Woooeee it has been a busy week, and as most of you likely know it will be a busy month, but never too busy for Interrogate the Industry. In fact, now is the best time to get some interviews out there. Between working on rankings over on FantasyPros, writing my Round by Round Draft Strategy series on Davidgonos.com, and contributing to Fakepigskin and SKYLLZONE I have never been more in the fantasy zone since I started writing in the industry.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the actual Fantasy Drafts too. I know I am not alone, so to everyone out there working on fantasy contributions this month Godspeed to you all. To those who are drafting, best of luck, be sure to check out my Draft Strategy articles prior to your draft, and utilize fantasyrundown.com and fantasypros.com for all of your draft needs.
This week was fun especially because Ryan shares a Minnesota connection with myself, and as most in the industry (especially in Minnesota) we both admire Paul Charchian. Ryan actually works with him! With that let’s get in to the interview shall we?
Interrogate the Industry #11: Ryan Boser
1. Everyone got their Fantasy Industry start somewhere. Talk about yours as brief or detailed as you like. If possible include ups and downs, others in the industry who helped?
It was December of 2009. I was sitting in the waiting area at Midas in Burnsville, MN, munching on stale popcorn, when I got a Facebook message from Paul Charchian. Time stopped.
This was before Twitter was a thing… before fantasy’s “Big Bang.” In December of 2009, being a fantasy football writer was still an extremely rare privilege. Charchian was a fellow Minnesotan, and a founding father of the fantasy industry. Ever heard of Fanball? That was his baby. Ever heard of LeagueSafe? That’s his other baby. Ever heard of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association? He’s the president. For the prior decade, I’d been gobbling up his Fantasy Football Weekly magazines, worshiping his radio program on KFAN, and attending his annual Fantasy Football Training Camps.
I also routinely engaged in fantasy debates with fellow fanatics on his Facebook page, and apparently I had caught his eye.
He hired me to research and write video scripts for his web/TV gig with the local Fox affiliate, and when LeagueSafe launched their content wing, I became their graphic designer (that’s my day job) and a featured columnist. Over the past few years, I’ve also been the 6th man for his radio show, which is now in its 20th year. Legit bucket list item: checked.
Thank you, Charch, for giving me a voice.
Other thanks go to Bruno Boys owner Marc Caviglia and my editor, Allie Fontana. I grew a lot as a writer working with that team, and being part of the staff rankings that finished No. 1 in Fantasy Pros’ 2011 draft accuracy is a pretty sweet feather in the cap. I also owe Jim Day (Fantasy Taz) a beer for allowing me to occasionally squat on his website back in the day.
One final thanks goes out to the Football Guys—particularly, Sigmund Bloom and Matt Waldman. They don’t know it, but they’re a big part of my life. I’m a die-hard pavement pounder; I run a six-mile route six days per week. Some people run for fun. Those people are insane. I hate running, but I do it so I can eat and drink whatever I want without ballooning like Eddie Lacy. The Football Guys podcasts have helped me hate running less. In fact, over the years, “The Audible” and “On The Couch” have become an escape. I actually look forward to my runs these days. That’s a damn miracle. Never stop.
2. Do you partake in Daily Fantasy Sports? If so, can you see them eventually dominating the industry?
At this point I only dabble, but DFS is most definitely the future of the industry. The best part is that it’s basically only a one-day commitment. Inevitably, whether it’s the holidays or other personal obligations, you’re going to run into conflicts over the 16-week fantasy season. DFS allows you to take time off without penalty.
3. Would you rather play in a very competitive fantasy league with people you don’t know at all, or in a league that is largely indifferent, but with people you do know well?
I’ll play with anyone if there’s money on the line, and I typically won’t invest the time if there’s not. Money aspect aside, I’m an obsessively overactive manager, particularly in the trading game, so indifferent managers are wastes of space to me.
4. Can you recall one bold prediction, or ranking that you missed on? Who or what was it? How about a “Nailed It” call?
I’m looking back at a “Must-Have Players” article I published almost exactly a year ago… Here are a couple nuggets:
“Daryl Richardson’s late-6th round ADP offers a ton of bang for your buck… 1,300 combo yards and 7 TDs feel like reachable goals.” Oops. I was actually pretty close on the numbers, but not on the player (Zac Stacy went for 1,114 yards and 8 TDs).
“Josh Gordon will miss the first two games of the season, but with an 8th-round ADP (WR33), he’s being drafted as if he’ll miss six… he possesses weekly top-5 upside, and considering his bargain-basement price tag, he’s a guy who I suspect will be on a huge percentage of championship rosters.” Boom.
5. Do you have any classic draft stories involving yourself, or a league-mate? If not, would you rather draft at a venue, online or in someone’s home?
One of my favorite draft stories was the time I developed a terrible fake cheat sheet, strategically laid it face-up on the table, and went for one last pre-draft bathroom break. I actually got a sucker to take the bait, and his season was over three picks into the draft.
I love my home league’s draft day format (golf, grilling, draft, bars), but since moving from Minneapolis to Seattle a couple of years ago, it’s turned into me drinking alone and watching my friends have fun through Skype.
6. Who are a few Fantasy Football “Sleepers” or undervalued players on your radar this season? Anyone like James White peak your interest?
In terms of rookies, Jerick McKinnon and John Brown have a ton in common. Both are lightning-fast third rounders who flew under the radar as small-school products. Both are being further overlooked because they landed behind mega stars (Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, and breakout favorite Michael Floyd). Both have consistently turned heads at their respective camps, and both will contribute immediately with a shot at big roles in the not-so-distant future. Ultimately, both are worth late-2nd/early-3rd picks in your dynasty rookie drafts.
As for redraft, Greg Jennings in the 13th round is just stupid. His Cassel splits last season put him squarely in WR2 territory, and Norv Turner only helps. I think he’s a cinch for WR3 numbers, and he’s being drafted as a WR5.
7. Are there any Fantasy Football league formats you heavily favor over others? If so why? Any new formats you think need more attention?
I love dynasty superflex. The dynasty aspect makes it a year-round game and introduces college/draft scouting to the equation. Last summer I gave five reasons why all leagues should go to superflex (QBs are flex eligible), with the main one being that it restores value to the QB position.
8. Let’s say you were told you could never watch any movies, TV shows besides one movie or TV show for the rest of your days. What would it be and why?
As a former small town, middle-America high school quarterback, the fall of my senior year is a brief window of time in my life that I cherish like no other. It was an indescribable, deeply personal experience, but Friday Night Lights (TV Series) somehow, magically, takes me back to that place. The hauntingly beautiful tones of Explosions in the Sky (band) go straight to the soul, and are the perfect backdrop to the Texas landscapes and high school football religion. The documentary-style, one-take filming technique creates a gritty authenticity, and the rawness of each character’s imperfections forms an undeniably real emotional connection.
This show has a very special place in my heart. In fact, the parallels between myself and Matt Saracen—a quiet, nervous art student who won not with prototypical physical attributes but with heart, moxie and underrated scrambling ability—are uncanny. My best friend was even a devout, ginger, Landry clone.
Faith, family and football. At the end of the day, what else really matters?
Be sure to follow Ryan on twitter @Ryan_Boser
Follow me too why dont cha? @fantsychillpony