June 9th, 2009

FSB Daily 6/9: Silly Little Game, Cricket, Golf, Fantasy College Blitz

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

A roundup of recent posts on the FSB News page.

- The crew for the upcoming ESPN documentary “Silly Little Game” on the history and growth of the fantasy sports industry will be filming at the FSTA conference in Chicago next week. (Obviously, they heard that FSB.com will be there.)

- The International Cricket Council announced a deal by which STATS becomes the “official data partner” for the governing body of cricket.

- This writeup in The New York Times tells us not only that participants in fantasy golf leagues spend just as much time yelling at the TV and lamenting bad streaks as those who play other fantasy sports, but also that there’s a whole set of frustrations specific to the links.

- New Jersey governor Jon Corzine says he doesn’t think it’s fair that the federal ban on sports gambling applies to some states and not others. His state, of course, appears on the “not” list.

- The new fantasy college football season is also in full swing over at FantasyCollegeBlitz.com.

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Any Downside to CBS Sports Adding Strasburg Early?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

As everyone knew would happen, the Nationals made San Diego State righthander Stephen Strasburg the first overall pick in the MLB draft that opened Tuesday night. That means that fantasy owners across the country can now fight to grab him off the free-agent market.

Of course, if you play on CBSSports.com, you might have had him on your roster for nearly a month by now — or maybe even longer.

CBS tossed the big righty into its fantasy player pool back on May 15, a move it says came after months of contacts and inquiries from users and after some leagues had already put the soon-to-be rookie into play.

“Our commissioner product — which handles the majority of our fantasy baseball users — allows league commissioners to manually add anyone they want to the player pool,” a CBSSports.com spokesman told FSB.com. “We had noticed that Strasburg had been manually added in lots of leagues already.”

Although the Strasburg situation isn’t really the norm — most years include much more guessing and speculation than certainty about who the top pick will be — it doesn’t appear that it will stay unique.

“If there is a similar situation in the future — with our users showing incredible interest in a player that is not yet in the player pool — I’m assuming we would come to a similar decision,” the spokesman said.

So, is this a good move to make? Well, when it’s a virtual certainty that a player such as Strasburg will be the top pick, it’s tough to see any real downside to adding him early.

From the technical side, the worst that happens is he doesn’t actually get drafted by the expected team, forcing CBS (or some other game operator) to change his team in its platform. The only fantasy formats that would be negatively impacted would be league-specific (AL-only, NL-only) if the player surprisingly didn’t end up in the expected league. How big a loss is that if the one owner who jumped on an amateur player early no longer has him? Not much, considering it would probably be at least a year before the fantasy owner would see any return.

Making the early move, on the other hand, adds intrigue to the longest of the fantasy seasons. It gives leagues and their commissioners a bit more time to figure out what to do with the player. If one astute owner grabs the guy and causes a when his/her leaguemates complain, that’s why we have commissioners.

Of course, the attention drawn to your game by making such a move certainly doesn’t hurt either.