With the addition of groups into the NWSL fantasy game, I’ve naturally added a group for AWK readers. And naturally, there’s a twist. Specifically, the low scorer each round out gets booted at the end of the round. At the end of the season, top aggregate scorer who’s avoided the cut wins the league. Simple, huh?
Password = eliminator
The group will be locked after the roster freeze for round two on Saturday. Have fun!
Some brief thoughts on a disappointing Round One from yours truly:
-I think everyone who bet big on Christine Sinclair (including me) was cringing as the Thorns looked too much like last year’s team at its worst going forward. They’ll get better with time, but I’d stay away from everyone right now not named Nadine Angerer and Rebecca Moros at the moment, especially with a tough matchup this round.
-Houston were game on the pitch against Portland but did little of note fantasy-wise against the Thorns. The defense gets another downgrade without Bock in front to shield it, while it’s difficult to trust anyone on the attack. Boston’s a tantalizing opponent this round, but I’d wait to see who steps up.
-The results were good for anyone who will be riding on Amy Rodriguez as a fantasy option, as it looks like she’ll be front and center for FCKC this year. The results for Lauren Holiday and Erika Tymrak look much more mixed after one round after the two lit up fantasy last season. The defense will probably still be great despite an uncharacteristic flub to concede against SBFC. Kassey Kallman looks like another great option after an assist last Saturday.
-I don’t know what to make of SBFC’s attack, other than Katy Freels likely being at the heart of what the club does. Not many thought Monica Ocampo would start from the bench, and I’d avoid that situation entirely until things shake out. Caitlin Foord was immensely disappointing in her first start on the wing, producing a long line of fouls but little else. I wouldn’t be shocked if she fell off many radars with a tough matchup this weekend. Other defenders might be sneaky plays against a disjointed Portland offense this round.
-Vicky Losada looks like a great short-term play for fantasy owners, especially with another shaky defense in Chicago this round. I’d be careful in the long-term though, as there’s no telling how the offense will respond once Abby Wambach returns. Carli Lloyd was a bust last round, but I expect a rebound against a Chicago side with few true defensive midfield options. Brittany Taylor and Lydia Williams also look like solid options for the season after nice round ones.
-Washington has a double week this round, but I’d be surprised if many were rushing to include their players in lineups after such a putrid display against WNY. Christine Nairn, Jodie Taylor, Crystal Dunn, and Diana Matheson are likely the only palatable options, and Dunn and Matheson will both cost you an allocation. Avoid the defense at all costs, especially with a daunting trip to Seattle against a fully rested Reign side in midweek.
-Part of the game with Seattle this season is going to be guessing successfully who gets the points in an offense with tons of options. If you guessed Sydney Leroux (like me) you probably weren’t thrilled with a seven point return. If you guessed Kim Little and Megan Rapinoe, you probably were much happier. The above trio are all top options this round. Hope Solo looks a near cert for a clean sheet if you’re willing to spend an allocation on her. You almost have to have one of Eli Reed/Lauren Barnes/Kendall Fletcher in your lineup to cover the clean sheet as well.
-I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions about Boston’s attack with Kristie Mewis out and Lisa De Vanna limited to sub minutes. This weekend’s probably the acid test against a depleted Houston, but it’s still hard to trust any of the Breakers in attack. I feel safe in saying to avoid the defense though, which looked appalling. Alyssa Naeher may be an option in goal for the truly brave considering the shots she’s facing, but beyond weeks at home against shaky opposition like this, I’d avoid.
NWSL Fantasy Team Rankings – Round 2
2. WNY Flash
3. FC Kansas City
5. Sky Blue FC
1. Angerer (POR) – Looked great against Houston and faces anemic offense.
2. Solo (SEA) – If you can use an allocation on her, a clean sheet looks likely.
3. Barnhart (FCKC) – See above, but facing a fresher Spirit side than Seattle.
4. Williams (WNY) – Nice failsafe but beware Chicago team at home with options.
5. Naeher (BOS) – Dash offense didn’t show much and going on road, so could be a sneaky play.
1. Taylor (WNY) – May be chasing last round’s points but always an assist threat, Flash defense always formidable.
2. Robinson (FCKC) – Kallman got points last round but Robinson probably more consistent option.
3. Barnes (SEA) – Or Reed. Or Fletcher. You need at least one in your lineup this round.
4. Dunn (WSH) – Wasn’t great last round but has two matches + playing in attack.
5. Foord (SBFC) – Lots of fouls, little else last round. Thorns defense isn’t great though.
1. Little (SEA) – Secret’s out. Should be in a lot of fantasy teams from now on, though will inevitably be splitting many offensive points with teammates.
2. Lloyd (WNY) – Bust last week. Wouldn’t count on a similar round here.
3. Holiday (FCKC) – I’m nervous at FCKC’s stylistic changes with A-Rod here. Matchup is right, but be on alert.
4. Vicky (WNY) – Another good matchup, but beware youthful inconsistency.
5. Chalupny (CHI) – No longer an automatic play with bevy of unallocated midfield stars coming into league but not a bad option this round.
1. Leroux (SEA) – Her or Rapinoe? Or both? I wouldn’t blame you for going for both, but I’d tip Leroux this round with Rapinoe likely to battle with Ali Krieger.
2. Rapinoe (SEA) – See above. Shoot on sight policy could mean a monster year for her.
3. Rodriguez (FCKC) – When she’s good, she’s really good. We’ll see if she can keep it up against pliable opposition.
4. Taylor (WSH) – Double gamer with two tough matchups. Let’s hope she at least puts some shots on frame.
5. Kerr (WNY) – Backseat to Losada last weekend but remains dangerous option against perilous Chicago defense.