Photo by ISI Photos
Week six was a week Fantasy MLS players probably thought would come at least a month earlier. Juan Pablo Angel and Taylor Twellman, two of the best forwards in MLS, both scored their first goals of the season.
Were you one of the fortunately fantasy owners to take a chance on them last week? Or were you one of the owners who tried to give Luciano Emilio another chance? The real question is whether anybody is still giving chances to D.C. players in fantasy considering the miserable season the club has endured.
SBI fantasy correspondent Stephen Zaffuto enjoyed a strong week, with many of his picks panning out. Here his the latest installment of his weekly take on the Fantasy MLS Challenge (As well as the Top 10 owners in the SBI Fantasy MLS League):
By STEPHEN ZAFFUTO
Pardon me for a moment, as I plunge headlong into self-congratulatory splendor; I’ve been nailing most of my picks. Just nailing them. My four midfield picks last week were Christian Gomez, Robbie Rogers, Blanco and Morales, and I rounded out my Gillette Fusion sharp analysis with a recommendation for Juan Pablo Angel. Without even considering the other six positions, Coach’s slot or Captian designation, this calamitous quintet would have netted 78 points. Add in my Rolfe pick (5 points) and you have 83 points from half of the available positions.
So why did my team manage only 63 points this week? I’ll tell you why – I was handcuffed. Not handcuffed in the way that a certain unnamed Japanese soccer star might be handcuffed, but in a figurative sense; I didn’t have the flexibility to make the moves that I wanted to make. Here I am, like a true magnanimous martyr (read: damn fool), giving all of you ideas for dynamite pick-ups, when I know that I can only get one or two of them for myself. I can only assume that the seven of you who actually read this weekly space fared better than I, but alas – such is the burden that I’ve agreed to bear.
So how can I make sure this doesn’t happen again? How can I put myself in a position to make the moves I want to make instead of the moves I have to make, like I did last week to pick up worthy replacements in my starting lineup to Michael Harrington and Amado Guevara and drop roster dead weight that had carried over from the original squad?
With one simple rule: Select your team by analyzing next week’s schedule and work your way back to this week. Look at the schedule and pick out certain candidates that have the best matchups and/or multiple games in the same week. Figure out what your budget will be when you sell your three players and keep that amount in mind. Then, look over your list of prospective adds again, with respect to their matchups for week 8. Pick out a few guys that you think can get some points in Week 8 as well as 9, and manipulate your budget and roster mechanics to be able to fit them in.
One note of warning: don’t get carried away. One week in the future is all that I’d recommend in most instances, because beyond that there are way too many potential pitfalls. With this in mind, DC United and Toronto FC both have two matches in Week 9, and Colorado has matchups against two of the leagues weaker defenses in Weeks 8 & 9, both at home.
Luciano Emilio, DCU ($341K) – This, folks, is what people in the financial industry call a “bottom”. What’s that? Stop laughing! You guys have dirty minds! What I mean is that this is likely the lowest Luciano Emilio’s plummeting stock will fall. Down $189K since Week 1, now is the time to get back in. The Golden Boot last year was not a complete fluke, and Emilio will start scoring again. A Week 8 matchup vs. Chivas followed by a home-and-home series against Toronto FC in Week 9 could be just the spark he and the team need to get back on track.
Honorable Mention: Kenny Cooper ($451K), Claudio Lopez ($485K), Maykel Galindo ($308K)
Amado Guevara, TFC ($355K) – El Lobo is still a great value here, as his price hasn’t changed. Week 8 brings a Columbus team that has given up five goals in three away matches, followed by two Week 9 matches against DC United’s Eastern Conference worst defensive unit. There will be points.
Honorable Mention: Christian Gomez ($257K), Arturo Alvarez ($328K), Juan Toja ($388K)
Jay Heaps, NE ($364K) – Heaps leads a Revolution defensive unit that has as good a chance to post a shutout (against SJ) as any this week. It also helps that the former Blue Devil has shown a penchant to score from time to time, making him the highest upside pick of all NE defenders.
Honorable Mention: Michael Harrington ($465K), Marc Burch ($175K), Marco Velez ($239K)
Matt Reis, NE ($521K) – Alright, all that “look two weeks ahead” stuff is all well and good…until you get to your keeper. Since this is easily the most important position for fantasy success, you should budget one of your three moves every week to pick up the hot GK. While I wouldn’t recommend blindly taking whoever faces San Jose, Reis is a good buy this week regardless.
Honorable Mention: Jon Busch ($326K), Jon Conway ($312K)
And here are the Top 10 owners in the SBI League:
SBI Fantasy MLS League Top 10
1. RB Trophyless (877)
2. Bruce Arena Starship (876)
3. JCO is a Weasel (860)
4. Tang Naranja (853)
5. fhqwhgads (840)
6. Vourvourou FC (839)
7. Stephens FC ’08 (824)
8. North Shore United (822)
9. Nutmeggers (801)
10. The other lalas brother (799)