Several years ago I began working remotely for a startup non-profit after spending most of my career in retail and corporate offices. As any quality researcher would do, I immediately began looking into tips and tricks of how to be successful working remotely. I stumbled across an article series by Lifehacker, called “How I Work,” which essentially was a collection of interviews, focusing on best practices, workflows, workspaces, and gadgets used by successful business people.
This article series is a nod, or rather a direct copy of their idea, from a fantasy football perspective. I’ll seek to interview the most interesting minds in fantasy football, procuring their secrets, routines, bookmarks, and more in an effort to pull back the curtains and provide you with resources and information. I hope you enjoy!
Your Twitter handle
Your location (city/state)
MS: Rochester, NY
Current day job
MS: Fantasy Football, baby.
Current fantasy job(s)
MS: It’s all fantasy.
One word that best describes how you play fantasy football
Who is your favorite (non-current) NFL player? Why?
MS: Brian Dawkins. He mixed talent with leadership, off-field character and on-field flair. It certainly didn’t hurt that he played at Clemson when I lived there and with the Eagles when I moved to Philly.
Current mobile device
MS: A burner phone.
MS: MacBook Air & an Acer Chromebook
First of all, tell us a little about how you got your start in fantasy football. How did that evolve to what you’re doing now?
MS: I started playing in college, when it was still fairly new online. I was the only guy on staff who played at my first newspaper out of school, so the sports editor asked me if I wanted to write a fantasy column. The thought hadn’t occurred to me, but I fell for it quickly. I sought out online opportunities, was fortunate to get breaks from industry vets Mike Beacom and Jeff Thomas and the Sporting News, and things evolved from there to my current gig with DraftSharks.com.
How many fantasy football leagues do you currently play in? What is your favorite league and why?
MS: Ten. I’d say my favorite remains the semi-keeper league that I’ve played in since my college adviser and I got started back on Sandbox.com.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or fantasy hack?
MS: I’m open to suggestions. I’m not the best in-season player, because my busy-ness level — between work and my kids — tends to keep my attention elsewhere.
In order to be successful in fantasy football, you have to do at least one thing better than the average owner. What’s your secret?
MS: I’m a strong drafter.
What’s your greatest weakness in fantasy football? Startup drafts, mining the waiver wire, making trades, lineup decisions? How do you make up for it elsewhere?
MS: Consistently mining the waiver wire. It just tends to slip during the season (other than gameday decisions). Staying competitive despite that has confirmed to me that I draft well.
How would you describe your fantasy football philosophy?
MS: Trust your research but be flexible.
Walk us through what your week looks like during the season as a fantasy owner. When do you watch games, process waivers, propose trades, etc?
MS: I’m in front of the TV much more than my son would like on Sunday (and Thursday and Monday night, of course). Wednesday night I see the series of waiver emails from MyFantasyLeague.com and say some version of “Crap, I forgot to enter any bids.” Then I set my lineups Thursday, making any waiver picks from what my league mates deemed unfit. Then I’ll adjust Sunday morning for any injury situations.
What’s your favorite article you’ve ever written? Why?
MS: I can’t pick one particular article at the moment. I’ve been at it for 14 years now.
Who is the best fantasy football owner you’ve ever played with and why?
MS: I don’t have a favorite here. I like playing with Ian Allan of Fantasy Index. He’s smart, attentive and thorough. I enjoy the competition and mutual respect.
What’s your current workspace (for fantasy football) like? Coffee shop with laptop and headphones? Home office with a standing desk?
MS: I’m most commonly working from home but do go into the Draft Sharks office 3 times a week for podcasts and trash talk with Jared Smola.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
MS: I’m not a huge gadget guy. It’s all about the laptop.
What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?
MS: I don’t even own a smartphone yet, so my favorite apps still get served at the bar.
What is your go-to site for your tough start/sit decisions?
MS: I’ve always gone to myself, even since before I was writing. I want it to be my triumph — or my fault.
If you could only read one website (other than those you contribute at) for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
MS: Pro Football Focus for the breadth of content (college, NFL Draft and non-fantasy football).
Take a quick peek at your bookmarked sites. What are the top 3-4 sites on the list?
MS: (Besides DraftSharks.com) Tweetdeck, Pro Football Reference, Football Outsiders
What podcast is currently queued up on your phone?
MS: I don’t listen to many. I’m always a fan of the Footballguys Audible family of pods, though — especially the IDP Roundtable. Sigmund Bloom’s probably my favorite fantasy analyst (that I don’t work with).
What are you currently reading? A novel, comic book, website, magazine?
MS: I don’t make nearly as much time for reading during the season as I should.
What do you listen to while you play? Got a favorite playlist? Maybe a podcast? Or do you prefer silence?
MS: I lean toward artist-centered Pandora stations, most frequently: Panama Wedding, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, A Tribe Called Quest, and The Roots.
Do you have any superstitions on game day? Wear the same lucky T-Shirt? Always make homemade chili before the games?
MS: Every Sunday, I make sure to roll my eyes at superstitions.
How do you recharge?
MS: Listen to Comedy Central Radio (and other comedy stations) on the way to picking up my kids — often with a non-coffee caffeine drink in hand.
What’s your sleep routine like? Are you a night owl or early-riser?
MS: I don’t do it enough. I’d prefer to not go to sleep, since there are always other things I’d rather do. I’m both a morning and night person.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.
MS: Mead Loop: my college adviser and best man, and a studier of the fantasy industry
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
MS: I’ve had plenty of positive guidance along the way, but I can’t point to a single bit of advice. The biggest thing is to seek out or create your own opportunities, rather than crossing your fingers for something to happen.
The How I Play series asks writers, developers, editors, and fantasy football degenerates to share their secrets, bookmarks, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Eric Dickens or start a conversation with him on Twitter.
Hate to be negative here, but you elicited zero FF information from this so called expert, and he offered nothing to you, or more importantly, to us the readers.
He was OK as a Falcons backup then had that one or two good years with the Texans before his career went to shart.