(Psst! Join our MLS Fantasy Manager league! The code is 245-361.)
Good grief, Seattle Sounders. You had one job - live up to everyone's expectations and curb-stomp the San Jose Earthquakes into a fine paste. Heck, you even had your job made easier by the 52nd-minute dismissal of Victor Bernardez ($7.1m)! How hard is it to score a pair of goals and concede none against ten men? Apparently, far too hard for the team defending their American Double (U.S. Open Cup + Supporters' Shield; not, as I originally thought, a burger combo). To be fair, Innocent Emeghara ($9.0m) made a ridiculous goal out of his run-and-juke routine against the Sounders' backline (tricky players destroying a Seattle backline? Gee, where have I heard that before...) but that's still a ten-man 'Quakes side ripping apart Seattle. That shouldn't happen and the wrath of Sigi (likely involving a sarlac pit) should keep the Sounders from being that lax on defense again. Well, for a few matches, at least. Two crucial things for fantasy owners to take away from this result: Emeghara may end up being a great pickup if he can keep doing things like that and Bernardez will continue to be an unnecessary fantasy risk.
Meanwhile, on the other coast, this tweet from Matt Doyle pretty much sums up my next point:
Revs defense 180 minutes into the 2015 season: pic.twitter.com/JFUWLDW1gP— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) March 15, 2015
Did you think Andrew Farrell ($7.9m) would be a decent pickup this season? How about Jose Goncalves ($8.5m)? I would recommend abandoning those ideas permanently (who knew A.J. Soares was so crucial to the New England Revolution's survival?) or at least until Jermaine Jones ($10.0m) can swoop in to
save the day staunch the bleeding once he recovers from hernia surgery. When a team's top player is averaging 3.5 points per game (Kelyn Rowe, $8.5m), that's not a good sign for the immediate future.
If you're looking for a good budget team in the east to replace the Revs, you may want to consider picking up some Columbus Crew players next week (not this week, as I accidentally did; itchy clicking finger, you've screwed me over again). Right now, the MLS Fantasy Manager Dream Team features Crew defender Hernan Grana ($6.6m), a steal at his price point with $15 points over two games. Now, the hiccup here with the Crew is they have another bye in Round 5 before hitting a double-week in Round 6. It all averages out in the end but that is a sizable amount of bye time early in the season. If you're desperate for points, you may want to search elsewhere for cheap picks and wait until Week 6 to stock up on Columbus players. However, if you have a spare bench spot and are looking for value depth, Grana is a great option right now.
Round 2 Top Score
To the Eighty Six Forever fantasy league we go, where #AssistiveTech is still atop the rankings but is now hounded by the likes of Cameron Miller and Calum M (who had better not be the same guy on a dummy account). AT Dad is also being chased by the holder of this week's top score award, Todd Paulhus of CarlRobinsonSweaters (fantastic name), who finished the round with an impressive 87 - good for 13th overall in the round:
Dammit, Blas Perez ($9.3m), why must you torment both my real team and my fantasy team? Why must FC Dallas be the hot team that I'd be foolish not to load up on? LIFE IS NOT FAIR. (#WhitecapsProblems)
Matchups To Watch
3. San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire
I'm not gonna lie - I'm very curious to see if Emeghara can show signs of destroying backlines out east like he did in the west. Sure, Chris Wondolowski ($10.7m) is always going to be the star forward on the team; the nice thing about that for Emeghara is that while everyone's trying to stop one of the league's most clinical, opportunistic poachers, he'll have room to make more defenders look silly. Even better, the reverse is true for Wondo if the defense keys in on Emeghara, so, win-win (unless you're Chicago)!
2. Colorado Rapids vs. New York City FC
Normally, I don't make a habit of betting against the Rapids at home. Then I see Deshorn Brown has been sold(!) and Mix Diskerud ($9.1m) is sitting on a healthy 91.5% passing success rate and suddenly there are good reasons to think Nick-Fick will come away from the mile-high match with a win. Unless Pablo Mastroeni has mastered the evil genius moustache twirl and has a dastardly scheme up his sleeve, this should be a fantasy bonanza for Manchester City USA.
1. Philadelphia Union vs. FC Dallas
So help me, FC Dallas, if you screw me over on another easy-win-in-the-bag prediction I will fix you with the hardest stare since Paddington Bear accidentally wandered into a fun house hall of mirrors. Yeah, that's right. Be afraid.