This article is part of our The Armband series.
There were only three teams that stood out in Week 6 and if you went away from one of those squads, your point total was probably lower than expected. Unsurprisingly, those three all played at home. Surprisingly, one of those was New England, a team I kind of ignored in my article last week because of a lack of high-end fantasy players. In the end, the Revs won 4-0 and had eight players reach double-digit fantasy points. Cristian Penilla, the lone player I mentioned, had three fantasy points.
Luckily, I was more into Atlanta (5-0) and Orlando City (3-2) and that turned out to be a great strategy. You may not get everything correct, but as long as you hit your captain, it'll be fine. I only hope your captain wasn't Carlos Vela.
This week has a full slate with things starting Wednesday with NYC FC and Real Salt Lake. There's still a question regarding David Villa's fitness, so Maximiliano Moralez is set to be the safest captain choice from the only team with two matches in Week 7. Moralez has scored at least seven fantasy points in four of five matches, including seven of his 41 total fantasy points coming from the fantastic stat 'recovered balls.' While NYC FC go to Atlanta on Sunday, the home match against RSL should prove fruitful enough given the road team just played at Rio Tinto a few days ago. If you're crazy, Villa is always an option, while Jesus Medina and Yangel Herrera will be widely owned, but neither deserve captaincy over Moralez due to their lower floors. Alexander Callens should be the safest of the defenders with 10 fantasy points the logical floor. My worry for backing a defender is that Callens had one fantasy point in the 2-1 win at San Jose a couple weeks ago, and there's a chance Atlanta score at least three goals Sunday.
There are two interesting matches Friday that can be considered. Philadelphia have scored one goal from their last three, but Orlando City have allowed 12 goals in five matches this season. I liked C.J. Sapong last week and that didn't turn out well, but it's a similar situation for this meeting. At the least, Sapong has dropped in price and comes at a decent rate for a guy that could easily snag 10 fantasy points with a goal or two.
It's the same for Vancouver against LAFC, though Kei Kamara is slightly easier to trust as captain with a goal or assist in four of five matches. Considering the travel schedule of LAFC and that they have given up nine goals in their last two matches, Kamara is in a great spot to produce again.
There are a ton of matchups that stand out over the weekend with Chicago (v. LAG), Portland (v. MIN) and Atlanta (v. NYC) being the best of them. The Fire are in a decent spot at home with the only worry being their early season form. The Galaxy haven't been much better with the only difference being their incredible comeback against LAFC. Nemanja Nikolic will be everyone's favorite play, but while he has the upside, he's also extremely goal dependent, with 20 of his 28 fantasy points this season coming from four goals. Bastian Schweinsteiger is the consistent play with at least six fantasy points in every match due to his activity in the midfield.
Portland lost again last week, but they at least showed fight and have scored four goals in their last two matches, while Minnesota haven't scored in their last two. Diego Valeri has turned into a cheap midfield play, with his price dropping $2.0m since the start of the season, even with 19 fantasy points over his last two matches. There hasn't been much of a difference between him and Sebastian Blanco outside of Valeri being the penalty taker and Blanco now being more expensive.
Atlanta are at home again, which means Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez are worth a look, though another clean sheet may not be in the cards. To help, NYC FC will likely roll with a different lineup than in Wednesday's match. Per usual, Almiron is the pick ahead of Martinez only because Martinez is fantasy reliant on goals. Almiron took both of Atlanta's penalties last week after Martinez was subbed off, and he accrues fantasy points from almost every other category. There's a reason Almiron has hit at least eight fantasy points in the last four matches, while Martinez has surpassed seven just once all season.
Columbus are in a favorable position at D.C., but there have only been three goals in their three road matches so I'm passing on Federico Higuain and company again. Sporting KC are playing well and get a Sounders team that hasn't scored a goal in three league matches. With Felipe Gutierrez questionable, I'm looking toward the defensive play of Graham Zusi with the hopes of a clean sheet. Of course, his upside is still limited and no one else has separated themselves in the attack outside of Gutierrez.
New England (v. DAL) are worth a look again, especially with this being Dallas's first road trip. Wilfried Zahibo was the guy last week and gets the nod ahead of Diego Fagundez because he's around the ball more. In the last two matches, Zahibo has 140 passes while Fagundez has 62.
Last, but not least, the Earthquakes host the Dynamo with both teams sitting at four points through four matches. Magnus Eriksson has scored or assisted in the last three games and may be the safest play. And despite only nine fantasy points from the last two matches, Vako still has the most upside on this team after his 17-point opener.
The biggest worry for the Red Bulls is that they hosted Chivas on Tuesday in the CONCACAF Champions League, which means giving the armband to any of their players is a considerable risk with how much the lineup has varied this season. That's also the case for Toronto, though it's even worse as they went to Club America on Tuesday and then travel to Colorado on Saturday. I'd rather not give the armband to guys like Bradley Wright-Phillips and Sebastian Giovinco with the possibility both will come off the bench.