The 2015 Fake Football Writing Contest Sponsored by Victiv: Round 3
July 3, 2015 | Chet
Hello all you fake football writers and aspiring writers! Welcome to Round 3 of our 2015 writing contest. Again, let me thank our sponsor Victiv. They have generously donated prizes for the winners and they are just a great site for playing daily fantasy! Secondly, we’d like to thank FantasyPros for donating a fully loaded Draft Wizard for the top 3 overall winners. A reminder of our prizes for the overall winners here:
And each Round’s winner will receive free tickets into Victiv’s big MLB and PGA Tournaments!
PLUS! If you are so inclined, first place will be given a weekly platform on The Fake Football to spout off fake football knowledge.
PLUS! PLUS! You will get your work read by some of the best fantasy writers in the business and a ton of experience in writing about fake sports for a deadline and with a predetermined topic, both integral parts of making it in the freelance fake sports writing business.
Ok, so on with the business at hand. I would like to once again applaud every one of you. And I truly mean that because this was an extremely difficult process. Unfortunately we do have to rank y’all so we can pick a winner at the end of this here competition. If your name is not mentioned in the recap below, DO NOT be discouraged! Please continue to participate in the contest, and keep bringing your best analysis. I’d like to thank our celebrity judges, Andrea Hangst, Melissa Jacobs, Ken Griggs and Spencer Limbach. With input from everyone, Jeff and I had to make the final decision. And that final decision was extremely difficult. Our judges had a wide range of writers they ranked as their top-3 for Round 2 so Jeff and I had to really work at distinguishing who we should distinguish!
Before we announce the round one winners, the following writers had great material, but landed just outside the top three. Check out what the judges had to say about their work:
Cory Moniz: I think this article grabs the reader with some humor from the outset. An engaging lede and having fun are two prime reasons for choosing this particular piece. Combining the goofy analogy of a reality television show with Brandon Marshall almost seems like too natural of a fit. The vocabulary here turns some heads, too. I’d like to think that given a focused platform, this writer could succeed as a fantasy football writer. — Ken Griggs
Robert Riegel: Really liked Robert’s engaging opener. It felt like we were about to play a game, which is obviously appealing to anyone who plays the game of fantasy. Robert did a nice job laying out the case against Murray, especially when comparing him to the seasons of other RBs coming off 400+ carries. The only issue is our game got fairly easy once Robert laid out his rules. — Melissa Jacobs
Dave Caban: The best part of this article is that the structure doesn’t seem to be like any of the other entries. It might be an optical illusion, but there also seems as though he did an exhaustive amount of research. Numbers can push along even the weakest writing, but the writing isn’t even weak here. As I noted above, he opts to take a stance on a player (though Jonathan Stewart is an easy player to despise). Statistics and graphs could convince a Scientologist that aliens are a hoax. And it convinced me that this guy has the power of persuasion. Of course all this could be because I love any and all Seinfeld allusions. — Ken Griggs
Matthew Jacobs: Introduction analogy was captivating, yet not overboard. I like the stance in listed why an otherwise popular pick should be met with hesitation. This article had the rationale to back it up as well, equipping the reader with a gameplan to assess value of featured player.– Spencer Limbach
Matthew Cushing: At first, I thought the Mad Max metaphor spanning this whole piece would be heavy-handed or cliche, but it was actually very effective in detailing why Odell Beckham Jr. is his Round 1 player to avoid this year. I also enjoyed that he included a table illustrating Eli Manning’s 2014 production, rather than just writing out all of his stats. Tables, I enjoy. The writing was really good; if it wasn’t, I would have glazed over with this movie-reference trope. — Andrea Hangst
Matt Wispe: I felt like this had potential. The opening felt heavier than needed, but I enjoyed the argument.– Ken Griggs
Jackson Safon: Another article full of stats and, again, love someone who takes stance on what is generally accepted as a no-brainer pick. — Ken Griggs
Austan Kas: Solid writing, a running back situation to monitor, and plenty of research. — Ken Griggs
Mike Batista: There’s a ton of information in this article, yet the setup keeps it from being too cumbersome. The framework provides easy-to-follow guidance for a casual reader, while serious fantasy enthusiasts still get their “2nd level fix” within the subcategories. — Spencer Limbach
Ryan Humphrey: I appreciate that Ryan selected Peterson, who is likely to land as no. 1 in ADP. I also appreciate Ryan cutting to the chase and consistently supporting his case with data about both Peterson’s specific trajectory and 30+ year-old running backs in general. Fantasy owners generally look to analysts for advice, not for prefaces and redundancies. Ryan’s avoidance of both strengthens his argument and makes for an engaged read. — Melissa Jacobs
Ryan Humphrey: He was outstanding once again and made a compelling case against Peterson and made me chuckle, stating, “Blow a ninth rounder on Doug Martin if you insist on punting a pick to buy into nostalgia for 2012.” – Jeff Brubach
Now, without further ado, here are the top three finishers in round one:
3rd Place: Micah Powell
Powell does a good job of deflating the Russell Wilson balloon, while also taking a different approach than many of the other writers by talking about a player typically being drafted in Rounds 5 or 6. He provided a statistical grounding for his warning about dual-threat quarterbacks and he wrote clearly and distinctively. — Andrea Hangst
Even as a Seattle enthusiast myself, I couldn’t help but nod in agreement with what Micah Powell had to say about avoiding Russell Wilson. Micah avoided taking down a first round target, which was a very thoughtful angle. – Jeff Brubach
This piece was clear, concise, informative and read with a sophisticated ease. I may still risk that Wilson rushes for another big chunk of yards, but not without taking a second or third look before hitting that draft button. — Chet Gresham
2nd Place: Jon Serri
I liked that it was short and to the point, but managed to include all of the pertinent statistics to bolster his argument. His lede was creative without being too cute and actually fit the narrative he was crafting. And again, it was well-written, which is my No. 1 criteria when it comes to judging these submissions. — Andrea Hangst
This is a fun piece because how often do writers take the chance to blast (perhaps) the greatest fantasy quarterback of all-time? What is impressive about this is not the shock value, but the argument therein. He backs his stance with concrete numbers and examples to plead a case that seems airtight. As a reader, I want people willing to give me black and white advice. This article closes strong, stating exactly how the writer sees Peyton Manning’s season will go. Why would I want any other type of advice? — Ken Griggs
1st Place: Evan Sandel
This was a very well-written piece that managed to entertain as well as inform. And, most importantly, it took a somewhat ballsy premise—avoid Odell Beckham Jr. in Round 1—and provided a very convincing argument. His topic subheads completely supported his point and the writing, again, was superb. I’d read anything Sandel wrote about fantasy football, whether or not I agreed with his final conclusion. — Andrea Hangst
A little bit wordy on the intro but it all flowed nicely into discussing some of the overhyped, young running backs. All of Evan’s points are spot on. I particularly like how he notes depth at the position, listing intriguing third round options like Randall Cobb and T.Y. Hilton to ease any regrets for passing on Beckham. Evan’s transitions were smooth throughout and his method of categorization made it easy to read. A very polished presentation. — Melissa Jacobs
Nice breakdown by listing your top three reasons as separate sub-headlines. That works out well for an article like this, as you lay it all on the surface, then let the reader dig deeper at their own leisure. Analysis/reasoning was solid as well. — Spencer Limbach
Congratulations to all of you, and thanks again to our wonderful celebrity judges! Our next topic is “What is your draft strategy going into this season?” Your third article is due Friday July 10th, 10pm Central. Please use the title “TFF Round 3” and attach a word doc title with your name. All writers are eligible to enter. The overall winner will be the scribe who averaged out with the three strongest articles.
Our judges for round three are none other than:
David Gonos has been writing about Fantasy Football online since 2000, eventually joining the crew at CBS SportsLine.com in 2003. That five-man Fantasy content staff consisted of three eventual FSWA Hall of Famers (Tristan Cockcroft, Scott Engel and Michael Fabiano) and a two-time FSWA award-winning writer (Daniel Dobish) … and Gonos. He’s good at spelling.
Gonos has been playing Fantasy Football dating back to 1989. He has drafted both Curt Warner and Kurt Warner. He won the 2008 FSTA Fantasy Football Championship, as well as the 2008 Tout Wars title, and then he apparently went into a coma for five years.
His columns have also appeared on SportsIllustrated.com, MLB.com, NFL.com, FoxSports.com and RotoExperts.com. He currently writes Fantasy Sports for both of his sites: DavidGonos.com, and SoCalledFantasyExperts.com.
C.D. Carter, a writer for The Fake Football since 2012, is author of “How To Think Like A Daily Fantasy Football Winner” and a streaming quarterback, tight end and defense evangelist. Carter’s fantasy football work has been published in The New York Times.
Adam Levitan is a Rotoworld NFL/NBA writer, Metro Newspapers fantasy writer, Rotogrinders contributor and two-time FSWA award winner.
Spencer Limbach is a full-time daily fantasy sports player and writer. He serves as a Daily Fantasy Specialist for Rotoworld; also contributing to FanDuel Insider, other DFS sites, and of course, The Fake Basketball. Equipped with a degree in Economics, deep-seeded sports knowledge, and a passion for writing, he has become a trusted source in the fantasy sports world.
Oh, and have fun!