Dynasty Fantasy Football: The Mike McDermott Rule January 6, 2014  |  Rich Hribar

For those of you that aren’t familiar with my work (why not?) and don’t follow me on the Twitter machine (again, why not?), you should know that while I’m new to this site, I’m far from new to the realm of fake football. Normally I’m a stat-centric guy, but today I’m going to set the abacus aside and sit in my psychology chair.

To echo a bit on what my colleague Chad Scott had to say on the format, dynasty fantasy football really emphasizes having a grasp on short and long term player evaluation. Whether that is dictated by individual talent, scheme or situation, you need to accurately identify who and why (or not) are going to provide you the best chances for success on a micro and macro level. The draft and waivers are important, but what Dynasty really brings to the forefront is having to makes trades of players and picks to further elevate your team.rsz_poker

This is where the Mike McDermott rule comes into play. There are dozens of parallels to poker and fantasy football. The most basic one is being able to identify the types of players your league mates are, or getting to know the table. In the movie Rounders, McDermott (played by Matt Damon), leads off a monologue with the infamous line “Listen, here’s the thing, if you can’t spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.

Now things aren’t that extreme in the fake football world, but it’s very important that you can gauge who you and your league mates are as fantasy players. I’m not asking you to make a change like the King of Pop once did, but it’s important you look in the mirror. Once you come to grips with that reality,  whether it’s characteristically flattering or not, you’ll be able to make processed decisions in building and maintaining your Dynasty roster when it comes to making transactions and trading with your peers.


The Black Friday Shopper

This is the owner who purchases the guava/root beer flavored chewing gum while waiting at the grocery checkout because it has “NEW!” slapped on the package. They need the hottest, trendiest players and they needed to have them yesterday. This owner is constantly turning over their roster for future picks, trending youth and never settles down. In Dynasty, eventually you need to get hitched, buy a house and start building your family.

This is the owner you turn to when looking to add talent to your already established roster. Did you happen to catch the Orange Bowl on Friday night? In that game Sammy Watkins solidified himself as likely being the player most commonly drafted first overall in rookie drafts. There’s only one of him at the store and the sale starts at midnight. If you own him from a Devy (development player) League or hold an early rookie pick, you know what to do.


Corey Hart

This owner is Dallas Winston, Richard Roundtree and Archer all rolled into one. Just like the previously mentioned Canadian crooner, he wears his “Sunglasses at Night.” They won’t hide the fact that they’re too cool for you, but will make it a point not to neglect any owner in the league. They want you to know they are keen on their player and trade evaluation and will normally make you feel comfortable in all transactions that involve you. They are usually in the running every year because they are savvy, intelligent and carry a Bat Belt on them at all times to get them out of any predicament.

That may describe the devil in a blue dress (my pop culture references never get better, by the way), but this owner isn’t all that bad at all. While you may always feel like you’re being manipulated by them, they generally are the best type of owners to trade with because they are blunt (to a point) in what they want from your team and are willing to give from theirs. As long as you stay on your toes, you should always be able to get to a fair selling point.


The Creeper

Ladies know this guy in real life. He’s the guy always dancing behind the group of girls that are dancing amongst themselves when they go out. He won’t talk to any of them though unless one becomes so intoxicated that he can make his seedy move. In Dynasty, they’re the owner who will send you a three player combo meal from his bench in exchange for your freshly damaged elite star. If you reject their initial offer, they’ll attach a 3,500 word dissertation on why it’s imperative you do this immediately. If you’re in a larger league with two quarterbacks or along those lines, they are the first to the waivers to pick up any backups.  Their moves are transparent but they find success through desperation and vulnerability.


Team Y2K

You can find him holed up in his nuclear protected bunker, stocked up with bottled water and canned peaches. This owner is risk adverse and cautious to make a splash move, always feeling trepidation for the negative ramifications that can come with the transaction. In your one quarterback league, he still owns Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson and is unwilling to move either. You can likely peddle your aging stars like Roddy White, Andre Johnson and Adrian Peterson to them because they enjoy the safe production comfort they provide.  This owner also hangs on to the affection for “their” guys and prospects too long. They are never at the bottom of the league, but they also rarely cash in at the end.


The Divorcee

They want the kids, the house, the dog, your salary and for you to sign it all over willingly in blood instead of ink. This is a two way street that drives other owners crazy and everyone involved always loses in the end. No matter how close you think you are to an agreement with this owner in a trade, they always need to add one stipulation to close the deal. Your deal may start of for Joique Bell, but ultimately they want LeSean McCoy in the end. This owner is intelligent and they know you and your tendencies well (like your former spouse), which is why you always get lured into their web of destruction.


In a perfect world, you really need to incorporate a small piece of all these personalities to be successful. That is as much fantasy as the sport however, as you are likely a combo of maybe one or two of these elements at most. I could tell you what type of player I am, but that would take away from the fun and intrigue of figuring that out for yourself. Recognizing who you are and who the other players at the table are, can go a long way in your future success.


2 Responses

  1. Aaron Solomon says:

    Excellent and enjoyable column. As C.D. Carter tweeted, “[You] had me at ‘Rounders'”. His books’ comparisons with Texas Hold ’em had a lot of influence on my fantasy sports play – and besides the movie being in my all-time top-ten and as a player of the game, the comparisons are apt. The leaguemate categories are a hoot.

    Looking forward to more of your writing and always enjoy the tweeted insight.

    • Chad Scott says:

      I loved this article and a nice primer for those wondering who they are. I’m the Black Friday Shopper mixed with Y2K… Once I get my new toy, I’m not letting anyone play with it…

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