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Fantasy on Fire: First Double Game Week

Each and every week Erik Tjaden will give readers his best MLS Fantasy advice. This week he focuses on the players entering their first double game week.

Erik Tjaden pegs Maximiliano Urruti as a smart pick up for this double-game week.
Erik Tjaden pegs Maximiliano Urruti as a smart pick up for this double-game week.
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Alas, it only took three short weeks for us to arrive upon what fantasy nerds gameplan for all preseason long: the first Double Game Week.

The teams getting two scoops are the New England Revolution, DC United, FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps. This Double Game Week (herein referred to as DGW) is a little different than most. Basically there are three matches before the international break and then there are nine more afterwards. Normally a Double Game Week is just that ... two games in one week.

One of the immediate benefits is that some DGW players will have more rest time between matches meaning that they (hopefully) put in a full 180 minutes.

To make things even more complicated is the fact that we are dealing with international call ups. This means that some of your favorite players will be donning kits for country over club. So this week is a little bittersweet as we have some players who can give us two games worth of minutes but others who will give us nothing. Now that this has been hashed out, let's get to looking at what DGW players to consider!


Bobby Shuttleworth ($5.8)

If you are smart (like me!) you peeked ahead a couple of weeks and snagged Shuttleworth whose Revs have regional matchups during the DGW on the road against New York City FC and at home against the New York Red Bulls. You also would have been pleasantly surprised when he put up a whopping 13 points in Week 3 on the back of two saved penalties.

NYCFC at home could yield some goals against him but expect Shuttleworth to make his money on saves. Welcoming the Red Bulls into Gilette Stadium could wind up being a tasty matchup as they didn't post a goal until last week. I am not sure the Revs defense will pitch a shutout but Shuttleworth should get his.

Travis Worra ($4.1)

Worra is the most inexpensive starter in the game right now due to compatriots Bill Hamid and Andrew Dykstra being sidelined. His price makes him attractive but his schedule isn't the most friendly.

The Black and Red invite a dangerous FC Dallas team to RFK Stadium and then go on the road to face the Quakes, which are a tough play at their home stadium. The make matters a bit more complicated is that Worra won't have Steve Birnbaum ($7.5) in front of him. Considering his cost, Worra is worth filling your backup goalkeeper spot with the added benefit of being able to play him when the right matchup comes along.


Taylor Kemp ($7.6)

For some of the same reasons that make Worra an attractive transfer at ‘keeper (except the bottom barrel price), Kemp is worth a look this DGW. He is sure to play all 180 minutes, especially with Birnbaum getting a call-up.

His form has been solid with him collecting an average of five fantasy points per game.

Zach Loyd ($7.5)

Sure Loyd hasn't logged a single minute this season but at this point FC Dallas has to choose between him and the equipment manager to fill their backline. International call ups have left the team with just FOUR defenders, two of which are midfielder/defender hybrids. Loyd is the ultimate DGW band aid fix.


Matias Laba ($7.5)

Laba is an interesting pick up for this DGW mainly because the defensive line of the ‘Caps is depleted due to call ups. VWFC loses their starting centerbacks, Kendall Waston ($9.1) and Tim Parker ($6.5), as well as a host of other players.

The reason I suggest Laba is that he is sure to log 180 minutes and could garner quite a few bonus points due to CBIs. He is a bargain that could wind up being worth 8-9 points.

Lamar Neagle ($7.5) & Marcelo Sarvas ($7.1)

I lumped these two DC United midfielders together because they are so cheap that they might as well be a buy one, get one deal. Add to the fact that both of them are sporting form north of 4.5 points per match and I see two really inexpensive options to bolster your squad heading into a DGW.

Differential points are another thing that adds value to what is already a blue light special. Sarvas is only on 1.6% of teams while Neagle occupies just 4.5%.


Maximiliano Urruti ($8.5)

When I saw that Urruti was transferred to FC Dallas from Portland, it was one of those moments where you felt good for the guy. During his stay in PDX, Urruti seemed to be stuck in a logjam (pun not intended) of attackers with Fanendo Adi ($10.2), Gaston Fernandez, and Lucas Melano ($8.8).

I couldn't understand why Caleb Porter couldn't just pick one and stick with it (which he finally did with Adi and we all know how well that worked). Furthermore, if you are a young striker wouldn't you want to go to a team with a slew of talented midfielders (Mauro Diaz, Kellyn Acosta, and Fabian Castillo to name a few) who could provide service? All that is to say that with Tesho Akindele ($7.5) playing for Canada and Blas Perez ($7.0) not even on the team, Urruti will not be in a timeshare this DGW.

Octavio Rivero ($8.3)

Rivero is a fine DGW pickup as he is sure to log close to the full 180 minutes especially now that teammate Blas Perez is suiting up for Panama. I like his matchup against the Houston Dynamo in that they have had plenty of trouble keeping teams off the scoresheet.

The second leg of his DGW comes at home against the LA Galaxy who are a different beast away from the StubHub Center. Looking at other options I figured he would log much more time than Fabian Espindola ($9.9), is healthier than Charlie Davies ($8.5) and has actually started a match this season unlike Juan Agudelo ($8.4).