Week 1 Fantasy Review Pt 1

Week 1 Fantasy Review

Value and the Right Spend

Going into the week, players were making tough decisions between many of the top premium midfielders and forwards. No one would’ve called you stupid for picking any of these guys. However, the reality is, for the most part, you could’ve found better “valued” players that would’ve given you the same output for far less. For example Lodeiro ($11.0) had 14 points Jordan Morris ($8.0) earned 12. This is the value I’m talking about and we’ll see it throughout the games as we review Week 1 of MLS.

 

The Games

Philadelphia Union 1 – 3 Toronto FC

Toronto FC were not looking so hot coming into the start of MLS. They lost Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vazquez, Altidore is still on the mend and they had an embarrassing exit from CCL. Fast Forward to Saturday. Toronto FC came out looking like we expected. They were getting dominated in the first half by Bobby Warshaw’s Philadelphia Union. You could feel the excitement as Bobby’s hopes and dreams from last season were coming to fruition. I mean, I was 30,000 feet up in the air for the first half and I could just still feel it. But you don’t bet against TFC, you just don’t.

Michael Bradley feeds off of the ill will of his critics the way vampires feed off of humans (Now that we’re on the subject of vampires, Bradley does seem to have that weird calm vibe that a vampire has before he rips into your neck). Anyways, TFC’s captain, much to the chagrin of USMNT supporters, put the team on his back and carried them to victory with a brace. The manner in which he approaches games and his inability to show any sense of urgency at times drives me nuts, but the fact of the matter is he’s good and the Union lost.

Stand Out Fantasy Performer

  • Nick DeLeon ($5.5) – 13 points: He’s listed as a defender but has been lined up into the attack. These Oout Of Position defenders can be fantasy gold. Plus, he’s cheap!

Honorable Fantasy Mention

  • Marco Fabian ($9.4) – 8 points: I saw a lot of good from Marco offensively, especially for a guy who hasn’t played much coming off an injury ridden stint in Germany.
  • Kai Wagner ($4.4) – 2 points: We’re talking about value here and Kai has become more affordable and an effortless switcheroo for what appears to be a locked-in starter.

Fantasy Fluke

  • Michael Bradley ($9.5) – 12 points: He had a brace, which was impressive, but what you really want is bonus points whether it be through key passes, recoveries or assists.

Fantasy Dud

  • Haris Medujnanin ($8.3) – 7 points: When you press like Philly wanted to and you have someone with the defensive tendencies of a sloth, your defense gets hung out to dry.

 

Orlando City SC 2 – 2 New York City FC

Narratives. This game was covered in narratives. How will NYCFC ever find greatness again without David Villa? The Dumpster fire that was (is?) Orlando City has a chance at a new start. Was signing Nani a good decision? All of these fair questions, but can largely be chalked up to the media trying to milk these two clubs for all they’re worth. The match itself was great, but Orlando City will feel they should’ve won.

The narrative I got from this game was: play your kids. NYCFC started 21 year-old Jonathan Lewis ($6.2) and 18 year-old James Sands ($5.1), while Orlando started 22 year-old Chris Mueller ($7.0), 21 year-old Danilo Acosta ($5.0), 21 year-old Kamal Miller ($4.1) and 22 year-old Sebastian Mendez ($7.3). That’s a lot of numbers I know, but the short of it is, these teams are full of value. So let’s get to what this all means for our teams.

Stand Out Fantasy Performer

  • Nani ($9.4) – 4 points: In just 20 minutes on the field he contributed to the game tying assist and looked ready to go.
  • Alexandru Mitrita ($10.4) – 9 points: He was the heart of an NYCFC attack that only managed 42% of possession, but was still able to generate a sizeable chunk of offensive output.
  • Chris Mueller ($7.0) – 11 points

Honorable Fantasy Mention

  • Jonathan Lewis ($6.2) – 5 points
  • Ebenezer Ofori ($6.0) – 10 points
  • Chris Mueller ($7.0) – 11 points
  • Kamal Miller ($4.1) – 3 points

Fantasy Fluke:

  • Maxi Moralez ($10.6) – 2 points: Once NYCFC starts to figure itself out, I expect Maxi to have better performances.

 

Columbus Crew 1 – 1 New York Red Bulls

There’s not much to take away from this game for the Red Bulls. They rotated their squad and got some minutes for an exciting Omir Fernandez ($5.5) who looked lively throughout albeit at times it felt like he was by himself on an island. If you’re trying to find something to take away from this game, let it be that at some point this season Omir Fernandez will start with the full strength squad, and when he does have him ready to go for a switcheroo.

All I have to say to Columbus is, Merry Crewsmas. You’re still in the league and have new ownership and a new stadium among other things to be excited about. Columbus weren’t bad, but were held to a draw against a NY Red Bulls B team. A slow start is to be expected, we’ll see where they go from here.

Stand Out Fantasy Performer

  • Andreas Ivan ($6.0) – 10 points

Honorable Fantasy Mention

  • Gaston Sauro ($5.0) – 10 points: He may not seem as valuable anymore, but he carried many a fantasy team this week with his goal.

Fantasy Dud

  • Gyasi Zardes ($9.2) – 3 points The problem with forwards is that they’re almost always a dud unless they score.

 

FC Dallas 1 – 1 New England Revolution

Neither team had much going for them in this game, although the Revolution will come away the happier of the too especially after losing their captain and highest paid defender in the league Michael Mancienne ($6.0) during warm-ups. Any team in the league would be thrown off by that, but Anibaba proved up to the task (if you’ve ever watched Anibaba play you’ll notice he has above average last ditch defending abilities and they were definitely on display here).

FC Dallas on the other hand had the league excited about their new youth movement behind Luchi Gonzalez. Guys like Matt Doyle were getting hyped over the prospect of Paxton Pomykal ($5.7) getting they keys to the attack, but that wasn’t to be. Instead, Jacori Hayes ($4.9) and Bryan Acosta ($6.9) were handed the start, and Pomykal was demoted to a substitute appearance.

Stand Out Fantasy Performer

  • Carles Gil ($9.4) – 8 points
  • Michael Barrios ($7.9) – 8 points: If Michael Barrios hadn’t been on the pitch, FC Dallas probably loses that game.

Honorable Fantasy Mention

  • Jacori Hayes ($4.7) – 4 points: If Jacori Hayes is going to start, he might be worth putting in for a switcheroo.

Fantasy Dud

  • Paxton Pomykal ($5.7) – 1 point: He played all of 1 min off the bench, which was somehow deemed enough to dock him $.3? Oh well…

 

Houston Dynamo 1 – 1 Real Salt Lake

The Dynamo trotted out a full strength squad ahead of their CCL game this week and it showed that they were serious. RSL seemed a bit caught off guard by the Dynamo’s pace to start the game, but the quality of RSL back-to-front was too good as Corey Baird ($6.9) put RSL’s DP Albert Rusnak ($10.5) through on goal to take the lead. However, Manotas ($9.7), fresh off scoring 2 midweek, wasn’t ready to slow down as he put away Houston’s only goal in the 62nd minute.

Both teams showed well and both teams showed why no team would want to face them come playoff team. The injection of pace from the Dynamo and RSL’s ability to combine for goals make both wildcards as opponents.

Stand Out Fantasy Performer

  • Albert Rusnak ($10.5) – 10 points: He took 4 shots and and accounted for half of RSL’s key passes. Likely to have 4 to 5 points every week,

Honorable Fantasy Mention

  • Corey Baird ($6.9) – 7 points: He was involved in all of RSL’s best chances, creating their only goal and probably could’ve had one himself.

Fantasy Fluke

  • Adam Lundkvist ($5.0) – 7 points: Coming into the week, Adam would’ve been a value pick. However, I won’t expect him to replicate that.

Fantasy Dud

  • Romell Quioto ($8.7) – 2 points: The other half of the dynamic duo wingers was not so dynamic this weekend.

 

Colorado Rapids 3 – 3 Portland Timbers

If you switched games after Sjoberg ($4.6) was sent off with a soft red card, you hopefully came rushing back in the second half in time for the Shinyashiki ($4.9) “game winner”. Let’s face it, Colorado won that game. An extra time goal in 4 inches of snow at home to get a result after playing 60 minutes with 10 men is a win.

This result only solidifies my opinion that the Portland Timbers miss the playoffs. Yes, I think their core is too old, but it’s really more a cyclical issue than anything else. Right?

Standout Performers

  • Diego Valeri ($11) – 15 points
  • Sebastian Blanco ($10.5)

Honorable Fantasy Mention

  • Kellyn Acosta ($6.8) – 6 points: With Feilhaber playing the “Six”, Kellyn should have more of a license to get into the attack with Mezquida.

Fantasy Fluke

  • Dillon Serna ($5.8) – 6 points: Dillon Serna has the unfortunate honor of being wrongly dubbed a midfielder.

Fantasy Dud

  • Axel Sjoberg ($4.6) – (-3 points): It pains me, but when get -3 points, you get the “dud” label.

About Tyler Bartels

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