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Mike Davis | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

Is DFS Good or Bad for Traditional Fantasy Leagues?

Last Week's Question: Do you have too many lineups to juggle each Sunday morning?

In last week's column, I discussed the Sunday morning frenzy that comes with managing lineups in multiple fantasy leagues and swapping out inactive players from DFS tickets.

I guess I was whining for a little bit of sympathy, and I didn't get much. My point that the questionable tag in 2016 includes players that would have been "probable" in prior years didn't resonate at all with Marty, who wrote: "Don't put questionable players in your lineup. Problem solved." I'm not sure I'll take that advice, but it is one solution.

My complaint that the London games make football start too early prompted a ratings-conscious response from Dan:

We're lucky the games are only in London right now. With the NFL's ratings declining in the U.S., teams will probably have to start playing in Rome and Moscow just to keep enough eyes on the games. Next thing you'll know, you'll be flipping to Saturday Night Live during the commercials of a game from Tokyo featuring the Jags vs. whoever.
I'm not sure how much of that prediction will come true, but the Jags part is bound to be dead on.
As for the crux of the question (the time crunch of managing multiple lineups and DFS tickets in the hour after the inactive player report is released) Clay advised me to react to my circumstances a bit more pragmatically:
DFS is for when your [season-long] fantasy team sucks. I could tell mine sucked about five weeks into the season last year, which is when I quit messing with it to focus on DFS. I'm doing great this year, so I probably won't bother with DFS until after my fantasy playoffs.
Clay's implicit point, I suppose, is that the stress of my juggling is entirely self-imposed. That's wise, but Clay's wisdom was perhaps outdone by Bill's bitterness:
The solution is to stop messing around with DFS, [which leads to atrophy] of traditional leagues like mine. People's attention spans get shorter each year. They don't want to take time thinking about trades or having an actual draft. They just want to get a cheap thrill each week out of DFS, which means they end up either quitting their regular leagues or not paying attention to them.
Something tells me Clay's note won't go over especially well with folks like Bill, but I'm not sure how many people have taken Bill's position on the matter of DFS, which leads me to ask . . .

This Week's Question: Is DFS good or bad (or neither) for traditional fantasy leagues?

From my perspective here in Texas (where FanDuel is now prohibited, but DraftKings somehow isn't), DFS is less of a factor in 2016 than it was last year.

I certainly encounter a lot less advertising for it.

The saturation model of advertising aggravated me in the past, but playing DFS tickets was always fun. So if anything, I would expect attitudes towards DFS to be better in 2016 than in the past.

Is that the case for you and the people in your league, or do you (like Bill) think that DFS is distracting people's time and energy from their traditional leagues?

Please respond either by commenting below or emailing me.

As usual, my thanks go out to everyone who commented on last week's column (including DarthCorleone, who pointed out an error—since corrected).

Survivor Pool Picks - Week 10 (Courtesy of Matthew Schiff)

#3: Arizona over San Francisco (6-3, JAX, OAK, DAL, MIN, PIT, NE, CIN, TN, GB)

The Cardinals should win this game handily. David Johnson is elite as a rusher and a receiver, and he should do well in both categories against the league's worst defense (as he did vs. SF in Week 5, when he racked up 157 yards and 2 TDs). The 49ers have lost seven consecutive games—five of them by more than 17 points. When they Against the Cards just five weeks ago, Carson Palmer wasn't even healthy—but backup Drew Stanton managed to connect with Larry Fitzgerald for 2 TDs. Palmer (a solid starter) should definitely be able to improve on the performance of Stanton (a marginal backup). With most of the Cardinals healthy and sophomore receiver J.J. Nelson stepping into the starting role after his impressive performance in Week 8 (8 catches for 79 yards and 2 TDs), it's hard to see the 49ers snapping their losing streak. The only reason I place this game third is because Baltimore (my top pick) may not be a viable choice later this season. It’s time to start thinking about what games I might have to choose from in the coming weeks, when I may need a team like Arizona to feel comfortable. But if you use the Cards this week, you should be golden.

#2: New York over Cincinnati (7-2, HOU, AZ, CAR, WAS, GB, TN, NE, MN, SEA)

Las Vegas expects all the games in Week 10 to be close except for two: Cardinals-49ers and Ravens-Browns. Since I make three picks a week, I must focus on one contest in which a team is favored by three points or less. The Giants-Bengals game catches my eye not because I have tremendous faith in the Giants (I don't), but because the Bengals' three wins this season came against teams with a combined 7-19 record. That doesn't inspire confidence in a team whose offense is nowhere near as effective as it was last year (with Marvin Jones). While the Bengal offense has been deteriorating, the Giants have been finding their way towards a solution at RB, and I predict that rookie Paul Perkins will come out of his shell in Week 10. Perkins has looked good in limited action, and the NY coaching staff seems to have realized that Rashad Jennings isn't the answer in the running game. If the GMen can generate a consistent rushing threat, then the Bengals' 20th-ranked defense will have its hands full trying to cover a four-headed monster of Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz, Sterling Sheperd and Perkins.

#1: Baltimore over Cleveland (8-1, SEA, CAR, MIA, CIN, NE, PIT, GB, DEN, DAL)

Not gonna lie: This game scares me even though the Ravens are a two-score favorite hosting winless division rivals. Divisional games are always hard to predict, especially when they involve anemic offenses (and both of these are in the bottom seven). The uncertainty only intensifies for those who recall that the last time the “new Browns” visited the “old Browns” (in Baltimore in 2015), Cleveland won 33-30 in overtime. But despite all the warnings of unpredictability, I give the nod to the Ravens for two reasons: 1) their defense held the mighty Steelers to just 14 points last week; and 2) Joe Flacco has the experience that Cody Kessler lacks. Flacco's veteran leadership should be the difference in a game that I expect to be a lot closer than the current spread. If you can handle a nail-bitter, this is probably the smartest play of the week.

Mike Davis has been writing about fantasy football since 1999--and playing video games even longer than that. His latest novel (concerning a gamer who gets trapped inside Nethack after eating too many shrooms) can be found here.