I’m writing this preview of round six before round five has even finished. That’ll be a rarity, as there aren’t any more double game weeks until July, which should leave things uncomplicated in that regard, though the WWC absences are going to be a constant headache for fantasy managers. Adding to some of the difficulty this round is the fact that there are just three matches, with FCKC, WNY, and Seattle all on byes.
Personally, the decision to captain Nicole Barnhart was a good call last round, even before her result against WNY on Thursday. As for everything else? Uh, not good on my end. My forwards were awful, and my midfield underwhelmed, save Allie Long. I’ll be hoping for more points on Thursday, but I’m regretting Mana Shim and Lynn Williams being on my bench after they combined for nearly twenty-nine points through the games of last weekend.
This round, there are three matches, and all have clear favorites, with Chicago, Portland, and Washington all favored comfortably to pick up three points. Most owners will go in heavy on the three, hoping to avoid a surprise during a week that looks predictable on paper.
Final note: Crystal Dunn and Kendall Johnson are the big changes in position after the customary switches through the first quarter.
Wys (WSH) – Defense still looks dreadful, but SBFC couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat right now, making her a top option this round.
Dalton (CHI) – Looked good in her American pro debut and faces a Dash side with a lot less punch without Brian and Lloyd.
Betos (POR) – Thorns should crush Boston again, but defense is far from a brick wall as evidenced by last week.
Henninger (HOU) – Probably the sleeper option. I wouldn’t, but if you fancy an underdog winning, Houston’s probably the best bet.
Gilliland (CHI) – Looks to have pushed Quon further up the pitch, meaning she’s a premium option in defense going forward.
Quon (CHI) – I’d wait a bit to see what her role is, but if she continues to play further forward, Quon obviously has serious value in a game starved for defensive options.
Williamson (POR) – The best option for Portland in defense, though she remains a risk for fouls and bookings.
Reynolds/Johnson/Oyster (WSH) – Take your pick of the Spirit defenders. Clean sheet a real possibility, but not much here in terms of offense.
Levin (SBFC) – Only if you’re desperate. SBFC are slumping in a bad way, and their defenders don’t offer up much offensively anyway.
Masar (HOU) – Not sure I’d spring for her, but she should start and has the offensive experience to maybe poach a few phantom points.
Dunn (WSH) – Defense…midfield…it doesn’t matter where, you need her in your team.
Long (POR) – Just a point scoring machine at this point and facing a really bad Boston defense.
Shim (POR) – Yeah, you want her too. Looks like a player reborn thus far.
Nairn (WSH) – A rare dud last round but figures to come good against SBFC.
DiBernardo (CHI) – I suspect she may be making The Leap, but don’t try to react to quickly considering she put up those points last round against Boston.
Mewis (BOS) – Figures to pick up some phantom points, but Breakers look short on confidence, meaning her value could be limited again.
Freels (SBFC) – Spirit can’t defend based on current evidence, but SBFC have been inept for most of the season, so I’d be wary.
Johnson (POR) – Great value as a defender. Not so much as a midfielder with Long and Shim available.
Colaprico (CHI) – Inconsistent in fantasy despite being a key contender for Rookie of the Year thus far. Still, worth a look given Dash’s vacuum in midfield talent.
Huerta (CHI) – Will be in everyone’s team this round, but beware of rookie inconsistency.
Ordega (WSH) – Last match before she leaves for the WWC, and she should have chances to make another impact against struggling SBFC.
Anonma (POR) – A ball stopper. But that’s good in fantasy, as she’ll be taking a ton of shots. Sounds like she’ll play, but perhaps she won’t start. Still, you have to consider her given the opponent.
Hoy (CHI) – Was a dud last week with Huerta’s breakout, but you have to figure she’ll get amongst the goals sooner rather than later.
McCaffrey (BOS) – Opportunity there against inconsistent Portland defense, but she’s better as a second banana and on a team of replacement level forwards.
McDonald (HOU) – Potential for goals…if anyone can get her the ball.
Ohai (HOU) – Always potential for a handful of points, but better options this round.
Nadim (SBFC) – Showed signs of life last round, but are you betting on SBFC at the moment?
Rafinha (BOS) – Sneaky source of phantom points worth a look for the truly desperate.