ESPN MLS Fantasy Guide: Week 7

Posted In Features - By Andrew Crollard On Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 With 0 Comments

We lost both of my top 2 targets for the remainder of this 10-week session. Zakuani is likely done for the season and possibly his career. I haven’t heard a timeframe on Ferreira, but a broken ankle means he’ll be absent for 4-6 weeks at best.  Seattle and Dallas were both expected to be in the top 4 scoring teams from here until the end of week 10, now we are left without what were likely two of the three most popular targets for those teams.

So, who can we look at to replace them? Well, we can look for players in their teams. In Dallas, I think the options are Break Shea and Eric Avila.  Shea has been playing as a defender for most of this season. However, now that the defense in Dallas is healthy, and an open slot in the midfield, I expect him to get pushed back into an attacking role. He played both right and left midfield in Vancouver this weekend, and will likely stay there. Alternatively, you could go with Eric Avila who was the one who came in for Ferreira and scored a goal for Dallas. I don’t have as much confidence that Avila will be a reliable starter, but he is cheap.

In Seattle, the situation is a bit more interesting. Mauro Rosales will surely be a starter in one of the outside midfield slots for Seattle. The other outside mid will fall to either Alvaro Fernandez or Erik Friberg. I honestly have no idea which one will end up winning to starting role, as Fernandez was the one who came in for Zakuani in Colorado, but Friberg has started several games already this season. Either way, the one who loses out will almost surely be the first sub off of the bench. Adding to the confusion, all three of the aforementioned players can play as an offensive minded center mid. There are many Sounders fans (myself included) calling for them all to be in the starting lineup and push Brad Evans to the bench. Evans is a decent budget pick in his own right because Sigi loves him and Evans makes plenty of late runs into the box and has already scored a goal by doing that this season.

If you don’t want to go to Seattle or Dallas to find your replacements, you need to be looking to Colorado and RSL. Picking players from those teams for your midfield is quite a bit easier than the situation in Dallas in Seattle. In Salt Lake, you don’t need to look any further than Javier Morales, the creative mastermind for RSL. In Colorado, I think Jamie Smith is the man to look at and I plan on bringing him into my side this week.

Predicted Goals Allowed

2011 2010+
Chicago 5.4 3.3
Chivas 0.9 0.9
Colorado 1.3 1.2
Columbus 0 0.6
Dallas 1 1
DCU 2.7 2.5
Houston 1.1 1
LA 1.6 1
NE 0.7 2.3
Philly 0.3 1.1
POR 3 1.1
RBNY 0.7 0.6
RSL 0 1.3
Seattle 1.5 1.1
SJ 1.5 1.8
SKC 3.8 1.7
TFC 2.5 2.4
VAN 2 2.1

Please note that the 2011 data reflects home/away fixtures now. There’s not a lot of data points to pull from, so it is extremely unreliable, but it fairly closely mimics what I would expect.

Predicted Goals Scored

2011 2010+
Chicago 1.3 1.2
Chivas 0.7 2.3
Colorado 5.4 3.3
Columbus 2.0 2.1
Dallas 1.6 1.0
DCU 1.1 1.0
Houston 2.7 2.5
LA 1.0 1.0
NE 0.9 0.9
Philly 1.5 1.8
POR 0.0 1.3
RBNY 3.8 1.7
RSL 3.0 1.1
Seattle 2.5 2.4
SJ 0.3 1.1
SKC 0.7 0.6
TFC 1.5 1.1
VAN 0.0 0.6

Team of the Week:


Jazic, Hurtado, Ihemelu, Valdez

Nakazawa, Morales, Rodgers, Gaven

Cummings, Montero

Subs: Thornton, Miranda, Wallace, Bruin

Team value: 99.5

Captain Picks:

1.       Omar Cummings – Colorado have by far the most statistically favorable match up this week. Omar Cummings will have ample opportunity to notch a goal or assist against a bad Chicago defense.

2.       Fredy Montero – A home match against a (yet again) embarrassing Toronto side should spell returns for Montero. I bet Seattle comes in fired up now that the shock of Zakuani’s leg break is over and they’ll want to play hard for him.

3.       Will Hesmer – Columbus hosts Vancouver, who haven’t travelled well so far in MLS. I am always reluctant to captain a keeper, but Columbus has had a good defensive record this season.

4.       Javier Morales – I wanted to put him above Hesmer, but the biggest match in RSL history will be played midweek and Morales may be tired. On paper it still looks like a good match for RSL, so you can’t overlook it.

5.       Gaven – Again, Columbus host a Vancouver side who have conceded more goals than anyone else outside of their fellow newcomers in Portland. This should spell a few goals for Columbus.


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