ESPN MLS Fantasy Guide: Segment 1, Offense

Posted In Features - By Andrew Crollard On Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 With 1 Comment

So as we all impatiently wait for ESPN to get their act together and update their site, I’ve decided to do two articles this week to help you all with your initial selections. This article will present the 5-week totals for predicted goals scored and also all the glorious data from the first 10-week segment of the season. From here in I will be using only 2011 data, except where otherwise noted. Note: Kansas City’s home data is 2010 data since they haven’t played any home games in 2011.


5-week scored: 4.3

Season average: 1.1

Vancouver started hot with some big games but has since showed more of what I expected from the expansion side. There are a few possibilities with their offensive unit: Hassli, Camilo, and Salgado are all serviceable forwards. However, none have seemed able to get enough playing time to consider them a lock. If you want into the Whitecap offense, Chiumiento is my pick.


5-week scored: 4.9

Season average: 0.8

I wouldn’t touch Philadelphia’s offense unless someone paid me. They really have nothing going for them going forward. Le Toux hasn’t had the same level of effectiveness as last season in his new role further back on the pitch. Ruiz has a few goals, and is the only Union attacker even worth thinking about if he weren’t playing in the gold cup.


5-week scored: 5.1

Season average: 1.3

DC United’s offense started out strong, and Davies was looking to be a brilliant signing. Fast forward 10 weeks and DC has proven to be incredibly inconsistent and Davies is out injured. Dax McCarty hasn’t come close to the expectations everyone had for him and was looking like he would be replaced by DP Boskovic… who is now also injured. There’s enough playable talent in the capitol, but none have been making enough of an impact for me. Without Davies, I would have to go with Pontius as DC’s attacking choice.


5-week scored: 5.9

Season average: 0.8

I still haven’t decided whether I think Columbus is any good. Their offense certainly hasn’t been producing enough to be considered worthy of fantasy consideration. Their next 5 weeks don’t promise a lot of points on the offensive side either.  I haven’t watched many Crew games this season, so I am reluctant to give any picks. If you force me to, I would go with Renteria simply because Rogers will miss games for the Gold Cup.

San Jose:

5-week scored: 6.1

Season average: 1.2

San Jose is playing to their potential, unlike last year where they squeezed every last drop out of the talent they had. Wondolowski is, again, pretty much the only option for this Earthquakes squad and no one could fault you for selecting him for your side… Unfortunately he’ll be playing for team USA (a call-up I approve of). I have seen moments of good things from Dawkins, but with the 5-week prediction for goals scored being low, I wouldn’t pick him.


5-week scored: 6.2

Season average: 0.9

No one expected much from Toronto this season. Then they traded DeRo and we all expected even less. Like Philly, I wouldn’t pick a Toronto player unless they had a favorable double gameweek with two home fixtures. Then I might consider Martina or Maicon.

New England:

5-week scored: 7.0

Season average: 0.9

Shalrie Joseph got some help with the addition of Benny Feilhaber landing in Boston. Joseph is always a solid pick that you can play every game and wind up with a decent score from him at the end of the season, but he’ll be playing in the gold cup.. I’m not big on any of their forwards, but Nyassi is a decent differential pick.


5-week scored: 7.4

Season average: 1.1

Chivas has begun to look like a respectable side that could squeak into the playoffs. Moreno (international call-up) has already scored more goals than he did in a Union uniform, but I would go with Braun if I were to pick a Chivas attacker (which I wouldn’t).


5-week scored: 1.3

Season average: 1.1

Chicago is an interesting side in my eyes. They seem to want to play attacking football, but their defense can’t keep them in games. Marco Pappa is always a solid choice and is their most dangerous player. But of course, he will be on international duty for a few weeks at the Gold Cup. Chaves is the other pick that I would consider.


5-week scored: 9.5

Season average: 1.3

Jack Jewsbury. He’s your pick as he is on free-kicks and Portland is really good in the air. They will continue to score on set-plays and Jewsbury will be the one delivering them. Perlaza and Cooper are both decent picks as well and make for a classic big-forward and fast-forward combination up front.


5-week scored: 9.7

Season average: 1.2

Injuries plague the Sounders. Five of the top seven offensive producers have been out injured, with Zakuani and White out for the forseeable future.  Mauro Rosales returned to the lineup and Friberg and Evans are reportedly soon to follow. Alvaro Fernandez has been called up by Uruguay. Montero is dangerous when he gets service to his feet, but with all the players surrounding him being replacements, that hasn’t been happening. Seattle is probably the one team that benefits from the gold cup, as they will be facing New York and Salt Lake at a time when some of their most important players will be absent. I still don’t have a lot of faith in my Sounders though.


5-week scored: 10.0

Season average: 1.4

Houston has been the team that has surprised me the most this season. I didn’t expect them to be nearly as good as they are. Bruin, Davis, and Weaver are all good picks. Davis and Bruin have both made my team of the week and then proved my hunches right by producing returns.


5-week scored: 10.4

Season average: 1.2

The loss of Ferreira is huge for Dallas. He controlled just about everything going into the attacking third. Brek Shea has been moved into the midfield now that FC Dallas’ injury problems along the back have cleared up. Hernandez took a PK in Ferreira’s absence, but I still wouldn’t consider him for my team. Castillo seems to have locked in his role as a starter and is worth a look.

Kansas City:

5-week scored: 11.9

Season average: 1.4

Kansas City’s road-trip finally ends! That means it’s time to load up on this potent attacking team. Bunbury, Bravo, and Kamara are all worthy of consideration. I will definitely have one of them in my squad starting week 12 or 13.

Salt Lake:

5-week scored: 11.9

Season average: 1.1

The loss of Morales (and in the Champions League) seems to have left Salt Lake without many ideas. Paulo Jr. and Espindola are out injured. To make things even worse; Johnson, Saborio, and Alvarez have all been called up to their national teams. Don’t look for Real to score nearly as many goals as the statistics suggest.

New York:

5-week scored: 12.6

Season average: 1.5

I rate New York as the best team in the league. The amount of attacking talent in this side is ridiculous for MLS. Like so many other teams, the Gold Cup will hamper our fantasy options. DeRo, Richards, Agudelo, and Marquez have all been called up. Henry is out injured, so Rodgers and Lindpere look like the go-to picks. Ballouchy is also worth a look with so many open positions.

Los Angeles:

5-week scored: 13.6

Season average: 1.4

LA is going to miss Donovan a lot. He has been playing up to the potential we all know he has and that he failed to live up to last season. However, Angel, Magee, Barrett, and Juninho are all still available. Two of them will likely make it into my squad to take advantage of the highest predicted goals scored in the first half of this segment.

Oh, and in case you missed the running theme in this write-up; here is a link to the MLS players who will be missing games due to international duty:

Tomorrow, I will discuss our defensive options.

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  1. baumer says:

    And another reason not to select Simon Dawkins, he is out injured for some time.

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