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Ben's Fantasy (MLS Fantasy Manager Round 5)

Sweet dog videos!

MLS: Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

I’m lousy and uninspired. I’m too fickle to settle on a format. I’ll invent bullshit when I don’t have to in order to make a point. But when it comes to a tease about sweet dog videos, even my bleak, godless heart won’t allow me not to deliver on that promise. I’m not completely certain how old I am in dog years. Do I really sound like a middle age dog when I write these???

It’s hard to judge one self...hard to have the out of body experience and be the audience for the dog who considers pissing on the shoes only to throw the audience into a state of disbelief by BEING the dog that pisses in the shoes. I want to be the dog PISSING in the shoes, I think. Unless that’s not emblematic of my disgust at the zeitgeist, and I’m just pissing everywhere because I’m old.

I want to write an LOLegy for the 45th presidency after Flynn decided to turn state’s evidence, but my fantasy team is sinking faster than Trump’s approval ratings. And since that’s really what this column is supposed to be about, guess I better do some game previews until I stop whizzing all over the place.

PS- I loved eating Tony’s fish.


03/31 (All Times CDT)

6:30 pm TOR v Spork

The added shutout point and (perhaps) some more proactive Opta tallying have made defenders a more attractive option this year, especially in terms of points per salary. 2 TOR defenders are in the Top 20 overall, it’s the home opener, and Spork will be without Bennie Feilhaber. Tor’s allowed 2 goals in 3 games, and Sporks scored 2 in 3. If you’re going to go all out on a defense this week (legit strategy), Toronto would be one of my top options. I think people might be sleeping on Giovinco; if he doesn’t break out for the home opener, it’s time to panic.

9pm SEA v ATL

Middle Age Man driving a Corvette West meet Middle Age Man driving a Corvette East (New to the club!). Pro tip, whippersnapper- piling it on the Loons and the Fire is a recipe for an early exit in USOC. If there’s any justice, this will be a 1-1 draw, but Seattle probably wins going away here. Chase the Atlanta points at your peril- Martinez looks like he’ll be out for a month.


1pm NYCFC vs SJE

The Yankees crush the Silicon Valley Bumwads here- zero doubt. San Jose’s D is already ailing. The bigger question is Anibal Godoy. Even if you take away his goals, he’d still be in the Top 5 in overall scoring. He’s this year’s Ozzie Alonso and then some. On a regular week, he’s in your lineup or a switcheroo option. After the international week, who knows?

2pm CHI vs MON

Montreal will travel to Chicago without Nacho Piatti. Laurent Ciman will be out, too. Even with Kappelhof suspended, I think Chicago is another decent shout if you’re going all-in on a defense. I’m perversely curious to see what Schweinsteiger has in store for Chicago’s push for World Cup qualification, but a $9.0 investment without seeing the goods first seems rash (I still might). Chicago should get on the board and win this one, but I’m not excited about investing in the attack here.

3pm CMB vs OCSC

Wow! How about Columbus trading for Kekuta Manneh? I’m not confident he makes a difference this weekend because I’m not sure he’ll even be needed this weekend even though Orlando’s perfect so far this year (this will be their first road game). Crew will definitely have their chances- Kamara missed two from point blank last weekend and settled for only one goal.

Columbus can be had on defense, but I think you have better offensive options than Orlando this week. Rivas as an OOP (Forward listed as a Mid “Out of Position”) at $7.0 isn’t half bad if you need something cheaper.

6pm DCU vs PHI

One of these teams will get off the schneid this weekend, or there will be a draw and both will remain winless. DC’s top striker is out with a hamstring; Philly’s top forward player man was last seen coughing up blood like the Rabbit Fish. Onyewu’s a cheap option. Moving on...

7pm MNU vs RSL

Alright, that’s more like it. In 1998, Crapids allowed a record 69 goals in 32 games. After an eighth of that, the Loons are on pace to allow 144, and I’m not sure how much better they can make their team until this summer. If they’re not banging on doors to see whose available from their Western Conference bunkmates, the next 10 weeks look grim. Until further notice- no defenders, Molino’s ok (but international duty return?), and Ramirez is a decent cheapish switcheroo.

For RSL, Plata’s back as well as Jordan Allen, so Albert Rusnak will have service options against a leaky defense. That said, RSL hasone goal in 4 games this year, so you’ll want to determine your appetite for risk rather than assume Minnesota gives up 4+ goals this weekend. The weather will be just about perfect on Saturday, so maybe that helps the home team?

7:30pm HOU vs NYRB

The Smells Like a Ruptured Sewer Line derby features a battle between teams off to a solid start. Houston’s Honduran mafia is down a man as Romell Quioto (Houston’s leading scorer) we’ll miss a month with a separated shoulder. This game has 1-1 written all over it, so I’ll probably skip this one, too. Tyler Adams has potential as a cheap starter ($5.0), just remember he’s 18 and no guarantee to start. If he does, he’s definitely a Jones/Gressel type with (maybe) slightly higher upside. The Jersey people are breaking out the anointing oil for Adams, so get ready to hear his name, ad nauseum.

9pm VAN vs LAG

Manneh’s gone, so Davies starts from here on out, right? Well, not so fast because he’ll be slugging it out with Bolaños, Shea, Mezquida, and Techera for playing time. He’s still a good option because of his number and his ceiling, but he needs to be plan C. Vancouver desperately needs points here.

LA isn’t quite as desperate, even with the loss of Seba Lleget for the until late summer/early fall. That’s because they’re expecting Dos Santos, Zardes (finally), and Cole back from injury along with Jermaine Jones, who’s rightfully carrying a chip on hs shoulder this weekend. For me, this game feels like the hardest to predict even though Vancouver kind of stinks. I guess I lean LA here at least partly because Vancouver plays Tigres next week. Watch out for rotation from the home side.


8pm POR vs NER

You can take a shot with New England attackers this weekend with Portland’s rickety and hobbled defense, but it seems like you’re chasing points from last week to be honest. As high as I was on Fagundez last week, I guarantee that you won’t see a repeat of that this weekend.

This week’s Fagundez is Valeri. The gang’s back together, and New England, while improved on defense this year, still has cracks that can be exploited this weekend. You’re probably ok to pair Valeri with Adi or a cheaper teammate if you’re bullish on Portland at home. That’s not unreasonable.


Byrd’s Ballers: (Round 3. 3-2-0, Season 11-7-2)

  1. Diego Valeri - M $10.3
  2. Sebastien Giovinco - F $11.9
  3. Ola Kamara- F $10.3
  4. Nicolas Lodeiro- M $11.2
  5. David Villa - F $10.2

My picks were ok last week, but our league’s clarvoyants were Pancho Villa’s Watch and Steel City FC. PVW is tied atop the leaderboard with Sporting LosGreengos, but no one’s remotely close to breaking away just yet. No explanation necessary on the ballers- see above.

Skinflint’s Specials: (Round 2 3-2-0, Season 10-10-0)

  1. Eriq Zavaleta D $5.0
  2. Nick Hagglund D $5.0
  3. Michael Harrington D $4.5
  4. Damian Perrinelle D $4.9
  5. Alex Crognale D $4.7 Brooks Lennon F $5.5

Last week’s Specials were hampered as they have been all season by not starting. All of my picks that started hit their number. All my picks that didn’t failed. Crognale was a risk, but Lade starting after just coming back from a back injury? That’s why everyone hates you Jesse.

I’ll roll with Crognale again with Mensah hurt. I’m not stoked about Columbus’s chances to get a cleansheet, but I’m pretty sure he’ll start this round, and he was good for bonus points on top of a clean sheet when he started. Edit: Solid tip that Brooks Lennon starts for RSL- that’s your cost entry into the RSL offense and frees up cash elsewhere. He probably should have scored already and is a decent shout for doing so this week

Alas, if you hated me writing almost exclusively about soccer, you’ll probably have to endure it again next week for the season’s first Double Game Week. Good luck, fam.

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