3 more points and a whole lot more tissues courtesy of the Beer Garden highlighted last round's match with Portland. Were you one of the clairvoyant's who started Michael Barrios? Let's discuss.
Critiquing the expert (Format):
I realized this weekend, that I was being too harsh when reviewing my own performance. Given the fact that most of us are playing in leagues that are solely judged on overall points, I probably shouldn't be reveling in my success or berating my failure for picks made over the course of one week. Honestly, I'm trying to suggest solutions for multiple weeks more than 90% of the time in this forum, and that's a shrewd plan given the penalty for picking up more than 2 players most weeks.
Last week was a prime example where a C grade was inappropriate as Laurent Ciman and Cyle Larin followed up subpar weeks with great ones. Ciman was the top scoring defender, and he averaged 8 points a game after 2 games. Larin was the top overall scorer last week with his hat trick, and he also averaged 8 points a game over 2 weeks. If you can get that kind of production from most of your lineup, you're going to do well in this game.
With that in mind, I've decided to stop grading myself for the masses. Sure, it's good to be transparent when you're trying to establish credibility as a source for advice on these games, and going forward I won't run from my bad calls nor will I thump my chest obnoxiously when I nail it. The self-analysis is nice, but if my meh grade last week swayed you to transfer out Ciman or Larin last week, then I failed you, and I'm sorry.
I will still recommend transfer candidates, and I'll write it up in the notes if I think they'll be a one week wonder. Usually, my suggested adds will have an eye towards the future, and that's probably how it should be. As for credibility, I was 18 points outside the Top 50 overall in July. Within the Big D league, I was 3rd in July. I'll save this slot for fun stuff going forward.
FC Dallas is killing it. Over their 6 match unbeaten streak, they're outscoring their MLS foes 14-3. We've seen Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz doing their thing. Kellyn Acosta and Victor Ulloa are about as chic as they could be. The defense is giving up a half goal a game over that time. We also added Bakary Soumare and Ezequiel Cirigliano and will have Blas Perez and Je-Vaughn Watson back in the team for the first time in seemingly forever. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, winning on the road is tough for everyone in MLS. Dallas's record on the road is only 3-4-3, and that's actually pretty decent compared to the rest of MLS. Chicago's a pretty desperate team these days, and they've earned 16 of their 19 points this season at home. This match will not be a walkover, and a repeat of the form of the last 6 weeks will be crucial to earning 3 points. Teasing the staff's predictions for tomorrow, I picked a win, but I think Chicago will employ the Hack-a-Diaz strategy on Sunday. Too bad he doesn't get to shoot free throws.
Adds/Drops: I'm not buying or selling on FC Dallas this week. If you have Hoops, go ahead and keep them this week. I think you're betting on a winner. Dallas is on a bye next week, however, so adding anyone this week equals another transfer next week. You've also got a couple of tricky games after the bye as well, so you'll probably find better options over the next few weeks.
It's a full slate this week. All teams are in action. Red Bull New York, Toronto FC, Montreal Impact, and Orlando SC pull double duty next week. A handy schedule for all of this can be found here. Here's a few random thoughts leading into this week.
What to do about LA: The Galaxy have scored 15 goals in their last 5 games, but in their 2 road games of the 5, they only scored 1. They are getting back their Gold Cup players, and at some point, they'll unveil Gio Dos Santos as their '4th' Designated Player. They also have played the most games in MLS and are getting ready to start CONCACAF Champions League (which will add 4 games to their schedule over the next 2 months).
More pressingly this week, both Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane are questionable for the road game to Colorado this weekend. Gerrard seems likely to miss this weekend and possibly next weekend at home against Seattle with what has been nebulously described as a 'muscle strain'. Keane could not lift his shoulder over his head after the Houston match and has been limited to non-contact work this week. He seems slightly more likely to go this weekend. At the moment, I'm avoiding LA in general until their schedule gets friendlier at the end of the month.
Yankee Stadium is a pinball machine: The average number of goals per game in MLS this year is 2.59, down from 2.86 a year ago. The per game average at Yankee Stadium is more than a goal higher at 3.66, and even if you subtract the last 2 bonanzas in the Bronx, scoring output is still higher than the league average.
Some of that is attributable to the fact that David Villa is very good, and the NYC defense is very bad, but I think the extremely cozy dimensions of the field has a lot to do with it because you end up with more chances created because the game is compressed (kind of like indoor).
Now I'm neither buying or selling on the game with Montreal this weekend, and that's as much a hunch about regressing to the mean as it is about my own squad needs. However, if you want to buy NYC attackers or even Montreal defenders for next week (More CBIs, Saves, recoveries), you have my explicit blessing to do so.
Picks to click:
Kaka (11.7) M- I know, I'm really going out on a limb here, but it's set pieces and sure fire PKs, and they've got Columbus at home so they'll definitely have their chances. Given that Sebastian Giovinco's questionable against New England this weekend, it's the most straightforward replacement for 'The Atomic Ant" not named Bennie Feilhaber or Clint Dempsey.
Matt Miazga (5.8) D- He's still cheap. He hasn't posted less than 4 since he was re-introduced to the starting lineup. RBNY has an insanely good record when he plays (it's pretty comparable to Dallas with Kellyn Acosta). Nothing too scary this week or next week.
Kristian Nemeth (8.6) F- He's only owned by 5.3% of the community, and he's averaging over 10 in his last 4 home games at Sporting Park. Sporting have a busy October, and they've been playing their starters in US Open Cup, so he may be subject to rotation later in the month. As a fill-in for Keane this week, you could do a whole lot worse.
I'm going to wait until the injuries shake out before I finalize my lineup. Since that won't be until 1pm CDT, Look for the lineup tomorrow morning.