Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert Brad Evans knows the biggest fantasy football headache isn’t deciding between Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees at quarterback: it’s getting every owner in a league to actually draft.
“It’s the worst. I had a buddy of mine get hammered the night before a draft, and when we were ready to go, he was still napping. We had to track him down and say ‘we have more beer here, just get here so we can start the draft,'” Evans said from Phoenix.
The hardship of bringing fantasy owners together fueled development of the redesigned Yahoo! Sports 2013 Fantasy Sports app. Launched in late July and available on iOS and Android, the app offers all the stats, info and functionality of previous iterations, but it also added a new mobile drafting feature that will allow owners to select their team from anywhere.
“Now, there are no more excuses,” Evans said. “You can sit on the can and draft; you can be at a wedding and draft. It’s great.”
We talked to Evans about the app, an NFL cheerleader fantasy league and which players he’s staying away from in fantasy football this season.
The new Yahoo! app offers mobile drafting. Is that because it’s such a pain in the ass to get everyone together on the same day? What else prompted the new features?
“If you’ve played fantasy football, you know that every league goes through the ‘when is the best day to draft?’ discussion. We wanted to address that in the app. We also added a mock drafting feature, which really helps you hone your drafting skills. You can do it while you are waiting for the train or waiting in line. It’s a wonderful feature.”
Have you had to work with the NFL at all? Are they killjoys in person? What’s their view on fantasy play?
“We don’t work directly with them. They have their own fantasy product. It’s kind of strange. The elephant in the room is gambling, right? Many fantasy leagues have a prize; it’s why people play fantasy football. But while they can’t condone gambling, the NFL isn’t going to bite the hand that feeds it; it’s in the league’s interest to keep fantasy players engaged in their sport. It’s led to things like NFL RedZone, which along with fire and the polio vaccine is the greatest invention ever. It’s pretty much all I watch.”
Have you ever considered a fantasy league for NFL cheerleaders? Which squad would be your first pick?
“I’d have to go with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders at number one. You can’t beat that tradition. …I think the Bengals cheerleaders are a sleeper. They are rather attractive, and they seem fun.”
Name a starting player at each skill position whom you would never take in a fantasy draft this year:
QB — “Tom Brady. The weapons around him are unproven. I mean, you might sooner see Gronk hit the club floor before you see him hit an NFL field. …Brady could revert to his numbers of six or seven years ago, which aren’t as impressive as his recent totals.”
RB — “DeMarco Murray. He is high on a lot of draft boards, but I see him as an upright runner who is going to take a lot of punishment and might not hold up.”
WR — “Andre Johnson. He gets great yardage, but where are the TDs? He had just seven RedZone targets in 2012. Seven! …I wouldn’t take him very high in the draft.”
Did you consider adding a breathalyzer feature to the app? Do you notice that moves get worse – or less logical – after a certain time?
“(Laughs) We should do a field sobriety check for drafters. If you can’t tell Michael Floyd from Malcom Floyd, you aren’t fit to draft. You see bad moves when guys are doing a kegger draft with their buddies. Desperation sets in.”
See Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert Brad Evans and the Yahoo! Sports team on “Fantasy Football Live – Thursday Night!” airing weekly on the NBC Sports Network from 6:30-7 p.m. (ET), before continuing on the web from 7-7:30 p.m.
[Photo Credit: Steve France]