By CASEY CANNON
Hello and Welcome to the Soccer by Ives Fantasy Corner – now with even more playoff hopes! Every week I dig through statistics, news, and rumors to provide the reader with the kind of fantasy advice that only the real Last Airbender can provide.
Last week I said avoid Houston. At home. Against Chivas. In my defense Houston didn’t earn a shutout even though every Houston non-defender scored 20 fantasy points. Bruin has been too cold for too long to claim last week was a Jekyll and Hyde situation. It is more like he was bit by a radioactive tarantula. Also I should have realized that a team like Chivas would be totally unprepared to play that far south. I went with my gut instead of the spreadsheet and we all see what happened. I’ll stick with statistics from now on.
In the continuing battle at the top of the SBI table EternalBluForeverGrn reclaimed the top spot with 69 points. Alianza Lima won the weekend with 83 points Personally, I earned an even 60 points and fell to 59th place. Again I left Valeri on my bench. I won’t make that mistake again.
Read below for suggestions for this week:
Take Three – New England Revolution - The Revolution’s form has slipped as the season wore on, but they are still favored this week with a 50% chance to win at home over the Houston Dynamo. This is a classic matchup that reminds me of all the championship games featuring the Rev’s and the way Twellman and Heaps must have suffered every time they lost. Ahhh, good memories. (Ralston is not included here. He was always class)
Take Three – Seattle Sounders – Even with Dempsey and Johnson questionable It is time to fill up on three Sounder players. With a double game week approaching and the travel adverse Red Bulls visiting Seattle players are a great choice. The Sounders have 40% chance for a shutout and a 56% chance of winning.
Take Three More –Portland Timbers - Portland has no byes for the rest of the season including the daunting Week 34. While most pundits favor the Galaxy this week I wouldn’t discount Portland’s chances. While – if Donovan plays – Portland doesn’t earn a clean sheet, they certainly shouldn’t be shut out either. A 2-1, or 2-2 scoreline are most likely.
Vice Captain – Mike Magee, Chicago Fire - From a story perspective I am interested to see if Mike Magee is ready to propel his team into the playoffs. Even in the drubbing against Columbus last week Magee earned five points. At home against Montreal look for Chicago to earn two goals and for Magee to beat his and his 6.1 PPG average.
Caparoo bench player – Federico Higuaín, Columbus Crew – Expect the Crew to score one goal on the road this week. Odds are Higuain will be involved in the play. If your chosen vice-captain fails on Saturday, Caparoo in these 6.4 PPG.
Value –Lamar Neagle – Seattle Sounders This week I went looking for a starting – non defender. Midfielder Neagle fits this bill nicely. Surprisingly owned by only 10% of the league Neagle has found a permanent place in Sigi’s line up and picks up points when the oft absent Johnson and Dempsey are unavailable.
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 absurd back heel flicks for a goal all that matters is that singular moment of brilliance.
Captain: Mike Magee, Chicago Fire
2. Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers
3. Camilo Sanvezzo, Vancouver Whitecaps
That’s all for today. I’ll be back next week with more Fantasy advice.