Last week, the NWSL fall series put the league’s entertainment value on full display, with two high-scoring matches and one well-fought scoreless draw sending us into this Saturday’s games with high expectations. Portland took away a 3-0 victory over a Utah team that’s still reeling from recent leadership changes, with their offense finally coming together after some struggles in the Challenge Cup.
Chicago also found their way through against Sky Blue FC after struggling to finish their chances in previous matches. Forward Kealia Watt made a huge impact with two goals and an assist, and the Red Stars could be off on a run if they can continue the offensive rise this week.
The Orlando Pride finally returned to play after nearly a year away, and managed to hold off the NC Courage to finish in a 0-0 draw. They’ll definitely be a team to watch this week as they match up against Houston and try to get their scoring going against the Dash’s aggressive front line.
We’ve got a three-game day this Saturday, and it’s sure to be full of excitement as the fall series teams start to find their rhythm. This week will also mark the first match for OL Reign, who is the only team who has yet to take the field. She Plays has a full slate of fantasy games for you to play along with Saturday’s action. Play Assign the Line and build your perfect team, or try your hand at Starting XI and choose a roster that will rise above the rest. However you like to play, She Plays has some tips to help you make the best picks each week. Here are your pro tips for this week of the NWSL fall series!
NWSL Fall Series Weekly Schedule
- Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit – Saturday, September 26 at 1 pm ET (CBS)
- Utah Royals vs. OL Reign – Saturday, September 26 at 3:30 pm ET (CBS ALL ACCESS)
- Houston Dash vs. Orlando Pride – Saturday, September 26 at 8:30 pm ET (TWITCH)
Chicago Takes Off
If you’ve been playing She Plays’ fantasy games, you know that one great pick for your Starting XI roster can make all the difference on the leaderboards. Keep an eye out for players that have high scoring potential in their matchups each week to give yourself the best chance to come out on top.
This week, you have to take a look at Kealia Watt of the Red Stars. After her transfer in the offseason, she’s been buzzing around the goal every game, creating opportunities and showing tons of offensive skill but never quite finishing her chances. That all changed last week when she took away two goals and an assist against Sky Blue FC. Now that she’s broken through, you can be sure she’ll be raring to go against Washington. Chicago will be looking to redeem that loss to the Spirit a few weeks ago, and their offensive play last week showed that they’re ready to do just that.
Assign the Line
Chicago could make a great offensive pick in Assign the Line as well. Assign the Line is a team-based game where you choose your favorite offensive, defensive, and goalkeeping units to build a super-team each week. Houston’s offense has also been impressive in recent games. Led by players like Shea Groom and Kristie Mewis, the Dash could see some scoring action against the Pride this week.
For defense, take a look at the Orlando Pride, who did a great job holding off North Carolina’s notoriously tough offense last weekend. They face another bunch of great forwards this week with Houston, so defense will be a key element.
From the Pride, you might consider adding Sydney Leroux to your Starting XI roster. She had the most chances for Orlando last week and is returning to play after a long hiatus, so you can expect her to get even better as she finds her feet. Ashlyn Harris also had an impressive performance last week, with one spectacular save denying Debinha what could have been the game-winning goal. Take her or Alyssa Naeher as your goalie if you’re looking for a tried and true keeper.
Bethany Balcer could be a great wild card pick for your Starting XI this week as she makes her fall series debut with the OL Reign. Though we haven’t had the chance to check out this Reign team yet, Balcer was a crucial piece of their Challenge Cup squad who regularly stood out in the offense. With the Reign missing players like Jess Fishlock, Megan Rapinoe, and Yuka Momiki, this could be Balcer’s chance to step into a real leadership role for the team.