So, I had generally had an awful round last week after two consecutive outings over a hundred thirty-five points. It was enough to drop me to #60 overall after a few weeks of big gains. Obviously, captaining Alex Morgan turned out to be a gigantic mistake, with the USWNT star putting up a goose egg in a rare misfire. In a week with tons of clean sheets, ending up with AD Franch, who didn’t keep a shutout, turned out to be very detrimental as well.
Round Seven was our last relatively docile round for a while as well, with bye weeks, double weeks, and international call-ups wreaking havoc from now until August. While things figure to be slightly less chaotic than in a few weeks, there’s still plenty for fantasy owners to chew over:
-Bye weeks for Washington and Seattle. I’m going to go out on a limb and say you didn’t have any Reign players on your fantasy radar, but the absence of Ali Krieger and Diana Matheson is notable.
-Boston and Portland on double weeks. Both have concerns though:
-The Breakers may get two games, but they also get two of the league’s form sides at the moment in Sky Blue FC and the WNY Flash. You obviously want players who are going to be around for both games first and foremost, so Kyah Simon and Lianne Sanderson are almost must haves this week, with consideration also going to the likes of Cat Whitehill and Katie Schoepfer. The Breakers have some single gamers worth looking into, most specifically Heather O’Reilly. I’d stay away from Sydney Leroux and the goalkeeping situation though considering the unpredictability of both.
-Portland’s an absolute headache. Never mind the fact that the club looked like absolute pants for much of the game against Seattle, there’s the small matter of the club putting out two radically different lineups for their two games this round. Complicating matters is that that first match, against Chicago and without their WNT stars, looks like the best fantasy matchup by far this round. Surefire double gamers Marian Dougherty and Nikki Marshall are no-brainers, but wither everyone else? It’s a potential headache and a half for fantasy owners that’s sure to require some serious guesswork and intuition.
-Beware mid-week fixtures with returning players. Just because the WNT’ers are going to be back for the Wednesday and Thursday matches doesn’t mean they’ll play the whole match or even at all. You have been warned.
Round Eight Team Rankings:
Cameron (SBFC) – Has been lights out so far behind a fantastic defense. Matchup isn’t bad, but will rearguard hold up without Rampone?
LeBlanc (POR) – You’re only going to get one game, and it’s against stern opposition. She’s been rock steady in goal though, and even if she doesn’t keep a clean sheet, she could rack up points for saves.
Barnhart (FCKC) – Tough matchup on the road, and has to deal without Sesselman on the backline. Impressive so far, but better options this week.
Franch (WNY) – Playing behind a leaky backline and with a potentially dangerous matchup against volatile Boston offense. I’d stay away unless I needed to free up an allocation spot elsewhere.
Gay (POR) – A real gut check for fantasy owners. Has by far the round’s best matchup, but is she good enough for this level? Seriously risky, to say the least.
Vancil (CHI) – Impressed on debut and gets a depleted Portland side, albeit on the road. Could be worth a longshot play.
Santiago/Phillips (BOS) – Do you even want to mess with this situation? Phillips was supposedly back and available last round but magically wasn’t, leading to another Santiago start. Boston obviously has an advantage with two matches this week, but the volatility around the position has to be a major turn-off for fantasy owners. My advice? Don’t bother, as you’re in danger of eating a zero if you guess wrong.