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Fantasy Focus: Leal Deal

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So what if that’s not how you pronounce it?

FC Cincinnati v Nashville SC Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Before I get into the week in MLS Fantasy, I want to make a quick note about the head-to-head league. When I set the league up, I arbitrarily set the team number at 100, thinking it was the upward limit. What I didn’t realize until Saturday is that the league, with 76 teams at the time, did not start because it didn’t meet the set team number. So I set the team number to 76 and then set it to start in round 2, so everyone basically gets a round 1 bye. All of the other settings, including the playoffs, will happen as planned. I’m sorry for the error. We’ll get going at the weekend.

Let’s get to last weekend. The 4-4-2 Loko set the pace, topping the league with 87 points.

Positional Leaders

Goalkeepers

A trio of goalkeepers topped the scoring this week with a clean sheet and 10 points — Andre Blake (PHI, $6.5), Jimmy Maurer (DAL, $6.0), and William Yarbrough ($6.0). For DCU, Chris Seitz ($4.6) scored 4 points.

Defenders

Vancouver’s Cristian Gutierrez ($5.0) led the defenders this round with 13 points on the strength of a clean sheet and an assist. Trailing him was a pair of players with 12 points each — D.C.’s Brendan Hines-Ike ($5.5), with a goal, and Seattle’s Alex Roldan ($5.5), with a clean sheet and an assist. The remaining United defenders were Frederic Brillant ($5.4) and Joseph Mora ($5.0), who each had 3 points.

Midfielders

Randall Leal (NSH, $7.0) paired a goal and an assist for 15 points, leading all midfielders and all players, followed by Joao Paulo Mior (SEA, $8.5), who scored 12 points on a goal and an assist of his own. Chicago’s Luka Stojanovic ($5.0) rounded out the top three with a goal, an assist, and 10 points. The D.C. midfield was led by the pair of Junior Moreno ($6.5) and Russell Canouse ($5.0), who scored 9 points each, followed by Julian Gressel ($8.3) with 8 points, and the pair of Edison Flores ($8.2) and Yamil Asad ($6.8) with 3 each.

Forwards

Miami’s Gonzalo Higuain ($10.0) led the forwards with a goal, an assist, and 14 points. Close behind were Robert Beric (Chicago, $10.0) with 13 points on a goal and an assist, and Chicharito (LAG, $8.5), who scored 12 points on two goals. The DCU forwards were Erik Sorga ($4.4) with 2 points, and both Adrien Perez ($4.0) and Nigel Robertha ($7.0) with 1 point.

Looking Ahead

With 27 teams in the league, Columbus is the odd team out on bye, while everyone else plays. I like Jimmy Maurer in goal at San Jose, and Kai Wagner (PHI, $6.0) in defense vs. Miami. Emanuel Reynoso (MIN, $9.3) looks good in midfield vs. RSL, and I’m sticking with Valentin Castellanos (NYC, $8.2) at forward vs. Cincinnati.

As a bonus, here are a few players I recommend you consider buying low on: Brad Stuver (ATX, G, $4.8), Tristan Blackmon (D, LA, $5.0), Luka Stojanovic (M, CHI, $5.0), Josh Atencio (M, SEA, $4.4)