Sked’s Bio and Thoughts About Daily Fantasy
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a big sports fan on some level and wondering why you should participate in daily fantasy. Let me take you through a quick journey on how I got here in my young career and why daily fantasy is on its way to being one of the biggest things in sports.
First off, I’ve been a sports junkie my entire life. In fact, when I was born, the first thing my dad told me was what NFL games were on that weekend. I’m cursed for life, but obviously in a good way.
After playing pretty much every sport in high school, I continued with golf in college and am still playing some tournaments here and there. I’ve been to nearly 100 Iowa Hawkeyes football games and approximately 150 basketball games.
While studying Sport Management at Bowling Green State University and having my own radio show called “Uhh Excuse Me?”, I was a broadcaster for BG football, basketball and baseball.
I’ve recently written a book called The Ryder Cup: A Signature History (soon to be published).
I’m currently the Featured Columnist for the Denver Nuggets at Bleacher Report, but I occasionally write about other sports as well. I’m also working on other various sports projects and will be starting my own podcast.
But even when one of those things wasn’t happening, I find myself usually watching whatever sporting were on that day/night. Regular season or playoffs. Winning or losing teams. Pro or college. Whatever was on, my eyes were glued to a screen (yes, once in a while, I socialize or decompress from the sports universe).
Naturally, I developed an interest in fantasy sports. Like most people, this started with football. I quickly became attached – creating a draft strategy, buying low and selling high when it came to trades, picking up players off free agency at the right time, etc. After a couple years of this, I started playing fantasy basketball and baseball.
Now as much as I’ve enjoyed (and still enjoying) my involvements in the sports world, there’s something particularly appealing to me in fantasy sports. Yes, there’s that feeling of competitiveness, regardless if it’s against your friends. It allows you to view a game differently. It gets you interested in games you wouldn’t prioritize watching. It helps you keep up with the rest of the league rather than just the team you are a fan of. All of this is great.
But for me, it’s the aspect of essentially being the GM. Only one team wins the championship each year, and more often than not, fans are left at the end of the season critiquing what went wrong during the year and how to fix it for next season. While it’s obviously not the same thing as actually being a GM, fantasy sports allows us to critique ourselves and get at least a taste of what it’s like making decisions throughout a season.
However, there is one major flaw in fantasy football – injuries. Most of us play fantasy sports for fun and we want to be engaged the entire season. Sometimes you get plagued early on and unless the competition you are against in your league isn’t paying attention too often, you have no chance at making the playoffs. In my fantasy football league last season (2013), I had Doug Martin, Steven Jackson, Danny Amendola and Jermichael Finley. All of them missed a majority of the season. This doesn’t even come close to telling the whole story since Demaryius Thomas was the only player I drafted to finish the season on my roster, but you get the idea. I spent way too much time adding backups as soon as an injury happened, scrambling for ideal matchups on a weekly basis and proposing stupidly complex trades.
The flaw in basketball, baseball and hockey is simple – there are too many games for the average person. You have to constantly set different lineups based on schedule, you probably don’t want to watch games every single night and players randomly take days off at the last minute.
Daily fantasy sports cures that. You only have to worry about your guys getting injured on the night of the game (unfortunately, this still happens more than you think). You can play as much as you want. You aren’t required to pay attention to what happens every night. But if you are a sports nut like this and have time, you can play in multiple events on a nightly basis and make several different lineups. This makes sports more fun to watch, regardless if you are a fan of a specific team or not.
This brings me to why the popularity of why I think daily fantasy sports will continue to grow.
1. It attracts a wide audience. You only need to set one lineup one day. Therefore, even the person who only has time to watch games on occasion can play (sorry for repeating myself).
2. You can create your own contest. You and your buddies can create your own private contest.
3. You don’t have to rush to pick up someone’s backup in daily fantasy. You don’t have to watch all the games and can relax while you are out at dinner or hanging out with your friends.
4. It involves money and various stakes. Money makes it more exciting, but the less experienced players can play for as little as $1. Most sports books or even casino games won’t allow you to do that.
5. It has the online poker concept. A lot of people were devastated when online poker came to a halt, but this has that same concept. It’s a buy-in and you can play in as many events as you want at once.
6. The rake is against the field. The juice sportsbooks create make it very difficult for sports bettors to make money consistently over a long period of time. The people creating the lines are also experts. The 10% rake in daily fantasy comes against the field, who aren’t experts most of the time.
7. It allows you to do math while using sports knowledge. This is another one of my favorite parts about daily fantasy – comparing salaries by finding trends, injuries and matchup scenarios. This gives you an insight to seeing where teams’ and players’ strengths and weaknesses are.
As for what my sports are my areas of expertise are in daily fantasy, those would be NFL, NBA and PGA (hopefully MLB someday). Having said that, I like collegiate sports probably more than pro and watch a lot too. I just don’t have much experience in daily fantasy in that area, but I look forward to start expanding on that in the 2014 college football season. And of course, while I watch all these sports, there are many different statistics and other math to use when setting the lineups. Luckily the people I work with also have a great interest in sports and are very good with numbers.
With all that, I highly encourage anyone who is a sports fan on any level to participate. To put it’s simply, it’s really fun. I’ve had several friends from people who watch sports on a near nightly basis to others who watch at most once a week, and they all tell me they are making money or having fun.
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