Monday, April 09, 2007

Fantasy Soccer Bootroom - Week 1

Welcome to the first installment of Fantasy Soccer Bootroom, a (hopefully) weekly rundown of analysis of fantasy soccer leagues for MLS. The two main leagues are MFLS and MLS Fantasy Challenge on In both of these leagues, I am participating in divisions for Revolution fans. This is the first year that I am taking the league seriously, and I look forward to sharing my experience throughout the season.

As a primer, MFLS is a deeper system with salaries that don't change, transfer fees which change based on demand, and bench players. The format on has a much more restrictive salary cap, no subs, and no transfer fees. I believe they are using a similar system to the EPL challenge I participated in a few years back, but with the addition of assists. If true, player salaries will vary throughout the season, which could get interesting. I'll mostly be focusing on MFLS, but I'll also give a nod to the fantasy challenge each week depending on my interest.

Both of my teams are called "Chowda United". My MFLS team had a very good first week with a respectable 20 points. I sit tied for 5 of 65+ in my division's table, and 295th out of 2000+ overall. I put in a good effort getting my starting lineup for week 1. Here is what it looked like and the results:

You only get points for players who start each week and for the coach. If you look at my team, the number in brackets next to each player is the total they had for the week. The two numbers below that are salary and transfer fee respectively.

Points are obtained for soring goals and assists, as well as just being on the field when your team scores. Deductions occur for things like yellow cards and giving u goals. Defenders and keepers are rewarded for shutting out opponents for halves, etc... As you may gather, individual performance is important, but team performance can be just as important.

For instance, take my defender selection. I have two Red Bull players back there. Both players aren't going to score many goals or rack up assists, but Bruce Arena's team hasn't been bleeding goals after "The Bruce" took the job. They also were playing Columbus last week and play a Dallas team that has to fly cross-country after their Thursday game to make their Sunday afternoon contest. Arena may actually elect to play a 4-5-1 at times this year, so the goal counts will be low. As a bonus, Seth Stammler counts as a defender, while actually lining up as a midfielder in real life. This opens the door for assists and goals. However, I do have to watch out for yellow cards, as he is a hard tackler.

I took Pickens as my GK, because he's the best value. Chicago has a rough defense which will keep his GAA low and his salary allowed me to upgrade my attacking players. I'm actually surprised so few people have him. He's now very popular after the shutout, but I can't afford to let him and his low pay grade go.

At midfield, I have three players who should rack up major points. However, I did struggle with the decision to start Ben Olsen. I originally had Fred. DC will score a lot of goals. They can, but most importantly they will have to with their weak defense. Fred led the A-League in goals, and we'll see how he does in MLS. I didn't go with Fred because he wasn't starting in Colorado. I went with Olsen because I thought DC would win. I was wrong there, and Olsen also was yellow-carded. Ouch! I also took a hard look at Sacha Kljestan who wound up scoring the most individual points this week with nine. I didn't go with him because I felt Toronto would have scored.

My three forwards should do fine. Although only one of them scored, I'm not worried about Ching and Twellman. I also have decent coverage with Barrett and Cristman who should start for their MLS sides when Ching and Twellman are off on USMNT duty this summer.

The thing that worries me is my lack of depth at defense. I have to find out which rookie defenders are going to crack their respective lineups and pick them up. I want to have 5-6 defenders, who start for their teams, to have flexibility based on that week's MLS schedule. I also have to plan on any bye weeks for teams. KC had a bye, but I picked up Arnaud for future coverage.

My bench looks a little different right now. I actually made a few swaps to generate a transfer fee slush fund. I needed the funds to dump Olsen and I wanted the money for future considerations.

Well, that was how I planned out the linup for Chowda United. Looking at the MFLS tables, Alpine Dream topped the charts with 43 points. The team is heavy on Colorado Rapids, so he hit the jackpot. As for the Revs division, Pip United is in first with 32 points. All of his forwards racked up points and his major performers were Chivas USA players Guzan and Kljestan. From what I gather, 20-25 points is a good week and anything over 30 points is money.

Well, that's it for the first installment of Fantasy Soccer Bootroom. I'll get into the other league somewhere down the line. Look for future installments at the start of each week.

1 Comment:

J.D. said...

Excellent blog. I've put your link up on .

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