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May 8, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

Ask the Experts

by Mike Gianella


In Kurt Vonnegut’s Hocus Pocus, Eugene Debs Hartke spends the latter half of the novel teaching inmates in a prison in upstate New York. While he was able to teach some of his students successfully, some were merely interested in using Hartke as a walking encyclopedia.

(some of the inmates) used me as an ambulatory Guinness Book of World Records, asking me who the oldest person in the world was, the richest one, the woman who had had the most babies, and so on.

For the last two years, I have been answering fantasy baseball questions on Twitter with increasing regularity. I’m not the only one who does this. Several fantasy baseball experts answer follower questions every day. Some of the questioners ask a question here and there, but there is also a group of fantasy players who shop their questions around to as many experts as possible.

I try to answer as many questions as I possibly can. With the exception of questions along the lines of  “here are the 30 players on my roster: who are the 23 I should start this week,” I answer just about everything that’s thrown my way. However, while I’m happy to answer questions, I do wonder what good it does in the long term. While my answers might be “right” more often than not, I’m less concerned about whether or not my advice is heeded and more concerned about how that advice is used. Are my Twitter followers simply doing what I tell them to do, or are they asking themselves why I gave them that advice?

Everyone is different. But for me, one of the biggest joys of this game is figuring out why a course of action is the best course of action to take, not being merely being told what the best course of action is. Like any expert in any field, it took me years to become this good at this game. But I don’t have a particular secret, nor do I have any special skill that puts me head and shoulders above the crowd. More than anything else, hard work, diligence, and trial and error are how I have learned how to play fantasy baseball.

If you would rather behave like an expert instead of merely parroting an expert, here are a few pointers.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Overthinking It: Evalu... (05/07)
<< Previous Column
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Bew... (05/07)
Next Column >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Fer... (05/08)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Fer... (05/08)

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