleeper against forgiving WSH midfield.
Taylor – As ever, she’s your pick of the litter on defense for WNY, though this is not the best matchup.
Press – She was a disallowed goal away from being fantasy MVP last round…so why am I so skittish? Well, she didn’t do much against Seattle when they played a month ago. But with two matches and her pedigree, she’s awfully hard to overlook.
Van Egmond – Looks like the team’s second best fantasy option. Taking penalties and looks like a lineup lock. A decent play.
Chalupny – Never really got firing this season. Big round doesn’t look likely.
LeBlanc – See below, but she still netted fifteen points this past round thanks to a lot of saves against Thorns.
Johnston – Defense stinks right now, and I don’t fancy their odds of a clean sheet here, though she’s the pick of the defenders.
Reeves – Could sink her teeth into wobbly Dash defense…or could be a bust like she was against Seattle last round.
O’Reilly – More offense on the table a likelihood with Sanderson banned. Hard to trust with just one game though.
Jones – Goal against Seattle certainly didn’t hurt her chances of retaining a starting spot but still a very marginal play.
Schoepfer – Good bet to take banned Sanderson’s spot in starting lineup but too risky to play.
Ezurike – Didn’t show much against Reign. Faces tough physical matchup against Engen and Ohale.
Naeher – Even against spotty attack, hard to start her in your lineup.
Round Fourteen – Player Rankings
1. McLeod – HOU
2. Solo – SEA
3. Angerer – POR
4. Barnhart – FCKC
5. LeBlanc – CHI
1. Ochs – HOU
2. Fletcher – SEA
3. Robinson – FCKC
4. Marshall – POR
5. Johnston – CHI
1. Matheson – WSH
2. Vero – POR
3. Little – SEA
4. Nairn – WSH
5. Holiday – FCKC
1. Morgan – POR
2. Taylor – WSH
3. Press – CHI
4. Naho – SEA
5. Hagen – FCKC