ESPN MLS Fantasy Guide: Week 8

Posted In Features - By Andrew Crollard On Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 With 0 Comments

We’ve got just three weeks left for the first session. Fortunately for those of us who have paid attention and had good team management, two of these last three weeks are doubles. Keep in mind that next week, there are six teams with doubles, so careful not to transfer them out this week. Also note that San Jose and Kansas City both have byes this week. This week’s doubles are a bit difficult since so many of the games are on the road, but they are still worth taking advantage of.

Colorado: at Houston and at New England

Two road matches for Colorado, who haven’t won in four matches. Houston have the third best offense and fifth best defense this year on a per game average. New England has the worst offensive production in the league, averaging just 0.7 goals per game, and their defense is about average. I’m not big on Colorado’s offense this week, but a clean sheet looks like a decent shout in New England. They are a much better team at home the last two years, so the two away matches dampen their value in my mind. Kimura and Cummings are your defensive and offensive choices respectively.

D.C. United: vs. Seattle and vs. Dallas

DCU is the only team with two home matches this week. However, they’re against decent Seattle and Dallas sides. DCU has been leaking goals to the tune of eight in the last two games. Their offense started out decently, but has since struggled. Marc Burch is about as cheap as they come and is worth a shot if you like DCU’s defense this week. I don’t have a lot of hope for a clean sheet in DC, but the double at home sure makes it tempting. It goes without saying that Charlie Davies is the offensive pick from DCU.

Houston: vs. Colorado and at Toronto

Houston is the team to load up on this week with a home match against the faltering Rapids and an away trip to bottom-feeding Toronto.  I put Will Bruin in my team of the week last week, but didn’t heed my own advice to bring him into my side… and of course he goes and scores a hat trick. He’s still a good bet this week and finally began to finish some of his many chances on goal. Brad Davis is another great pick for offensive points for the Dynamo, and will likely get the armband on my team this week. Houston also have a good opportunity to give us defensive returns and Hall, Boswell, or Freeman are all good picks.

Seattle: at DCU and at Columbus

Seattle bring a six game unbeaten streak into this gameweek. The loss of Zakuani forces the team to play with a different attack down the left, but it also means the left midfielder will play more defense and provide more cover for the weakest spot on the field for the Sounders. Fernandez scored another header from a cross this weekend and that may keep his in the starting line-up. Evans’ brace and assist will surely see him start again and Friberg had a great game as well. However, Mauro Rosales will be looking to return and with a double gameweek, could start one of the matches. Who ends up sitting a game between those four is anyone’s guess. The defense is subject to rotation as well, with Parke, Hurtado, and Ianni all having good games so far this season in the middle. Gonzalez has also been rotated out in favor of Tyson Wahl. The Sounders have two clean sheets with Wahl in the line-up, so I’d expect him to continue there.

I want to also bring special attention to the player that is the biggest bargain in the game right now: Nate Jaqua. At a cost of just $3.9, it would almost be stupid not to bring him in. He’ll surely be the starter in place of Obrien White and has scored plenty of goals and assists for the Sounders in the past.

Predicted goals scored:

As would be expected, the teams with double gameweeks rise to the top. Chicago and Dallas also look like they could be decent bets.

2011 2010+
Chicago 3.3 1.6
Chivas 0.5 0.4
Colorado 0.7 2.6
Columbus 1.3 1.7
Dallas 2.7 2
DCU 4.0 2.1
Houston 3.7 3.4
LA 0.6 2.1
NE 1.3 1.9
Philly 0.7 0.9
POR 1.3 3.3
RBNY 0.4 1.5
RSL 1.7 3.3
Seattle 2.3 2.8
SJ x x
SKC x x
TFC 0.8 2
VAN 1.1 1

Predicted goals conceded:

If you’re after clean sheets, it might actually be wise to avoid the teams with a double, aside from Houston. Columbus, Chicago, LA, New England, Portland, Philly, and Salt Lake all have a decent shot at picking up a clean sheet this week.

2011 2010+
Chicago 1.1 1.0
Chivas 1.7 3.3
Colorado 1.3 2.7 1.9 2.4
Columbus 0.3 0.8
Dallas 2.7 1.0
DCU 2.7 2.0 2.0 2.0
Houston 0.8 0.3 2.0 1.3
LA 0.4 1.5
NE 0.4 1.3
Philly 1.3 3.3
POR 0.7 0.9
RBNY 0.6 2.1
RSL 0.5 0.4
Seattle 1.3 1.3 1.7 1.1
SJ x x
SKC x x
TFC 1.0 1.0
VAN 3.3 1.6

Team of the week:


Beltran, Kimura, Soares, Wallace

Davis, Pappa, Morales, Evans

Davies, Bruin

Rimando, Miranda, Avila, Jaqua

Total team value: 99.1

Captain Picks:

I’ve decided not to give rankings, and instead just list some good picks for captain for the week.

Charlie Davies – Two home games for DCU this week so Davies will have plenty of opportunity for fantasy returns.

Brad Davis – Houston have the highest predicted goals scored this week and much of the offense runs through Davis.

Fredy Montero – Seattle have begun to find the net and Montero has been involved with a goal and two assists in the last three games, chances are decent that he’ll pick up a goal or assist this week.

Marco Pappa – Chicago host Vancouver, who have conceded the second most goals this season. Similar to Davis in Houston, Pappa is often involved in the fruitful attacking movements in Chicago.

Will Bruin – There’s little chance that he’ll score three again, but a favorable double means he’ll get his chances.

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