By AVI CREDITOR
Remember when Los Angeles Galaxy-New England Revolution matches commanded anticipation?
Well, in fantasy circles, the anticipation is still there.
The mismatch of the week features fantasy-point stalwarts (Galaxy) and fantasy-point yielders (Revolution), and it's one that fantasy owners need to work to their advantage.
Between Michael Stephens, Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan (pictured above), the Galaxy have the firepower to easily secure a multiple-goal win in Massachusetts. Between the likes of Donovan Ricketts, Todd Dunivant and Sean Franklin, Bruce Arena's defensive unit would be hard-pressed to give up a goal to a team that hasn't scored in its last three league matches.
It'd be surprising to see Steve Nicol not right the New England ship, but the time for that likely isn't this week.
Having said that, here are this week's player rankings by position:
- Donovan Ricketts, LA – Revs are drowning in the deep end, and the Galaxy aren't going to be the ones to throw the life vest
- Bouna Coundoul, NY – Stellar home matchup against a goal-starved opponent
- Jimmy Nielsen, KC – Stellar home matchup against a goal-starved opponent
- Nick Rimando, RSL – Will be tested by the Fire at Toyota Park, but RSL defense is in quite the groove
- Stefan Frei, TOR – A star at home, though Colorado offense has found a rhythm
- Kasey Keller, SEA – Gets an edge for being at home against a Dallas team that's not an offensive juggernaut
- Will Hesmer, CLB – Not the best matchup on the road at Houston, but inconsistent Dynamo attack could be missing Brad Davis
- Kevin Hartman, DAL – Fresh off silencing former club, Hoops keeper turns his attention to dysfunctional Sounders attack
- Chris Seitz, PHI – Earthquakes offense is sputtering, and Union have a true home-field edge at PPL Park
- Matt Pickens, COL – Toronto doesn't lose at home, but the Reds haven't been scoring a whole lot either; Just two goals in last four home matches for Preki's bunch, and Colorado's defense is stout
- Sean Franklin, LA – Galaxy already own a clean sheet against the Revolution this season, a 1-0 result to open the 2010 campaign
- Todd Dunivant, LA – Has maintained his spot atop the MFLS defenders leaderboard and shows no signs of slowing his pace
- Gregg Berhalter, LA – Also makes for a stout play; No Omar Gonzalez (card suspension) weakens the Galaxy D a bit, but Berhalter can team with A.J. DeLaGarza at central defense and be just as effective
- Tim Ream, NY – Rookie defender and new centerback partner Carlos Mendes have to like their chances at home against rival D.C.
- Jimmy Conrad, KC – Wizards haven't been playing well, but matchup with Chivas is suited for them
- Jamison Olave, RSL – Getting it done at both ends of the field; His three goals are tied for tops among defenders
- Robbie Russell, RSL – Also contributing offensively, coming up with two assists last week
- Adrian Cann, TOR – Reds' defensive record since his arrival has been impressive
- Chad Marshall, CLB – Draws task of marking Brian Ching, and if Marshall is at his best, then Dynamo will have a tough time hitting paydirt
- Ike Opara, SJ – Has three goals in limited playing time, and his matchup against Danny Mwanga features two of league's budding stars
- Michael Stephens, LA – Racks up the assists (now has seven) and has even more offensive targets to seek out as Galaxy play lowly Revolution
- Javier Morales, RSL – Two more assists last week and runs the well-oiled RSL machine
- Dwayne De Rosario, TOR – Always puts himself in scoring position and is especially proficient at home
- Guillermo Barros Schelotto, CLB – First-place Crew are hitting their stride, and a healthy Schelotto is a big part of that
- Joel Lindpere, NY – Enjoyed a fine performance against United in their first matchup and will be called upon to distribute and run the show again
- Marco Pappa, CHI – In the midst of a strong run of form, but matchup against RSL is not very favorable
- Juninho, LA – Confidence only growing after super-strike against Seattle
- Sebastien Le Toux, PHI – Has two goals and four assists in last five games and has excelled in Union's few home matches
- Eddie Gaven, CLB – Becoming more of an offensive force for Robert Warzycha
- Ryan Smith, KC – Excellent home matchup against Chivas for speedy left winger
- Steve Zakuani, SEA – The bright spot in a dismal Sounders season, Zakuani seems to be the closest one in green to achieving consistency
- Dane Richards, NY – His presence gives Red Bulls a speed factor that already troubled D.C. earlier this season
- David Ferreira, DAL – PKs in two straight weeks as he gets even more involved in Hoop offense
- Brek Shea, DAL – Team turning the corner, from Cunningham's team to that of Dax McCarty, Ferreira and Shea
- Chris Wondolowski, SJ – If Bobby Convey (ribs) has to miss Saturday's match, then the onus falls on Wondolowski to jump-start Quakes' attack
- Edson Buddle, LA – Picked up where he left off prior to the World Cup, and that's bad news for opposing defenses
- Kei Kamara, KC – He feasts on porous defenses at home; He faces Chivas at CommunityAmerica Ballpark
- Alvaro Saborio, RSL – Saborio-Wilman Conde matchup will be one to watch, but Costa Rican goal machine can get the better of his counterpart
- Landon Donovan, LA – Only this low because of the chance he gets rested against a lower-tier opponent
- Juan Pablo Angel, NY – Great home matchup for in-from Colombian
- Fredy Montero, SEA – Blaise N'Kufo arrives to take add a new wrinkle to the attack in a week's time, but until then Montero can still get it done at home
- Danny Mwanga, PHI – One of the hotter forwards in the game with goals in five of his last six matches
- Tristan Bowen, LA – Future star will only benefit from returned presence of Donovan and Buddle
- Brian Ching, HOU – Goals in three of last five matches for veteran striker, but he'll have to beat Chad Marshall to keep his hot streak going
- Conor Casey, COL – Creating like the Casey of '09, but won't have an easy go of it at BMO Field
- Bruce Arena, LA
- Hans Backe, NY
- Peter Vermes, KC
- Jason Kreis, RSL
- Preki, TOR
- Robert Warzycha, CLB
- Sigi Schmid, SEA
- Schellas Hyndman, DAL
- Peter Nowak, PHI
- Gary Smith, COL
Soccer By Ives League Standings (Top 10)
1. Yankee Racers………………………….433 points
4. Cpt. Pancakes and Lt. Waffles…..405
5. Miles Davis FC…………………………..402
6. FC Byrd Turgler…………………………399
10. I <3 MLS…………………………………..384
LAST WEEK'S SBI LEAGUE TOP SCORER
CleartheBall (66 points)
Who do you think is in for a big Week 15? What's your lineup looking like?
Share your thoughts below.
I have both Donovan and Buddle.
By the way, according to the LA Dodger website Donovan will throw out the first pitch at the baseball game in LA on Sunday.
Just pick up buddle. You should already have the max amt of LA players anyways.
I think he said that Bruce Arena might give him a week or so off…
The biggest question for me this week is whether Donovan will make the trip to NE and start.