Over at ye olde MLSSoccer.com, a plethora of articles have gone live trumpeting the return of MLS Fantasy Manager in advance of the 2015 season. (We'll just politely ignore the current CBA discussions and assume there's actually going to be a 2015 season.) Fantasy nerds, rejoice - it's time to scour the bargain bins for deals and rage against out-of-form, over-priced players!
First thing's first: if you want to join the official Eighty Six Forever league for pride, glory and year-long permission to be super smug about winning, you'll need the official league code: 245-361
Once you've joined, it's time to build your fantasy team from a budget of $120m. It's harder than it looks; you'll have to make some tough decisions about where to invest your money and where to cut corners. You can't have every starting defender, midfielder and forward; which ones will you pin your hopes on? Do you play to your inner fan and load up on home team players or do you limit yourself to one player per team for maximum diversity? Is Robbie Keane going to have another slam-dunk fantasy year or is it time for another "Captain Fantasy" to lead the way? Will Graham Zusi rediscover his fantasy touch after a rough, World Cup-limited year? Are either of the expansion teams worth your fantasy dollars?
Some key changes to note this year: player price is no longer dictated by transfers in and out. Instead, player form will determine the price. Hot players will go up; cold players will go down. The most you'll ever see a player change per round is $0.2m, which may not be a lot to begin with but over time, hot players will begin to show some value. Even better, there are no longer any sell-on fees when transferring players out. Now you get to keep all that sweet, sweet profit for yourself.
Are you excited? I know I am, and so are the guys over at Starting Lineup. I'll leave you with this video to get your daily dose of hype: