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)
MW: Phoenix, AZ
Current day job
MW: Fantasy Football Analyst
Current fantasy job(s)
MW: Fantasy Football Analyst
One word that best describes how you play fantasy football
Who is your favorite (non-current) NFL player? Why?
MW: Kurt Warner – He took my Cards from pathetic losers to actual relevance and a near Super Bowl win.
Current mobile device
MW: Macbook Pro
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?
MW: I started fantasy sports as a hardcore basketball player. Then some buddies wanted to try and do a football league as well. We ended up with four teams and I ended up auto-drafting. Fast forward a few years and my passion for basketball shifted over to football.
Eventually I joined an office league with my two co-hosts Andy Holloway and Jason Moore. It was a pretty intense and very active league. We always tried to up the excitement level every year. We hold a live draft every year. We’ve had a friend dress up and be the announcer for our draft. Banners, posters, t-shirts, everything is happening in this league.
Andy and I decided to do a once a week podcast focused on our league. Basically, we gave overviews and then talked a lot of garbage for the following 40 minutes. We decided why not create a forward facing show since the podcast space seemed to have an opening, so we created The Fantasy Footballers.
How many fantasy football leagues do you currently play in? What is your favorite league and why?
MW: I think I have five main leagues. My favorite league is my three-keeper league, the one I was referencing in the previous question. It’s just an amazingly fun league, trades happen constantly, and the winner of the league is frequently gloating and posting trophy pictures over the off-season.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or fantasy hack?
MW: Podcasts! There are a ton of great ones out there, people with different styles of play and thinking. The best part is you can absorb the info while accomplishing other things.
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?
MW: Staying active on the waiver wire.
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?
MW: My greatest weakness and my strength are the same. Being aggressive with players, especially the ‘injury prone’ guys. But, trades and the waiver wire can usually supplement your roster should things crap out.
How would you describe your fantasy football philosophy?
MW: My overall philosophy on fantasy football is that when I lose, it’s a dumb meaningless game. But when I win, it’s an achievement that I shall boast about until the day I die.
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?
MW: Sundays are fully committed to games. I start, as a lot of analysts do, with a scrambling to update my rankings and then a Periscope answering questions. We have a pretty sweet setup in our Footballers HQ where we watch all the morning/afternoon games. The primetime games usually get interrupted by the kids bedtime, so I usually have to catch up on delay.
We use a continuous FAAB so our waivers go through once a morning on everyday but Tuesday (give everyone a chance to catch up on the weekends events). For trades, I use the approach of holding my depth and then about halfway through the year I’ll start trying to consolidate talent and maximize my starters.
What’s your favorite article you’ve ever written? Why?
MW: I’m not really a writer. I consider myself decent at best, but it’s not my true medium passion. I’ve done a few for FantasyPros, but I wouldn’t say I’ve written anything earth shattering. I focus on the podcast side of things.
Who is the best fantasy football owner you’ve ever played with and why?
MW: My co-host Andy is tremendous. We had a run of meeting in the championship game three years in a row (I took two out of three, just so let the record show that). But, he’s incredibly good at trading. He can micromanage deals and have other contingent deals lined up ready to go, and I can’t recall seeing him make a series of deals that made his team worse. He almost always improves his roster.
What’s your current workspace (for fantasy football) like? Coffee shop with laptop and headphones? Home office with a standing desk?
MW: We’re very fortunate to be doing this full-time, so we have our own office. I do most of my day to day work on one of them fancy standing desks. One thing that has not been positive from my shift to full-time football work is my waist line. But rock the double monitor setup, this is crucial. If you’ve never experienced double screens, it’s impossible to go back to single.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
MW: It’s basically an extension of my phone, but I do love my Apple Watch. I get at least a bajillion notification every day from news, Slack alerts, emails, etc. The watch helps me not get trapped in my phone. It used to be, when I feel the buzz, I’d check the notification…and then Twitter/Facebook/RotoWorld. But now I can quickly see what’s happening and move on without PhoneHole stealing my time.
What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?
MW: Google Sheets is crucial. We use Logic to record the podcast and Premiere to do the video stuff.
What is your go-to site for your tough start/sit decisions?
MW: TheFantasyFootballers.com of course
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?
MW: IGN. I still love games and movies. IGN is part of my daily workflow to keep up on the entertainment side of things.
Take a quick peek at your bookmarked sites. What are the top 3-4 sites on the list?
MW: pro-football-reference | rotoviz | spotrac
What podcast is currently queued up on your phone?
MW: Rotoviz Radio
What are you currently reading? A novel, comic book, website, magazine?
MW: Ugh, I do need to read more. Not currently going through anything. My last big accomplishment was binge-watching Parks and Rec.
What do you listen to while you play? Got a favorite playlist? Maybe a podcast? Or do you prefer silence?
MW: I can’t focus if there’s talking or singing so I love very ambient electronic music, especially chiptunes. This mix is the mad jams!
Do you have any superstitions on game day? Wear the same lucky T-Shirt? Always make homemade chili before the games?
MW: I don’t, and now I’m sad that I don’t.
How do you recharge?
MW: Water. Not just drinking, though staying hydrated is crucial. I love to completely submerge in water, almost like a sensory deprivation type of scenario. Also the beach. The beach brings me life.
What’s your sleep routine like? Are you a night owl or early-riser?
MW: I’m a night owl for sure. I’ve made many attempts to try and flip the schedule, just doesn’t work. I spent a few years of early 20’s basically as a vampire (sleeping all day, rarely seeing the sun). Although being in my mid 30’s and having three kids has made hitting the post 12AM threshold much harder these days.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.
MW: Matt Harmon, though I’m not sure your database can handle all the words he would type.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
MW: We live by the 80/20 rule at the Footballers. Basically, work smarter not harder. It’s very easy to get laser focused in on a few specific problems only to have their outcome do nothing for your business. I highly recommend it.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans?
MW: If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking around! If you haven’t checked out The Fantasy Footballers Podcast, give it a couple listens. I’m confident we can win you over and become part of your listening routine.
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.
Very cool to have the FFHitman this time around. I just found the FF BALLERS a year and a half ago. Great content and podcast.
My personal favorite podcast. Ridiculously knowledgable, great production quality, and its awesome seeing 3 guys living the dream, that we all wish we could have, talking football for a living with a couple of your close buds…