Fantasy Baseball

Being a So-Called Fantasy Expert

Gonos at Bucs game in 2008

If you are reading this, you are a special kind of person. I don’t mean short-bus special, but I mean, special in the “information addict” kinda way. If you aren’t reading this, then I’m not writing this. What? That’s right. I just blew your mind.

My name is David Gonos and I’ve been a “so-called Fantasy expert” for over a decade now, including a five-year stint as a senior fantasy writer at CBSSports.com. All that means is – I’ve been writing about Fantasy sports for a long time. And when you write about something – that’s what happens — people call you an expert, whether you call yourself that or not. But in the strange case of Fantasy sports, everyone that plays is pretty close to an expert. So while people are checking out “start-sit” suggestions or a writer’s rankings, they’ll say something like, “Well, the ‘so-called fantasy experts’ say that Bartolo Colon isn’t worth a Bernie Madoff IOU.”

But, in reality, many fantasy players that are knowledgeable enough don’t write for a site for a variety of reasons:

  • They am not good writer peoples.
  • Not enough time away from their job trying to take over the world.
  • Their keyboard is missing the keys R S T L N and E – and as we know, they’re the most common Wheel of Fortune letters, so they’re kinda important.
  • They have a short attention span, like mine, and they get distracted easily because of the
  • They’re just plain evil and they don’t want to share their smarts with possible opponents.

So now that you understand why I’m a so-called fantasy expert, let me introduce you to my Fantasy drafting personality … I call him, “Rico.”

Rico likes tier drafting.

Rankings sometimes keep you from seeing Forrest Whitaker through the trees or something like that. You see that nine shortstops are gone, so you react by grabbing the 10th just so you don’t have the worst one, but if you take a step back, you’ll realize that the difference between the 10th and 13th shortstops is much smaller than the difference between four spots at another position. So grab players at a dwindling tier at another position, then get your SS on the comeback.

Gonos' cube at CBSSports.comRico likes to play his opponents like a game of poker.

People like to act like they don’t use their favorite team bias while playing Fantasy sports. But considering they likely read more about their team than any other, you can bet they will jump on their players if they see they are dropping. So take note with a little asterisk near some players on your cheatsheet. Another way to play your opponents is when you draft a player and someone reacts, take note. Like when you hear someone scream that they were just about to take him, or they curse you out because you got him AND you are so dang good looking, write their initials down next to that player on your cheat sheet. You just found the owner in your league that will likely give you the most value for that player in any trade this season.

Rico hates closers.

It’s no news to you that closers are shaky and are more unreliable than that dynamite on that pirate ship on LOST (pretend you are reading this article in 2007 and it’s very topical!) But did you know that on the average, one third of the total amount of saves made during the regular season comes from undrafted mixed league fantasy players. There’s no reason to spend a high draft pick on a closer – unless you happened to trade for five third-round picks.

Rico is officially excited about the upcoming Fantasy Baseball season.

David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.

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