The halfway point of a fantasy season brings soothing clarity. The crippling anxiety of the early season fades into a cloudy memory. No longer do you have to scour the preseason box scores to find out who plays on a team's back line, or discern who's going to start at that second forward position.
By July, it's pretty clear who's doing well-just check out the top players in each position group. As we've mentioned before, the bare-minimum, lowest-common-denominator strategy is to just grab as many of those guys as you can afford.
Secondly, you know which teams are easy pickings. This year, more than years past, there is a pretty well-defined lowest tier: D.C. United, Toronto FC, and Chivas USA. When you're setting your lineup, it is very comforting to know that these teams simply won't turn it around this year.
(And finally, you'll start to move up in your league by default, because about half your league has simply quit updating their rosters.)
There are no more secrets. Just strategy. Some strong moves here could have you moving up the standings through the month of July.
With all that in mind, here are three great plays I'm running with this weekend:
Sheanon Williams, D, PHI: Williams has always been an intriguing player, simply because his long throw-ins make him a threat for an assist every match. However, you could never really count on Philly to record a shutout. This week, though, The Union are at home against a Chivas USA team that's gone defense-first and has only netted twice in the past four matches. Start him (or any other defensive Union player) with confidence. If the Goats go for a 0-0 draw, they're all good plays.
Kei Kamara, F, SKC: Kamara looked exhausted in his last match against Chicago, but still managed to go 90 minutes in a victory. However, a friendlier matchup (at home against TFC) could see Kamara get back on the scoresheet. Considering TFC played to a wild 3-3 draw against Montreal in their last match, I'm hoping this game will open up and possibly get out of hand. If it does, it's a good bet that we'll see some heart-shaped hands this weekend.
Obafemi Martins, F, SEA: I like Martins for the obvious reason, but none more than the fact that the Sounders are playing in every single match week for the rest of the season. That's right--no byes. Collect your favorite Sounders now with the knowledge that you can plug them in at will until October. I don't know who would be Seattle's second best fantasy option, but you could make an argument for either Eddie Johnson, Djimi Traore, or Michael Gspurning.
B. M.assive's Team Sescquatch is currently carrying the standard with 1,453 points, good for first in the SaH league and fifth in the ExtraTime Radio league. It's awesome to see so many SaH users doing so well.