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SBI Fantasy MLS Corner


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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):


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)


  1. It’s not that Emilio can’t score, it’s that it’s a whole lot tougher to score when the rest of your team is terrible and you have no midfield support. While he’s cheap, I’ve invested my dollars in guys who are actually putting the ball in the back of the net (Donovan and Cooper, and Deuchar is my bargain pick to have around). If Emilio does come back to form he’ll still be reasonably priced for a bit.

  2. mosler – I didn’t mean that Heaps has the penchant to score IN GENERAL, but instead RELATIVE to other considerations. After looking at some more stats, I suppose it’s a wash between Heaps (2G, 9A 05-08) and Albright (3G, 8A)as to who would have the better chance to score from New England’s backline. Since Heaps costs $61K less than Albright, I saw him as the best play.

    Now that’s not to say either Heaps or Albright has a good – or even anything more than remotely possible – chance of scoring. Maybe I should have emphasized that I meant RELATIVE to other options a little more, but I still stand by my pick.

  3. It’s inaccurate to say that Jay Heaps has a penchant to score from time to time. Over the past 4 seasons (2004-2007) he’s scored 3 goals.

  4. Looking at next week’s schedule could be very dangerous.

    You have to take into account injuries that may happen during the current week. Picking up a player for the week after could hurt you bad.

    Thanks but no thanks.

    Good work though.

  5. Picking coaches is a little trickier, but perhaps I’ll start doing it in the future. To be quite honest, it’d be hard for me to do with any degree of confidence – I’ve found it much easier to predict individual performances for certain players than team performances.

    The MLS is a crapshoot, as evidenced by the seemingly upside-down standings right now. However, since you asked so nicely, I’ll recommend one: John Carver.

    Week 8, coming off an off week, at home (where TFC has played well), and against a Crew team that may be a bit over their heads with the 6-1 start. They did have to rally back to beat San Jose, after all, and Toronto may actually be the favorite in that game. Factor in 2 Week 9 games against DC United, and TFC could be looking at 5-7 points in the next 2 weeks.

  6. Stephen, You left out the coach. Since you recommend Emilio, Tommy Sohen (sp?) can’t be too bad. He has done nothing for me so far, but they are due, baby! Right? I dunno.

    I was thinking of picking up Sigi, but CBUS has given up lots of goals recently.


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