Business Profile: FantasyPros

Company: FantasyPros
Launch date: July 1, 2010

With so many folks strutting around the Internet claiming to be fantasy experts these days, it’s only natural for some to start testing their merit. An increasing number of outlets have started to do just that, but David Kim says goes beyond that. This week, he took some time to tell some specifics.

1. What was the impetus for creating

A couple years ago, we thought it would be cool to track and score the advice of a few popular experts (just to be able to dominate our own fantasy leagues). After pulling together a monster spreadsheet for just a couple experts over a couple weeks, we had two major takeaways. First that the data was very cool, and second that no one in their right mind would do all this work just to figure out which expert to trust! Anytime you find something very valuable but tough to do, it’s a sign of a potential opportunity. The idea really took off (in our heads) when we later realized that accuracy was just one use for the data. We figured out that we could aggregate and organize the information in a way that made it faster and easier for players to get the specific recommendations they needed. As recent dads with less time for fantasy but no less desire to win, we knew there would be a huge market for tools that could save you time and make you more competitive.

2. Aggregating, tracking and grading a bunch of self-proclaimed fantasy nerds seems even nerdier. What kind of background and skills did you bring to this effort?

Hey, are you calling us nerds? I guess our backgrounds are a bit nerdy, so I won’t argue. We’ve run a successful consulting practice for the past five years that helps clients find and exploit opportunities to generate website traffic and optimize conversion rates. Prior to starting the consulting firm, we both launched successful internet businesses that focused on aggregating and organizing information. I was the VP of Online Marketing at, a subsidiary of Expedia Inc. My partner was also on the launch team at, and later co-founded, an IAC company. The travel and gift industries are obvious examples of how services that simplify the research and buying process can be very successful, as long as they provide value to both customers and suppliers. We hope to take a similar approach - we want to help both fantasy players and fantasy professionals, by making their “jobs” easier and more rewarding.

3. How have you chosen which analysts to include, and how is their material collected?

We identified the most popular experts based on reputation and traffic to their sites. We also included a few favorite “bloggers” that may not be as well known but offer a good amount of weekly fantasy advice to their readers. Now that more experts know about us, we’ve been receiving a lot of requests for inclusion and we’re excited about expanding our reach next year. In terms of how we collect the rankings, we have some partners that provide a feed to us, some that use our proprietary ranking tool, and others that we pull in through our own automated tools. I should note that we ask for explicit written permission from sites that require a paid subscription to access their rankings. We’ve been very pleased with the response we’ve had from the expert community.

4. What do you offer to consumers beyond ranking the “experts” for accuracy? Is there anything in it for “experts,” particularly those not lacking for online exposure?

Accuracy scores are really just one component of what we offer to fantasy players. Our most popular product is a start/sit tool that instantly shows which player each expert would start, along with other helpful information in a side-by-side comparison. We’re on pace to do almost one million “Who Should I Start?” requests in our first season! Another popular tool is our Cheat Sheet Wizard which lets users create custom consensus rankings from a combination of experts that they choose to include. We also recently launched a fantasy advice portal that aggregates and organizes news, articles and tweets from over a hundred sources.

For fantasy professionals, we offer a level playing field, exposure and referral traffic. We also offer a few tools to make their jobs easier, such as a drag/drop player ranker to quickly create and publish weekly rankings. For experts that don’t need any of the above benefits, we offer an unbiased way of earning some “street cred” from naturally skeptical fantasy players and industry peers. Also, we believe that fantasy professionals have an inherent desire to compete, no matter how popular they are. Tiger Woods doesn’t need the money or the fame, but he plays in golf tournaments to compete against the best golfers in the world. I don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that the best fantasy minds want to compete against their peers as well. Oh yeah, we’ll be offering shiny trophies this year too.

5. What is PAY?

PAYTM stands for “Prediction Accuracy Yield.” It shows how much benefit the expert’s predictions provided on meaningful start/sit decisions. Our system turns each expert’s weekly rankings into thousands of individual “who should I start” recommendations. We then score whether the expert’s picks were correct and how beneficial the advice was, based on the net fantasy points obtained by picking the right player. A 100% PAYTM means the expert selected the right player for every meaningful start/sit prediction. A “meaningful” prediction is one that is not unanimous among our experts. We do this so that we’re scoring advice that you realistically might seek out (not obvious advice like starting Chris Johnson over Donald Brown). This is why PAYTM percentages tend to be lower than what some people would expect.

6. What is FAST?

FASTTM stands for Fantasy Advice Search Tool. We’re working on integrating several of our current products and adding in some new features to create one cohesive search tool. This is a product that’s currently in development.

7. How have you gone about positioning your site in front of consumers and those around the fantasy industry?

It’s a cliché, but based on feedback from our members and our high repeat usage rates, we really believe that our product markets itself. From an awareness perspective, we’ve been very fortunate to be featured in articles and e-mails from Yahoo!, FootballGuys, NY Times and a number of popular fantasy blogs. From a positioning standpoint, we let consumers and industry professionals know that we’re an unbiased third party. We want to objectively promote the best fantasy experts in the industry, which is why we’re excited about presenting our accuracy awards at the next FSTA conference in January (primarily because the FSTA provides a large audience of fantasy professionals, but also because the conference is in Las Vegas!).

8. says in more than one place that services are “currently” offered for free. Is there a plan for that to change? What kind of paid subscriber base do you think you could realistically expect? What other methods are in place or in the plans for generating revenue?

There’s no plan for charging for what we currently provide for free on the site. However, we do have several new products and features that we’re developing that could require a subscription next year. This inaugural season was all about proving our concept and generating significant organic growth. We exceeded our own aggressive expectations for these two objectives, but we know we have a ton of work to do in the off season to be able to keep the momentum going. We think there’s a large opportunity in the space to create significant value for both consumers and fantasy professionals. As long as we can demonstrate this value, we’re confident that there will be multiple revenue streams available.

9. What differentiates from other “expert”-tracking sites that have arrived over the past year or two?

We don’t know of any other sites that offer the type of aggregated and organized advice that our core products provide, but we do know of a small number of sites that track expert accuracy. Regarding accuracy tracking, our main differentiators are:
- We are completely open about our methodology, while other sites consider it to be a “secret sauce” of sorts. We believe that if we’re going to grade the experts, it’s only fair that we tell the experts how we’re coming up with the grades.
- We do not claim to offer better advice. Instead, we seek to organize the best advice from the best experts in a way that provides value to both advice seekers and advice providers. Sites that claim that they offer xx% better advice are always welcome to participate in our accuracy study to prove it.
- Whenever possible, we try to track the individual expert that’s creating the rankings and projections, instead of just the site. For example, “Andy Behrens” instead of “Yahoo!.” Getting down to the expert level helps provide year-to-year continuity.
- Our service is FREE. From what we can tell, all the other sites we know of all charge for their accuracy information.

10. What is the ultimate goal for

We want to become the hub for fantasy advice. A site that helps advice seekers and advice providers share fantasy insights and recommendations in a much more efficient and effective way. Our current tools reflect a small but significant step towards this vision.


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