I wish I could tell you that my team fought the good fight, and MLS Fantasy let it be. I wish I could tell you that - but MLS Fantasy is no fairy-tale world. My team never said who did it, but we all knew. Things went on like that for awhile - MLS Fantasy life consists of routine, and then more routine. Every so often, my team would show up with fresh bruises. MLS Fantasy kept at it - sometimes my team was able to fight 'em off, sometimes not. And that's how it went for my team - that was it’s routine. I do believe those first twelve weeks were the worst for it, and I also believe that if things go on that way, this place will get the best of it.
I had 135 points this week which sounded good until I saw all the red arrows and that I dropped about 100 places 749 overall. The season is 1⁄3 over and it’s looking more doubtful that I’ll make a move for the higher ranks of the league. I’m going to adjust this week and hopefully bounce back, but who knows - this game is made to fill you with hope and then replace it with despair at the last moment.
Anyway, onto the rekrap...
Deep dish defense
The Chicago Fire have blown the dying embers of last season to life and had three defenders and their keeper in the dreamteam with a pair of clean sheets over the weekend. As impressive as Nikolic is up front for them, the defensive players they have all outscored him on the weekend.
Gerso got game
Another surprise is Gerso Fernandes from SKC who led the game in scoring with 21 points. More surprising was that he started both games in a rare attempt by Peter Vermes to set out lineups built to win games during a double game week.
Cyle Larin comes up lame
Has anyone seen Cyle? Whether a Chiplote burrito wasn’t sitting right with him for both games or the transfer talk is getting to him, the OCSC forward put up an average of 1 point a game this week for a total of 2, over 180 minutes. It wasn’t good.
There’s only one keeper pick for me this week: Jesse Gonzalez (FCD, $4.8) he’s cheap, should - should - start both games and has the best backline in MLS playing in front of him. Even if he gets rotated against Chicago tonight he’s home against Houston who needed a generous penalty call to get on the score sheet against Atlanta on Saturday.
For defenders this week I’m taking Walker Zimmerman (FDC, $6.8), he’s pricey but with the double game week he’s also a low rotation risk player and the Texas derby should be a game he gets good points in. Parker is picking Parker (VAN, $5.1) this week, Tim Parker has 28 points in his past three games. This is a little points chasey but DC United has also looked pretty bad since they got lucky against Atlanta and Vancouver looked good against SKC last weekend.
I’m picking an expensive backline this week but Matt Besler (SKC, $6.8) is playing Colorado who went back to their inept selves against Philly in week 11 and I don’t think they’ll figure things out against the SKC defense. One reason I went with so much money in the back this week is that I don’t like a lot of the defensive matchups this weekend. Toronto is going to be depleted at home against Columbus, the California Classico is an unpredictable match and LA has looked better in recent weeks so I’m keeping away from the cheaper San Jose options there too.
In midfield I’m going back to Nicolas Lodeiro (SEA, $11.5) who gets a to play the Portland Timbers who will be without Diego Chara after his red card last week. Portland has had enough trouble defending this year and without their destroyer I think Seattle will get a good result in the insufferable hipster derby. For a cheaper option take a look at Kellyn Acosta (FCD, $7.2) who had a tough game last weekend and even with Chicago coming off of two straight clean sheets against such offensive super teams like DC United and the Colorado Rapids, I think Dallas will bounce back this week and their match against Houston alone warrants getting their players on your team.
Familiarity breeds contempt and I expect that there will be some impolite things done by Kevin Molino (MIN, $10.1) when Orlando visits Minnesota this weekend. Toronto is going to be missing Jozy Altidore with a suspension and Giovinco due to injury but I’m still taking MLS assist leader Victor Vazquez (TOR, $9.0) at home against a leaky Columbus Crew defense. Finally, there’s nothing stopping me from making a pick that’s smart as well as a homer move: Miguel Almiron who was the only non-DGW player on the dream team with 19 points.
My forward picks are Maxi Urruti (FCD, $9.0) and Christian Ramirez (MIN, $7.9). Houston won’t be as much of a mess as they were against Atlanta but I think Dallas will easily dispatch them. I think the match between Orlando and Minnesota will be a lot of fun with the Loons tearing forward and OCSC having to decide either to absorb their pressure and counter or respond with their own attempts to build possession and earn a point on the road.
I mentioned it above, but I’m staying away from the San Jose defense even at home this week. The California Classico has enjoyed its fair share of weird moments including red cards, strikers playing goal keeper, and David Beckham trying to fight the Earthquakes’ mascot. Other teams I’m not excited about are Houston on the road and DC United playing a Vancouver side that seems to have rediscovered their defensive form at home this year.