Friday March 10

MLS Fantasy 2017 - Round 2 Musings & Picks

The inaugural weekend of the 2017 MLS Fantasy season got off to a scorching-hot start as Portland absolutely shellacked an expansion Minnesota United FC side with a lopsided 5-1 victory. Unfortunately for fantasy managers who favored the attack-heavy 3-4-3 formation, that was the only match of the weekend that saw more than 3 combined goals; the remaining ten matches during the weekend saw 9 clean sheets, 8 teams with a mere 1 goal, and 4 teams scoring 2 goals.

Needless to say, the 20 goals scored in 11 matches on opening weekend this season is a stark contrast compared to the 2016 opening matches, where we had 36 goals scored in only 10 matches. Granted, this season has seen quite a few more teams attempt to emulate RBNY's success over the last two years by featuring high press tactics (as noted by MLS Analyst Matthew Doyle). If this is in fact the case, we may continue to see strong early-season defensive fantasy production while teams figure out how to adapt their attacks to this new competitive environment.

One additional note: NEW ENGLAND's home match against ORLANDO CITY has been postponed due to weather - make sure you update those squads before Saturday's matches!

Now, for Round 2, here are some popular picks that we're seeing out there and agree that they deserve a spot on your squad:

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Thursday March 9

Captain's Quarters 2017: Hass' FPL Gameweek 28 Picks & Punts

With the FA cup quarter finals taking place across the weekend, Gameweek 28 sees a mere eight teams face off in the Premier League. With most squads struggling to field a full XI, the Captaincy decision could prove vital to a successful Gameweek score.

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Friday March 3

MLS Fantasy 2017 - Round 1 Musings & Picks

At long last, the MLS Fantasy season is here! Preseason camps have wrapped up, lineups are beginning to solidify, and fantasy managers are rejoicing!

Now, typically, we would put out our standard Power Rankings a day or two before the matches. However, the 2017 MLS Fantasy rotisserie format features unlimited transfers; therefore, the importance of analyzing the upcoming 4-6 rounds is greatly reduced this season, and player/club form should be weighted much higher in decision-making. When you consider the fact that most MLS teams have yet to play in a non-friendly match in 2017, it's tough to produce a set of Power Rankings that will actually add value for fantasy managers.

Therefore, in lieu of that, we've decided to just go ahead and provide fantasy managers with some picks and thoughts for the first couple of weeks. Once teams begin to build a track record, we should have sufficient data to put together some Power Rankings.

Now, in terms of Round 1, I'm going to be blunt and say there are going to be a few players that are going to be found on A LOT of teams:

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Thursday March 2

Captain's Quarters 2017: Hass' FPL Gameweek 27 Picks & Punts

The first double Gameweek of the season is upon as both Manchester City and Stoke play twice in Gameweek 27. With that in mind, here are our picks for the Captain’s armband this week.

The Picks

Sergio Aguero – (@sun, STO)

Sergio Aguero tops the billing this week by virtue of returning to the Man City first XI ahead of their two fixtures against Sunderland and Stoke. Having recorded a double against Monaco in the Champions League, Aguero found the net of two occasions once more as City swept aside Huddersfield in their FA cup replay. This goal scoring form makes him the obvious candidate to hand the armband to as City take on two obliging defences in Stoke and Sunderland.

Raheem Sterling – (@sun, STO)

With two goals and eight assists in his last ten Premier League appearances, Raheem Sterling has provided an unerring level of consistency in the Manchester City attack of late. The winger has relished his role in Pep Guardiola’s system and is likely to add to his tally over the course of the two fixtures in Gameweek 27, meaning that he is certainly a viable captaincy candidate for our FPL squads.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – (BOU)

Having almost single-handedly led Man Utd to EFL Cup glory last weekend, Zlatan Ibrahimovic completes our Captain’s picks ahead of a Gameweek 27 fixture against a freefalling Bournemouth side. The Cherries have failed to keep a clean sheet in seven attempts and face a Man United side that are unbeaten in 16 Premier league outings.

The Punts

Harry Kane – (EVE)

Netting his third hat-trick in nine fixtures sees Harry Kane remain high in our thoughts for Gameweek 27. The Spurs forward was in scintillating form as they demolished Stoke last time around, and he has fired his way back into the race for the Premier League golden boot in which he now sits level at the summit with 17 goals.

Gylfi Sigurdsson – (BUR)

Swansea’s talisman earns our backing once again as they host Burnley at the Liberty Stadium in Gameweek 27. The Icelandic midfielder has registered a very impressive three goals and three assists in his last five fixtures, which included trips to Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea. That level of consistency, regardless of the opposition, earns him a spot as one of our Captain’s punts against a Burnley side that are yet to record a victory away from home this season.

Hass’ Spotlight

Manolo Gabbiadini – (@wat)

With five goals in his first three starts for Southampton, Manolo Gabbiadini has taken no time at all to settle into life in English football. The Saints travel to Watford in Gameweek 27, a side that have only managed two clean sheets at home all season.

Jamie Vardy – (HUL)

Leicester City’s performance against Liverpool in Gameweek 26 reminded me of how they won the Premier League last season. Pumping the ball up to Jamie Vardy to chase seemed to revive the ailing forward, who scored his first two goals in the Premier League since his Gameweek 15 hat-trick against Man City. The Champions will host Hull this week, and if they can replicate the performance against Liverpool, Vardy is sure to be amongst the goals once again.

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Thursday March 2

MLS Strategy Series - Fantasy News Tracking, 2017 Edition!

Opening kickoff for the 2017 MLS season is right around the corner, which means that it's about time once again to post The List!

If you've played MLS Fantasy in the past, you're already quite familiar with the fact that the amount of information that is offered to players on the site is exponentially less than what you get when you play other fantasy games. This is mostly due to the way the league rules are currently set up - teams aren't required to disclose injuries like in other sports, so all you really see are players tagged with injury updates or international duties.

That being said, fantasy players who manage to stay on top of the MLS news cycle are able to put themselves at a huge advantage over the competition. I personally have found the most efficient way of doing this is to utilize Twitter; by creating a List on Twitter that tracks a combination of local beat writers, supporters' news sites, fantasy accounts and so on, you will have a considerable amount of fantasy-relevant information at your disposal (especially when you factor in Twitter's Advanced Search function. )

Below, I've compiled a list of MLS-related Twitter accounts that are solid resources for MLS Fantasy players. This list is a work in progress, of course; if there are any community members out there who have any additional accounts they believe should be followed, drop us a line or let us know in the comments below!

Additionally, we also highly recommend you check out the /r/FantasyMLS community over at Reddit. It's a growing and very well-run subreddit filled with plenty of fellow MLS Fantasy enthusiasts, definitely worth a look as well!

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Friday February 24

Captain's Quarters 2017: Hass' FPL Gameweek 26 Picks & Punts

With the EFL Cup final taking place this weekend, four teams drop out of the reckoning in Gameweek 26 with Arsenal and Man City given the week off whilst their opponents, Southampton and Man United, take each other on for the first Major Trophy of the season.

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Thursday February 9

Captain's Quarters 2017: Hass' FPL Gameweek 25 Picks & Punts

It’s that time of the week again and we’re right here to consider all of the candidates for the Captain’s armband ahead of Gameweek 25.

The Picks

Zlatan Ibrahimović – (WAT)

Back amongst the goals last time out, Zlatan Ibrahimovic emerges as the prime target for the Captain’s armband as Man Utd host Watford in Gameweek 25. The Swedish hitman took his tally to 15 League goals for the season and will be confident of adding to that haul against a side who have conceded 22 times away from home this season.

Alexis Sanchez – (HUL)

Despite being humbled by Chelsea last time out, Arsenal, and Alexis Sanchez, will have the opportunity to get back on track when they host Hull at the Emirates in Gameweek 25. Alexis has only failed to provide attacking returns twice since Gameweek 13, highlighting his consistency as an FPL asset this season. Hull have conceded the second highest total of goals in the Premier League this season (47).

Romelu Lukaku – (@mid)

Exploding onto the scene with an incredible four goal haul against Bournemouth in Gameweek 24, Romelu Lukaku is likely to be a popular option as Everton travel to Middlesbrough this time around. However, Middlesbrough have proven to be a tough nut to crack, especially at the Riverside, having only conceded 14 times at home this season.

The Punts

Gylfi Sigurdsson – (LEI)

Three goals and an assist in his last three matches sees Gylfi Sigurdsson emerge as an excellent choice from a form perspective as Swansea host an unrecognisable Leicester side this week. The champions are edging towards the relegation zone, having conceded ten times in their last four games, and gaining just a single point in 2017.

Gabriel Jesus – (@bou)

Three goals in his first two starts for City has seen Gabriel Jesus usurp Sergio Aguero as the main striker in Pep Guardiola’s attacking line. Having also added an assist, Jesus has immediately settled into life in the Premier League and will be confident of continuing his fine run of form against an out of sorts Bournemouth side that have conceded 16 times in their last five fixtures.

Hass’ Spotlight

Eden Hazard – (@bur)

After an inconsistent run of games from an FPL perspective, Eden Hazard showcased just how effective he can be with a mesmerising display against Arsenal last time out. Despite Burnley being a tough nut to track at home, I believe that Chelsea, and Hazard in particular will keep the Blues on track with another victory to further extend their runaway lead at the top of the table.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – (WAT)

A goal and assist against Watford last time around, Henrikh Mkhitaryan seems to have finally cemented his place in Jose Mourinho’s attacking line. The Armenian winger have taken time to settle into life in the Premier League, with Man Utd in excellent form, unbeaten in sixteen outings in the Premier League.

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Friday February 3

Captain's Quarters 2017: Hass' FPL Gameweek 24 Picks & Punts

The games a coming thick and fast with many of us still licking our wounds from a very frustrating midweek set of results from and FPL perspective. Nevertheless, we’re back to assess the best options ahead of Gameweek 24.

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Monday January 30

Captain's Quarters 2017: Hass' FPL Gameweek 23 Picks & Punts

With a round of midweek fixtures to look forward to, we’re back to assess all of the options ahead of Gameweek 23.

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Sunday January 29

#TeamNoTransfers - FPL Gameweek 22 Recap

All things considered, it was a pretty decent FPL weekend for #TeamNoTransfers. The squad put up 47 points during Gameweek 22, a mere one point higher than the global average of 46... and somehow, it was the eighth time this season that the squad has produced a score that is within one point of the overall average score in a Gameweek. Unfortunately, scoring the global average dropped us down roughly 52,000 places on the worldwide table, as the squad now sits in 729,707th place with an overall score of 1,113.

Five of our starting XI managed to find the scorecard this week; Captain Harry Kane picked up an assist during Spurs' 2-2 draw at Manchester City, and was supplemented by goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Troy Deeney (who also managed to come away with some bonus points as well this week). Additionally, both Chelsea and Everton managed to earn clean sheets this week, which meant that both Leighton Baines and Marcos Alonso came away with clean sheet points during GW22.

There has also been a bittersweet piece of news tonight that directly impacts #TeamNoTransfers - Dimitri Payet has officially been transferred back to Marseille, which means that he is now eligible to be transferred. It was ultimately a disappointing campaign this season for Payet, despite having a promising start following his early-season injury woes. Unfortunately, West Ham have thus far not able improve upon last season's Europa-qualifying campaign, and currently sit directly in the middle of the table with 28 points. Nevertheless, as West Ham moves forward, so shall #TeamNoTransfers - Dele Alli appears to be the leading candidate to be brought in at his price range, with three of their next four fixtures looking very promising for Tottenham.

Here is a look at how the full squad performed this past weekend:

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