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By CASEY CANNON
Hello and welcome to the Soccer By Ives Fantasy Corner – now with fewer moral compunctions! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only a guy waiting for the tow truck can provide.
This week there are lots of factors swirling around to consider: returning Gold Cup players, All-Star players flying to KC then flying to their league game, normal injuries, pending discipline committee decisions, and the looming wild card transfer date (Aug 17, 6:45 pm).
All this is dwarfed by some rich guy making the Columbus Crew his personal plaything. If anyone knows Mr. Precourt please let him know that if he needs a fantasy soccer writer on his overpaid California based staff or for that matter a whole budding soccer website to sing his praises, I have some suggestions.
I won’t put this week’s fantasy results on my resume for Mr. Precourt. I didn’t feel good about my teams performance this week but most of the other top teams did about the same. It was just mediocre. Those players jockeying for the top fifty spots can’t afford mediocre weeks.
The fantasy team FC Corvo scored a league high 78 to leap over several players last week. Meanwhile, Murder Inc. has claimed the top SBI spot. I actually did something I didn’t think possible. By scoring a mediocre 48 points, I stayed in the same position in both the SBI league and overall.
I’m hopeful the moves outlined below will push me up the charts this week:
Take Three – San Jose Earthquakes – One thing we learned at the Gold Cup is that Wondo can take advantage of lesser opponents. Hey look, it’s Chivas coming to town. I don’t have any faith in the Chivas revival. Wondo, Salinas and one other Earthquake player may be called for this week.
Take three – New England Revolution – Any team playing at home against TFC is an auto select. New England’s defense makes this an even better bet. The only thing can stop the Revs are embarrassing football lines on their home field.
Avoid – DC United – Silva has piqued my interest. Mostly I’m annoyed because his goal last week cost me a ton of points. His team won’t win; he’ll just kill and the fantasy teams.
THE STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO ROUND 24
Step One: Trade away one of your favorite midfielders. For me, this week, it was Amobi Okugo. I like Okugo and I expect to pick him up again, but of the top few midfielders, he is the one this week I will cut to make space. Look at his points history. Very consistent.
Compare that to Javier Morales. Morales has a higher PPG but lots of variance week to week. Okugo is so wonderfully consistent. I love the low variance players. Still, I like RSL too much this week to part with Morales.
Graham Zusi at home is my “risk.” Sneaky Mike Magee – all he ever does is score goals. Of the bunch, Okugo has a very slightly lower PPG, and I don’t love his matchup. So off he goes.
Step Two: Pick up Landon Donovan. So many reasons to do this now. This is the cheapest you will find LD. He looked good in the Gold Cup and will have his Irish strike partner back soon. Plus The Bruce understands how to prepare a team for the playoff push. Finally, we need an LA Galaxy player for the next step.
Step Three: Start Landon and make him your Captain. This is operation Caparoo.
Step Four: Make Zusi the Vice Captain. He is at home against a Red Bulls team that doesn’t have Cahill. They don’t travel well, and I feel like Zusi will beat his 6.5 PPG average. In fact, let me spell this out: Graham, find Kei in a dangerous spot and pass him the ball. This is a three assist kind of game.
Step Five: Put Goncalves first on the bench. Here use whichever Revolution defender you prefer, but Goncalves has the best PPG. Personally I have McCarthy, but you should season to taste. This guy is your security blanket to balance out the more risky offensive Saturday pick.
Step Six: Decision time. Sunday morning, if Zusi has less than six points manually, put in Goncalves for Landon and give Goncalves the armband. If Zusi has more than seven points, do nothing. Goncalves will automatically replace Landon and Zusi will have his points doubled. If Zusi has six or seven points consider how lucky or desperate you feel.
Step Seven: Profit
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 that one trick pool shot with everybody watching all that matters is that singular moment of brilliance.
Captain: Eddie Johnson, Seattle Sounders
2. Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution
3. Chris Wondolowski, San Jose Earthquakes
That’s all for today. I’ll be back next week with more fantasy advice.