Conventional wisdom says that the “wise” manage will play as many double game week players as one can in order to take advantage of the extra point chances, but is that always the best strategy? In the past single game teams have also had good matches where strong players could and did perform. And it’s not ben uncommon for these players to do as well, better, or very close to double game players. So is it worth stacking your team with Week 16 double game players?
Hypothesis: I’m expecting to see double game week players be he majority of Dream Team players due to their increased chance or earning points in these weeks.
What I‘ve done is look back through the past double game weeks to see how many double game players made it into the Dream Team and then tried to apply that to week 16.
Keep reading for more after the break.
Past Double Game Weeks
Week 8: (New York and Sporting Kansas City)
- Dream Team: Collin (18pts), Besler (11pts), Zusi (12pts), Steel (12pts), and Henry (11pts).
Five players made the Dream Team in this week and Collin was the highest scoring player. Donovan was actually the highest Midfielder in this week with 16 points and only one game, and Henry was 2nd behind Jack McInerney (also only one game).
The double game players did makeup about half of the Dream Team this week, but they were not always top scorers for their positions and several players were close (w/in a couple of points) to their scores.
Week 11: (DC, Dallas, Houston, Montreal, New England, New York, Portland, Real Salt Lake, San Jose, Seattle, Kansas City)
- Dream Team: Every player.
This was the big double game week we were all getting ready for. Every player in the Dream team had a double game week. Since so many teams had double games, I’m considering this more of an outlier. It is interesting that both teams that played two home games did not have a player in the Dream team.
I will mention that the breakdown favored defenders: 5 Defenders, 2 Midfielders, 3 Forwards.
Week 12: (LA and Philly)
- Dream Team: MacMath (9pts), Sheanon Williams (13pts), Okugo (12pts), Donovan* (20pts), and Keane* (16pts).
This was the week that Donovan and Keane dissected the Philly defense and blew away the other players in their positions, but they did noting in their second game (getting 3 and 2 points). Since the majority of their points came in one game, I’m going to consider them single game scorers. That leaves the Philly players, but again, their scores were the same or w/in a couple of points of other single game players.
Past Weeks Conclusion
After looking at the numbers, I believe my original hypothesis is wrong.
The double games definitely did provide players an advantage when getting into the Dream Team, but they do not dominate the list. Each of the two weeks I focused on, had 5 or fewer players from double game week teams make the list, and several of those players were only 1-3 points higher than players without a double game. A single game week player cans quickly catch-up to double players with a goal and assist. Now, I know this is not always going to happen, but it is definitely possible for several of the top players, especially if they have a promising matchup.
Defensive players (I’m including Okugo here) are the most valuable double game players, especially if a clean sheet seems possible. If they can get at least one clean sheet, only players that do the same in a single game can hope to come close to the totals of the double players. Also, even though I considered it an outlier, when most of the league had double games in Week 11 the Dream Team had 5 defenders on it.
Keepers can also have a good payoff, even without a clean sheet. Without a clean sheet, a keeper will usually get about 3 or 4 points. When MacMath made it in Week 12, he had 9points and only one clean sheet. When Gspurning made it in Week 11, he had 2 clean sheets and grabbed 18 points. So one or two games without a clean sheet can get a good return (say 4 points x2 games), but it’s always better to look for two of these chances.
The midfield position offers single game players the best change to catch double game teams. The increased opportunity to get goals and assists can quickly add up (as we saw in week 12). So it best to not overvalue double games midfielders if you find a good midfielder with good single game matchup.
Forwards from double game teams only made the list twice, and one was Keane who did nothing in his second game. I think this highlights again that forwards are just very hit or miss, and picking one seems to be more about matchup.
So overall, I don’t think you need to grab 11 players for a double game week, especially since the MLS bonus system provides single game week players with excellent chances for high point totals. Defenders and Keepers have the best chances of getting good returns, but the ease of the game plays a much bigger role for midfielders and forwards.
So what does this mean for Week 16?
Week 16 has several big name players still missing for international games, 5 teams with top players are on a bye, or good teams are playing away games that don’t look promising.
All of the double game teams are also facing at least one challenging game or don’t have many players that are worth stacking (3 from one team).
So I don’t believe it’s worth trying to find 11 double game players and this is a week that you may want to split your team and find a balance between single and double game players.
How many players do you need? Well, that’s going to depend on whom you have right now and what position you are transferring for. If you are bringing in a defender or keeper (or don’t have a DGW player) I’d definitely look at the double game players. Those positions have the best chance for getting better retunes than single game teams. For midfielders, I don’t think there are more than a couple of good options so you might want to bring in at least 1. The same can be said for forwards, I think Di Vaio will be a top priority for many, so you can keep an eye on him, and there may be a good differential, but have at least 1.
For those of you who did not do the math, that’s 5 players. I think that’s the minimum you should have for this DGW. If you already have DGW players, you can get more but more than 8 seems like too many for this week.
The ONE exception is if you are trying to make up some ground, then you may want to go balls-to-the-wall and hope for a good outcome.
So how many players are you bringing in? Visit our forum at r/FantasyMLS and let us know or leave some feedback on this article. I’ll be following this one up with a breakdown of each double game week team soon.