Pro Tips: Standout Players Lead in the Fall Series

By Preston Bradsher

The NWSL Fall Series continues this weekend as the teams reach the final stages of their campaign for the Verizon Community Shield, which will give the winning team $25,000 to donate to their community partner organization. Portland currently sits on top of the standings after a draw against the Royals last week. They remain the only undefeated club so far with one game left to play. 

Washington managed a 1-0 win over Sky Blue FC to put them in second place at the end of their final game of the Fall Series, but the results of this week’s games could change those standings. Probably the biggest story of last weekend was the Houston Dash’s decisive win over the North Carolina Courage, marking the Dash’s first win over the Courage in club history. Kristie Mewis had a hand in all four of those goals, notching a goal and three assists to lead the Dash to victory.

Mewis was one of many NWSL players who have earned the attention of USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski, who named a roster of 27 players for a just-announced national team training camp. The camp will be held in Colorado from October 18-28, and none of the players currently playing overseas will be called away from their clubs. This has provided a unique opportunity for those players who might typically be overlooked for this type of camp, and several NWSL standouts made the list. Some of those standouts include Kealia Watt, Bethany Balcer, Sophia Smith, Shea Groom, Ashley Sanchez, Kristie Mewis, and Sarah Gorden, who have all impressed in the Challenge Cup and Fall Series and are seeing those efforts pay off. 

This week of games is sure to be as exciting as we’ve come to expect from the NWSL, and She Plays has all your favorite fantasy games ready so you can play along. New players are welcome to join any time, and we’ll give you some fantasy tips each week to help you make the best picks. Go ahead and make an account and get your picks in in time for kick off!

NWSL Fall Series Schedule

  • Orlando Pride vs. Houston Dash – Friday, October 9 at 5 pm ET (CBSSN)
  • Sky Blue FC vs. Chicago Red Stars – Saturday, October 10 at 12:30 pm ET (CBS All Access)
  • OL Reign vs. Portland Thorns – Saturday, October 10 at 8 pm ET (TWITCH)

Standout Performances

If you’ve been playing Starting XI, you know how one great player can make a huge difference in your fantasy point totals. Luckily, this league has more than its fair share of standout players for you to choose from. To play Starting XI, just choose a roster of three forwards, four midfielders, three defenders, and a goalkeeper to score you points based on their in-game performances.

For your offense, you have to look at the Dash this week. In their last outing against Orlando they came away with a 3-1 win, and they’re coming off a big win against the Courage. Nichelle Prince is always a good choice at forward, and Kristie Mewis and Shea Groom both have big scoring potential in the midfield. Sophie Schmidt is also having a moment for the Dash–she’s scored in every Fall Series game they’ve played.

Portland is another place to go to fill out your offense. They’ve dominated the western pod and currently sit on top of the standings as the only team without a loss. They face OL Reign this week, and will look for a repeat victory after their 4-1 win over the Reign at their last meeting. Cristine Sinclair recorded a hat trick in that game, so she’s definitely a strong choice at forward. Simone Charley and Sophia Smith have also been difference-makers for the Thorns lately and could earn some fantasy points this week. 

If you’re looking for a Chicago player, go with Kealia Watt or Savannah McCaskill. Both have been a huge offensive presence for the Red Stars, and this week’s match against Sky Blue should give them a chance to shine. 

On the backline, look to the steady players like Meghan Klingenberg of Portland or Sarah Gorden or Zoey Goralski of Chicago. Round out your roster with a goalie like Alyssa Naeher if you’re looking for a steady hand, or take a chance on a keeper like Ashlyn Harris who’s been making acrobatic saves and is sure to see a lot of shots this week. However you choose, get your picks in now to be ready for kickoff!

Click here to make your picks now, and check back here for more tips next week!

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