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20/20 Interview with Jeff Haverlack

This week DLF co-owner Jeff Haverlack took some time with us so you could get to know him a little better. Learn about one of the great minds behind the site that is DLF. Enjoy!

 

Where are you from?

Born in Tucson, AZ.  Moved to San Diego when I was 9.  Stayed there until I was 27 when I decided to try something completely different and moved to Ogden, UT when I was 27.  It was too different and I made my way to the Pacific NW in 1997 which is where I am today.  I love the PNW and don’t see myself leaving.

What do you do for your regular job?

I early-retired in 2019 and now I spend more time with my duties at DLF while also pouring wine in a tasting room a day or so a week just for fun.

What is the worst job you have ever had?

I can honestly say I’ve had no “worst” job as I learned something so important from all of them and used those lessons as a springboard to something better.  If I had to choose I’d say my first job at KFC as a fryer though I still look fondly back on those days, despite the 132+ oz. of Dr. Pepper I consumed daily along with way too much chicken, biscuits, nuggets, etc. 

What is the best job you have ever had?

I’ve been fortunate to have a great career in the financial industry which allowed me enough income/benefits to provide for my family and my retirement.  But the best job I’ve had is being a co-founder of a little site called DLF which started on top of a pizza box in my kitchen back in 2005. We launched in 2006 without any expectation(s) other than a lot of writing and work to see what it could turn into. I’m still wondering what it’s going to turn into but it’s been a fantastic ride thus far and I take a lot of pride in saying DLF is one of the pioneers in the space.

What do you consider your dream job?

Those closest to me know that my dream fantasy job is to be the lead guitarist in a progressive metal band but unless I pull a band together really quickly here, I’m probably going to be too old to make that happen.  Until then, I’ll just keep cranking it up to 11 in my man’s room and jumping around like I’m on fire.  Beyond that, I’m living my dream job currently.  I love being retired, staying busy, and having DLF to invest my time into.

How long have you been in the industry?

My first foray into the industry is when we launched DLF in 2006. The industry has come so far since those days and things looked very different back then.  The community wasn’t nearly what it is today, nor did it have the choices, statistics, options, and avenues for engagement like we have today.

How did you get your break into fantasy football?

I’ve been playing fantasy football since the 90s starting with redraft and keeper leagues.  It wasn’t until I started playing dynasty in 2003 with my fellow DLF co-founders Ken Kelly and Ken Moody that we got together one Sunday in 2005 to watch football.   During that day we asked ourselves “Hey, why isn’t there a dynasty site?”

What tool do you use the most on DLF?

A combination of the Trade Analyzer and the DLF Rankings.  We have so many great tools and resources, I just don’t have time to use them all though I find them all interesting. I’m also very much a slave to the way “I” play and I like to keep the game very simple without a lot of complexity or data I don’t need to be competitive. By nature, I’m a very pragmatic and analytical person and I’ve always been able to wade through unneeded information for my particular style. So I tend to concentrate on those things I find most impactful for myself and resist what others tell me I need to know.

What tool do you use the most outside of DLF?

I really like the presentation and information provided by FantasyPros (FP).  Being that I also do lineup advice, FP has always been one of my go-to sites for complementary data, consensus rankings, metrics, etc.  I use a lot of different sites for information but am never afraid to go against consensus group-think if I feel it’s off the mark.

Who was the best sleeper you pegged that broke out?

Depends on how you define sleeper. I’m relatively well known for taking quarterbacks in the second round of rookie drafts and took Mahomes in the mid-second round in many rookie drafts but probably my best sleeper was Dak Prescott which I selected in the fourth and fifth rounds of rookie drafts. 

Who was your biggest whiff?

Troy Williamson who was selected by the Minnesota Vikings following the departure of Randy Moss.  That was one of those cases where I had failed to do my own scouting/analysis and figured the NFL personnel had to be smarter than me so I jumped in with both feet.  Donald Jones, running back for the Colts, was a close second.  I thought he was going to be a fantastic player for a long time.

What is the worst trade you have made?

Believe it or not, I’m not a huge trader. I’m not someone who is going to sell out to win in a given year, much preferring to play the long game toward building a true dynasty.  But I do make plenty of trades every year.  I’m very careful in my trades and tend not to make a lot of big ones unless I’m relatively sure they are going to pan out. I’m much more likely to trade away later round draft picks for young players with upside.  That limits my bad trades.  The one bad trade that stands out, and it wasn’t horrible, was trading away a very young A.J. Green for Tom Brady. That isn’t terrible but Green went on to be a fantasy stud for a long time and Brady, while a solid starter, was relatively consistently mediocre.

Who is your favorite underfollowed Twitter account?

Most of the accounts I’d mention, wouldn’t be of interest to those reading this.  Bring a stock trader/investor, I really like Pete Najarian (@petenajarian) for his pragmatic approach but most importantly due to his positive energy, optimism, and his uplifting attitude.

Who is your favorite NFL team?

I grew up a Cowboys fan, most likely because I watched football with my Dad in the 70s and the Cowboys were the team to beat.  My Dad was a Redskins fan so that didn’t go over well.  Now, I’m all about the Seahawks though I still find myself rooting for the players I’m starting on my fantasy teams even if they are playing the Seahawks.

Who is your favorite college football team?

I don’t have a favorite.  I love scouting young players and find myself watching those programs that always seem to attract the best players (Alabama, LSU, Clemson, Auburn, Oregon, etc.) but I don’t have a favorite team I look for each Saturday

Who was your favorite player growing up? 

Well, in my younger years my favorite player of all time was Johnny Bench. For the NFL, it was the running back for the Cowboys, Tony Dorsett.  My favorite fantasy player has always been Daunte Culpepper

Who is your favorite player of all time?

For fantasy purposes, it was Daunte Culpepper because my stack of he and Randy Moss would strike fear in the hearts of my opponents.  My favorite player overall is likely Larry Fitzgerald who was my VERY first rookie selection in 2004 and is still on my fantasy team now (and will be until he retires)

What other hobbies or passions do you have outside of fantasy football?

Finance/Investing (Wealth Coaching), Guitar (metal, rock, and blues), Astrophysics, Photography, Gaming (PS4/PC), Wine, Gardening (though I’m not very good) and I’ve recently gotten into mushroom foraging and a bit more travel/exploration now that I’m retired.

What are some of your favorite movies?

I usually tend to geek out over the epic trilogies and adventures with iconic characters or the quirky one-off movie…  My favorite movies of all time are some combination of:

  • Lord of the Rings/Hobbit
  • Matrix Trilogy
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Big Lebowski
  • Wolf on Wall Street

Who are some of your favorite bands?

Being a bit of a guitarist, I tend to enjoy those with a very strong guitar influence but I may have the widest-ranging and assorted musical interest in the known world:

  • Dream Theater (John Petrucci)
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Joe Bonamassa
  • Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Count Basie, Jimmy Durante
  • Jazz Lounge Artists
  • Benedictine Monks/Chanting
  • Circus Maximus/Sonata Arctica/Symphony X/Falconer
  • Avenged Sevenfold
20/20 Interview with Jeff Haverlack
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Mike Witt
2 years ago

SRV, of course. I always knew you were a good person.

Reply to  Mike Witt
2 years ago

I will always remember that moment I found out he had passed away. i was pulling into a 7-11 in 1990 to get a slurpee and just had to sit in the parking lot for a few minutes because I couldn’t believe it. Thanks for the comment Mike

Kelsey Rosales
2 years ago

Even though I have been a huge Seahawks fan since 2004 when Shawn Alexander took them to the super bowl, I have always loved watching Larry Fitzgerald play, often referring to the Cardinals as my second favorite team. I find it funny our favorite overall player is the same person and I cant wait for him to be inducted into the hall of fame. I hope retirement is treating you well!

Reply to  Kelsey Rosales
2 years ago

Heya Kelsey! Hope you are doing well and I completely agree with you on Fitz. And, yes, having a blast!

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