Dave Clark set-up a group for ESPN FC Manager for Sounder-at-Heart readers and it was tempting enough for me to try my hand at fantasy sports for the first time. A number of teams that I have players on had double games for the week which made for an excellent opportunity to recoup some points I lost at the start of the season. It also exposed me to a continuing problem on ESPN's new system.
After the mid-week games I noticed that a couple of my players from the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake didn't get their deserved shut-out points. I posted a message up on the board and the problem was fixed a couple days later. However, a quick read of the boards, makes me realize that this wasn't an isolated incident. A number of other players are missing points for shut-outs and assists. There are also players who are listed on the wrong team or have left MLS altogether.
I thought I would do a quick post to let people know to keep an eye out as they go through the game and make transfers. You might be missing points here or there. ESPN seems to be relatively good about fixing problems if you post on the message board. Just make sure to mark your post as a question (the box you need to check is just above the post button).
After the jump I have some more information for all of you interested in joining the Sounder-at-Heart group or are looking to make transfers before the deadline tomorrow.Joining SAH Group: If you're interested in joining the Sounder-at-Heart group it's not too late. The group name is Sounder at Heart Readers and the password is in somniis. Unfortunately, because the season has already started, you'll be in a pretty deep hole to start the game. However, the game is played over three distinct segments so you'll have plenty of time to refine your strategy and go for the win in segments two and three. Dave is planning on doing prizes (SAH items) for the segment winners as well as the overall winner.
What to Avoid This Week: The Real Salt Lake and Philadelphia Union match-up has been rescheduled until later this year even though it's still listed. You'll want to avoid any transfers from those two teams this week and make sure you put any players from those two teams you want to keep on the bench.
Injuries: Injuries are still a concern for Landon Donovan so make sure you have a back-up on the bench in case he misses another game. Teammate Leonardo has picked up what looks like a season ending injury so you'll probably want to trade him out if he's on your roster. Other high profile players such as Omar Bravo, Jimmy Conrad, Conor Casey, Brian Ching and Jay Demerit also have injuries that may impact their playing time this week. Check-out the MLS injury report for more information.
Suspensions: Ty Harden (TFC) and Julio Cesar (SKC) are the only two players who will miss games this week due to disciplinary issues.
Value Buys: A lot of the great bargains (and what we thought were great bargains) have gotten much more expensive over the season so far. However, there are still a few good bargains out there to stash on your bench or in your line-up.
Perry Kitchen is a steal at $5.2 now that the US U-20 CONCACAF Cup is over. DC United's defense isn't the league's best, but Kitchen is a regular starter who can be useful on your bench or in your lineup. He's also very good and DCU plays noticeably better when they have their young general in the back organizing things. Teammate Bill Hamid is another regular starter and value buy at $5.4.
Simon Dawkins: The play-making midfielder on loan from Tottenham Hotspur has locked down a starting spot for the San Jose Earthquakes. He's also not afraid to take a shot or two on goal which should greatly add to your point total over the course of the season. He's still affordable at $6.3, but probably won't remain at that price for much longer.
- Fabian Castillo, the 18 year old Dallas FC striker, is starting to see the pitch regularly and has looked very dangerous in the games I've seen. He's still a bargain at $5.6. I don't think Castillo will start every game he's available for Dallas, but I think he'll see enough of the pitch to justify his low price. He's a great choice if you're running a two forward line-up and need a cheap player to round out your bench.