The Armband: FMLS Round 11 Captain Rankings

The Armband: FMLS Round 11 Captain Rankings

This article is part of our The Armband series.

Most fantasy owners grossly overrated the recent double gameweek, but that didn't stop the average points from reaching a season-high of 75 at the MLS Fantasy game. That was made possible due to a vast number of goals, but also clean sheets. Seven matches finished with a 2-0, 3-0 or 4-0 scoreline. That led to players from San Jose, Dallas, Houston and Philadelphia topping the lists even with only one match. The teams on double gameweeks happened to be on the losing end of those, as Kansas City, New York and Orlando were beaten by a combined 9-0 score line in their weekend matches.

In addition, a lot of players didn't even draw two starts on the double gameweek with Sebastian Giovinco, Sacha Kljestan and Jimmy Medranda among them. So with a couple more teams on a double in Round 11, the question is if those guys will play in both matches. With Toronto once again one of those teams, Giovinco leads the conversation, and if he doesn't make an appearance for the Minnesota match, his value would take a major hit. And so, we'll have to take a bigger look at the teams with one match in favorable spots.

Columbus hosts Toronto for another midweek match, but there's no guarantee to what lineup these teams will play. Only five players started both matches last week for Toronto, so one has to figure that will be the case again, though the home match against Minnesota is clearly more desirable. Jozy Altidore will likely remain in his post up front and that may be the only guarantee, with defenders Nick Hagglund and Justin Morrow also in the mix. Michael Bradley would be the best differential captain because while he only has one assist all season, he's been consistent at accruing bonus points.

As for the Crew, the hope is that all of their top guys start both matches, but there's no previous information from this season to figure out what Gregg Berhalter will do. Toronto will be a tough match, but Montreal has been one of the weaker home teams. Unfortunately, neither one of those has good odds for a clean sheet. It's hard to see Ola Kamara not playing in both matches given how he's playing with six goals on the season. Federico Higuain and Justin Meram are vital to everything the Crew do on the attacking side, but it wouldn't be surprising if either one was rested. Higuain and Meram are probably the safer bets, but Kamara has the upside. Defensively, Nicolai Naess is the likeliest to start both matches, and he actually moved to a midfield role last weekend.

As for the rest, the top teams to focus on will be Houston (v. Vancouver), New England (v. Real Salt Lake), Portland (v. Atlanta) and New York (v. Los Angeles) with D.C. (v. Philadelphia) and Dallas (v. NYC) drawing consideration. Basically, all of the home teams. The Dynamo have 17 goals in six home matches, the Revs have nine goals in four home matches, the Timbers have 12 in five at home and the Red Bulls have 13 points from five home matches, so those are the main four.

The concussion to Erick Torres will be worth monitoring even though he was cleared early in the week. Every Houston forward has proved capable at one point this season so there's no telling how the starting XI will look. Mauro Manotas could have the highest upside, but he may not start if Torres is available, and that leaves Alex as easiest to trust. It's a bit easier for New England with Lee Nguyen and Juan Agudelo above the rest. Nguyen remains a consistent threat even if he can't find the score sheet. If Diego Valeri misses another match, Fanendo Adi (six goals, two assists) will be the top captain option for the Timbers with some even stretching for David Guzman.

The Red Bulls haven't been an easy team to back, but they get a struggling Galaxy side, which makes Kljestan the top choice, given that Bradley Wright-Phillips still hasn't surpassed seven fantasy points in a match.

Defensively, Orlando City against Sporting KC has all the makings of a scoreless draw, which means Medranda, Tim Melia and Jonathan Spector are top options. The Orlando back line kind of fell apart without Spector last match, and he should return after being rested. As a reminder, Sporting have just one goal in five away matches this season and Dom Dwyer is suspended. I'd put Morrow and Hagglund from Toronto over most, but the Red Bulls have only allowed one goal at home this season, making Kemar Lawrence and Aaron Long viable choices.

Giovinco will probably be the top captain again this week, but there's no guarantee he'll play in both matches, making this week a bit more interesting than the last.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam, a 2019, 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's soccer editor. He also runs RotoWire's Bracketology, as well as writes on other various college basketball content. He has previously worked at ESPN and Sporting Kansas City, and he is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate.
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