NWSL – Fantasy Round Twelve Preview

If you captained Alex Morgan, you probably enjoyed a very good round. I still managed a decent week to rise closer to the Top 100, but the decision to captain Vero over Morgan turned out to be a rather poor one. Sticking with Morgan, Sinclair, and Vero did end up fueling my side forward, extra helpful considering I had five players who didn’t even not a whole point, the most disappointing one perhaps being Amy Rodriguez, who put up a bagel in a rare poor outing.

This time out, scores are probably going to be astronomical, as SIX teams are on double game rounds. Of course, two who aren’t are FC Kansas City, in form, and Portland, sort of half in-form, but capable of some big points. It’s all a matter of how much you trust the two teams to be able to put up a big number against the other. I’d be dubious considering the volume of players with two games this round, though given Alex Morgan’s capacity for huge games and Amy Rodriguez’s seasonal form, you may feel otherwise.

Additionally, Chicago’s on a bye this round. Not particularly sure you’d fancy them in their current form anyway.

NWSL Fantasy Round Twelve Team Rankings

1. SEA (SBFC, @WNY)
2. HOU (WSH, @SBFC)
3. WSH (@HOU, BOS)
4. WNY (BOS, SEA)
5. SBFC (@SEA, HOU)
6. BOS (@WNY, @WSH)
7. FCKC (POR)
8. POR (@FCKC)

Seattle – Well, the million dollar question is over HOPE SOLO. She’s technically available for selection, but does that tell us a whole hell of a lot? If I had to read the tea leaves, I’d guess she starts both matches, but it’s far from a settled matter. The nightmare scenario, obviously, is if Solo and HALEY KOPMEYER split matches. With Seattle being the pick of the littler this round, you may just have to guess right with Solo, as I don’t think holding Kopmeyer in reserve will be best for your points total, robbing you of a spot to put another Reign player. I would not captain Solo though. Defensively, Seattle has a fair shot at a clean sheet, though their tendency to go behind means I’d just stick with one defender, likely KENDALL FLETCHER. KIM LITTLE is obviously going to be in your team and should probably be wearing the armband if you’re playing it safe. JESS FISHLOCK’s a decent option but not great in all honesty given the number of teams with two games this round. You probably have a tough choice between NAHO and SYDNEY LEROUX this round. Leroux was the club’s big scorer last round, with Naho a total whiff. I’m not sure I’d go with both though, as there are so many two game clubs. Naho’s probably the safer option, but Leroux has more upside.

Houston – It feels like forever since they’ve played, and the fact that they were absolute pants in round ten doesn’t exactly fill you with confidence going into this one, though the matchups certainly are right. The defense is probably going to be better with WHITNEY ENGEN and MEGHAN KLINGENBERG…but both are allocated players, as is ARI ROMERO. Will OSINACHE OHALE start at CB? If so, she’d be the best bet to cover the clean sheet, but is a real risk for a booking. You may want to roll the dice in goal instead, with ERIN MCLEOD likely to start between the posts, though the impressive BIANCA HENNINGER could be a threat for minutes. The offense seemingly runs through TIFFANY MCCARTY these days, and you suspect she’ll be chomping at the bit to get revenge on her former club when Washington comes to town on the weekend. It’s a crapshoot elsewhere. KEALIA OHAI, NINA BURGER, and ELLA MASAR have all had their moments. Of the three, I’d tip Burger, but given how young the side is on the whole, I’d just stick with McCarty as the safest option.

Washington – I’d be very worried about their mental state after their spectacular capitulation to Portland last round. Houston doesn’t have the weapons the Thorns do, but you also get the sense that the Spirit could melt in the Texas heat if the breaks don’t go their way. Given the defensive horror show, Washington will probably be happy to be getting ASHLYN HARRIS back in goal following a desultory performance from CHANTEL JONES. Given how bloody awful the backline looked, I’m not sure I’d trust any of them, especially considering there are few guarantees as to who will be playing if Mark Parsons rings the changes. TORI HUSTER, even if she plays in midfield, counts as a defender, so she might be your best bet. In the attack, JODIE TAYLOR is the top option up top, though when she’s bad in fantasy, she’s abysmal. LISA DE VANNA may get more consideration in later rounds, but I’d wait until she starts scoring before rolling the dice with her. CHRISTINE NAIRN has usurped DIANA MATHESON as the club’s best option in midfield for fantasy. Considering Nairn won’t cost you an allocation slot, you should stick with the American unless you plump for two Spirit midfielders.

WNY Flash – Yeesh. You’d hope that the meltdown against Seattle doesn’t linger long in their minds, but this year’s Flash side has been lurching from high to low all year. They’ve now dropped the most points from winning positions and haven’t picked up any from losing positions. SAM KERR looks like option #1 up top with ABBY WAMBACH sidelined, and she scored against Seattle last week, while Boston is likely missing Julie King, meaning her task could become that much easier. None of the other forwards are really consistent enough to roll with, though if you must, go with ADRIANA. CARLI LLOYD didn’t do much other than score an own goal against Seattle, but with two matches this round, she’s a fair bet for your lineup. VICKY won’t put up a huge number but is a steady scorer and is a safe option for a handful of points if you want to go that way. The defense hasn’t been impressive in the least, but BRITTANY TAYLOR is always a threat to slough off some offensive points. LYDIA WILLIAMS has a good shot at a clean sheet against Boston but may be a busy keeper against Seattle, so she’s a middle of the road pick in goal.

Sky Blue FC – Matchups aren’t great, but they’ll be high in confidence at least against Seattle after topping Portland in midweek. It’s hard seeing BRITTANY CAMERON budging in goal for the game against the Reign after stifling the Thorns, but there’s no guarantee JILL LOYDEN won’t be rotated in for the back half of the round. LINDSI CUTSHALL seems to have won the center-back spot beside CHRISTIE RAMPONE full time and has shown a nose for goal, though her being subbed out late for COCO GOODSON against Portland shows she’s not a bulletproof clean sheet threat. Did you know KATY FREELS is the third top scoring midfielder in total points thus far? She’ll very rarely get you a huge number, but she also won’t give you too many flat out bust weeks either. With MONICA OCAMPO’s injury status not entirely clear, KELLEY O’HARA’s distinctly the club’s best scoring option. She’s hit or miss though, and she was rather miss against Portland midweek, and may struggle for points against Seattle early this round. Given how utterly inconsistent SBFC’s been all season, I’m not sure I’d cast my lot with the Stanford alum, especially with her allocation status.

Boston – They’ve won zero games away from home this season, which is perhaps a bad omen considering their next six are on the road. They’ve also won just one of their past five, so it’s hard to feel too enthusiastic about their chances of putting together a big round. The defense is probably going to be under siege again, especially considering JULIE KING is an injury doubt after she had been dispatched at center-back to stabilize the defense. Needless to say, you shouldn’t be risking a spot on your team for a Boston defender. That also means you should probably avoid ALYSSA NAEHER in goal, even though she did stop a penalty last time out. It’s a bit brighter going forward. JAZMINE REEVES scored against SBFC in the club’s last fixture and is technically the club leader in PPM, but the rookie has also thrown up many duds this season. Given the team’s away form, she’s a risky play. Neither LIANNE SANDERSON nor HEATHER O’REILLY delivered last round, but both have been decent fantasy bets this season. O’Reilly’s probably best bet if you’ve got an allocation slot.

FC Kansas City – It was an odd round for FCKC last time out, as the top two scoring options LAUREN HOLIDAY (four points) and AMY RODRIGUEZ (nada) had poor rounds. Instead, those who gambled on the defense and goalkeeper NICOLE BARNHART ended up as happy campers. Against Portland’s volatile (and inconsistent) offense though, you may want to look elsewhere this round with FCKC having just a single match. Some of the unsung heroines, JEN BUCZKOWSKI and MERRITT MATHIAS, were the big scorers last round but aren’t top options this round. Rodriguez has usually been bulletproof this season, but this might be the first round I recommend steering clear given all the other teams with double games this round. Holiday’s not been as consistently deadly as she was last season, and her allocation status is another argument against tabbing her this round. The sleeper pick for FCKC this round is ERIKA TYMRAK, averaging above six points a match and not costing you an allocation.

Portland – Talk about a season in a nutshell. The Thorns destroyed Washington in the round’s opening fixture but then were shocked by SBFC at home right after. Given the brunt of the club’s win against Washington, you still probably had a great round if you loaded up on Thorns players last round. This round? A tougher ask on the road against the league’s in-form team that has been a crushing defensive unit as of late. Couple that with that being the team’s only fixture this round, and there’s reason to back away from the club’s players this round. ALEX MORGAN is probably your best bet if sticking with Portland this round, for her sheer volume of shooting and collecting phantom points if she isn’t scoring, though CHRISTINE SINCLAIR’s form has been impressive thus far. VERO looks to be more of a provider than scorer for Portland as opposed to her role with Philadelphia in her WPS days. She’s still been a fair scorer for Portland thus far though and might be an out of the box option for your midfield this round. The defense still looks spotty, to the point that I’d stay away for the near future. If you feel differently, NIKKI MARSHALL’s probably the safest non-allocated option, while NADINE ANGERER’s a decent bet in goal despite being left red-faced by Katy Freels early in the club’s defeat to SBFC.

NWSL Fantasy Round Twelve Player Rankings

GK

1. Solo – SEA
2. McLeod – HOU
3. Williams – WNY
4. Harris – WSH
5. Cameron – SBFC

DEF

1. Fletcher – SEA
2. Taylor – WNY
3. Klingenberg – HOU
4. Cutshall – SBFC
5. Engen – HOU

MF

1. Little – SEA
2. Lloyd – WNY
3. Freels – SBFC
4. Nairn – WSH
5. O’Reilly – BOS

FW

1. Naho – SEA
2. Kerr – WNY
3. Leroux – SEA
4. Taylor – WSH
5. McCarty – HOU

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