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The Armband: FMLS Round 28 Captain Rankings

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.

If you didnít captain a defender last week, things more than likely didnít work out for youÖ to an extent. For starters, New York City FC and Sporting Kansas City scored a combined two goals in their four matches. NYC FC is clearly a different team without David Villa, and that in turn hurt Maxmiliano Moralezís overall fantasy worth.

Of the 12 matches, only four had a goal total over two. Toronto scored the most goals (four), but the majority of fantasy owners didnít capitalize on it because Sebastian Giovinco left early with an injury, securing one fantasy point. In all, 13 defenders reached double-digit fantasy points (all four NYC defenders), while only nine midfielders and forwards hit that mark.

With four more teams having two matches this week, it may be best to determine which of the four sides have the biggest chance to score two or fewer goals to leave them out of the captain conversation. Surprisingly, New England is first on the list because they are a much different team on the road. The Revs have scored just two goals in their last five away matches, so Iím staying away from them with trips to Atlanta and Kansas City.

Minnesota (at VAN, v. CLB) is the other team Iím avoiding, mainly because the Loons have no one who is captain-worthy and they are inconsistent anyway. Theyíve been shut out in four of their last six home matches, so that Columbus match doesnít do enough for me.

The only two teams you should back for captain are Atlanta (v. NE, v. ORL) and Vancouver (v. MIN, v. CLB). All of those matchups are extremely favorable no matter how you look at them. Atlantaís opponents have allowed 55 goals in 27 away matches with a minus-34 goal differential and Vancouverís have allowed 57 in 25 away matches with a minus-30 differential. If you captain anyone other than a player from those two teams, youíre trying too hard.

Finding the best option for the armband on Atlanta may be difficult, but at least there are options. Josef Martinez has scored seven goals in his last five home matches, though he is extremely goal dependent. Midfielders Miguel Almiron and Yamil Asad are slightly easier to trust due to their activity. Almiron has scored at least seven fantasy points in his last seven games at home, while Asad has at least four points in 10 of his last 11 matches. For the defensive minded, Greg Garza and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez are the easiest to trust, with Garza slightly in better form having one goal and three assists in his last six starts. Hector Villalba is on the list, but he hasnít played a full 90 in the last four matches.

The options for the Whitecaps are a bit sparser with Fredy Montero the main player to back. He was on a nice run of five goals and two assists in five matches, but he came off the bench in the ensuing match and then didnít find the score sheet despite Vancouver scoring three times at home last weekend. I wouldnít consider anyone in their midfield, with Kendall Waston the top defender except that the Whitecaps donít have a clean sheet in their last eight home matches. And if youíre wondering, Atlanta just held Dallas scoreless in their last home game.

Other than those players, everyone else is a stretch to captain including Ignacio Piatti, Blerim Dzemaili and Sacha Kljestan, even in favorable spots at home. Itís two matches or bust this week for the armband and thereís no way around it.