Last year, I made it to the championship in the only Fantasy Football league I was in. This year, I am in three leagues, and I am leading my division in two of them.
We all start out as fans, right? We want to play fantasy football so we can draft our favorite players. We want to collect cards of our favorite teams. And that's pure and beautiful. However, when our competitive, success driven nature comes into play, we consider more than our preference.
Investing in cards and drafting players for your fantasy team are really not that different. Is this player going to score a lot of touchdowns? Is he worth a 1st round, 2nd round, or 6th round pick? Who can I get for cheap now that would be very valuable in the future? - that is where I live.
With some exceptions, I don't focus so much on investing in current stars. They are expensive and will remain expensive for a long time. Sure, I have a couple big time players in my case at shows, just like you have to have some big time players on your fantasy team. However, I like to focus my energy on finding those guys that I can get for cheap now and lead to big profits later. I drafted Marquise Brown in the 10th round. He is currently 6th in Fantasy PPG (ESPN PPR). I was excited to do that because I had been doing a lot of research on Lamar Jackson while I was investing in some of his cards. Before the season, believe it or not, Lamar Jackson cards were pretty cheap compared to Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and even Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Dak Prescott is another player I have been investing heavily in. A lot of that has to do with his offensive weapons, which is why I have picked up Tony Pollard for absolutely cheap in two of my three leagues. He hasn't produced as much as I would like (yet) but like I said, I got him for nothing!
The trends of sports cards often lead us towards the narratives and hype of mainstream sports media. They are right more times than not, but simply following the hype can be dangerous. Usually, by the time a player is a topic of positive conversation, their cards are already getting expensive, just like all of those hyped up running backs are sure to be 1st round picks in your drafts.
I believe my edge in fantasy sports comes from digging deeper into the sports cards that have not yet become expensive.
I do a lot of stat-based research where I look purely at numbers. In fact, I post a lot of those articles like Early Risers in the NBA right here on the blog portion of our website. When I go over these numbers, I look at the players that jump off the page. As you would expect, many of those guys are already seen as stars and their card prices reflect that. However, pretty much every time I dive into the numbers, I find some diamonds in the rough. Miles Bridges was my #1 Early Riser. At the time, his cards were still relatively cheap, and so were his prices on DFS platforms. I had him in my lineups every night and he has been killing it.
We do a lot of research on the upcoming rookie class before each NFL Draft. This year, we posted a series on our YouTube channel that goes deep on each of my top 9 QBs in the class, but the introduction video shows our process in choosing who to consider investing in (same could be applied to fantasy stock).
Here is that video:
This video was focused on football, but we are heavily invested in basketball as well. Sports Market, Team Success, Fan Base, and experience definitely play a roll in our basketball considerations, but we also pay a lot of attention to the following:
MVP consideration (means more in basketball than in football)
Guards (big men usually get no love -even Joker)
We watch ESPN and Fox Sports constantly. Sure, we learn something every day that relates to sports cards and fantasy sports. I understand that there are countless fantasy podcasts and social media accounts out there. However, many of these hosts get caught up in narratives and flashy moments. In my experience, I have made more successful moves based off of statline research than lines from talk shows. We will contiue to post an article or two per week. Honestly, I love doing the research. Numbers and sports - two of my favorite things!
A key takeaway from this article is that even if the sports card hobby eludes your interest, keep an eye on the trends and bumps. More effectively, keep an eye on who is not trending that maybe should be. Is there a player on your favorite team who is consistently scoring 20+ points a game with huge dunks sprinkled in there (cough cough Zach Lavine) but is undervalued in both sports cards and fantasy sports? Take a cheap chance on your guy! And pay attention to both teams. We were ate the Colts vs Jets game the other night and Elijah Moore scored 2 touchdowns. Both times, he had gotten himself wide open. WR cards don't necessarily always bring the big bucks, but he sure will help my fantasy team out!
He is only rostered in 33% of ESPN leagues and I imagine that number was a lot lower last week before that performance.
Do us a favor and share this article with a friend (someone who is NOT in your fantasy league). I hope it helps!