South American Soccer

SBI MLS Fantasy Corner


Admit it, MLS fantasy soccer stopped being fun about a month ago. Yes, I know, you still play it religiously and still set your lineup every week hoping this is the week your captain goes nuts and that obscure rookie you took a chance on nets a hat trick, but in the end, it’s all about misery.

As we have learned, misery loves company and SBI MLS fantasy guru Stephen Zaffuto is here to offer you up his suggestions for ending the pain that comes with watching your team’s lowly point totals. Here is his take on this week in Fantasy MLS.


I came to the realization this Monday at about 4:30 p.m EST that I’ve been way too positive with this column.  The world isn’t all about babies laughing and flowers and those stupid plush dogs with the big noses – there is pain and suffering and atrocity at every corner.  Why should I go on writing my column as usual, ignoring all the negativity that surrounds each of us, dragging us down into its darkness and giving us no hope of a beautiful future?  Life sucks and so should the selection of your fantasy team.

So why did this epiphany strike me at approximately 4:30 on Monday, you ask?  Well, let’s just say the country that I’m going to be living in for the next two months did not exactly make a bella figura

For the past few days I’ve been shell-shocked.  My cappuccino tastes like (gasp) American coffee, I cringed today when I heard Dean Martin’s “Volare” while walking past an Italian restaurant, and the mere sight of orange traffic cones on the road sends me into fit of profanity that would best be described as the lovechild of Bob Saget’s Aristocrats bit and Yosemite Sam.

So, if you would so indulge me, I’ll be taking a different tact this week.  Instead of highlighting players to target for your fantasy team, I’ll highlight players to avoid, including some commonly owned players that should be sold.  If you’re going to pick good transfer targets for your team this week, it’ll have to be on your own merit – don’t expect the MLS Fantasy refs to gift anything to you because of either gross incompetence or blind adherence to the letter of the law on a rule that should allow exceptions based on context and good judgment* (ahemVanNistelrooyahem)!

*I’m just playing, everyone; PLEASE don’t restart that debate!  He was probably not offsides.**

**No, really, he was offsides.

Players likely to miss time this week for international matches:

  • Landon Donovan
  • Maurice Edu
  • Brad Guzan
  • Frankie Hejduk
  • Sacha Klejstan
  • Pablo Mastroeni
  • Carlos Ruiz
  • Amado Guevara
  • Marco Velez
  • Kenny Mansally
  • Bouna Coundoul

Notable suspensions for Week 12:

  • Facundo Erpen
  • Brad Evans
  • Marcelo Gallardo
  • Alan Gordon
  • Bryan Namoff
  • Brandon Prideaux
  • James Riley

Falling Stars:


Juan Pablo Angel, NYR, ($371K)

Last year’s savior has looked downright petulant most of the time he’s been on the field this year, and was seen grimacing and struggling to even run in the final minutes of the Red Bulls’ game last Thursday.  Even if he does manage to play through the injury this week at DC, conditions aren’t great for him to score. He’ll line up beside someone who is not Jozy Altidore and expect service from a group of midfielders who have not provided it for him consistently this season.


Arturo Alvarez, FCD ($287K)

Don’t let the goal scored last week fool you – Alvarez has seen his playing time greatly reduced.  Though he got off to a blazing start this season, he has not seen more than 19 minutes in any of the team’s last 3 matches.  Add that he’ll be playing under a coaching staff in transition and it’s probably best to avoid him until he gets back into the starting lineup consistently.


Chad Marshall, CLB ($357K)

A personal favorite up to this point, Marshall had to leave the Crew’s last game in the first half and does not look promising for the upcoming week.  Though Kansas City’s offense has struggled recently, they finally return to their home park, where they looked good early in the season.  If Marshall does play, it’s too unlikely that he’ll give you any points to bother paying his decently hefty pricetag.


Jon Conway, NYR ($275K)

Nothing against Conway, but I don’t see any way he’ll keep a clean sheet this week as he has several things working against him. 1. an injury (and transfer) weakened squad in front of him that will struggle to possess the ball for much time at all, 2. a surging DC United team that seems to be figuring it out lately and 3. playing away at DC, where New York rarely emerges with any type of result.  Look elsewhere.

There are your players to stay away from.  Now stop candy-coating your life and go do something that accurately depicts the negativity of this world, like read a Chuck Palahniuk novel or listen to emo in the dark.   Oh, the humanity…

  • kpugs

    Juan Pablo is most definitely a falling star fantasy-wise, but you’ve got the reasons why all wrong. If you don’t watch the team regularly you can just say he’s a falling star because he isn’t scoring points. He outworks everyone on the field and has been nursing a back injury all year. I’m not even saying he’s in top form, but when you run more than anyone on the pitch and you’re supposed to be the target striker, guess what, you’re not going to be a top fantasy guy.

    I find it hilarious that people are still saying Ruud was offside as well. The rule is clear as day, if you don’t have permission to leave the pitch, you can still keep defenders on side. Buffon+Panucci=onside.


  • dino martin peters

    Hey pallie Stephen, cringin’ at our Dino….no disrespect intended, but like why cringe at our King of Cool…never was, never will be anyone as cool as the King of Cool…oh, to return to the days when Dino walked the earth…


  • Fred

    What about the absense of Gallardo and Namoff due to red card accumulation? doesn’t that work in Conway’s favor?


  • Ry

    There will also be Canadians missing from MLS this week. Mainly DeRo and Onstad.


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