The Armband: FMLS Round 9 Captain Rankings
The Armband: FMLS Round 9 Captain Rankings

This article is part of our The Armband series.

As long as you didn't step outside of the box too much last week, it likely ended in success, as seen in the average of 71 fantasy points at the official MLS Fantasy game (or in the 140 for the round winner). Maybe the biggest disappointments were from Kei Kamara and Juan Agudelo, but both still had respectable totals, even if it was nothing special. Lee Nguyen stole the weekend and that surprised no one, although he was still only on 16.8 percent of fantasy teams.

More exciting were Sebastian Giovinco and Clint Dempsey, as both matched what Nguyen did, but in one fewer game. C.J. Sapong has been the best forward that no one is talking about, already with four goals. David Villa keeps scoring no matter what the rest of NYC FC does. On the other end of Villa, Cyle Larin imposed his will to score his fifth and sixth goals of the season. There may not be any double gameweeks in Round 9, but there are plenty of possibilities who deserve the armband, and none of them are from New England.

Giovinco starts the week at home against the Dynamo, who have been iffy on the defensive end, giving up six goals in two road matches. After a slow start, Giovinco has three goals in his last two at home. Diego Valeri would have taken a back seat for maybe the first time this season with Portland in Dallas, but he'll miss out with a hip injury. Ignacio Piatti could be a good replacement in the midfield going against a beatable Vancouver back line. Piatti has three goals and one assist and scored in his only two matches played at home. Kevin Molino is another midfielder up north who deserves a look, though San Jose's defense has played slightly better in recent matches.

Riding the Sounders wouldn't be a bad idea after they took down the Galaxy 3-0 in Los Angeles. Of course, Dempsey will be a favorite after his recent performance, with Nicolas Lodeiro possibly being the safest bet this weekend. The Revs have been inconsistent this season and will have trouble holding Seattle to less than two goals.

Romain Alessandrini is another midfielder who deserves a look against the worst team in the league (Philadelphia) according to the standings. The Galaxy are hoping to bounce back from a supremely disappointing loss. With how they're playing, I'd stay away from Giovani dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes. As for maybe the most surprising team in the league, Atlanta gets another matchup that should produce goals. Coming off a 3-1 win at RSL, Atlanta host struggling D.C. United. Miguel Almiron and Hector Villalba should be two of the more sought-after players this week.

The fun doesn't end there with New York (v. Chicago), Columbus (v. NYC FC) and Orlando (v. Colorado) all having great matchups. I'm still staying away from Bradley Wright-Phillips, but Sacha Kljestan is making a play for one of the top captains. Larin is creeping up to being one of the better choices, with Justin Meram and Federico Higuain drawing consideration for the Crew.

On the defensive side, Tim Melia and Jimmy Medranda could be sneaky captain plays at home against Real Salt Lake. Of course, everyone will be looking at the Sporting back line in this matchup. Luis Robles and Joe Bendik may be the other top goalies, but there are a number of ways to go defensively this week.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Zdroik
Adam writes on sports ranging from NFL and MLB to soccer and college basketball. Outside of writing, he has worked with a professional soccer team, Sporting Kansas City, and in the stats department at ESPN. He is a former Streak for the Cash winner and Michigan State graduate. 2018 and 2017 Finalist for FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year.
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