May 28, 2014. Where were you the day your fantasy team died?
OK, perhaps that’s a bit melodramatic, but for a lot of people who bet big on Portland this round (including myself), it was a veritable disaster, with the Thorns losing two matches which looked very winnable on paper. Jessica McDonald, who had been so reliable for much of the season before reverted back to her inconsistent and disappointing ways of the past. Kat Tarr’s penchant for fouls caught up with her, as she was sent off against Boston. And Nadine Angerer, captained by a big chunk of folks, was deep in the negatives after the Wednesday Night Massacre. The only good news for Portland from a fantasy standpoint is Christine Sinclair having a very good round. What does that mean in the long-term? Nobody really knows. Portland could have four new starters by the time they next step on the pitch. They’re idle this round though, so it’s time to turn your attentions elsewhere.
Amazingly, I did a good job of picking players around the Thorns in my lineup, and it resulted in me climbing into the Top 200 overall. If anything, the round should be a pretty big wakeup call for complacent fantasy owners: There’s nothing predictable about the league at times, and even the simplest rounds can go to hell with an upset or two.
This time out? Portland being off simplifies things (in a way), but with there only being five matches this round after a glut of games in previous rounds, there’s probably a whole lot less room for error if some of your players flop. Double gamers Western New York and Washington each have one tough matchup and one easier matchup on paper and should be featuring prominently in your lineup. Seattle’s got a strong matchup despite having just one game this round, while in-form Chicago might also be worth your attention despite a potentially tricky matchup against Washington.
WNY Flash – The Flash’s defense has been a nightmare the past three matches after a strong start, giving up seven goals in those three games. It seems like the club is struggling badly on the road, which doesn’t exactly bode well for a midweek trip to Kansas City, but a home date with Houston on Saturday could be just the tonic they need. In goal, LYDIA WILLIAMS’ return from the Asian Cup could be the catalyst for improvement despite averaging just .25 more per match than KELSEY WYS. The nightmare scenario is the duo splitting the matches this round. Thankfully, the Flash’s first match this round is the first of the whole round, so you should have lineup info to make changes if needed. If Wys does start against Houston, I might suggest switching to either Hope Solo or Ashlyn Harris if you’ve got an allocation spot available. You probably want at least one defender from WNY in your lineup, From a point production standpoint, BRITTANY TAYLOR or KRISTEN EDMONDS are tops right now. The $64,000 Question is whether you can afford both ABBY WAMBACH and CARLI LLOYD in your lineup. Both will cost you an allocated slot, but both could bring you big points this round. If you can choose just one, I’d spring for Wambach, given Lloyd’s penchant for fouls. Anyone looking for steady production may well turn towards VICKY, averaging a cool 5.5 points a match, while SAMANTHA KERR is a sneaky pick if she starts right off the bat coming home from the Asian Cup.