With a midweek battle in the Midwest tonight and a West Coast showdown Friday evening, DraftKings has paired the two games for a Wednesday-Friday slate. Even though there are only two games, there are a handful of players worth monitoring to see if they get the nod. As always, I will be posting starting lineups on Twitter (@FantasySoccerFC) as they become available – usually an hour before kickoff. Here are the players I am targeting for the “We-Fr” contests:
Jaime Penedo – $5,000 – LA Galaxy – The Panamanian goalkeeper should make his return to MLS action with Panama having bowed out of the Gold Cup on Tuesday. He’s facing a San Jose Earthquakes attack that has dried up since leading scorer Chris Wondolowski departed for Gold Cup – having been shutout in two straight losses.
David Bingham – $3,500 – San Jose Earthquakes – While Penedo and the Galaxy are the favorites at home – taking a flier on the road ‘keeper at just $3,500 will certainly help when trying to squeeze the higher-priced superstar players into your lineup. Bingham has 13+ points in two of his last three games, including a 3-1 home win against the Galaxy just over two weeks ago.
Others to Consider – Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire; $4,600), Steve Clark (Columbus Crew; $5,100)
Lovel Palmer – $4,000 – Chicago Fire – The athletic outside back whipped in five crosses in a stellar performance against the Seattle Sounders last weekend, also earning a Clean Sheet to finish the day on 11 DraftKings points. I’m not banking on another five cross outing from Palmer, but his speed and ability to join in the attack makes him decent target with a lack options to choose from at the position.
Waylon Francis – $4,300 – Columbus Crew – As noted above, the defender pool for this slate is not pretty. Francis is a target strictly based on his crossing ability, which he hasn’t shown much of as of late. He’s picked up some key assists over the course of the season, and I like his chances to contribute on Wednesday versus an average Chicago Fire defense.
Victor Bernardez – $4,400 – San Jose Earthquakes – I don’t have many recent stats to make reason for picking up the big Honduran center-back. What I do know is that he possesses a mean free kick, one that has hurt the Galaxy in previous meetings between the two West Coast rivals. On top of that, Bernardez is the default Penalty Kick taker with Wondo away at Gold Cup. The added looks he has at goal make him a worthy target on a short slate.
Others to Consider – Dan Gargan (LA Galaxy; $4,300), Marvell Wynne (San Jose Earthqukes; $3,800)
Ethan Finlay – $8,400 – Columbus Crew – Prior to his four point dud over the weekend, Finlay put up 26 and 22 DK points in consecutive outings. The MLS leading assist man is in a solid bounce back spot here against a shaky Fire defense.
Harry Shipp – $8,100 – Chicago Fire – Despite not scoring a goal or dishing an assist in four straight games now, Shipp has been one of the Fire’s best players of late. He’s crossing the ball well, drawing fouls, firing off shots – collecting fantasy points all the while. He’s had back-to-back 8+ point performances, and if he comes through with a goal or an assist his upside is 20+.
Steven Gerrard – $7,600 – LA Galaxy – The big summer signee is in line to make his first MLS start this Friday, and you better believe there will be a lot of hype surrounding his debut. One of England’s all-time best midfielders, I expect Gerrard to contribute from the get-go. He’ll be thrown right into the Cali-Clasico mix and is priced reasonably enough to target him on a short slate.
Others to Consider – Federico Higuain (Columbus Crew; $9,300), Shea Salinas (San Jose Earthquakes; $5,300), Matias Perez Garcia (San Jose Earthquakes; $8,500)
Robbie Keane – $10,700 – LA Galaxy – The 2014 MLS MVP exploded for a hat-trick in LA’s big Independence Day romp over Toronto FC. He topped off at 39 DK points on the night, his second 30+ outburst in three games.
Kei Kamara – $10,400 – Columbus Crew – Kamara has been held scoreless in three straight games, but has still managed to put up double-digit fantasy points in two of those three. He’s rattled off five shots in two straight games and it’s only a matter of time before he tallies his league leading 13th goal of the season.
Mike Magee – $5,900 – Chicago Fire – The 2013 MLS MVP has seen limited action this season but is finally coming into match fitness and starting to see his playing time increase. For those unfamiliar with Magee’s upside, he had 21 goals during his MVP campaign prior to being hindered by injury over the past couple of seasons. The last time the Crew kept a clean sheet was back in April, strengthening the case to roll the dice on Magee at a discounted price.
Others to Consider – Kennedy Igboananike (Chicago Fire; $5,500), Quincy Amarikwa (San Jose Earthquakes; $4,500), Jose Villareal (LA Galaxy, $4,400)
David Accam – $4,400 – Chicago Fire – This play comes with an asterisk, as Accam has been absent with a lingering injury over the past few games. Word is that he’ll see the field Wednesday night, and if he starts he’s an automatically play for me. Prior to be hindered by injury, the Ghanaian struck for three goals and one assist across four games – good for 19+ DraftKings points in three of those four.
Sebastian Lletget – $5,300 – LA Galaxy – It will be interesting to see how Lletget adapts with Steven Gerrard and now Giovani Dos Santos in the Galaxy mix. I expect he keeps his starting position, and if he does, he’s a fine play at $5,300. He has a goal in four of his last five league contests, in which he’s put up a solid 13+ fantasy points in the four games he’s scored in.