By CASEY CANNON
Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now even more bitter! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a starving artist can provide.
This is the last week of the Fantasy Soccer lean times. Only five teams are on a bye while four teams have double games. Sadly, of those four the Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps both have the following week off. Still, this is the last of the save a trade weeks. Next week will be a shopper’s paradise as the missing international players return. Having squirreled away one extra trade will pay great dividends.
This week special congratulations go to Mrs. Brian Carroll. After diligently picking her husband as the captain of her fantasy team every week since 2007 this week she looks like a genius. ‘Gratz to last week’s winner Sir Meowly who scored 79 points climbing up to 44th in the SBI league. Still on top of the SBI league and 6th in the known universe is DamagedGoods. Personally, I went for a big gain and took Morales as my Captain. That was good enough to boost me to 36th in the SBI league. Want to join me in the climb to the top? Read on for my Fantasy picks.
Take Three – Portland Timbers . The Timbers have the double this week. Having rested their starters during an open Cup match the rejuvenated Timbers host an FC Dallas team that went all in to earn their US Open Cup win. Ordinarily the Timbers could expect a 50% chance to win and better than 20% chance to earn a shutout. Add in the Open Cup variable and this game is a slam dunk.
Portland then travel to the LA Galaxy. For the Rose City boys his game won’t go nearly as well. They have over a 40% chance of being shut out – admittedly before considering Gonzales absence. Still, two points for showing up to the Galaxy game plus points for beating FC Dallas makes for a good week.
Colorado Rapids . Picking the two teams that have a double this week and no bye next week doesn’t make me feel very creative. Like Portland, Colorado has a first game this week that makes the pick irresistible. The Rapids have a 40% chance to earn a shutout in their game against the coach-less San Jose Goonies. (Goonies may never say die, but I guess they fire their coaches. Goodbye Esprit de Corps).
For the second game the Rapids go on the road to Chicago. This looks to be an even game with a win, loss or draw about equally likely. I would be shocked if the teams combine for more than three goals. If someone watches this game let me know how it turns out.
Avoid – Chivas USA . On the road at the Vancouver Whitecaps, the goats have a 13% chance to win. Only a 10% chance to earn a shutout. Next week Chivas shocks the world and hires Frank Yallop.
Captain – Chris Klute, Colorado Rapids . Owned by about 10% of the league, Klute is essentially in a dead heat with his teammate Irwin for the armband this week. Two games at 5.7 PPG sounds pretty sexy to me.
Value – Nathan Sturgis, Colorado Rapids. Only 4.3M but earns 5.4PPG. Given the match up’s mentioned earlier this is the perfect week to go deep on Rapid players. Picking this gentleman up will put you in company of 2% of the league.
Volleys. Right now 33% of teams have Graham Zusi. That is 9.9M sitting unused for two weeks. Javier Morales has a better PPG and is cheaper than the sneaky good Mike Magee. Yet 32% of the league has Magee only 7% has Morales. Right now Robbie Keane is the best forward value by a wide margin. I’m not saying he is cheap, but his points per dollar is clearly the best among forwards. Lamar Neagle of Seattle is the best value at Midfield.
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 David Lee Roth all that matters is that singular moment of brilliance.
1. Marco Di Vaio , Captain, Montreal Impact
2. Altiba Harris , Colorado Rapids
3. Will Johnson, Portland Timbers
That’s all for today. Come back next time for more MLS fantasy notes.