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Who The Bleep Are These Guys?
2006-02-07 08:09
by Will Carroll
Notes:
Scott Long is now blogging at NSFWsports.com.
Will Carroll can still be found at Baseball Prospectus.

So I'm getting ready for my first real fantasy draft. I've done my Strat list, my Scoresheet keepers, and one off-season mock, but the Sportsline "Experts" League is one I take seriously. First, they were nice enough to call me an expert and second, I got my ass handed to me last season. Call this a comeback.

Looking at the B&N the other day for help, I glanced at some of the magazines and as I'm flipping through, realizing that PECOTA (the new cards are up today!) is giving me a TON more info, I also realized that for the most part, I have no idea who the people writing these are. I saw a couple familiar names -- Peter Kreutzer, Matthew Berry, Ron Shandler -- but a lot that I simply had no clue about.

Now, I like to think that if I don't know everyone in this business, I've at least heard of everyone, but over and over, I found myself wondering who these guys are and what they do during the year? Are these fantasy experts who spend all their time playing? A little digging and no, most were just staff writers for the publisher, likely doing the same style of writing for football, hoops, rugby, whatever the assignment is. There's nothing wrong with that and I certainly bought enough of those magazines for years.

Then again, I've never won a fantasy league.

I'm not saying that my "expert" status means I know more about winning a league than the next guy. It doesn't. I suck at fantasy, especially at roto, which I'm just about to completely reject. There's a lot of people out there with good information and it's worthwhile to check as many as you can to build your own picture and strategy.

I did leave B&N empty-handed, if that tells you anything.

Comments
2006-02-07 10:23:10
1.   Voxter
I've won a Scoresheet league or two, and I've never bothered with the fantasy magazine crap, largely for the reason you just mentioned -- how do I know if these guys know what they're talking about.

Also, I've never found one that's geared toward a realistic simulation like Scoresheet. Most of them say things like, "pick up Coco Crisp for the steals!", which is great, unless that 50% success rate completely kills you like it would in Scoresheet.

I like to think of Roto as a sort of beta version of more advanced fantasy baseball games. Just like I wouldn't continue using a beta version of a program if a more artful & refined version were out, I don't bother with Roto.

2006-02-07 15:12:13
2.   deadteddy8
1 - I view roto as a completely different game than Real Baseball. Just because a guy is great for roto and not in real baseball doesn't mean the game can't be fun and exhilirating. In my 5x5 league, the members hold no illusions about how closely the game mirrors reality; we always talk about how we would never want a certain guy on the teams we root for, but we'd happily snap him up for our fantasy teams. It's just complicated enough that I've figured out simple market inefficiencies in how the other guys value players, and I try to take advantage of it, but it's not so complicated that I lose an unreasonable chunk of my life to the game. Another way to say all that is that I view roto like the NES as opposed to the XBox360 of more in-depth and complicated fantasy games. Duck Hunt may be 8-bit, but it's still a hell of a game.
2006-02-07 21:40:28
3.   Marc Normandin
Will, your first mistake was shopping at B&N. Since there is a certain Borders employees who loves to recommend all of your stuff, don't you think you should return the favor? Shopping at the enemy...ptth

Heh, I tell everyone who wants a magazine for fantasy to come back and get BP's annual. That's what I'm holding out for.

2006-02-08 09:31:22
4.   Erik Siegrist
After Mazeroski's slid into mediocrity back in the day, the only preseason mag I used to wait anxiously for (why, other than Rotowire.com's incomparable fantasy baseball magazine, of course... cough...) was Lindy's Scouting -- which didn't feature much fantasy content, but gave actual grades and scouting snippets on most of the starters on every team. It was a great glimpse from 'the other side', as it were, and a good resource for finding guys who might grow into bigger roles because they had mad skillz (or at least were perceived to have mad skillz, which often amounted to the same thing.)

Alas, just like Mazeroski's, the content has been slipping the last couple of years -- probably a budgetary thing.

2006-02-09 06:59:35
5.   Will Carroll
Marc -- I didn't BUY anything. B&N just happened to be next to the place I was going.

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