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Fantasy Focus: Summing Up...Almost

Hey, who is this guy?

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Yeah I know, I normally do link dumps and look TV-ready on an occasional game recap. But believe it or not, I'm a player of the fantasy MLS game, with this year's incarnation being Sean Franklin Bluth. And when our friend Blasian asked for a fill-in, I jumped at the chance, for better or worse. So yeah, if you're looking for a proper update, you may want to wait until next week. But if you want a little levity with a mild dusting of how I approached the League this year.

When choosing your team, sort your benchriders quickly.

Whether it is Joe Sofia, Matt Fondy or Eduardo Fernandez, know that there are always going to be 7 guys that are on the bench, but by approaching it with picking your XI and two or three backups that you can rotate in and out of the lineup, devoting bargain basement prices to your remaining players helps get the players that you want.

If you can, try to pick players whose actual position may not sync with the Fantasy listing.

Last year, Rodney Wallace was being played higher in attack and even almost as a left wing on occasion, and was listed as a forward. This year, Gyasi Zardes was a little more of a forward but listed as a midfielder (don't harsh my buzz, more devoted followers of games). The point being a guy who gets points in his actual position can only help you in your Fantasy League.

Ground flooring on a rookie or new international is sharp.

I got a lot of mileage this year out of Chris Klute and the other Rapids rookies, and the then-new international Diego Valeri. This year, it was Bradley Wright-Phillips, Mauro Diaz (before his injury), Harry Shipp and Steven Birnbaum. If the new acquisition gets a lot of time and does well, he'll become the flavor of the month and boost his value when you sell him, and you will because bye weeks happen at some point to us all.

SOMEONE'S got to get points in that position.

Erick "Cubo" Torres was a goal machine for Chivas USA when Chivas were scoring. With two expansion teams coming into the market next year (along with an unbalanced schedule), the easy answer is to avoid the backlines for both squads like the plague, but they will get some goals here and there. Like figuring out who the # 1 wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars, a left mid for Orlando City SC could wind up being a steady source of points over a period of time.

It's business, not personal.

Sure, you're a D.C. United fan who may want to not add a New York Red Bull because of rivalries and such. To you I say: "Just Grow Up, Bro." BWP and Thierry Henry were the second and fourth highest-scoring forwards this year. If you don't want to be rich and famous and get the Shiva then I don't know what to do for you.

Uncertain player health and how to deal with it.

This part is tricky, because it always happens, and happens to all of us. Heck, it happened to me this past week when Ben Olsen didn't want to bring Taylor Kemp to Montreal (or a couple weeks ago when Chris Wondolowski was a late call-up to the US squad). The trick is trying to mitigate those circumstances as much as you can. Whether it's checking the beat writers' updates Tuesday or Wednesday or a tweet search of that player, that's the type of stuff that if it happens regularly can hurt your chances of a high position.

Now go. Sally forth ahead of your playoff tournaments or winter drafts (or has MLS not made the 'winter fantasy draft' or 'keeper league' level yet?). With an expansion draft coming almost on the heels of the MLS Cup and CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matches starting in less than four months(!), the time to start acing your League is now.