Fantasy Baseball Analysts: Transparency & Accountability
In this vast sea of fantasy baseball analysts, who do you trust. Howard Bender urges you to find someone whose opinion you value but that they also have complete transparency and 100-percent accountability.
Allow me to share a quick story with you. If you listened to my Sunday night show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, you’ve already heard this, but if you didn’t, here goes:
I got an email Sunday afternoon from Jake Ciely of the RotoExperts. He and I compete in the Mixed LABR league where he is currently in first and I am in seventh with a 24-point differential between us. He asked if Aaron Judge was available and if I still valued Corey Kluber at his preseason price. While I hate trade talk that doesn’t open with an offer, I let it slide and said, “yes and no.” Everyone on my roster is available for the right price and some of Kluber’s struggles, despite being a notoriously slow starter, have caused his sheen to dull a bit. Not a lot, but a bit.
Ciely’s response came with an offer of his Justin Upton, Ryan Schimpf, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood for my Judge and Kluber. I have no reason to dick around or pull any punches, so I told him I wasn’t interested in a pile-of-junk trade (where one owner offers quantity rather than quality in return) for two of my best players. I added the fact that Schimpf doesn’t play every day and I can’t trust Chatwood when he’s at home. We went back and forth a couple more times and debated the value of players when he finally realized that Schimpf had been demoted to the minors on Friday. Yeah. The minors. Just shows you how junkie this pile-of-junk-trade looked.
Rather than man-up to the error of not knowing a player he offered in a deal had been demoted to the minors two days prior to our “negotiation,” Ciely wrote, “Because I'm supposed to know the exact status of all 750 players in MLB every single day. You might not have a life, but I do.” Obviously I took issue with the personal attack and responded in kind, but the important thing here is, yes, Jake, you are supposed to know the status of all 750 players in MLB. It’s your fucking job to know. You present yourself as a fantasy baseball expert and you have a daily radio show on the FNTSY network. You bet your ass, you’re supposed to know. And even if you don’t and still want to be an arrogant prick, have the good sense to look up the status of players you’re offering in a trade.
Which brings me to this…
Jake Ciely will never openly admit to not knowing Schimpf was demoted to the minors, nor will he ever openly admit to making such a shitty trade offer. He’ll write his usual articles, be his same old pompous self on the air and continue lying to you. He is no fantasy expert and considering he isn’t even up-to-date on the current MLB player pool, he barely qualifies as an analyst. But again, you’ll never know it because he’ll never admit to any of this.
And here is where my problem lies and why I’m regaling you with this story.
One of the things I’ve said for years is that you have to decide which analysts you trust most. You could ask five different people about the same player and legitimately get five different answers. What the hell are you supposed to do then? Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Who’s sitting on the fence because they’re afraid to take a stand and be wrong? It’s up to you to figure out whose opinion you trust the most and stick with them. Obviously, you can ask others and audit their opinions, but when you’re making those crucial decisions, you should have someone who is your go-to guy.
While I would like to be that person for you, this job isn’t about me. It’s about you. If you feel I can be that trusted source, then great. Let’s win some leagues together. If not, I understand. I’m not always right and you might value someone else’s word more than mine. That’s fine. Different strokes for different folks. But I will say this – whether you like my work or not, I will always be 100-percent honest with you. I have no problem being held accountable for anything I write or say and I will always be transparent with how I run my own fantasy baseball teams. Not everyone in this industry can say that.
If I tell you I love a player, unless I’ve been outmaneuvered, I own him myself. If I say you should be aggressive with your free agent bids on Mallex Smith or Lewis Brinson, it means I am doing the same. At any given moment I will happily tell you what place I am in in any league and if you want to know what trades I’ve made/offered, I will happily share that information with you. I am an open book. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who will tell you one thing and do another. You should see some of the inane trades I’ve seen offered to me and to others in industry leagues. They’re downright laughable. Almost as laughable as when someone runs around saying they wouldn’t be caught dead with Antonio Senzatela on their roster and you just watched them spend 15-percent of their FAAB budget to acquire him.
But I don’t need to sit here and drop names and turn this into some dish-session about the fantasy sports industry. That’s not what this is all about. This is about you finding someone you can trust. If you’re paying good money for a web site subscription, you should be able to trust the people you are reading. If you subscribe to SiriusXM and utilize the Fantasy Sports channel, you’re free to enjoy all the shows, but when it comes to your fantasy team decisions, make sure you’re with someone you can trust. You can look at all the screenshots of DFS winnings or cherry-picked standings you want, but if you don’t think the person you are reading or listening to is being honest about their game play, you can’t put your trust in their advice. They can dress it up all they want, but having zero transparency or any sense of accountability is just as good as lying to your face. You deserve better than that.