D.C. vs OCSC Fantasy Match-Up
D.C. United came into the season with a highly regarded defensive group and arguably the number one fantasy goalkeeper in Bill Hamid, but injuries have robbed the team of Steve Birnbaum, a stellar low-buy option at defense until a sprained ankle took him out last week.
They shut out the LA Galaxy last week, which was without Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane because of international call-ups. It's hard to read a lot into that since L.A. didn't have its two dynamic forwards to terrorize the D.C. back line (the other clean sheet came against the Montreal Impact).
It's safe to play Orlando City players against the four-time MLS Cup winners. Like most Eastern Conference teams, the scoring hasn't been there for DC. You shouldn't worry about their forwards lighting up the Lions' back line, although I said the same thing to myself against Montreal. Still, Fabian Espindola's still in the middle of his six-game suspension following a red card against the Red Bulls in December and Eddie Johnson's heart condition has him sidelined indefinitely.
It's hard to score goals when both of your DP forwards are out.
Three Key Lions
Kaká, M, $11.3 - Always roll with Kaká if you have him. He's earned the fifth-most fantasy points (27) in the first four weeks of the season and he's the obvious focal point of the attack, with two goals and one assist. His price keeps rising -- he started at $11 and worked his way up to $11.3 after four weeks -- so buy him now if you haven't (if you don't have him, you obviously don't play in our fantasy group). If Kaká happens to wear down later in the season, you can sell high and get you someone on a hot streak. Here's hoping he doesn't.
Pedro Ribeiro, F, $6.2 - He has the team's other goal and should have received credit for the goal at Houston. I don't see Adrian Heath relegating him to bench duty even when the regulars are back. Ribeiro has a nose for the goal and works about as hard as any player out there. He's relishing the chance to play alongside his idol right now and I'd go with him as a cheap option at forward if you need some help.
Rafael Ramos, D, $5.5 - I'm sticking with the Lusophones if I'm going to roll with Orlando City players. He's back from Portugal U-20 duty. The potential for a clean sheet is high in this one and Rafael is a cheap option at defense. What remains to be seen is if he's ready to come back after traveling back and forth to Portugal, and playing twice in five days. If you sold him because of the international layoff, bring him back home if he gets the okay to play.
Two to Sell
Brek Shea, D, $8.0 - It pains me to say anything remotely negative about Brek Shea. It really does. I'm about to do it two weeks in a row. Odds are, you don't have him on your fantasy team and you probably shouldn't. Cheap defense is winning this season's fantasy contest and $8 is steep for a fullback who doesn't score unless he's draped in red, white and blue. The Year of the Brek is in full swing but not for fantasy purposes. Roll with Ramos.
Carlos Rivas, M, $8.9 - Rivas is still injured and working his way back into match fitness. Reports say he's not ready to start and play 60-90 minutes yet, and it's not like he had the greatest performance when he did play. Every match Pedro Ribeiro plays is one more reason for Adrian Heath to keep Rivas out of the lineup (at least at forward) and Cyle Larin's going to get his chances too. Bail if you haven't.