The Fake Football Writing Contest Sponsored By DraftDay: Round 3 June 28, 2013  |  Chet

Welcome to round three of The Fake Football Writing Contest. In this installment, we will give you the winners from round two and the topic for round three’s article, so brace yourself for that. But before we go there, let’s take another look at what you are writing for!

1st Place: $150 cold hard PayPal cash, $100 in DraftDay Daily Fantasy Sports credit and a Fully Loaded Draft Wizard from Fantasy Pros ($35 Value)

2nd Place: $75 cold hard PayPal cash, $75 in DraftDay Daily Fantasy Sports credit and a Fully Loaded Draft Wizard from Fantasy Pros ($35 Value)

3rd place: $25 in DraftDay Daily Fantasy Sports credit and a Fully Loaded Draft Wizard from Fantasy Pros ($35 Value)

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.


Once again I would like to thank everyone who entered. There were no bad articles, and that’s a fact. I read a lot of bad papers from students all the time, so I know bad writing dragged down by no care or thought. The fact that you all are interested and enjoy writing about fake football is the reason your writing has promise and if any one of you want to continue, I see no reason that can’t happen for you. And remember, if your name is not mentioned in the recap below, DO NOT be discouraged! If I had the time I could find multiple good things to say about everyone.

I’d like to thank our two celebrity judges, @CDCarter13 and @DaltonDelDon for all the hard work they put into this. Dalton mentioned to me that after reading through a few entries he really got into the judging process because of the time and quality that he could see you put into your work.


Before we announce the round two winners, the following writers had great material, but landed just outside the top three:

Matt Dodd‘s take on Tom Brady and the new look Patriots was thorough and compelling. Dave Boxley scared me away from Arian Foster even more and had a line that made me chuckle, “outside of town there were no streetlights, the night was as dark and barren as the soul of a Raider fan.” Sorry Raider fans. Nate Shaw brought some real statistical chops in his look at Tom Brady’s declining advanced stats. Dalton Del Don agreed and was impressed by his look at AYPA aging curves, which just sounds cool as well as being helpful. Mr. @CDCarter13  liked first round winner Kenneth Wang‘s article (as did Jeff and I) and wrote,  “This article offered myriad reasons for refusing to buy Montee Ball at his current (and rising) draft price by pointing to his lack of elite skill and his reliance on outstanding offensive line performance. There’s enough in this piece to make the most ardent Ball supporter hedge.” Joey LaParry‘s metaphor of Chris Ivory being like the best Chinese restaurant in suburban St. Louis was well done.


Now, without further ado, here are the top three finishers in round two:

3rd Place: Jay Mitchell made me take another look at Alfred Morris and even though I like Alf, I couldn’t dismiss Jay’s article and that’s tough to say when you go into a piece with biases. He lays out his case piece by piece in a clear and concise way that resonates inside the fake football brain cavity.

@CDCarter13 wrote, “Pointing to Morris’s production when lining up behind a more conventional pocket passer (Cousins) raised questions about how Morris might perform if and when Washington removes designed runs from the offensive playbook. Well written all the way through.”

Dalton Del Don wrote, “I don’t necessarily agree with the conclusion (avoid Alfred Morris), but that’s beside the point, as Jay gives a bunch of salient arguments about why it makes sense to. Laying out Mike Shanahan’s history so thoroughly was well done. Also, the Confucius line made me laugh. This one was probably my favorite.”

Jeff added, “The detailed history of Shanahan’s running back antics was hilarious and the article was very well written and researched. Good stuff.”

2nd Place: Scott Watson made a compelling case for why you shouldn’t draft Vincent Jackson this season. I love me some VJax, but he’s correct when he shows the fantasy point differential between Jackson’s top 12 games versus his outside the top 12 games. It’s not a pretty picture.

Dalton Del Don wrote, “Scott did a thorough job of laying out a lot of evidence about Vincent Jackson being inconsistent, and it’s true this matters more in football H2H leagues than say rotisserie baseball. There was a good amount of research in this well-written piece.”

Jeff wrote, “I agree with Scott’s VJax analysis and he really researched the topic well. Any reader of this piece will definitely question their opinion of Jackson, which means Scott perfected the round two topic.”

1st Place: Justin Bonemma hit me early and often with meaningful stats. Much like a linebacker facing Vontae Leach, I didn’t have a chance to argue as he relentlessly came at me with convincing stats. He was concise and on point throughout. There was no waste of words, which is hard to do for writers because we like words so much.

@CDCarter13 wrote about Mr. Bonemma, “This piece seized my attention from the start, getting right to the point and explaining the cornerstones of the argument against Ray Rice in very few words. The article’s depth was impressive and stat driven to the last word.”

Dalton Del Don wrote, “I like how Justin went more out on a limb by tabbing Ray Rice. There were a lot of quality, clearly well-thought out submissions on avoiding quarterbacks, but I just felt those were a bit more obvious. Also, in Justin’s piece, it remains to be seen whether it actually does have an affect, but his commentary on Vonta Leach was thought-provoking, especially the numbers with him as lead blocker during Rice’s touchdowns.”

Jeff wrote, “The Leach research was very interesting and Justin once again did a fine job in presenting a creatively formatted piece. Where he could have pointed exclusively to the presence of Pierce, Justin hammered on some other points that aren’t so obvious when arguing against Rice in 2013.”


Congratulations to all of you, and thanks again to our awesome celebrity judges! Our next topic is “Give Us Your Most Surprising Fantasy Football Prediction For The 2013 Season.” This question is open ended, which is scary, but exciting. Go crazy here, but remember, if you don’t convince your reader that your prediction is plausible, then you haven’t done your job. Your third article is due Monday July 8th, 10pm central. Please use the title “TFF Round 3” and attach a word doc if at all possible. All 55 writers are eligible to enter. The overall winner will be the scribe with the three strongest articles.

Our four celebrity judges for the final round are none other than:

Matt Waldman is a football writer and analyst. His annual publication, The Rookie Scouting Portfolio, is the most comprehensive evaluation of NFL prospects at the skill positions (QB, RB, WR, and TE) available.  Matt is also a staff writer at where he pens The Weekly Gut Check.  

Matt recently joined Football Outsiders. His new column “Futures,” will feature weekly analysis of college prospects from September through the NFL Draft.  You can listen to Matt, Sigmund Bloom and Cecil Lammey on The Audible Roundtable on Thursday nights at 10pm EST (podcasts also available for download at iTunes).

Chris Burke covers the NFL for and will be featured in Sports Illustrated’s 2013 Fantasy Football preview issue. He previously served as NFL editor for AOL’s FanHouse. While Burke’s NFL fantasy teams scuffle each season, he has had some success in his college football fantasy leagues — and yes, those are real.
Named the first ever Fantasy Football Writer of the Year by the FSWA in 2005, Bob Harris was inducted into the organization’s Hall Of Fame in 2013. He began his fantasy sports career as Editor and Webmaster of the TFL Report in 1993. Added Senior Editor for Fantasy Sports Publications, Inc. to his list of titles in 1997; his work has been prominently displayed in all four FSP Fantasy annuals — Fantasy Football Pro Forecast, Fantasy Football Diehards, Fantasy Football CheatSheets and the Fantasy Football DraftBook — ever since. Harris was a weekly contributor at from 2001 through 2007 and at in 2007. You will currently find Harris online exclusively at You can also listen to Harris on The FootballDiehards on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.

David Gonos has been writing about Fantasy Football online since 2000, eventually joining the crew at CBS 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,, and He currently writes Fantasy Sports for his own site,, and contributes to


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