Week 1 of MLS Fantasy play is in the books, and it's on to the next week. The deadline for setting your Week 2 lineup is today (Friday) at 4 pm PT, as the Friday night game is more like a Friday late-afternoon game here on the West Coast.
I'm not an expert at MLS Fantasy (I find it harder to play than English Premier League Fantasy, for example, because of the general unpredictability of MLS week to week), but I've been playing for several years now, and finally feel like I have a decent sense of how the game runs since they overhauled the game to be more complicated than the old "Points come from starts/appearances/cards/goals/assists/shutouts" system. I had a decent start last week with 68 points, and here are some random tips I'm using to inform my play in the game:
- Old Chivas USA players done me wrong: For Week 1, I had two former Chivas players on my team, Dan Kennedy and Bobby Burling, both because I was confident they would start and both were cheap. Well, things didn't go to plan. Though Burling did give me four points in his debut for hometown club Colorado Rapids, he picked up two yellow cards, and will be suspended in Week 3 (the Rapids have a bye this week). So that was a mixed bag. Kennedy, meanwhile, spent his first game with FC Dallas on the bench, reportedly because he was in Washington, D.C. all week working on the CBA negotiations. Will he be in the net this week against Sporting Kansas City? Who knows! I shipped him out, lest I lose valuable points with no GK playing for a second straight week.
- Which team would I stay away from right now in Fantasy? The Rapids. This week, they're on a bye, but Pablo Mastroeni didn't start Dillon Powers, Shane O'Neill or Deshorn Brown to open the season. There may be a pattern of who will feature in the coming weeks, but given Mastroeni's tendency to mess with the lineup constantly last year, I'm staying away from the Rapids until some kind of pattern (and, of course, production) crops up from that team.
- I'm also planning on staying away from the Chicago Fire, with one important caveat: They have a possibly favorable schedule coming up, as they face the Vancouver Whitecaps on the road this week, followed by the San Jose Earthquakes (also on the road), and a home date against the Philadelphia Union. There's a good chance they could get blown away in any of these games, and since we really don't know who's going to score for the new-look Fire, I'm staying away. But if they pick up some momentum, they might not be as abject as they looked in their opener vs. the LA Galaxy.
- Hunch pick: Kevin Molino, Orlando City - I picked up Molino, even though I already have Kaká on my team, because I thought the pair displayed some solid chemistry in their first competitive game together last week. They've got the first game of this week, on the road against Houston, but the Dynamo's backline may be due to come back down to earth after their strong clean sheet last week against Columbus Crew SC. I have a feeling OCSC will score goals at BBVA Compass Stadium tonight, and think Molino could very well be involved in a goal, maybe more.