With just three matches, 81.50 points was a pretty good total when all was said and done, and it was good enough to see me at fourth overall on the season. And this was despite getting almost nothing from my defense and midfield, which flopped big time, including Allie Long, who netted me just a single point as my captain. Gambling on Kelsey Wys turned out to be the right call, as she brought home twenty-six points with a clean sheet win against Sky Blue FC.
We’re back to four games this round (and for the foreseeable future), with Seattle on a bye (again), while they play the Chinese WNT in a friendly. The fixture that many will be looking to exploit is the Spirit’s trip to WNY, where they’ll be going up against a third-string goalkeeper whose identity is still unknown as of my writing of this. Even if the Flash’s goalkeeper turns out to be a competent replacement, the Spirit figure to test her early and often, meaning phantom points galore at the very least.
Portland would’ve been a great pick against Houston, but you might want to pump the brakes on them a little bit after they laid an egg last week against Boston. Speaking of Boston, they improved markedly against the Thorns in their win, but it’s still very tough to trust them with full confidence, even with a slumping SBFC side coming to town. SBFC definitely had chances to break their malaise last week, but they still aren’t finding the final touch in front of goal.
FCKC vs Chicago is a top of the table toss-up. The big question is whether you should keep rolling with Sofia Huerta if you’ve got her in your lineup. It’s hard to argue with her form, but FCKC’s defense is much better than Houston and Boston’s.
Wys (WSH) – Fancy her for the win and a handful of saves, but, man, that defense is giving up a lot of shots, so you suspect she’ll be due for a clunker now and then.
Betos (POR) – Will be wanting to put last week’s unfortunate error behind her and has a good matchup to do it, though the gimpiness of her defense is worrying.
Barnhart (FCKC) – A lot of fantasy owners probably lost their collective minds when she didn’t start the second match against WNY a few rounds back. But she’ll be back on Saturday and is as steady as death and taxes in goal.
Dalton (CHI) – FCKC are in decent form but they don’t score much, so Dalton may still put up decent points even if she doesn’t win/doesn’t keep a clean sheet.
Kranich (BOS) – Nice showing against Portland, so she’s got some upside. But are you really trusting Boston’s defense after just one match?
Cameron (SBFC) – I actually like SBFC to win on Friday, but really, until they prove they can win again, stay away.
Henninger (HOU) – Hard to trust for much with the defense getting chopped and changed in front of her, and the Dash going on the road against a motivated Portland side.
Robinson (FCKC) – A points earning cyborg on defense. Matchup’s tough, but you could do far worse for options this round.
Williamson/Niemiec (POR) – You probably need one at least, though the Thorns are hurting on the backline, so what looks like a potential clean sheet on paper may not be such a shoo-in in practice.
Church (WSH) – Penchant for shots on goal certainly has to pique your interest given the matchup. Looks like a full-time starter until Krieger returns.
Gilliland/Hemmings (CHI) – I think Hemmings’ points total is a bit inflated at this point, as she’ll being playing center-back in all likelihood until Erceg returns. Gilliland’s probably the better points option for the moment, though it’s hard to argue starting either.
Hinkle (WNY) – Clean sheet odds very low, but she’s one of the league’s best scorer of phantom points offensively for a defender.
Levin (SBFC) – Hard to trust even with a winnable matchup considering the club’s slump.
King (BOS) – Double-edged sword. Can get offensive points but also picks up fouls and bookings. Proceed with caution.
Cross (HOU) – I’d stay away from Dash defenders until the new additions’ roles are more defined, but if you’re brave, Cross looks the likeliest starter.
Dunn (WSH) – In your team. In everyone’s team. Potential captain.
K. Mewis (BOS) – Think she can carve SBFC’s midfield up with Killion out. Scoring nearly eight points a match, making her a top option this round.
Long (POR) – Coming back to Earth after last round’s disaster. Anonma’s presence may cut into her value, though I’d still be patient. For now.
Nairn (WSH) – Solid second banana status at 7+ points a match and certainly will have a license to shoot against whoever WNY’s keeper is.
Shim (POR) – Another Thorn who disappointed last round. Like Long, I’m nervous that Anonma’s going to eat into her points potential, but you have to have at least one Portland midfielder in the mix this round.
DiBernardo (CHI) – Blossoming into a great fantasy option but temper expectations this round, as she’s going right into the Bermuda Triangle of Buczkowski.
S. Mewis (WNY) – Doing fine in fantasy thus far, and it’s not like the Spirit aren’t giving up shots.
Freels (SBFC) – She’s still averaging 5+ points despite her team’s general ineptness. Against Boston’s defense? Points potential.
Axon (HOU) – Taking up a greater role in offense with Brian and Lloyd gone and on penalties, so she’s a great sleeper option.
Tymrak (FCKC) – Struggled in fantasy mightily thus far. And this doesn’t look like a matchup that can help change that.
Anonma (POR) – Three shots on goal in sixty-eight minutes. Shoot Ayo, shoot! Great matchup and should be a phantom point machine at minimum.
Huerta (CHI) – On fire. Form book says you can’t drop her. But the matchup isn’t great, and honestly, everyone will have her on their team, so contrarian thinking could make you look like a genius…or an idiot.
McDonald (HOU) – Humming along at 7.0 points per match. And do you think she has a point to prove against the team that traded her away?
Nadim (SBFC) – Snapped out of her funk last week and facing a pliable defense. Have to be a bit brave to roll with her given club’s woes, but she’s too good to not break through soon.
McCaffrey (BOS) – Matchup’s right, and she gets points from everywhere, though rookie inconsistency could plague her the whole year.
Williams (WNY) – She’s really, really tempting as an option against a club giving up a ridiculous total of shots and puts up phantom points galore but hasn’t scored yet. Gotta break through sometime, right?
Ohai (HOU) – Turning into a real weapon in fantasy with 7.8 points per match so far. It’s tough to decide between her and McDonald though.
Bogus/Hagen/Groom (FCKC) – It’s incredibly hard to know who to trust at this point, considering these three have reeled in points at different points this year. This probably isn’t the matchup to try and figure it out.
Hoy (CHI) – Usurped as a top scoring option but a sneaky pick if you like Chicago but want to slide away from Huerta.
Marlborough/Ezurike (BOS) – Good sleeper option depending on which one starts. Check lineups before the deadline closes.
Del Rio (WSH) – Well, it’s not like there are too many other options left, but really, there are better options.