I’m basically at the point where I’m just trying to squeeze out a Top 100 finish come season’s end. With the number of teams with something to play for dwindling, big moves up might not be possible though, as the room for taking risks declines. Needless to say, you want to stack up on players of teams still in the hunt for seeding placement in the postseason.
I highly recommend avoiding using too many players from the teams out of the playoffs. With the deadline for picking up contract options ludicrously before the playoff final, teams out of contention will probably want to get a closer look at some of their less frequently used players to decide whether to cut bait or not come deadline day. This means a whole lot of squad rotation potentially and the possibility for taking some zeros if you guess wrong as a manager. Obviously, if you’re in need of a big move up the standings, you may be willing to accept more risk.
Round Eighteen Team Rankings
1. Barnhart (FCKC) – Seems like the safest matchup against already eliminated Boston.
2. Loyden (SBFC) – Looks like permanent #1 now, but SBFC form erratic, so watch out.
3. Solo (SEA) – Club’s motivation seems to be on the wane, but that might mean many save opportunities.
4. Franch (WNY) – Thorns offense sputtering, but Portland under pressure so be cautious.
5. LeBlanc (POR) – Shaky as of late and not the best of matchups.
1. Robinson (FCKC) – I suspect if you’re reading this column, you’ve been using her for a while. Don’t stop now.
2. Mewis (FCKC) – Big round last time out and matchup’s right.
3. Goodson (SBFC) – Not been big offensively lately but most upside of SBFC defenders…
4. Johnson (SBFC) – …though the club’s left-back isn’t half bad as an option either.
5. Taylor (WNY) – Matchup not a slam dunk, but her offensive ability hard to ignore.
6. Sauerbrunn (FCKC) – For those searching for an allocated option.
7. Marshall (POR) – Hard to trust any Portland defender right now.
8. Fuss (CHI) – Not a great matchup, but takes spot kicks and most reliable defender here.
9. Kyle (SEA) – If Seattle’s ever going to get a clean sheet, it’s probably here.
10. – Whitehill (BOS) – Last few rounds a reminder that, yes, she can still be a nice source of assists.
1. Holiday (FCKC) – Pretty much a must play with FCKC going for the jugular.
2. Lloyd (WNY) – Hard to ignore given her form for much of the year but beware potential bookings against Portland agitators.
3. Sinclair (POR) – Almost has to be used as primary offensive target with Morgan out, right?
4. Schmidt (SBFC) – Erratic form at times, but club really needs her to step it up down the stretch.
5. O’Reilly (BOS) – Pretty steady all season long but this isn’t an easy matchup.
6. Tymrak (FCKC) – Bigger than her fantasy numbers would suggest and probably a top non-allocated option this round.
7. Rapinoe (SEA) – Have to wonder if she and much of her teammates can be bothered with final two games with little to play for, but matchup’s right.
8. Matheson (WSH) – Potentially unmotivated opponents could make for a sneaky points opportunity.
9. Mathias (FCKC) – Reasonably consistent option if you’re not feeling like using Tymrak in your lineup.
10. Freels (SBFC) – Somebody’s got to unlock that Chicago defense, and she might be a steal as an unallocated option.
1. Ocampo (SBFC) – Not a particularly great round for strikers, but Ocampo seems like the surest thing on a wheezing SBFC side.
2. Kerr (WNY) – Portland full-backs look ripe for the picking, and she might be a safer option than slumping Wambach.
3. Wambach (WNY) – Hasn’t been great over the past month, but if there was ever a time to step it up in a big match…
4. De Vanna (SBFC) – Limited minutes and limited effectiveness after injury lately, so I’d be dubious unless I really needed to free up an allocation spot.
5. Weimer (POR) – Probably has the most upside out of any of the listed Portland options up top.
6. Grings (CHI) – Finally got it going this past round and SBFC defense has proven pliable as of late.
7. Shim (POR) – Red hot until last game against Boston and sure to get a look or two.
8. Leroux (BOS) – Matchup’s brutal, and you wonder what the motivation levels are going to be like after playoff elimination.
9. Hoy (CHI) – Has provided a surprising spark since being added to active roster.