Hands up - how many of you gambled that Graham Zusi ($11.0m) would be fit enough to play in this past weekend's matches after playing in CONCACAF Champions League midweek? I know I did and, boy, did I ever pay for it - a big fat goose egg from last year's "Captain Fantasy". Lesson learned - start Champions League-bound players at your own peril. Meanwhile, Philadelphia's Leonardo Fernandes ($4.6m) came off the bench for a last-minute surprise start and notched an even more surprising eight points. Naturally, I had him on my bench instead of playing, as I flipped a coin between Fernandes and Kansas City's Alex Martinez ($4.0m) for my final midfield spot and clearly picked the wrong player. Ugh.
But enough about my dismal, barely-above-average week - let's look at Round Two's big winner, Company of Thorin coached by Matt Delaney:
Matt went in on Houston and they repaid him with another clean sheet. Add on solid performances from Shea Salinas ($7.5m) and a captained Gaston Fernandez ($8.1m) and Company of Thorin is a mere two points behind Sporting Chance. Had Matt not taken a four-point penalty for his third transfer of the round, he'd be your new leader.
Notice also that Matt picked up some Chivas USA players, and with good reason: they aren't horrible (yet). In fact, if Erick Torres ($8.0m) and Mauro Rosales ($7.7m) keep delivering on the attacking front, Chivas may well have a productive season for attack-minded fantasy owners. The defense still isn't worth the price or the risk, though Dan Kennedy ($4.5m) remains an attractive option in goal for the thrifty spender.
Touching back on the Houston Dynamo for a second, they fall into the nebulous "hold" category this week as they have a bye. If you have any Dynamo players, avoid selling them. Houston's current form is too good to simply cast their players - especially their defenders - aside. If you don't have any Dynamo players, avoid buying them until next week. There's simply no point in buying someone who won't play and get you points.
Finally, after some last-minute additions, the Eighty Six Forever league is up to an astonishing 180 players! Thanks to everyone for joining and knocking my meager estimate of 50-60 players well out of the park. That's what I get for underestimating the power of spamming comments on MLSSoccer.com threads. Here's the week ahead:
- If D.C. United can't get their act together and Toronto FC are indeed the real deal, this week's home match for TFC could prove to be a slaughter. If you need a high-priced forward, Jermain Defoe ($10.6m) fits the bill. On the cheaper side, Jonathan Osorio ($7.0m) could reward your fantasy midfield well if he's allowed to run rampant over D.C.
- Along with Houston, the Philadelphia Union and Columbus Crew are the early front-runners in the east. Guess who's playing each other this weekend? Don't expect a nil-all draw; there will be action, a few goals and points to be had for enterprising fantasy owners.
- Mauro Rosales, Mauro Rosales, Mauro Rosales ($7.7m). Mauro Rosales. Sure, Chivas' upcoming schedule isn't the easiest, including matches against Los Angeles and New York, but Rosales has been phenomenal in the midfield for Chivas to start the year at a great price. Get him now, let his price go up and reap the benefits once he finally comes back to earth.
- While I'm not saying it's time to abandon ship on Portland, their slow start doesn't look good for fantasy owners, with Maximiliano Urruti ($6.8m) in particular seeing his stock tumble. Offload him quickly before his price falls any further.
- The Real Salt Lake defense didn't exactly inspire confidence in their 3-3 draw against San Jose. With their third round opponents the coming-off-a-bye-week Los Angeles Galaxy, I wouldn't count on a clean sheet at Rio Tinto.
- The Montreal Impact quarantine is in full effect until further notice.
As always, feel free to debate, discuss and brag in the comments section below. See you next week!