This article is part of our MLS Fantasy Strategies series.The final DGW of the season is also the least attractive, with just two teams playing twice in a round that features only four games. In general, loading up on Colorado Rapids and Houston Dynamo players is a frowned-upon strategy. However, considering the lack of fantasy options, coupled with a universal wildcard next round, it's time to load up on burgundy and orange in Round 32!
|DGW Teams||Sat., Oct. 8||Wed./Thurs. Oct 12-13|
|Colorado Rapids||at Houston Dynamo||vs. San Jose Earthquakes|
|Houston Dynamo||vs. Colorado Rapids||at Seattle Sounders|
* One yellow card away from suspension
Of all the attractive DGW options this round, Gashi sticks out as the player with the most potential to explode for a big score. He leads the Rapids' attack with seven goals on the season, including three goals and 25 fantasy points over his last three starts. He was omitted from Albania's World Cup qualifiers squad, and with Colorado chasing the Supporters' Shield it will be all systems go in two must-win games this round.
Badji is a bargain bin grab at $4.3m, but price aside I feel like he's a sneaky good play this round. He has two goals and an assist over the last four rounds, and has gone the full 90 minutes in five consecutive games. As much as the Rapids are carried by their defense, goals are necessary to earn a needed full six points this round and Badji is in prime position to provide them.
Manotas came back to earth last round after going off for a hat-trick and 18 fantasy points in Round 30. He's started five straight games, and with the Dynamo already looking towards next season, the young-DP should be safe for two more starts this round.
Other forwards to consider: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo)
Boniek has four assists spread over his last five games and has been the most consistent Dynamo player from a fantasy perspective. He's started 18 consecutive games and has logged a full 90 minutes in a majority of them.
Azira returns from suspension and could be inserted right back into the Rapids' starting lineup. He doesn't produce flashy numbers, but what he does bring is a consistent floor of four-to-five points each game, giving your lineup a near automatic 10 points if he starts both games.
He's come up empty handed in two straight rounds, but prior to that Alex had a goal in three straight games in Rounds 26-29. He can accrue enough bonus points that, for the price, he won't kill your lineup if he doesn't find the net in Round 32.
With the Supporters' Shield at stake I'm all-in on the Colorado defensive options. Colorado are unbeaten in four straight, and have reeled off three clean sheets along the way. Sjoberg is already the most popular defender in the game, backing his 37.5 percent ownership up as the third-highest scoring defender in MLS Fantasy.
We're getting the best of both worlds with Hairston, who gives us cheap exposure to the Colorado attack while collecting clean sheet bonuses at the same time. He has an assist in back-to-back games and leads the Rapids with five assists on the season.
Other defenders to consider: Jared Watts (Colorado Rapids); Marc Burch* (Colorado Rapids); Jalil Anibaba (Houston Dynamo); Raul Rodriguez (Houston Dynamo), DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo); Sheanon Williams (Houston Dynamo)
Howard has a clean sheet in three of his last four appearances, and seven in 13 total starts since the Rapids brought him in as a mid-season reinforcement. There is no need to reiterate how important these two games are for Colorado, making Howard easily the top option at the position.
Even though Howard is the top option at goalkeeper, Willis is a viable alternative to free up a roster spot for another Colorado field player. The only hesitation with Willis is that Houston could hand backup 'keeper Calle Brown his first MLS start with nothing left to play for. If Willis is in net for both games, a six-to-seven point floor is attainable.