Draft Psychology

It’s that time: Fantasy Football! OK maybe not yet. We’ve only just begun the OTA’s. But hey, it’s close enough. I can almost hear Vince Lombardi “Gentlemen, this is a football” and Henry Jordan “Coach, could you slow down a little?”

Of course, with the advent of the football season come the fantasy football drafts. In this post I am discussing the mental side of the draft – not the rankings or the position sequence. Rather, the focus is on your composure during the draft. Here are three of the top mental mistakes fantasy football players make.

1.  Letting a bad pick influence your next pick. Hey, to quote Rafiki, “It doesn’t matter. It’s in the past.” So if you made a bummer pick, forget it and make your next pick a good one. And, seriously, you don’t know if it really was a bad pick. You’ll know for sure later, much later. But it may be your best pick of the draft!

2.  Drafting to trade. OK, you missed the player you really wanted, right? Maybe you can trade for him... Maybe if you pick the right player, you can do a trade with the other manager after the draft. Don’t try it. Don’t take someone just because you think you can trade him for the player you wanted. Don’t do it. If someone else sniped you, move on. Only select players that will help your team – not players you think you can use to get the guy you missed.

3.  Not trusting your gut. Study, do your homework, get a feel for the players you want and then select them. Well, duh, right? Yes but…. How many times have you selected a player you were lukewarm on thinking you could get your guy the next round – only to get sniped? Take the guys you like. If someone else critiques it as too early, so what? By the end of September he’ll be the guy trying to do a trade for your guy.

Most importantly, remember a fantasy football draft is 50% physical and 90% mental. Each pick stands on its own. If you think you made a mistake, stand up, flex your shoulders and read a Tony Robbins quote. Then sit back down and be empowered. Your team will be glad you did.

The original post can be found at www.rotoprofessor.com.



Ronald Reagan

I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life.


Sports Comparison

Boy, fantasy football sure opened up early this year, didn’t it? I was in the airport last week and checked out a news store. There were more than half a dozen fantasy football magazines already on the shelves. Good stuff. I selected one and look forward to picking up several more for airplane reading.

The difference between fantasy football managers and fantasy baseball managers is interesting. To be a fantasy baseball manager takes considerably more time and commitment. I’m in two leagues with 14 teams and roughly 30 player squads. So we have a rostered pool of 420 players. One of the leagues also has a minor league system with 70 players.

Comparatively speaking, football has a very shallow pool. Once you get past the top 100 players, the value drops significantly. (Some might argue the top 50.) If an early round player goes down with an injury, it’s much tougher to make up the loss. Since the rosters are much smaller, the comparable loss of the top player is greater. Indeed, you have a double whammy: A shallow free agent pool and a greater statistically value of each player’s contribution to your attainment.

The managers themselves are quite different. Fantasy football garners far more casual fans – which in my experience leads to a significant drop in participation down the stretch. Also, many more women are involved in fantasy football. Good to have them on board. May their numbers increase.

So: Which is better? Surprise: I will answer that question. Fantasy baseball is better. The commitment required on the part of the managers, the knowledge of the player pool, the daily moves, the myriad ways of setting up leagues – all contribute to an excellent experience. That said, please note that I reserve the right to change my mind when football season starts up. Man, that’s a fun time….


Character in Baseball

My Young Padawans, let us discuss character. No I don’t mean Bill Clinton (“His greatest political asset is that he has absolutely no shame”) or Barack (“You can keep your plan”) Obama.

No, in this case, I am comparing one Dick Howser and the inestimable Peter Edward “Pete” Rose. The former was a man among men who managed the Kansas City Royals to the 1985 World Series Championship. OK, in the interest of fair play to our friends in St. Louis, it was a combination of Don Denkinger and the Royals which defeated the Cardinals. But we then should also recall that St. Louis beat Milwaukee in 1982 thanks to a non-third strike call on Lonnie Smith from Pete (Shoe Size 16) Ladd.

But I digress. Dick Howser was a scrappy over-achiever as a player and man who got the most out of his players as a manager. His teams never finished below 2nd place in any season. The whole of Kansas mourned when he met his early end due to cancer.

Now let us briefly discuss Charlie Hustle. I will grant you that Pete Rose was a great baseball player. Well, I grant you that he was at least above average. With today’s sabermetrics and Rose’s proclivity to hit singles, his value as a fantasy player would be top 25, not top 5.

My beef with Peter Edward is not that he bet on baseball after his playing career ended (although he was the Reds manager at the time). While what he did was 100% against the rules of baseball, he never bet against his own team. If anything he was incented to win every game.

No, my beef goes back to the 1970 All-Star game when he effectively ended Ray Fosse’s baseball career. For those who haven’t seen the play, Peter Edward chose to go directly at Mr. Fosse on a play at home plate. He slammed into Mr. Fosse with such impact that Ray’s shoulder was injured – and would never fully recover.

Two points: The All-Star is an exhibition game. It is not intended to be career-threatening. But let’s say Mr. Rose got caught up in the moment. Fine. It happens. But you do not go after the catcher when you clearly have a path to the plate. Ray Fosse was slightly to the front of the baseline providing an opportunity for Rose to score should the ball come in late. But Rose chose to leap into the air at full speed and smash into the unsuspecting player.

Perhaps it’s just as well that Peter Edward was banned for life. He certainly has no place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.