Dynamo deal for Cummings

News: The Houston Dynamo have traded Nathan Sturgis and allocation money for Jamaican forward Omar Cummings.  The 30-year old scored six goals with two assists in 28 appearances last season.

Analysis: The Rapids are reshaping their attack with the duo of Cummings and Casey departing this off season.  Cummings has struggled since scoring fourteen goals in 2010 with just nine goals combined over two injury plagued seasons.  Cummings is an upgrade over Calen Carr, but we will have to see how much he has in the tank as he is on the wrong side of thirty.  Consider him a sleeper fantasy forward for 2013 with the upside to score ten goals alongside Will Bruin.

Le Toux returns to Philly

News: Sebastien Le Toux has been traded back to Philadelphia from New York with striker Josue Martinez and allocation money going the other direction.  The Frenchman totaled only five goals and one assist between Vancouver and New York last season.

Analysis: A fitting end to what has been a farcical 2012 for the Union.  Le Toux was dealt to Vancouver in January in a move that nobody understood including the player.  The Union are a much weaker squad then the one he left in 2011, Jack McInerney led the team with only eight goals last season.  Le Toux should be the focal point of the attack hoping to find the form that made him a MVP candidate in his previous two season in Philly.  He comes with some risk in fantasy next season, but could turn out to be a steal.

RSL ship Olave, Espindola to NY

News: Real Salt Lake have traded away Fabian Espindola and Jamison Olave to NYRB in exchange for allocation money.  Espindola scored nine goals with seven assists in 2012, while Olave was limited to twenty one games due to injury.

Analysis: RSL have begun to break up the unit that has had them one of the premier squads in MLS the last few years.  Olave is the key to the deal as he will start in New York with either Markus Holgersson or Wilman Conde.  The former MLS defender of the year is a major upgrade in the Red Bulls defense.  Argentine Espindola is coming off perhaps his best season in 2012.  He will have to battle for minutes with Kenny Cooper and Thierry Henry likely to start next season after combining for thirty three goals last season.

NYRB acquire Kimura

News: The New York Red Bulls have traded allocation money and the rights to Bryan Gallego in exchange for fullback Kosuke Kimura.  The 28-yeary old scored two goals with three assists in twenty nine appearances with both Colorado and Portland last season.

Analysis: The Japanese veteran will be an option at right back next season for the Red Bulls competing with Connor Lade for the first team.  The Red Bulls should be solid defensive unit next season making Kimura a player to scout in fantasy should he win the starting job.

EPL Week 10 Fantasy Preview

PabloZabaleta

The season keeps rolling along as we are already at round ten, an a quarter of the way through the fantasy season.  The week kicks off with the biggest fixture of the week as Arsenal visit Old Trafford where they were last seen in the league losing 8-2.  There are not other ‘must see’ matches for the neutrals this week as Liverpool and Newcastle comprise the next best pairing.  Still it is an important week as any to make sure you pile up fantasy points.

All eyes will be on Robin van Persie as he faces his old squad for the first time.  We would not expect another eight goals from United this season, but do look for RVP to find the net in this one.  Who knows what Arsenal side will show up as they are coming off that crazy match with Reading in the midweek.  The Gunners have held their own with the big squads thus far this season with only the one goal loss to Chelsea a blemish.  We don’t think either side will keep a clean sheet, but we would not expect a goal fest in this one either.

PabloZabaleta

Inswingers

Pablo Zabaleta

The benefactor of the horrible Micah Richards news, Zabaleta has first crack to hold down the right back position.  The Argentine has to worry about Maicon returning to fitness in a few weeks, but has a good chance to hold onto the job as he is trusted by Roberto Mancini.

Bacary Sagna

The Frenchman made his return last week against QPR and came through without a scratch.  He is never a great fantasy option but expect Sagna to be as reliable as they come in Arsenal’s solid defense this season.

Jose Enrique

It’s all about the fullbacks this week as we add Jose Enrique to the list of players you want to look at.  Another injury to Martin Kelly has Enrique back in favor in Liverpool who are getting a kinder run of fixtures with only three tough sides in their next eleven matches.

Outsingers

Darren Bent

Bent looked to have turned the corner after scoring in consecutive weeks in rounds five and six.  Since then he has started just one of the last three matches and is clearly behind Christian Benteke in the Villa pecking order.

Nani

The Portuguese international appears to be completely out of the picture at the moment.  He has been in Ferguson’s dog house before only to come surging back, but he should be nowhere near your fantasy squad right now.

Vidic out longer

News: Manchester United will be without captain Nema Vidic until Christmas time according to his manager.  The Serbian has already missed the last five league matches.

Analysis: At best we are looking at a Gameweek 18 return for Vidic.  Jonny Evans should be locked in as starting central defender for the next eight weeks making him a great asset in fantasy.

EPL Week 8 Fantasy Preview

The final international match days for 2012 are now behind us with only a single friendly date left on November 14th.  This means we are about to get into a serious run of fixtures in the Premiership from now until the new year.  Fantasy round 8 has the look on paper to be a relatively tame weekend.  Each team plays once this weekend with Chelsea traveling to White Hart Lane in the only fixture that includes two ‘big’ clubs.

Let’s start with the first match of the week as the current leaders visit Spurs who are sitting in fifth.  The headlines will all be about John Terry who has elected to begin his four game suspension this week, leaving Gary Cahill to start with David Luiz in the Blues defense.  Spurs have scored in every match this season and seven in their last three, making a clean sheet for Chelsea unlikely.  Roberto Di Matteo has a full squad to choose from other than Terry with Frank Lampard and Daniel Sturridge possible set to return.  On the other side it seems that Andre Villas-Boas is leaning toward starting Brad Friedel in this one over Hugo Lloris.  The Portuguese manager needs to be careful he does not cause problems by rotating his keepers, until one of them shows he is clearly the starter, keep away from both in fantasy.  With Benoit Assou-Ekotto out and Kyle Naughton a doubt, we may see Jan Vertonghen playing at left back again as he did for his country during the international break.  Chelsea are averaging better than two goals scored per match this season, it’s hard to have much faith in fantasy defenders in this one.  That leaves Fernando Torres, Edin Hazard, Gareth Bale and Jermaine Defoe all great players to start this week.

The next biggest match this weekend it the Tyne-Wear derby at the Stadium of Light.  Both sides are comfortably mid table, but neither can be terribly happy with their starts.  Sunderland have to be concerned that Steven Fletcher is the only Cat to have scored.  Newcastle have not been great defensively this season but could be getting Tim Krul, Fabio Coloccini and Steven Taylor back on Sunday.   Look for

The place to focus your fantasy moves this week are with Arsenal who visit Norwich who have surrendered nine goals in their last two matches.  Load up on Gunner attackers this week with Gervinho, Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski at the top of the list. They all seem certain to start but Olivier Giroud is a high risk fantasy option as if placed into the first team could have the biggest scoring day.  Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and About Diaby will miss out while Jack Wilshire is not yet ready to start.

Inswingers

Gervinho

A fantasy midfielder who is starting at centre forward for Arsenal.  That is an equation that has to be desirable in fantasy.  The Ivorian seems to have remembered how to finish with five goals from eight appearances in the League and Champions League combined.  We are not sure he will be in that position all season, but he is certainly worth starting in all fantasy leagues for the present.

Brett Holman

Aston Villa look nothing short of horrendous.  The loan bright spot has been the Aussie who scored four goals with ten assists for AZ Alkmaar last season.  The Aussie looks has a chance to be a useful fantasy midfielder who comes at a value.

Raheem Sterling

Speaking of value, you pretty much have to own Sterling in salary cap formats.  The 17-year old is not going to put up huge numbers, but he looks likely to start at least until January, and has two assists on the season, so he is giving you something.

Outswingers

Stephane Sessegnon

The Benin international was a fantasy stud last season.  He has contributed neither a goal or an assist this season after seven goals and twelve assists last term.  We think he will pick it up eventually, but Sunderland’s lack of attack makes it difficult to hold onto Sessegnon.

Theo Walcott

Walcott is the one player who did not come out of the international matches unscathed.  He has not started a match since the season opener, and although he does have two goals and an assist, cannot be relied on in fantasy when playing less than thirty minutes a match.

 

Reina has hamstring problem

News: Liverpool goal keeper Pepe Reina is in a race to be fit for this weekends clash with Reading.  The 30-year old picked up the injury in Spains 1-1 draw with France this week.

Analysis: If Reina is unable to go Brad Jones will make his first Premier League start of the season.  The Aussie is not a recommended addition in fantasy unless Reina is sidelined long term

Terry won’t appeal suspension

News: Chelsea defender John Terry will not appeal his four match suspension.  The club captain will miss the next four rounds of fantasy and will be eligible for the round match at the Hawthornes.

Analysis: Chelsea did not time this very well as Terry will miss four Premiership matches, no Cup matches, and against stiff competition in Spurs, Manchester United, Swansea and Liverpool.  David Luiz and Gary Cahill are both fit and should be the central back pairing while the captain is out.  We would not bother fetching Cahill for the short period as there are not great opportunities there for clean sheets.

Borini breaks foot

News: Liverpool attacker Fabio Borini has suffered a broken metatarsal bone is in foot while playing for the Italian U-21 team.  The striker is expected to be sidelined for several weeks.

Analysis: Borini had been playing regularly for Brendan Rodger as a miscast winger.  While Borini was not adding much for fantasy his absence leaves Liverpool with only Luis Suarez as a legitimate striker option.  Raheem Sterling looks even more secure in his role on one wing while Rodgers seems likely to use another teenager in Suso (Jesus Fernandez Saez) on the other wing with Borini out.  There is always the chance of Stewart Downing pushing back into the team, but he has shown nothing in fantasy for over a year now.  Sterling remains a good value player in fantasy and Suso has the chance to offer the same, but is listed as s striker which hurts his value.