Sunday, June 24, 2012

Good Fantasy Sports Article

The journalism school of Northwestern University recently published an article on the growth of the fantasy sports business.  It doesn't go into great detail on the economics, but does give a good view of fantasy sports with regard to other areas.

The article discusses the new trends in fantasy sports toward short-term contests, making fantasy sports games more friendly to mobile device users as well as supporting products like prediction tools and social interaction (i.e. "trash talk") applications.  What the article does not discuss is the truly new concept YouGaming will bring to the table - applying pari-mutuel wagering principles to fantasy sports.  You can read the professional paper on that topic here.  This is not to diminish the article.  It does a great job of providing an overview of what's currently available.

What is good about this story is how complete it is with regard to covering the evolution of fantasy sports from a paper-based game, to the robust online game genre it is now.  In addition, it does a good job of covering various legal aspects regarding fantasy sports, such as the unsuccessful attempts by the sports leagues to take over control through claims that their statistics were their property and the UIGEA carve-out, legalizing the games by statute.

The article covers a lot of ground but in a concise manner.  Overall, a good read.  Definitely recommended.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

FSTA Fantasy Football B League 2012 Draft Roster

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) had its summer conference this week in San Francisco.  Overall a decent conference, but unfortunately for those that attended the San Francisco Giants game in the evening of Day 2, they missed Cain's perfect game by 1 day.  Bummer.

One of the standard events is the FSTA Experts League fantasy drafts.  Even though it is June, we had our draft.  It is tougher doing that even before training camp and exhibition games, but the conferences are scheduled well before the football and baseball seasons in order for the various participating companies to get some business done well before they are tied up with servicing YOUR fantasy leagues.

The general rules for the league are as follows:

It's a 12-team league, with three 4-team divisions.  The regular season runs Weeks 1-14, with Weeks 15 & 16 playoff weeks.  Each division winner plus 1 wild card make the playoffs.  We start 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex (RB, WR or TE), 1 K and 1 Def/ST.  There are 6 reserve slots.  There are NO trades in this league.  For add/drops there is a $100 bidding budget for the entire season where teams can "silent bid" for free agents.

Scoring is as follows:

  1. 1 point per 30 yards
  2. 3 points per TD
  3. 2 points per 2-pt conv
  4. -1 point per int and/or lost fumble
  1. 1 point per 10 yards
  2. 6 points per TD
  3. 2 points per 2-pt conv
  4. -1 point per lost fumble
  1. 1 point per 10 yards
  2. 6 points per TD
  3. 2 points per 2-pt conv
  4. -1 point per lost fumble
  1. 1 point per PAT
  2. 3 points per FG 1-29 yards
  3. 4 points per FG 30-39 yards
  4. 5 points per FG 40-49 yards
  5. 6 points per FG 49+ yards
Defense/Special Teams
  1. 1 point per sack
  2. 2 points per int and/or opponent's fumble recovery
  3. 6 points per TD (int or def fumble return, punt or kickoff return)
  4. 2 points per safety
  5. 6 points for no points scored by opponent
  6. 3 points for 2 to 7 points scored
YouGaming drew the 8th spot in the draft, which was a typical serpentine draft.  Here's who we drafted by round:
  1. Rodgers, A. QB GB
  2. Lynch, M. RB SEA
  3. Nicks, H. WR NYG
  4. Colston, M. WR NO
  5. Pettigrew, B. TE DET
  6. Moore, D. WR OAK
  7. Spiller, C.J. RB BUF
  8. LaFell, B. WR CAR
  9. Floyd, M. WR ARI
  10. LeShoure, M. RB DET
  11. Palmer, C. QB OAK
  12. Gerhart, T. RB MIN
  13. Green Bay Packers Def/ST
  14. Janikowski, S. K OAK
  15. Jeffrey, A. WR CHI
  16. Royster, E. RB WAS
During the draft, I basically ignored bye weeks and focused on who was best available with regard to projected fantasy points.  That being said, if a particular position was getting thin or to a point where the talent level dropped off significantly, I'd grab a person even though there may have been a better point producer elsewhere.  I did that with the TE pick in the 5th round.

The scoring system in this league definitely is WR friendly, being a PPR league.  Also, scoring for kickers rewards those with range, so grabbing Janikowski makes a whole lot of sense.  Rodgers was available at 8, so I grabbed him.  He or Brady are really the only rational 1st round QBs given this league's scoring system.  For those who have questions/comments about my draft, feel free to comment and I'll give you a feel for the dynamics of our draft.  As with your leagues, you make your plans, but to an extent, you'll modify your approach based on what your competitors do.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

You Can Bet on Sports Where?

In the United States, sports betting is greatly restricted by law.  The two key federal laws are the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and the Wire Act.  This does not mean that sports betting does not occur in the US, it's just that the vast majority is done illegally.  Approximately $2.5 billion is wagered on sports each year in Nevada, but that is a pittance compared to the upwards of $500 billion of sports wagers each year in the US.  There are efforts to expand legal sports wagering in the US at the state level, particularly in New Jersey and California.  You can find posts on those efforts here and here.

Other countries are actually farther ahead of the US in recognizing the fact that sports betting is here, it's big and it's permanent.  A colleague sent me some pictures of a sports wagering outlet in a place about as out of the way from the US as possible - Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.  Where is that?  About 300 miles northeast of Afghanistan!  Kyrgyzstan is located on the western border of China.  See for yourself...Google Maps / Bishkek

What is interesting is the globality of sports wagering AND the reality that English is truly the world's language.  Not that knowing multiple languages isn't useful, but an English-only speaker by and large could get by in many more places than you might think.

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

NFL Betting Season Has Arrived

Cantor Gaming, a leading sports wagering bookmaker, has published initial over/under lines for regular season NFL wins for each team.  They vary from 12 wins for the Packers and Patriots to 5 1/2 for the Browns, Colts and Jaguars.  You can see the initial lines at this link from Yahoo.

It might be a bit too early to make any selections at this point as the initial mini-camps are just finishing up, with regular training camp and preseason activity not starting in earnest until early July.  However, if you feel that no way that the Colts will win more than 5 games this year, go ahead, get to Vegas and put down $135 for a chance to win $100!

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