By Emily Hickmott
With the Copa América wrapped up and the European Championship finals this Sunday, we felt it was apropos to view some fantasy picks through the lens of the most popular sport in the world: fútbol. Below, we’ve compared players from the East division to different soccer players in order to help navigate your drafts up until the Championship series!
Boston Night Riders
Harry Greenhouse, Tyler Trudeau and Julia Baer: Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar
This season, teams in La Liga faced a three-headed monster consisting of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar, who in the 2015-2016 season combined to score a total of 90 goals with 44 assists. Similarly dominant in the inaugural MLQ season, Trudeau, Baer and Greenhouse together scored 39 goals with 28 assists in the regular season. With his 18 goals and league-high 22 assists, Trudeau’s stats are akin to those of Suarez, who led La Liga in both goals and assists. Greenhouse’s 17 goals, six assists and multitude of snitch catches put his fantasy game on a level that of Messi, who had 26 goals and 16 assists last season for Barcelona. Neymar and Baer both produced offensively last season, with Neymar scoring 24 goals and Baer scoring nine goals and leading Boston goal total in the MLQ finals last year against New York. When Greenhouse, Trudeau and Baer are on the quidditch field together, anticipate high octane offense that is nearly unstoppable. While it’s unlikely that you will be able to afford all of these players, drafting any of the three will bring you success.
Jayke Archibald: David De Gea
Lanky and tall, David De Gea stands stalwart in the goal for Manchester United. De Gea has consistently been one of the best keepers in the Premier league, with 83 saves and 15 clean sheets in the 2015-2016 season. Similarly, Archibald with his 18 takeaways and 12 blocks was one of the best defensive keepers this MLQ season. Archibald’s cat-like reflexes and willingness to lay his body on the line manifest into turnovers and fast breaks on offense, resulting in 17 goals and 11 assists last season. If you are looking for a player who puts on both solid offensive and defensive performances, there is no better pick than Archibald.
Max Havlin: Andres Iniesta
Andrés Iniesta has always been known for his playmaking abilities; his presence in the midfield for both Barcelona and Spain allowed for dynamic, unstoppable attacks leading to victories in the 2010 World Cup and 2012 EURO Cup. Like Iniesta, Havlin’s biggest asset is his ability to make plays. With over 240 beats last season, Havlin led the league and his team to victory while earning himself East Division MVP. Choosing to build a fantasy team around Havlin means you are trusting him to show up big, and he rarely disappoints. But expect him to drain your budget as likely one of the most expensive players in the league.
New York Titans
Lindsay Marella: Jamie Vardy
In the past year, Jamie Vardy has gone from almost facing relegation to overwhelming success, playing his first international games for England and scoring 24 goals in the 2015-2016 Premier league season. Marella had a similar breakout this year finishing top of her pool with Rutgers at US Quidditch Cup 9, proving to be one of the top goal scorers for the New York Titans and being selected to represent Team USA in Frankfurt this July. Like Vardy, Marella acts as an offensive catalyst for her team, creating mismatches on both sides of the ball. Had fantasy quidditch existed last summer, her eight goals, seven assists and six takeaways last MLQ season would have ranked her in the top two of fantasy points for her team. Whenever she’s on the roster for NY, she’ll be a savvy draft pick.
David Fox: Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo has continued to be one of the top players in the world, generating goals and assists for Real Madrid. David Fox has been a dominant player since he broke onto the scene. Last year for the Boston Night Riders, Fox scored 17 goals, made eight assists and had 11 takeaways, making him a threat on both offense and defense. Much like Ronaldo, Fox is effective with and without the ball, so expect him to continue to rack up points and create turnovers on defense. This season, Fox has switched from playing for the Boston to the New York Titans and as a result may have the ball in his hands a lot more, which should increase his stats going into the draft.
MIchael “Yada” Parada: Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs is one of the most experienced players in the English Premier League; his time at Manchester United saw him score over a hundred goals, win multiple championships and captain his team to countless victories. Michael “Yada” Parada has likewise been a part of quidditch since near its inception, playing first for Penn State, captaining the NYDC Capitalists and then creating and coaching The Warriors. Dangerous from mid-range, Yada scored 15 goals in the 2015 MLQ season with 16 assists. An offensive catalyst, Yada will create opportunities for those around him so drafting him along with other New York players could pay dividends.
Ottawa Black Bears
Martin Chiasson: Érik Lamela
Érik Lamela may not be the most well known footballer in the world, but he has been very effective for Tottenham, especially in the last year. Lamela scored 11 goals, had 10 assists, and made over 100 tackles this past season, contributing to Tottenham’s offense and defense racking up over 3,000 minutes of play time. Similarly, Martin Chiasson was a workhorse for Ottawa, playing in all three series and the Championship last season. While far from the flashiest beater in the league, Chiasson is effective at both anchoring a defensive zone and creating holes on offense. He led his team in generating fantasy points last year, with 93 beats, 14 turnovers forced and regaining bludger control 21 times which was good enough for third in the league. He’s a solid pick at beater and his low profile will keep him cheap so that you can still save money for other positions.
Jonathan Parent: Mesut Özil
Mesut Özil is renowned for his finesse and improvisation as a player, and his playing style is one that creates assists for his teammates. In the 2015-2016 season for Arsenal, he set a Premier League record for being the first player to assist in six consecutive matches, generating 19 assists in total for the season. Parent has seen similar success as a playmaker, with 11 assists in the 2015 MLQ season. Additionally, he scored six goals and would have generated 84 fantasy points, the most of any quaffle player returning to Ottawa for a second season. If he is on the roster for Ottawa, he’s a solid choice at male chaser for your fantasy team.
Brian Wong: Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale is a player who has grown over the years into a super star for both club and country. For Real Madrid in the 2015-2016 season, Bale scored 24 goals helping Real Madrid to a Champions League Finals appearance. For Wales, Bale has scored three goals in the European Cup and created the opportunity that sent Wales to the quarterfinals. He is quick and agile with an eye for goal. Brian Wong has seen similar success on both his school team and national team, playing for the national champions UOttawa Gee Gees and Team Canada in 2014. He is fast, agile and difficult to bring down. He may seem like a risky choice based on last years stats, but his speed will allow him to create opportunities and generate fantasy points.
Darren Creary: Manuel Neuer
Watching Manuel Neuer play keeper, his size and athleticism are obvious from the get-go. He is an imposing figure in the goal for both Bayern and Germany, making saves with his hands and feet. Much like Neuer, Creary is defined by his size and athleticism as showcased by his team-high 10 goals, six assists and league-high 15 blocks. He is also the primary seeker for the Washington Admirals, using his height and reach to catch snitches in both the regular season and championship. Much like Neuer, expect Creary to make a mark in any game he plays. Creary is probably one of the most dangerous seekers available in the draft; if he’s on the roster, look to build a team around him.
Beto Natera: Javier Hernández
Playing for Bayer Leverkusen, Javier Hernández has scored a total of 17 goals in the Bundesliga and 25 goals in all competitions this season. He is a potent offensive force who makes the best of opportunities in front of goal and is incredibly scrappy. Natera is also a scrappy, hard hitting player with a wealth of experience, playing for LSU, Lone Star and Washington last season. Natera has also been known to seek and his history with clutch grabs make him a great utility choice. When you need to draft a chaser without breaking the bank, Natera is a solid option.
Katryna Hicks and Diane Marie Martin: Robert Huth and Wes Morgan
Robert Huth and Wes Morgan were the rocks of the Leicester City defense that anchored a campaign resulting in a Premier League title. Both Morgan and Huth scored four goals each throughout the season while putting in stellar performances defensively for a team that only conceded 36 goals throughout the season. Like Huth and Morgan, Hicks and Martin were the rocks of the Admiral defense in the 2015 MLQ season, making 62 and 61 beats respectively. Both are quick on their feet with extreme accuracy, with Hicks making 76% of her beats last season and Martin making 83%. Both are excellent options to fill the female beater slot of your fantasy team, as they will each generate fantasy points in any game they play.