By CASEY CANNON
Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now accepting competitors coupons! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a statistically unlikely monkey can provide.
I want to take a moment to talk about the MLS Mothership. Last year the fantasy writing was infrequently posted, poor in content, and bereft of any entertainment value. So far this year they have posted more content than I have had time to read. All with top-notch information. I want to give them a will deserved hat tip. Now MLS, please update the injury report. The absence of the injury report is killing me.
Now it’s time to make some commitments. Log onto the site and make some picks. The number one key thing to do is check the Injury report, Disciplinary report, and international call ups. If I see something important I will post it here but like today I often have to submit this column before the injury report is available. The game itself warns players with red info boxes but sometimes the update is slow. Always take the initiative to do some research.
With that said here are some of my preseason picks. These are not specifically for next week but just something to keep in mind during the first month of the season.
Preseason player Picks, Defenders:
1. Aurelein Collin, SKC. If I could take the entire SKC back line I would. Collin was the highest point earner from the squad. He cost 6M and has been picked by almost 30% of the owners. He isn’t a sleeper pick but a safe one.
2. Victor Bernardez , San Jose. Top performer last year, not much has changed for him during the off season. Another 6M defender but only picked by 6% of the players.
3. Austin Berry, Chicago. Last year this guy was the super bargain. This year he is not a bargain at 5.5M and 12% of the players have picked him up. One of the reasons I am still high on Berry is because I’m not sold on the other Chicago options. Every time I load the site I’m angry I can’t have that 4th SKC player. I don’t have that problem with the Fire. Lot’s of good options on paper but no one I’m committed to.
Preseason player Picks, Midfielders:
1. Patrice Bernier, Montreal Canadians. Forget you Brad Davis! You are not number one on this list. Bernier only costs 8m, is only selected by 13% of the players and earned more points than Davis.
2. Brad Davis, Houston. He is good. His team is good. He costs a fortune and a third of the league has him. He is the Toyota Highlander of Fantasy soccer.
3. Shea Salinas, San Jose. He was having a good season last year till some no-talent hack from the Red Bulls broke his collarbone. 8M but only .5% of the league has him. His Value will rise.
Preseason player Picks, Forwards:
1. Wondo, San Jose. Yes, blow 10% of your salary cap on this one guy. 40% of the league agrees.
2. Federico Higuaín, Columbus Crew. 9M and only11% of the league has him. I want to put in a caveat here. Interim coach and words with friends dream word Robert Warzycha can be hard on the creative players. (See Dilly Duka) While putting this magic Argentine on the bench is inconceivable to most fans; anything is possible with coach Warzycha. Be ready to pick up Konrad Warzycha just in case.
3. Thierry Henry, New York. Yes spend another 10% here. 20% of the league has picked him so far. The forward spots tend to be feast or famine. It is hard not to overpay for the forwards. There is some concern that Henry will take fewer free kicks. Apparently a 50-year-old midfielder is going to usurp those duties. This is a safe pick until Henry has his first injury of the season at the end of April.
With those general suggestions in mind let’s look specifically at this weeks games.
Take Three – Seattle Sounders. They scored 1.5 goals per home game last year and gave up less than one goal. Their opponent Montreal scored less than a goal a game on the road and surrendered almost two. Montreal may be improved but not that much.
Take Three – Sporting Kansas City Play the Philly Union and then next week go to Toronto to play against a random assortment of players. Last year Philly gave up 1.3 goals per HOME game and only scored 1.2. KC only allowed .88 goals per game on the road. While I think the loss of Kai Kamera will hurt on both sides of the ball I still recommend going all in for SKC this week.
Avoid – Chivas USA. I believe the Goats will score against the Crew. Please roll an eleven sided dice and tell me who that will be. There is no way the Chivas defense will be organized enough with so many late changes to keep Arrieta offsides the whole game. This game will flatter the Crew and cause heart burn for the Chivas Nation.
Captain – Higuaín. Chivas gave up 1.7 goals a game last year – at HOME. Higuaín is going to take advantage of lackadaisical marking.
Value – Dan Gargan. Most likely to get the start filling in for an injury. 4.5M for a starting defender. He plays at home against an injured and rebuilding RSL.
Overpriced: Alvaro Saborio. 1. He wasn’t a top ten forward last year. 2. His scoring has a high variance. The one thing they teach in Black Belt school is Variation is Evil. So if he is on your team when he hits for three goals, great. The other 23 games you are gonna be bummed.
That’s all for today. Good luck with your season. Come back next time when I’ll take a bit about transfers and offer new picks.
- Preformance so far this season:
Yellow Cards – 0
Red Cards – 0
Stern Verbal Warnings – many many