With a month of the 2013 MLS season in the books, we thought now would be a good time to take a look at how the second season is going...I'm talking about MLS Fantasy, folks. Rachna, Matt, and myself sat down to the table to discuss how our fantasy campaigns are going. If you are a part of The Goat Parade's MLS Fantasy league, you can see for yourself how you stack up against us, but let's go through the breakdown, and what advice we would have at this point in the season.
Alicia: So, how are you doing in MLS Fantasy so far?
Rachna: I'm doing better than I expected! The first week was atrocious, but then I got smarter about the players I had. I still have trouble with a good balance of expensive and cheap players that bring about optimum points (I am also very lazy about it and don't care too much), but I've gotten more points every week. I also have a tendency to make transfers every week - I know that's not the best, but I've been a little smarter there as well and have gained money in the process. If I stay middle of the table in the GP rankings, that's ok with me as I've never been higher than last place in fantasy before.
Alicia: I'm doing better than expected so far in MLS Fantasy. My usual strategy in any fantasy game is to win a war of attrition against all the lazy players, so that I end up moving up substantially over the course of the season primarily because my competitors get bored and quit playing. Also, I learn what works and what doesn't, but I'm not going to consider myself a genius in this game. Usually, I start very slowly, as I rely on big names who fail to produce early on, and then after awhile, it dawns on me to start making some changes.
I still have elements of that (ahem, Kenny Cooper remains on my team, even though I should have dropped him by now), but I've also been pretty smart/lucky with some of my early picks. I had Graham Zusi from the start, and he leads the game in points right now. I picked up Marco Di Vaio and Mike Magee, and both scored. So it's been a better start than I would have expected.
Matt: My fantasy team can described as shambolic. Or abysmal. I honestly don't know which word is more woeful but that's about the state of things! I did a really poor job of lining up the players bye weeks so I would always have a stable of players to go. The two consequences of having a poor bye-week strategy is struggling to fill your roster each week or sucking. I've done both.
My front line has just been terrible. Robbie Keane started out okay but CONCACAF and a bad hamstring have stymied his effectiveness. Eddie Johnson, like Seattle as a whole, is really struggling and Sporting's Claudio Bieler's MLS career is hardly going gangbusters yet. Say what you will about Kenny Cooper, I just picked him up and consider him a huge upgrade!
Alicia: Turning to our next questions, 1. which Chivas USA player is a must-own right now in your opinion (this week excluded, since they aren't playing), and 2. which player overall is an under-the-radar player who you think should be owned?
For me, the player to own so far for Chivas is Dan Kennedy. He hasn't had a clean sheet yet, so he hasn't racked up major points, but he is currently fourth in points among keepers, and he is the best deal of the bunch. He's also the best bet to play every single game, unlike most of the rest of the roster, who can be playing one week and sitting the next.
As for an under-the-radar player, I'm going to go with Ricardo Clark. He's not extremely cheap, but he is cheaper than the very skilled midfielders, and he is a holding midfielder who contributes to the scoring more than most in his position. He will also be at risk for yellow and red cards, but I'm riding it out for now, and he's producing better than I would have expected.
Matt: I'd have to say it's Juan Agudelo. Assuming he's not too seriously hurt he's spearheading a revitalized offense. If he continues his form in whats been a breakthrough season he could really pack some punch.
The numbers suggest Jorge Villafana; he's come on and supplied assists in the last two games. But I'm going to say Tristan Bowen. He isn't playing the full 90 minutes yet but he's getting plenty of minutes and is going to connect at some point.
Rachna: Just to be different, I'm going to say Eric Avila (and no, this has nothing to do with me picking him for everything in the season preview piece). He consistently brings in a few points each round, and last week was the icing on the cake when he scored his goal. Even when he doesn't get mentioned as being a key component of the match, he silently helps out the team and racks up points.
As for another underrated player, I'll say Amobi Okugo. I'm not sure how underrated he is, but for his price, I think he's worth the spot on the team.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!