Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Pages

For this final segment of the game, I will be adding a few new pages here to help you all in your quest for bragging rights.


I have already added a page with a table showing the upcoming double and blank gameweeks. This should help you plan out your transfers to make sure you don't get rid of a player with a promising upcoming double or bring one in with a looming blank.

I will also be adding a page that looks more in depth at the relative value of players. I will be ranking players based on points per game (PPG) and points per million spent (PPMS). I won't be ranking all the players in the game as I don't have the time, but I will be ranking the top 10 goalkeepers and top 25 each of defenders, midfielders, and forwards. The PPG ranking will help us pick out which players are actually good fantasy producers as opposed to those who have just played more games. The PPMS rankings will help you budget to pick out some of those all-important value players.

Look for updates and improvements on these pages over the coming few days as the game gets set for the third and final segment.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Week 20 deadline mix-up

It appears that the deadline for week 20 didn't take into account that there is a game played before the deadline. The match between Philadelphia and Colorado has just finished and I am still able to edit my roster. Unfortunately I don't have any subs to bring in any of the goalscorers (Nyassi, Mastroeni, Torres). However, I was able to switch out Williams (who had a yellow and red card in the space of 3 seconds) for another defender who hopefully will score better than the -1 point of Williams.

I am unsure if ESPN will realize this error and try to fix it or not, but it is worth a shot to try to take advantage of.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Week 20 preview


Predicted goals scored:

portland
4.1
kansas city
2.5
RSL
2.4
dallas
2.2
San Jose
2.0
philadelphia
1.9
colorado
1.7
houston
1.5
LA
1.3
Seattle
1.3
dcu
1.2
Vancouver
1.2
toronto
1.2
chivas
1.0
new england
0.8
columbus
0.4
chicago
x
new york
x

Predicted goals allowed:

RSL
0.4
philadelphia
0.7
kansas city
0.8
dallas
1.0
portland
1.2
LA
1.2
San Jose
1.2
houston
1.3
Vancouver
1.3
Seattle
1.5
colorado
1.9
dcu
2.0
chivas
2.2
columbus
2.4
new england
2.5
toronto
4.1
chicago
x
new york
x

Team of the week:

Rimando
Williams, Beltran, Besler, John
Jewsbury, Shea, Mapp, Jeferson
Espindola, Wondolowski
Subs: Mondragon, Franklin, Chavez, Perlaza

Captains:

Jewsbury – Portland have lost their form at home, but a visit from a new-look Toronto might help them find it again. Jewsbury is at the heart of all good things attacking for Portland.

Rimando – Salt Lake host a Columbus team that isn’t very adventurous on attack. Rimando has one of the highest points per game out of any player.

Williams – One of the players with a higher PPG than Rimando. Not only does he benefit from a solid defensive unit, but he gets forward on the wing quite a bit.

John – Dallas has had one of the most stable defenses in the league this season and John is a big body on attacking set pieces.

Beltran – Similar reasoning to Rimando, but Beltran simply trades save points in for the odd assist.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Week 19 preview


This is the week I set as my “pay date” for a wager with some friends before the season started. I promised to buy a beer for everyone who was sitting ahead of me by the all-star break. As it stands, there are only 3 out of about 65 who have a good shot at collecting. The one who seems most hell-bent on besting me is only 12 points ahead after I managed to claw back 63 points so far in this second segment. I’m only 26 points out of first, and while I don’t expect to take the poll-position this week, I think I get a few more points in my favor and hopefully catch at least one of the people ahead of me.

Predicted goals scored:

Colorado
4.1
RBNY
3.9
SKC
3.5
Columbus
3.2
SJ
2.9
DCU
2.6
Dallas
2.5
NE
2.5
RSL
2.4
TFC
2.1
LA
1.8
Chivas
1.1
VAN
0.6
Houston
0.5
POR
0.4
Chicago
x
Philly
x
Seattle
x

Predicted goals allowed:

LA
0.4

Columbus
0.4
1.8
Chivas
0.5

SJ
0.6
2.4
SKC
0.8

RSL
0.8

Colorado
0.9
1.5
RBNY
1.0
1.8
Houston
1.1

Dallas
1.4
2.5
TFC
1.5
3.5
DCU
1.6

VAN
2.1

NE
2.3
2.6
POR
2.8

Chicago
x

Philly
x

Seattle
x


Team of the week:

Hesmer
Miranda, DeLaGarza, Corrales, Kimura
Larentowicz, Lindpere, Shea, Najar
Henry, Cummings
Subs: Saunders, Miller, Zusi, Wondolowski

Captains:

Cummings: I don’t think he’s as dangerous without his strike partner, Casey. He’s the best option, though, in a Colorado side predicted to score 4 this week.

Lindpere: Lindpere is still the hot player in New York. Even during their home loss against Dallas he looked like the most dangerous Red Bull.

Henry: He’s still got class and New York have two matches, plenty of time for that class to shine through.

Shea: Dallas have an interesting double this week, but should still find the net two or three times.

Wondolowski: He certainly isn’t in the form of last season, but still plenty capable of working magic.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week 19 doubles and blanks

There are 3 teams without a game with week. Chicago didn’t have one scheduled and the match between Seattle and Philadelphia has been postponed so the Union can play a friendly (ugh). At the time of writing, the ESPN game is still showing the game between Philadelphia and Seattle to be a go, so make sure you aren’t relying on any of these players this week.

Now for the important part: the teams with double gameweeks.

Colorado: vs. New York and vs. New England

Colorado’s offense was starting to look dangerous again with the reintroduction of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. Unfortunately for Colorado, Casey injured himself in Seattle and couldn’t continue. I wouldn’t count on returning this week, and thus Cummings is the offensive threat for the Rapids. Two home games are promising for the defense, especially the match-up with New England. 

Columbus: at LA and vs. Portland

Columbus has one away and one home game this week: away to table-topping LA and the home against bottom-barrel Portland. There doesn't look like much for fantasy returns in LA, but the home game against Portland looks tasty. Columbus' attack doesn't inspire much confidence in me, but their defense is solid. I would consider bringing in one of their back-line or Hesmer for this week.

Dallas: at Toronto and at New York

The game against New York is my match of the week to watch as a neutral this week. However, the stats say that New York should win 2-1. So, if you play by the numbers, there’s not a whole lot in this game for Dallas. The game against Toronto is friendlier for our fantasy prospects, but still doesn’t look to be too promising, with each team predicted to score 1.5 goals. This is a tricky one to call, but I would be comfortable bringing in a Dallas defender if you don’t already have one or Brek Shea.

New England: at DC and at Colorado

Two away games for dismal New England this week. There’s almost no fantasy value to be found in this squad. Even Shalrie Joseph has had a quiet year.

New York: at Colorado and vs. Dallas

New York finally signed a veteran goal-keeper who should be able to better-organize their backline. He certainly had an easy time in his debut, but Colorado and Dallas should prove a bit more attacking than Chivas was. Of course, Richards, Lindpere, and Henry are all still viable options (all are in my team) and Agudelo is also a good pick this week as Rodgers’ injury should keep him out another week.

San Jose: vs. Vancouver and at Salt Lake

San Jose is another team with a mixed bag this week. The Quakes have lots of fantasy potential against Vancouver and little against Salt Lake. The match-up against the Whitecaps is good enough to warrant consideration of bringing in a San Jose player or two. Wondolowski is the most likely to make my team on top of a defender already in my side.

Toronto: vs. Dallas and at Kansas City

Like New England, there isn’t a whole lot of fantasy value to be found in Toronto. There has been too many signings recently for me to have any confidence in their team synergy. I would steer clear.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thoughts on substitutions

I have been running an experimental team for about 10 weeks now, playing with my line-up and how substitutes come off the bench.  I realized that if you have two players in one position on the bench and one of them is to come in to give you points, it will be the one who scores the most points. On the surface, this seems like no big deal. But I’ve been doing the research with my experimental team.

I have been playing three defenders, with one of them virtually guaranteed not to play at all. This means that I will surely have a defender come off my bench who scored the most between the two defensemen found not in my starting 11. With the unpredictability of cleansheets, this can be a huge advantage if there are two teams that are predicted to give up about the same number of goals. Plus, you can save some salary cap by choosing a cheap defender who won’t play anyway.

On top of the defensive substitution, you get to play an additional forward or midfielder. This can be a huge boon to your team in a week like last week when there were simply too many good offensive options who are all going to get solid minutes and ample opportunity to score a goal or notch an assist.

Over the last 10 weeks, implementing this strategy would have net me 11 points more than my regular team. This last week, if I had played Montero instead of Shea (like I originally had my line-up set as), it would have been 19 points. These additional points could mean the difference between first and second or 15th and 9th over the course of the season. 

The numbers have been so good in my experimental team, that I implemented this in my regular team this last week too. Turns out it net me zero (would have been eight if I played Montero over Shea) points this week, but it is a strategy I will surely implement in the final segment of this season.