October, 2009

FSB Daily 10/26: ESPN-NBA.com, Tips for Baseball, Fantasy in School

Monday, October 26th, 2009

A roundup of recent posts on the FSB News page.

- Unfortunately, we missed this one during our September slowdown, but ESPN and NBA.com are presenting a co-branded fantasy basketball game for the quickly approaching season.

- This Nando Di Fino column ran in late September on The Wall Street Journal’s site, but the content remainst relevant. Di Fino, an avowed baseball guy who told FSB.com that he operated 14 fantasy teams in 2008, offers a few general suggestions for how to close the popularity gap between fantasy baseball and fantasy football.

- This middle-school teacher from Illinois who uses fantasy sports to teach math says it best: “If I can get them to play math with me, that’s like three-fourths of the battle.”

Send all of your news, job postings, stories and profile ideas to [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter (FSBcom).


Court Rules DimeSports Defrauded Fantasy Players

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

A district court in Georgia has awarded $200,000 to a defendant who sued DimeSports.net for fraud.

The ruling finds that John Lowery of Michigan fairly won DimeSports’ salary-cap NFL game in 2008, but the top prize went to a higher scorer who was allowed to cheat the cap, was a cousin of DimeSports owner Robert Braddy and also just happened to win the $100,000 grand prize the year before — then also under circumstances heavily questioned by other competitors.

According to this recounting of basically the entire episode, Lowery sued the company after Braddy refused to work out a settlement, even while admitting that the system had allowed the team run by his cousin (Jarrod West) to break the rules.

“The same winner two years in a row for any new salary cap game is a red flag,” said our own Jeff Thomas, who testified in the case. “Couple that with a higher salary cap for the winning team and team rosters that aren’t displayed until days after the game, and that would lead any experienced fantasy game operator to expect fraud.”

The court seemed to have little trouble finding such fraud. Braddy apparently made his share of shady moves, including excusing software provider Mochanin from legal liability after previously suing the company, accusing it of the “glitch” that allowed his cousin’s team to cheat the salary cap.

Beyond that and a list of shady financial dealings, Braddy didn’t fortify his character by getting arrested for tax evasion and having cash and a stolen gun (among other items) seized from his home.

The full rundown can be found at the Yougab.com link above, and DimeSports.net appears to be dead currently. Before shutting down this season’s game a week in, however (and reportedly not yet refunding all of the entry fees), the company said its game would be back and “better than ever” in 2010.

Would it be possible to get worse?


FSB Daily 10/23: NFL.com Exec Talks Fantasy, FSV roundup

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

A roundup of recent posts on the FSB News page.

- NFL.com general manager Laura Goldberg will be at the Nov. 12 NewTeeVee Live conference to talk the big business of fantasy football.

- Forbes.com recently posted a video in which national editor Michael Ozanion chats with Fantasy Sports Ventures founder Chris Russo about his company and the fantasy industry. Speaking of FSV, the company made its first actual investment in gaming in late September, when it purchased 25 games from RealTime Fantasy Sports. FSV also recently added Orangecast Social Media to its lineup.

- NovaFantasySports.com recently announced a content agreement that will place its NFL news on PlayerPress.com’s homepage.

- The Hartford Courant’s website now features the Game Forecast service provided by Accuscore.

- We may not even be to the World Series yet this year, but Sporting News already wants to know what will be on your mind for the 2010 baseball season. The staff is soliciting questions from readers for the next yearbook, offering a free copy for any query that makes it into print.

Send all of your news, job postings, stories and profile ideas to [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter (FSBcom).


Pickemfirst Makes Life Easier for Studious Fantasy Players

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

The fantasy sports industry has grown to the point where many of the best new ideas are not for standalone products or services but those that work with existing platforms to make things easier for fantasy players. Pickemfirst fits that category.

Launched in early September, Pickemfirst is a Firefox plug-in that allows users to check a player’s fantasy-league availability whenever they come across his name in online text.

You simply have to register with the site, enter your fantasy teams and install the plug-in. Then you can run Pickemfirst on any page, and the program with find all player names and tag them with icons that indicate their availability in the leagues you’re tracking.

“The idea came out of my own frustration as a fantasy player,” creator Alain de Raynal told FSB.com. “I knew very little about baseball when I started, so I’ve always relied on blogs to educate myself and improve my teams. Once I had found a promising player on a blog, it took at least 10 seconds to check if he was available in my fantasy league. Of course 90 percent of the time, he wasn’t. Those 10 seconds added up into hours and hours.”

As de Raynal points out, that time only increases when one tracks teams on multiple commissioner sites. Pickemfirst, however, allows users to enter teams from leagues on CBS Sports, ESPN, MyFantasyLeague, NFL.com, RotoWire and Yahoo! and will list every team for you whenever you click a player icon.

Partnerships with RotoWire and Fantasy Sharks also enable Pickemfirst to populate “news” and “projections” tabs (respectively) for the players. The window also presents tabs for player stats and even Tweets for those players with Twitter accounts.

(Those extra features are free for a week, but users will have to pass along Pickemfirst invites to friends to enable them full time. Users will also need to make sure that Firefox is set to accept third-party cookies, which kept me from running the plug-in at first.)

Pickemfirst supported baseball for the final month of that season and now works for football, but de Raynal said they plan to add other sports and support more commissioner sites in the future. He said his team is also currently working on a version for Internet Explorer, which sounds like it will probably be available for the 2010 baseball season.

In the meantime, though, here’s a video to show you just how the service works …