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)
LL: Hollywood, Florida
Current day job
Current fantasy job(s)
LL: Writer for FantasySharks.com
One word that best describes how you play fantasy football
Who is your favorite (non-current) NFL player? Why?
LL: Deacon Jones: Fearsome on the field, was a head slapping machine, coined the term “sack” for a quarterback and spent his career making a how-to reel on how to sack one, and led the war against Morlocks.
Current mobile device
LL: Acer Asus? Something like that.
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?
LL: Around 13/14 years ago I was asked to join a home league. I loved it and got hooked. I started doing more and more leagues. I joined sites and spent my free time immersed in football. I eventually started joining more competitive leagues with hardcore players, switched to doing a majority dynasty and have started doing IDP over the last few years. Eventually playing also turned to writing and I was asked to join FantasySharks which is a great organization and has been fantastic to write for.
How many fantasy football leagues do you currently play in? What is your favorite league and why?
LL: I am down to six-seven this year which I am happy about. I was in too many and I couldn’t focus on my teams. I had way too many top rookie picks this year. I want to be 1.12 not 1.1. My favorite league is the Scott Fish Bowl. The Twitter feed alone is entertainment for weeks. Great comradery and commiserating.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or fantasy hack?
LL: Use one site for all your leagues.
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?
LL: Raise the bar on what I think “the average owner knows”. In most of my leagues the owners are anything but average…it’s just a bunch of sharks scouring the wire and plotting their victories but if I translate that thought process to a casual home league it keeps my team sharp. Hubris is a killer.
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?
LL: Overthinking. I have a habit of going full Vizzini (and I have no immunity to iocane powder) which is something I am trying to break. Trades are the worst. Ironically the thing that defines my day job (negotiating) is the thing I overthink the most in fantasy where the stakes are so much lower.
How would you describe your fantasy football philosophy?
LL: With abandon. When I had less teams I played conservatively which was great for making playoffs but not necessarily for taking the trophy or for having fun. I switched up my philosophy. I would rather lose with the guy I love instead of to him. I will reach, I will make mistakes, I take risks. I have fun.
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?
LL: Tuesday: The start of the fantasy week. Tuesday evening, I set my lineups for the next week. They obviously may change but by taking 15-20 minutes to do this I am analyzing my team for weaknesses, assessing injuries, and preparing for bye weeks. I look at my record and determine viability for the current season in dynasty. When I am done I have a rough idea of my short term and long term needs. I then put in my waiver wire bids.
Wednesday: Around 6:30-7pm I check out the injury report and double check my waivers adjusting as needed. Waivers run at different times throughout the night (if your waivers don’t run Wednesday night, they should).
Thursday: I tweet my lineups and watch a mediocre football game. Thursday night football – wheeeeeeeee!
Friday and Saturday: I take a few minutes to just check in on news and the wire.
Sunday: I spend the morning cursing whoever came up with the idea to bring football to London. I do last minute waivers and finalize lineups. I try and avoid doing the Vizzini and second guessing myself 26 times.
What’s your favorite article you’ve ever written? Why?
LL: My auction tricks article. Auctions are my favorite way to draft and provide a level playing field and room for more strategery.
Who is the best fantasy football owner you’ve ever played with and why?
LL: Ron Bilu. He isn’t a writer. He is a friend of mine who has been playing for easily 20-25 years. I consider him my fantasy mentor. We have been in multiple leagues together and for years we would draft and at the end of the draft I would look at his team and think “what did you just draft?” Almost every single time he would then crush me in playoffs and win the league, destroying all who stood in his way. I stopped with scoffing and started with the note-taking. I switched over to style that is part boom/bust that I adapted from him. The writer I have the most fun playing against is Jersey Jen Ryan in the MFL10s. She dominates. If you have played against her, you know what I mean and she probably has your money too.
What’s your current workspace (for fantasy football) like? Coffee shop with laptop and headphones? Home office with a standing desk?
LL: Laptop on the arm rest of my chair because I have a cat who has declared the lap hers. I have a microphone on my dining room table where I set up if I am doing a podcast. I do most of my writing and playing on my phone.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
LL: Tablet. The easy way to do basic computing when one owns a cat. (Yes I am a cat lady, now get off my lawn!)
What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?
LL: MyFantasyLeague. With as much as I promote them you would think they pay me. They don’t. If you are used to an interface like theirs it is a great tool to collect information. i prefer to use them to determine ADP, wire trends, and ownership percentages.
Also excel. You either love excel or don’t know the joy of spreadsheets yet.
What is your go-to site for your tough start/sit decisions?
LL: FantasySharks.com. Yes, I am biased but they are also conveniently hooked right into MFL so I can push a button and instantly get great lineup advice.
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?
Take a quick peek at your bookmarked sites. What are the top 3-4 sites on the list?
LL: Actual first 4: Lexis research, Broward Library, Property Appraiser, and a portal for rifling and dockets. Sorry, I am nothing if not boring. Recreational links are the library, video streaming services, Facebook, and Twitter.
What podcast is currently queued up on your phone?
What are you currently reading? A novel, comic book, website, magazine?
What do you listen to while you play? Got a favorite playlist? Maybe a podcast? Or do you prefer silence?
LL: I have an awesome mix tape playlist loosely based on the original GOTG, I also have jazz, opera, metal, bluegrass, Dead, rap, and dance music playlists depending on my mood. I am eclectic when it comes to music. There are no wrong answers unless the answer is a boy band, then yeah, that might be the wrong answer.
Do you have any superstitions on game day? Wear the same lucky T-Shirt? Always make homemade chili before the games?
LL: I have a habit of jinxing players. I am 100x worse than the Madden Curse. The joke is why my Twitter avi is Jessica Fletcher, being on my team is like being friends with her. I try not to own too many shares of a player and will alter my drafting accordingly.
How do you recharge?
LL: USB charger usually…ba dum tiss. Books, Video Games, Rick and Morty bingathons.
What’s your sleep routine like? Are you a night owl or early-riser?
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
LL: Have fun with it.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans?
LL: Seriously, have fun with it.
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.