Try this real-world strategy for fantasy leagueWho says fantasy leagues are won in the off-season? I do. Having said that, I should point out that, having moved up from dead last to eighth last season in a 10-man fantasy football keeper league, it will take me five years at this rate to reach the pinnacle of fantasy gridiron competition. Well, if you’re reading this, you can get to the top by not following my advice. My pain is your gain.
Unless you are playing fantasy hockey, basketball or gearing up for baseball, chances are you’re busy making a living or doing something else non-fantasy related. I mean, it’ s only March; there are a good six months to go till the season starts, right?
Wrong. Here’s where early-bird research comes into play. Because unlike your friends, you haven’t forgotten that real money has been spent to buy your team. If you own a stock, you watch its every movement ― and fantasy teams are a type of investment. Don’t ever forget it.
With free agent-signing in full swing, you need to keep an eye on where the stars are going, because we all know that in today’s football world, more than ever, it’s the system that counts.
So, what must you do to hold onto your edge, or get one? It’s simple: Imagine what your friends are doing at this moment. Preparing for a presentation, traveling on a business trip, shopping with their wives, right? Knowing that, the first thing you do is pray. You pray hard that they keep doing whatever they’re doing, as you plant yourself in front of the computer monitor to do some heavy-duty research. They are wasting their time. You are not.
What else can you do? In business school I learned the term “information asymmetry.” Since then I’ve been hooked on it and use it at every possible opportunity. You see, information asymmetry causes markets to become inefficient, since all market participants do not have access to the information they need for their decision-making processes.
The right information on players is the key to winning. But you can’t stop here. No, you’ve got to take it to the next level. In addition to research, you need to feed information to your buddies (the enemy) to influence their draft decisions.
There’s a bit of a science to this. You’ve got to know your friends’ tendencies.
Now, if you tell your sister, a greenhorn, to draft two kickers in the first round because kickers are so important, she might listen. But don’t try that with a seasoned veteran. With him, you may want to send articles on a specific player, or drop names of players oh-so-casually into a conversation, to spark some interest.
The best referrals for this are players that have big names but are over the hill. Trust me, everyone has his eternal love for a certain player. That’s their weak spot, which you want to exploit. You’d be surprised how many guys are willing to pick Jerry Rice or Emmitt Smith as early as mid-round when they shouldn’t be drafted until the very end, if at all. You might want to drop hints about Warren Sapp while downing a few brewskis with your pal.
If you can get another person to partner up with you in influencing your buddy, your chances of succeeding are even greater. Needless to say, this type of undertaking requires the security measures of an intelligence operation.
If you think this is taking it too seriously, just think about the bragging rights at the end of the season, and you’ll know you can’t be serious enough. After all, this is fantasyland.
by Brian Lee