With two rounds left in the NWSL fantasy season, the playoff spots have been decided, and even first and last have been decided. All of that means you’re probably best advised to stay away from anyone outside of the three teams fighting for home advantage in the semi-finals. The risk for squad rotation is just too great with everyone else. Managers will want to get a closer look at those who haven’t played much this season, many of the players who have featured for most of the season will likely have a foot in Cabo, and I suspect some of the USWNT’ers will be kept on ice with the Victory Tour coming up.
Without further ado, here are my thoughts on who to pick for round nineteen:
FC Kansas City have been in killer form as of late and will be fully rested against an SBFC team playing on Saturday night at the regular season champs. Hate to use an allocation spot, but I’m probably going to plump for Barnhart and not think twice. Ashlyn Harris against eliminated Portland isn’t a bad bet, and neither is whoever starts for Chicago against a WNY team running out of offensive weapons. But beware the Red Stars, as they also have looked out of gas over the last month.
As always, I’m making an exception to get Kelley O’Hara in my lineup, though it certainly hurts with her taking an allocation slot up. SBFC has two games though, so hopefully she’ll get major minutes in both and justify this choice. Otherwise, I like Leigh Ann Robinson from FC Kansas City and Taryn Hemmings of Chicago. Washington’s got a decent matchup, but I’m not sure they have the defenders to get much more than a clean sheet bonus from a points standpoint.
Well, you’re obviously going to have Crystal Dunn in your lineup. And she’ll probably be your captain. If you aren’t hurting for allocation space, it’s certainly hard to look past Diana Matheson considering her electric form since returning. Lori Chalupny of Chicago could also do some serious damage against a Flash team running on fumes. Another allocated player you can’t look past is Lauren Holiday of FCKC who figures to be able to rip SBFC apart in mid-week, though Heather O’Reilly is an effective option for differential purposes.
You could probably do worse than Kim Little in midfield as well, but be prepared to tear your hair out if she’s rotated out of the squad by Laura Harvey.
A lot of picking forwards this round is going to be juggling things so you don’t go over the allocation limit. That’s why Francesca Ordega’s such a valuable option from the Spirit since she’s their top option listed in the game as a forward and not consuming an allocation slot. It’s much harder with the Red Stars. Christen Press certainly deserves to be considered, but with Chicago slumping in form, she’s far from a sure bet. Neither are Sofia Huerta nor Jen Hoy, with the former having seriously declined in form over the past month. I decided against using Amy Rodriguez last weekend and paid a steep price. I think you almost have to have either her or Holiday in your lineup (or both).
Of the other options from eliminated or clinched teams, Sam Kerr is definitely going to get a look with SBFC having two matches, as well Nadia Nadim. With Beverly Yanez out, Megan Rapinoe and Katrine Veje figure to get the bulk of the chances from the frontline.