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Does your paper write about Fantasy Football?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by North61, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. North61

    North61 Member

    Didn't see this topic, but wondering-

    With the emergence of fantasy games, has your paper (in the 5,000-50,000 range) tried (or planning) to build readership through fantasy football columns/advice? Did it work? Will it ever work?
  2. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    This hasn't become an issue at my shop, and I don't see it becoming one, thank god. Because I would go ballistic if it did.

    Regardless of your personal feelings on or participation in fantasy sports, it's not a sport. It's a hobby at best.

    And there are dozens of print publications, not to mention the online resources, for fantasy fanatics. They're not going to pick up the Daily Bugle for fantasy information.
  3. blondebomber

    blondebomber Member

    We do. And it's about as useful as sports collectibles columns once were. But I think fantasy columnists are here to stay.
  4. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    Yes. Baseball, too. We don't have an NFL or MLB team in town, but we do hae a weekly baseball or football page and in it we include a small notebook item about fantasy players that are hot, not and might be good pickups. Small 5-inch thing taked onto the bottom of a notebook column.
  5. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, we do. And the kicker is it's not a sports guy who writes it, but a columnist from our "lifestyles" section or whatever you want to call it. On top of that, the column runs on Sunday, so even if his advice didn't suck, it's too late for anyone to act on it. Waste of space.
  6. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    OK, I understand that a lot of these are poorly done. But if readers want it, and it's done decently, what's the argument against this? Aren't we supposed to give readers stuff that they want to read? Fantasy sports, and football especially, is huge. Why is it such a big deal for a sports section to put in a little something that appeals to a large chunk of readers?

    I can see if there's no feedback or all negative feedback, ditching it. But if readers say they like it, then I don't see why those of us in sports deparments have to act like it's such a bad thing.
  7. Personally, I wouldn't want to write stories about fantasy sports.

    But I have to agree with JRoyal. If it's something that's going to improve circulation and make the sports section more relevant to our readers, I'm all for it. Same with covering the World Series of Poker.
  8. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    If you run regular agate like injury reports, stats and game capsules, that's 90 percent of your fantasy info right there. A fantasy column might tie it all together with a nice bow, but for the most part I think they're useless. The columnist saying "might want to bench Peyton Manning 'cause the Colts are on a bye week" or "picking up Joe Tightend on your waiver wire could be a nice pick since he had 150 yards receiving last week" isn't exactly reinventing the wheel.
  9. EStreetJoe

    EStreetJoe Well-Known Member

    We have a Fantasy Football column and the guy that writes it is a football fanatic - the last several years he's hosted an NFL Draft party/cookout at his house to celebrate the NFL Draft.

    If the columnist says stuff like playthough wrote, the column is worthless. If the columnist says something like "you might want to consider benching Joe RunningBack this week because his yards per carry have declined the last three weeks in a row against mediocre run defenses and this week he faces the No.3 run defense in the league" then it might be worth something.
  10. North61

    North61 Member

    I agree- if you have the stuff that playthrough suggests, it is garbage and is not relevant. As is injury reports and stuff the hardcore fantasy geek wants - it's all useless Sunday morning in print. Those players will go to the web to sporting news/insider etc.

    I'm talking about appealing to the more average fantasy player who does not want to spend the time pouring through statistical websites.

    The way I see it, the right way to write FF columns is analyzthe stats - compare and contrast - and in the end point out the trends that might help the AVERAGE reader make a decision. You can predict who wins games and why anytime during the week.

    Besides, don't we, as writers, in preview stories do essentially the same thing by highlight previous stats(games) and hint how a team will win?

    I'm not saying that a whole section/page needs be devoted to Fantasy because as someone mentioned - it isn't a sport, it's a hobby. But I would make the argument that if you don't have fantasy, why publish the betting lines?
  11. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    as a former sports writer who is now just a reader i think people who look down their nose at the idea of a fantasy column are out of touch with reality. technically i realize they're right that fantasy football itself is not a sport any more than betting on sports is a sport.

    but you guys need to use common sense. newspaper circulations are plummeteing. millions of people play fantasy football and fantasy football fans follow football, obviously. if your paper had a smart and insightful column (with comments like EStreetJoe suggests--not crap like 'bench daunte culpepper because he broke his ankle last week) then you draw in more readers.
  12. blondebomber

    blondebomber Member

    It's the same as having your columnists/reporters picking the games each week. It's nothing more than filler (albeit less self-important). People who want such information can get it so much more easily and sooner than in the paper late in the week when most fantasy columns run.
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