By CASEY CANNON
Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now with fewer players to choose from! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a recovering football fan can provide.
This is a short and busy week in MLS fantasy. Six teams have the week off and international calls ups are devastating some fantasy teams. Also check the discipline report. When I checked I was bummed to see Javier Morales suspended – until I remembered I dropped him last week.
The next two weeks expect to see movement on the leader boards. The last week of the regular season will be stagnant, then the play offs will feel like the wild wild west. Suddenly MLS Fantasy players will need to care about which teams win.
The movement on top hasn’t started yet. Marmots maintained his lead. Down a few places Steele’n Your Powers won the week with a SBI league high 93 points I earned 73 points to move up to 54th. Moving up is good, but I guessed wrong between Keane and Landon. Those extra 12 points would have made a difference. Who are the difference makers this week?
Read on for more in this week’s MLS Fantasy preview:
Take Three – Seattle Sounders - The Sounders play two games this week. Of the 13 teams playing this week, only Sigi’s boys have a second game. Obviously this makes them pretty darn attractive. They will win at home and lose away. This really isn’t very complicated.
Take three – Portland Timbers – The Timbers average 1.8 goals per home game. The Sounders come to town to play their second game of the week. I won’t count on Portland earning a shutout, but at least two goals will be in order.
Avoid – Greed - Some Fantasy teams may find themselves short several players. The temptation is to take a -4 per player to fill all those empty spots. If the player subbed in A) can’t be expected to earn more than 4 points and B) isn’t worth a spot on the squad in rounds 35 and 36 then don’t take a negative just till fill the slot. Remember a zero for no playtime is better than a negative two for picking the wrong transfer target. Or at the very least be aware that each -4 is kinda like a lottery pick. It’s okay to roll the dice, just understand the game.
Vice Captain – Lamar Neagle, Seattle Sounders Odds are no one pulls a caparoo. Just in case, Neagle pulls up hurt during warm-ups let’s go through the exercise. Running up top with a cured Obafemi Martins – it’s a miracle! – Neagle should earn points at home and pull in some bonus points in the second game. Only 13% of the league have him selected.
Caparoo bench player – Will Johnson, Portland Timbers According to the spreadsheet, Mike Magee is the safer choice. Of course the entire league owns Magee. Johnson costs less, is owned by only 10% of the league and doesn’t have to single handedly carry his team. I recommend owning both players, but Johnson is the emergency caparoo player.
Top eleven players over the next three weeks Assuming unlimited cash and taking known call-ups into consideration these are the players who are the best choices this week based on a weighted average over the next three weeks. Goalkeeper: Michael Gspurning; Defense: Aurelien Collin, Ike Opara, Chris Klute; Midfielders: Mike Magee, Patrice Bernier, Will Johnson, Diego Valeri, Lamar Neagle; Forwards: Marco Di Vaio, Camilo Sanvezzo.
The Three-Player Monte game has two elements: selecting three players to score goals and creating a streak of picking a captain who scores every week. The players can be awful, tossed out of the game for reprehensible fouls, and single handedly responsible for costing his team the game but like absurd back heel flicks for a goal all that matters is that singular moment of brilliance.
Captain: Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers
2. Blas Perez, FC Dallas
3. Obafemi Martins (vs. Vancouver), Seattle Sounders.
That’s all for today. I’ll be back next week with more Fantasy advice.