National Women's Soccer League

Fantasy Shots: Week 8

Raise your hand if you had an awesome week?

*crickets*

These weeks happen, and unfortunately it’ll probably happen again before the season is over. That’s the joy of fantasy sports. You can research and track players all you want, but there are always weeks that things just don’t happen the way you think. That’s sport!

For those of us who take fantasy a little too seriously, these types of weeks are great for perspective. Nothing matters. Playing fantasy soccer or baseball or anything is all about fun. You choose your favorite players and see what happens. Or you do a bunch of research and make picks based on past results. The point is, in the long run, it doesn’t matter. We do it because we enjoy it. It’s weeks like this where we are forcefully reminded of that.

The awesome part of this week is, not only do two teams have double games, but the allocated players from both the US WNT and the CAN WNT are in Canada for the international friendly between the two national teams. This means that the decision process for me has come down to complete and utter guesswork. Awesome.

The Western New York Flash came back to defeat Chicago Red Stars 2-1 on Wednesday, but it was hard-fought, thanks to terrific goalkeeping by Chicago’s rookie goalkeeper Taylor Vancil, who took over for injured Erin McLeod.

The Boston Breakers shut out Washington Spirit 3-0 with goals from Heather O’Reilly, Katie Schoepfer, and Kyah Simon.

Sky Blue FC lengthened their win streak to four games with a 1-0 victory over FC Kansas City thanks to a converted penalty kick from Sophie Schmidt. Kansas City played a man down for three quarters of the game after FCKC defender Lauren Sesselmann was sent off in the 22nd minute.

Seattle Reign put up a surprising fight to hold Portland Thorns to just one goal and while they lost the match 0-1, it pointed to good things for Seattle’s future.

Boston Breakers' Heather O'Reilly

Boston Breakers’ Heather O’Reilly

Top Four Point Leaders in each position for Week 7:

Goalkeepers: K. Leblanc (POR, 20 points), B. Cameron (SBFC, 20 points), C. Santiago (BOS, 10 points), A. Franch (WNY, 3 points)

Defenders: C. Foord (SBFC, 11 point), B. Taylor (WNY, 7.50 points), N. Marshall (POR, 6.5 points), R. Buehler (POR, 6.5 points)

Midfielders: L. Sanderson (BOS, 13 points) S. Schmidt (SBFC, 12 points), H. O’Reilly (BOS, 12 points). C. Sinclair (POR, 11.5 points), M. Zerboni (WNY, 11.5 points)

Forwards: K. Simon (BOS, 13 points), K. Schoepfer (BOS, 12.5), A. Wambach (WNY, 9.5 points), R. Cuellar (FCKC, 9 points)

FC Lake Placid: Week 7 Team (*denotes captain, #denotes allocated)

Formation: 4-4-2

Points Earned: 67.50

Week 7 standing: 519

Overall Standing: 319 (up 10 points from Week 6)

Goalkeeper: A. Franch (WNY)

Defenders: N. Marshall (POR), M. Dougherty (POR), L. Robinson (FCKC), C. Goodson (SBFC)

Midfielders: L. Cheney# (FCKC), C. Lloyd# (WNY), C. Sinlair# (POR), L. Chalupny (CHI)

Forwards: A. Morgan# (POR), A. Wambach*# (WNY)

WEEK 8 SCHEDULE (All times listed EDT)
Chicago Red Stars at Portland Thorns (Sat, June 1 5:00pm)
Boston Breakers at Sky Blue FC (Sat, June 1 7:00pm)
Western New York Flash at Boston Breakers (Wed. June 5 7:00pm)
FC Kansas City at Portland Thorns (Thurs, June 9:30pm)

Once again, I’ll remind you that the USWNT and CANWNT players are all out for their June 1 matchup. No word yet on if they will be available for the games in the week following.

Chicago Red Stars' Taylor Vancil

Chicago Red Stars’ Taylor Vancil

Picks for Week 8 (*denotes captain/~denotes vice-captain/#denotes allocated player)

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: A. Philips (BOS)

With Boston having two games in Week 8 and Philips being Boston’s regular goalkeeper, she may be the best option in goal.

WATCH LIST:

B. Cameron (SBFC): Cameron, just voted NWSL Player of the Month, is always strong in the posts. A single gamer, but never one to ignore.

T. Vancil (CHI): After a fantastic debut last week, look to Vancil and Chicago to roll with their momentum against Portland on Saturday.

Defenders: M. Dougherty (POR), C. Goodson (SBFC), C. Whitehill (BOS), L. Robinson (FCKC)

M. Dougherty (POR): With Buehler with the national team for at least the first of Portland’s two games, look to Dougherty and her teammates in the impressive backline of Portland to stave off the offenses.

C. Goodson (SBFC): Sky Blue will look to extend their win streak against Boston. Goodson has been the most consistent Sky Blue defender as far as gaining points.

C. Whitehill (BOS): A double game team, Boston will need to step up their attack without the crucial Heather O’Reilly in the midfield. Whitehill has the potential to gather some assists and a clean sheet or two. Watch for bookings, though.

L. Robinson (FCKC): She sure knows how to get forward on set pieces, and it’s shown, with her ability to gain points. The Blues’ defensive line will be crucial to shut down Alex Morgan and Portland, even if the National team players are back.

WATCH LIST:

B. Taylor (WNY): She picked up an assit last week, and will look to continue that against Bostkn. Western New York have proved that they can win without their WNTers, and Taylor will be cruicial in that.

N. Marshall (POR): Seems to be a consistently good option for a non-allocated defender. Portland has a double game, so potentially some good points.

K. Williamson (POR): Without Buehler, Williamson will be the wrangler in the back. Quietly gathering points with clean sheets.

K. Johnson (SBFC): With Sky Blue’s streak including several clean sheets, Johnson has one of the highest point totals of the league defenders.

Midfielders: L. Chalupny (CHI), T. Lytle (SBFC), M. Zerboni (WNY), L. Sanderson (BOS)

L. Chalupny (CHI): While still a mystery of her lack of call up for the national team, that means Chalupny is avaliable to put in the midfield. She scored a brilliant goal against WNY last week, and she’s been gaining points consistantly.

T. Lytle (SBFC): Can she get another goal? A couple of assists? Sky Blue will be without Rampone or O’Hara, but Lytle has begun to prove herself.

M. Zerboni (WNY): The most “pointed” midfielder for WNY, she’s dangerous around the ball and could provide Kerr and Adriana with the support needed against Boston.

C. Lloyd# (WNY): Making a strong impact in New York. If she plays Wednesday, look to her to get the ball forward to Wambach and Kerr.

L. Sanderson (BOS): Picked up three assists in Boston’s last game and has six total for the season. She’ll be crucial in Boston’s two games.

WATCH LIST:

H. O’Reilly# (BOS): Won’t be there for Saturday, but a distinct possibility for Wednesday’s game against WNY. She’s Boston’s most crucial asset in the midfield, and is never one to ignore, even with a single game.

L. Cheney# (FCKC): If she’s on the field for Thursday’s game against Portland, she’ll likely get points. Cheney has impressed me the most thus far.

N. Washington (POR): A double gamer, and one of Portland’s most active fantasy midfielders. Watch out for the bookings, though.

J. Buczkowski (FCKC): She’s been doing a good job at organizing the midfield. While not a huge point-gainer, she could see some action this week.

C. Sinclair# (POR): May be worth the spot if she plays on Thursday.

Forwards: L. DeVanna (SBFC), R. Cuellar# (FCKC)

L. DeVanna (SBFC): The speedy Australian could have some space without O’Reilly to counter attacks. Could this be her breakout week?

R. Cuellar (FCKC): A tough matchup against Portland, but Cuellar is speedy and could provide a crucial goal for FCKC. If Sauerbrunn and the FCKC defense can shut Alex Morgan down, any potential points Cuellar gains could be the difference.

WATCH LIST:
D. Foxhoven (POR): Without Alex Morgan to start, Foxhoven could get the nod. She’s a super substitute  and only time will tell if she would be the same impact from the start.

A. Wambach# (WNY): Four goals in five games is nothing to sneeze at…

A. Morgan# (POR): The forward with the highest amount of points, Morgan is always a good option up top. However, if Becky Sauerbrunn can take a leaf out of Christie Rampone’s book and shut down Morgan, it could be a hit for fantasy teams.

K. Schoepfer (BOS): Loses O’Reilly’s service in the first game, but will likely have her in the second matchup.

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