Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By CASEY CANNON
Hello and welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now greedier than ever! Every week I dig through statistics, news and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that $100,000,000 can buy.
Exciting news for Red Bull fans this week: In order to alleviate the problems with the overcrowded stadium and exorbitant secondary ticket market prices, MLS announced the addition of a second New York team. The hope is this second team will fully meet the demand of New Yorkers who want to watch overpaid foreigners and poverty line Americans play soccer. I look forward to Chicago getting their second team in 2015.
Of course, what really happened is MLS got to pull off an amazing two-fer. First they got to ruin the New York Cosmos’ plans of world domination (or at least New York-area soccer domination). You know that bit of spite gave Garber a happy sneer. Second, the owners got a Scrooge McDuck pile of money. While I think NYCFC is a horrible idea, like the MLS owners, I have a price. If Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan wishes to negotiate, I’m sure I can find nice things to say about the new club.
This week I have nice things to say about Flannel Jackson, who scored a towering 121 points to lead the SBI League. Also this week, Submersiblegoat regained the SBI and universal lead. Want to catch up to the leaders? Read on for this week’s fantasy advice.
We are on the cusp of the fantasy soccer apocalypse. Huge bye weeks, rosters bereft of international players, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria.
What to do when the apocalypse approaches? Bunker like a survivalist. Therefore, my #1 piece of advice: save a trade. The next couple weeks will be tight and a single injury can derail a team (please stay healthy Landon). If your squad has 12 healthy players this week hold onto one trade for next week. This week is easy, but Winter is Coming.
Take Three – Real Salt Lake. RSL’s last three games were on the road, and they won two of them. RSL welcome the hapless Fire to town this week. Expect a 2-0 RSL win.
Take Three – FC Dallas. Yes, Dallas lost 4-2 on the road last week. That’s not enough to make up for the .79 goal difference I expect. (I don’t really believe the model has accuracy to the hundredth of a goal, but the next largest gap is around .55.) This game could easily go most likely will go 2-1. San Jose has had trouble scoring on the road this year, so 2-0 is a real possibility.
Avoid – Chicago Fire. Chicago travels to spill their blood upon the Sandy ground. Chicago is the team most likely to be shut out this week. Expect all those with the stomach to watch to be amused.
Special Canadian Note: Next week, the Whitecaps and Impact play the second round in Canadian Championship. Expect both teams to use their starters in an all out effort to win the Beaver Cup.
Captain – Michel Garbini Pereira, FC Dallas. I had him on my bench last week. That hurt. This may be another big week for him: his 6.8 PPG put him in the top ten players, and he has better expectations that the usual SKC competition for the armband.
Value – Clint Irwin, Colorado Rapids. Irwin is owned by only 13% of the league. He’s possibly the best keeper in fantasy soccer and still only priced at $4.8M. The dude plays at home this week against the Goats. He needs to be one of the two keepers on every team. I am shocked he isn’t at least a top 5 most selected player. I have mentioned him here before, and I can’t believe all 100,000 of my readers didn’t pick him up a month ago.
Overpriced – Sam Cronin, San Jose Goonies. He earned 11 points in Week 10. Only 950 people sniffed value and jumped on board at that point, which was just before a double game week. He then returned to his usual 3.8ish PPG. Almost 20% of fantasy teams have him on the squad. There are much better values to be had in cheap midfielders. It’s time to move on, folks.
The Three-Player Monte game has two elements: pick three players to score goals and create a streak of picking a captain who scores every week. The players can be awful, tossed out of the game for reprehensible fouls, and ultimately responsible for costing his team the game—but like Whitney Houston, he only needs one moment in time.
1. Captain: Henry, NYFC –old school
2. Cooper, FC Dallas
3. Di Vaio, Montreal
That’s all for today. Come back next time for more MLS fantasy notes.
Performance last week :
Amount required to make me a vocal NYC Supporter – $50,000
?? – 42
Number of Yankees Fans who asked for a Yankees Brand soccer team – 0