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MLS Fantasy Roundup 2014 - Round 33

In which we close the book on this year's fantasy season and celebrate the winner of the inaugural Eighty Six Forever fantasy league.

If you thought Dan Kennedy was a fantasy stud this round, just imagine what happens when he's drafted by a non-Chivas team.
If you thought Dan Kennedy was a fantasy stud this round, just imagine what happens when he's drafted by a non-Chivas team.
Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, congratulations go out first and foremost to Richard "DamagedGoods" Matthew, who handily won the Eighty Six Forever fantasy league with a whopping 2.590 points - a good 81 points clear of second place, Derrick "Rino's Vancouver SC" Freedman. Mr. Freedman managed to nip minisoccertime at the post for the penultimate spot in the league, rounding out a solid top three who all cleared the 2,500-point mark. Richard's final score wasn't just impressive for our league, though - take a look at all the other leagues he crushed en route to finishing 6th(!) overall in the global leaderboard:

86F Winner 2014

For the sake of maintaining the dispassionate neutrality of fantasy sports, I'll ignore the fact our winning manager is an FC Dallas supporter. Well, I'll try, at least. At any rate, our top five managers were supporters of (in descending order) FC Dallas, the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Seattle Sounders, Vancouver and Vancouver again. Naturally, this proves Vancouver is three times better than the teams we'll be facing should the playoffs last that long nothing but it's nice to see our little league was popular enough to draw entrants from across Major League Soccer's fandoms.

As for my own team, Fort Victoria SC, it was a marked drop-off from my career-best performance of last season. I stayed in the Top 100 of the 86F league, which isn't much of an accomplishment but it was my self-assesed minimum acceptable standard for fantasy this year. (In other words: I achieved the bare minimum! Woohoo!) I also somehow managed to finish 7th in a public head-to-head league, so, that's something I suppose. Where did I go wrong when compared to a fantasy season that saw me finish in the Top 20 of all Whitecaps supporters? Simple: sluggish movement. Last season, I was quick to pull the trigger and get in on the ground floor of players who had the potential for a decent upside, or abandon players who appeared to be peaking after an unsustainable run of form. This year, I foolishly held on to far too many Houston Dynamo players for far too long and neglected to transfer in better-performing strikers early in the season. This all left me with total value of $120.8m (team + bank) - a pitiful profit of less than a million dollars. There's your advertisement for smart player moves, folks - move too slow and your bank account won't be able to catch up.

It wouldn't be a fantasy round-up if I didn't recognize the best score in the round. So, for the final time this year, allow me to congratulate Mad Hatter (lovely name) and Firebirds SC for their best-in-the-entire-game score of 96:

Round 33 86F Top Score

The age-old strategy of captaining a DGW goalkeeper - even if it's a Chivas USA RIP goalkeeper - pays off in the end. Special shout-out goes to the third-best score of 94 owned by Joshua "CHuNKy HaM" James solely because shouting the name "CHuNKy HaM" out loud as a battle-cry made me laugh and probably annoyed my neighbours.

Don't think the fantasy vibes stop here, though. MLS Cup Pick 'Em is underway and, of course, we have an Eighty Six Forever league. Join now and claim more of those precious bragging rights for yourself!

Finally, I have two big thank-yous to close out the fantasy season. First, big thanks go to frequent commenter and fanpost prognosticator Spencer Phinney, who first came up with the idea and allowed me to run with it. Thank you, Spencer, for starting this blog and its populace down the path of fantasy madness. I'd like to think we're all better because of it. Second, a massive "thank you" goes to each and every one of you who signed up for, played in and/or commented on the league this year. A 187-person strong league was beyond my largest expectations for the first year and I can't thank each of you enough for playing. I hope to see you next year for another fun round of MLS Fantasy Manager!