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Major League Fantasy Sports

A vision made in the minds eye

When most people play in fantasy sports leagues, they play for fun. When I began playing fantasy sports in 2004, I was the run of the mill player who didn’t care much, but enjoyed the analysis of the sports. It did not take very long for me to start taking it seriously and begin playing in cash leagues. The problem early on was I would always find loopholes in the formula and exploit them to my benefit. Anyone that knows me will tell you that my defining trait is my intense sense of competition. In exploiting those loopholes, I quickly grew bored with playing in these leagues because they lacked a key aspect of playing anything, which is true competition. So how do we create true competition in fantasy football, fantasy baseball, or any other fantasy sport for that matter? The answer is decision-making, risk, depth, and a scoring formula that is sound without loopholes. There are many different aspects that make up a complex formula to meet those criteria. Another big criticism is that most of the results are based solely on luck. This is far from the truth. I would agree with that statement if you played in a run of the mill league with basic settings and little structure. How you eliminate most of the blind luck is with significant depth appropriate to keep activity consistent, along with a very sound mathematical structure in regards to scoring and roster settings. Without those two aspects you will find that the winners tend to trend on the luck side, and you have stat cheats winning your leagues. That is not competition, that is negative manipulation of the model. I firmly believe that there is both positive and negative manipulation in fantasy sports. For example, if I simply go and pick up a specific player that fills a stat hole, that can be adjusted up just for picking up a random player, that is a negative manipulation. This is assuming that this player will not have a negative effect. I think most fantasy nerds know what I am talking about there. For those who do not, leave a comment and I will explain further. If I am forced to make a match up play and I base that move on analysis and logical choice, whether the results of that choice are positive or negative for my team, that would be a positive manipulation. These positive manipulations create the risk and decision-making on a day-to-day basis. This is where the true expertise comes into play, and luck will play in both directions. There is another key aspect to creating a truly competitive league, and that’s the positive or negative effect on decision-making. This means the formula created MUST have a positive AND negative effect. When making match up plays, there must be a give and take to make the choice a risk. Without risk, you have a simulation and not a competition. In order for fantasy sports to make it to the next level, all the key components I mentioned have to be there. These core concepts are what separates Major League Fantasy Sports from the majority of other leagues going.

Lets make something very clear:  having money in the leagues is important, because it changes the dynamics of your decisions. Transaction leagues create a whole new dynamic in the decision-making process, especially when there is a budget involved. When you have real money you must spend on certain players or trades, it removes the knee jerk reactions, and the non-sense moves that equate to monopolizing players. It adds a brake pedal for our heavy footed friends in the fantasy world. The money for a true competitor is a bonus to winning, not the goal. The money must also be dispersed properly to give all owners an open opportunity to recoup their investment. That concept will keep the activity level as high as practically possible in the formula created. For example, having a consolation payout equivalent to the buy-in next year, will keep activity level to a max for 95% of the season. This is a critical point; without this you have just half the league active, which changes the results for everyone else.

Why are some of the things I have stated important? Simply put, parity. Without parity, you will be forced to replace numerous owners on a yearly basis. I can tell you from much experience, that finding the right people to replace an owner is an enormous headache. You cannot just take the first people who come along, for a lot of reasons. The people who join your league must be like-minded. The concepts and principles in this article are why I do not like dynasty or keeper leagues in which you keep more than a handful of guys. These type of leagues tend to get top-heavy, so you have plenty of turnover. This creates a major time commitment from the commissioner. In reality, everyone wants to win, and most people are not willing to invest 2 or 3 years worth of time and money to be able to compete. Maybe if there were a nationally recognized fantasy sports network that was like the NFL or M.L.B., then it could work for some people. This is the perfect segue to my vision. I am in the process of forming a fantasy network that will change the way people talk about and play all fantasy sports. I already started the social network in early 2012, and I will make more strides this year to achieve my goal. I have a ton of business and fantasy ideas that will revolutionize the fantasy world. I am looking for people who are willing to join us in this push for a new, great experience. That help can come from participating in our leagues, being a blog author, helping us recruit like-minded individuals, subscribing to our blog, following our Twitter page, liking us on Facebook, and subscribing to our YouTube channel. I am looking for two more blog authors to go with our current team. We plan on really kicking the blog into full gear soon. We tested it the first quarter of last year, and we had about 70 views per day with minimal participation. With the help of other passionate fantasy sports players and sports nuts, we will make it to our goal.

To all those that read the article, please leave a comment that expresses what you think. Thank you for taking your time to read this article. Contact me directly if you would like to participate in a league or contribute to the blog.

Keep your eyes on us.

Corey D. Roberts

majorleaguefantasysports@gmail.com

317-603-9434 cell

Owner and creator of Major League Fantasy Sports. We will provide you with the best tools to be successful in your leagues no matter if it’s daily, seasonal, or expert driven!

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. 65mustangs

    January 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Corey, As you know I would love to join your organization in some way.? Whether it is “just” joining a league or as a?contributing author (which I would love).? I will comment on your awesome letter tonight when I have time as I am working.? Then, let me know the best time to call you if you are interested. Regards, Joe Iannone (65 Mustangs)

  2. Corey D Roberts

    January 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks Joe. I have been wanting to put an article like that together for some time. I figured it can give people a small sample size of my thought process and ideas.

  3. Corey D Roberts

    January 2, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    I would like to finally talk with you for sure. I am done with my job today so I will be free the rest of the day. I should say I will be free from my job but, I will be working on the fantasy leagues and pages! 😉 My number is posted at the end of the article. Give me a shout.

  4. 65mustangs

    January 3, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Corey,? ? ?First I just want to say that it is both impressive and amazing how far you have taken this “vision” of yours. ?Most of us have businesses we want to start or books we want to write or trips we want to take, but how many of us actually get off our asses and do it. ?You deserve a lot of credit for seeing this thing through no matter what the outcome is. ?I imagine it will probably be a good outcome.? ? ?I played in a few points leagues when I first started playing FBB. ?One awarded 3 points for each inning pitched, but the LM did not know to put a start limit in place. ?My league mates scratched their heads as I used my first 9 or 10 picks on starting pitchers and then filled in the offense with rookies, part timers and players returning from injury. ?It did not take long for the rush of getting over on the points scheme to wear off, and I don’t even remember if the league made it through a season. ?I realize that is probably a far more extreme case than you are referring to, but that experience put me right on the same page with what you outlined. ?I never played in another points league because I never saw a points scheme that made any sense to me. ?Some leagues award insane points for things like hitting for the cycle or pitching a no hitter. ?This makes it more like an arcade game than an actual strategic endeavor. ?So, like many, I gravitated to standard 5 X 5 or 6 X 6 Roto. ?It is not perfect, but it at least made sense. ?I would love to play in a league that has actually “closed the loopholes” and eliminated the negative manipulation as you so aptly put it.? ? ?You also mention luck as a factor that should be evenly distributed and rarely determine a final outcome. ?I agree 100%. ?One of the reasons I shy away from H to H leagues is the chaos that ends the season. ?I have finished seasons in first place, only to have all my hitters go cold at once and half my SP get shut down right at the most important time of the season. ?Then I am booted in the first round by a team that may not have even finished with a .500 record. ?My league mates would tell me that that is the fun of H to H. ?That anyone can win it with a little luck. ?I put far too much work into my teams to have one fluke week end my season. ?Sure the less dedicated teams like the luck factor.? ? ?You mentioned the things that I would consider a Fantasy skill set. ?Decision Making, Risk taking, Drafting depth, and player projections and evaluations. ?Those are the skills that I want my team judged on and rewarded for. ?Otherwise, why even bother? ?I could just buy scratch-offs every night if luck was the only “skill” I was looking to bring to the table. There is one skill that I would add to your list, and that is the skill of “patience”. ?It took me a few years to learn that skill. ?You alluded to it in your paragraph about “heavy footed league mates and non-sense moves, and knee jerk reactions.” ?Some players love the power they feel by churning their rosters, and maximizing every little news story or player hiccup that comes along. ?Some like to make sure they fill every spot on Monday and Thursday. ?Some of those leagues have 70% of the decent players on waivers at all times. ?It was my distaste for this and my reluctance to race the “always on-line and fully connected” people that won me over to FAAB based leagues. ?It is simple. ?FAAB makes you rely on?Decision Making, Risk taking, Drafting depth, and player projections and evaluations, and ….patience. ?Not being the guy with the most time on his hands and the best gadgets and alerts to “monopolize players” to borrow another of your apt phrases.? ? ?Finally, you mentioned parity. ?I don’t need to repeat what you said, as it was spot on. ?My real life example of this concept of parity coupled with decision making and using your depth to take risks on favorable match-ups is this. ?Three Quarters of the way through a season, esp in Roto, take a look at the roster of the first place team. ?(If it is not you that is) His roster really does not look that much better than yours on paper does it? ?Look at the final roster of the team that wins the league. ?Do you see the big advantage that won it for him? ?In a good league, with parity, you won’t see it. ?He won because of the cumulative result of all the risks he took and decisions he made over the course of 6 months and 162 games. ?I don’t think I need to say more to show you that I am like-minded.? ? ?Corey, I am ready to play in one of your leagues. ?We can discuss the format and other particulars later, but I want to join your organization. ?I believe after watching you for a year that it is just that, an organization. ?I would also love to write some articles and blog some for you. ?Even if it is a trial basis, or with guidelines as to topic and content. ?I know it is too late in my life to become a “sportswriter”, but what you guys do is awesome, and I would love to try and contribute in any small way I can. ?As I have told you before, I have played with and conversed often with Bill Sowles. ?I have tremendous respect for him both in FBB and in reading what he writes for you and on the ESPN forums. ?Hopefully he would give me a good reference. ?If not I will have to kill him. ?Oh, in a league championship I meant. ?? ? So, let me know how I might fit in to what looks like the ground floor of something that just might be what “change(s) the way people talk about and play fantasy sports”. ?Even if I do have to subscribe to Twitter and Facebook to do it. ?Let me know how you feel about what I wrote you here (including the sprinkling of sarcasm in these last two paragraphs) and if you are interested then tell me the best time to call you. I apologize as I just noticed in your last sentence you said to leave you a comment. ?I guess I went a bit beyond that. ?I can’t see deleting any of it though. ?Talk to you soon.Joe Iannone65 Mustangs

  5. Corey D Roberts

    January 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    I kind of figured you thought a lot like I do after reading some of you comments over the year. I appreciate the kind words in regards to the work that Jessica and I have put in with the social networking stuff. The boys that have been around a while have been a big help. Most of them have been around from the start in 2008.

    I have so many ideas on how to turn this into a business that funds itself and makes the amount of latitude we have is pretty vast. I just need people with us that are passionate about it, then it does not seem like work, right? I have a background in finance from a variety of different angles so i think that serves me well turning this into a fun business. Heck, I am in the process of reading a book about this hedge fund manager that attributes a lot of interest in the world of numbers from baseball statistics and Bill James! Pretty sick huh? Its like reading a book about yourself. You would understand if I told you the many other things I have in common with this guy that manages like a 5 billion dollar hedge fund. Anyhow, I would like to chat with you more over the phone about joining the league and maybe you could tell me what you are thinking in regards to the blog. I appreciate the time you took to write your comment. I will be working from home tomorrow so feel free to call me when you have a moment to talk. 317-603-9434

  6. bglinson

    January 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    Im diggin everything you said up there and its gettin me pumped for the upcoming season and curious as to what ideas you have up yor sleeve. This was my first year in this league and ive enjoyed it more than any ive played in to this point, i appreciate the way expectations on the league rules were set as well as enforced when it came down to it to ensure that sportsmanship and fairness remained a top priority, and any time a sticky situation arose it was handled with thought and consideration for everyone in the league. Its gonna be a loooong offseason!!! Sorry if my grammar is horrible im using a touchscreen.

  7. Corey D Roberts

    January 4, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Who ever said you had a handle on the English language? 😉 I have an army of people interested in joining the movement towards a more serious and fun fantasy experience. When you approach anything in life you are serious about, you put your heart into it. The heart is the source of all meaningful creativity. Thanks for taking your time to read the post Brian.

  8. Corey D Roberts

    January 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    I thought Joes comment says it all. Thanks again Joe for your heart felt comments.

  9. 65mustangs

    January 9, 2013 at 1:51 am

    It was fun to write, thanks for giving us a place to do this. I’ll call you tomorrow.
    BTW, why is my “default” avatar on this site a Mr. Potato Head?
    Joe

    • 65mustangs

      January 9, 2013 at 1:57 am

      .

  10. Corey D Roberts

    January 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I would not feel bad Joe. Maybe they think you are on your couch a lot! LOL Give me a call bro. Lets talk about making some noise in the fantasy world.

  11. Jon Lecznar

    January 27, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    This piece is well written. Your vision for a new type of fantasy experience is lucidly conveyed. I think the fundamentals you base your leagues off of are appealing to the majority of serious fantasy players. However, I feel that the design you are talking about could be intimidating to novice fantasy players, or those it take it less seriously.

    The argument for closing scoring loopholes that allow managers to exploit flawed scoring designs. It seems like one of the ways your propose for doing this is large rosters. I feel like this is good, to a point. Large rosters incentive diligent scouting and monitoring. Both of these qualities are proudly exhibited by the most serious fantasy players. However, I feel that this could be intimidating for novice owners, as well as those who aren’t looking to invest as much time. The idea of being penalized for certain transactions I feel is a warranted component of any league. But, once again, this could be intimidating for someone who doesn’t fully understand what you are trying to do.

    I think a potential solution to this could be to offer tiers of leagues with varying structures and/or scoring systems. The hallmark of MLFS will obvious be its advanced leagues with extremely knowledgeable and committed owners. However, that is somewhat of a minority of the population of fantasy players. In order for MLFS to grow to the extent that you envision, and that I think is possible, you’ll have to appeal to a much broader audience. I am not sure how they would be structured, but a set “2nd tier” leagues I think would be a nice complement to what you proposed. A 2nd tear league being one that is more basic, involving smaller rosters and a scoring system that is closer to conventional, with the obvious arbitrage opportunities striped out. I suppose that what I am envisioning is somewhat of a farm system (for lack of a better comparison).

  12. Corey D Roberts

    January 27, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Its funny you mention this farm system, because I am thinking of setting up a series of free leagues that would accomplish what you were suggesting. I do agree that a version less intimidating would be more broadly accepted. Thanks for the analysis and any suggestions are appreciated.

  13. tpaslick

    March 5, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Wow! That was a very impressive read. I loved everything you had to say and completely agree. I’m a college student and have been in fantasy baseball for about 6 years now. It’s amazing and I see that you share the same passion that I do. I grew up playing about every sport except for baseball and maybe that is what lures me in so much. I would be very interested in one of your leagues or helping to bounce some fantasy baseball analysis and rankings off of you. I hope to hear from you soon and best of luck with your endeavors.

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  15. collegefootballben

    March 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Corey, I just vreated my own blog and am very excited to be part of this group of bloggers. It will be a few days, but I will definitely start writing for next season in the near future, and thanks for the invite to be part of this site!
    -Ben

    • Joe Iannone

      March 9, 2013 at 10:35 am

      Welcome Ben.

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