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High Staked: Information Overload

High stakes champion Monty Phan brings you the experience of playing multiple high-level leagues in High Staked.

For years, I have been a Rotoworld junkie. It’s one of the first apps I load when I wake up in the morning. I refresh it multiple times a day. If you introduce yourself to me and tell me your name, I will forget it three seconds later, but if Brock Osweiler gets signed by Miami, my brain locks that shit in.

But I also have to remember to check it, and relying on my memory for stuff these days is dicey. I used to think those little pill boxes with the days of the week on them were for the infirm. Now, with regularity, I will pop a Zantac, wash it down, then five minutes later try to recall whether I took the pill at all. Didn’t I? Maybe I didn’t. What if I take another one? What will happen?

So, I’ve also downloaded the Sleeper app to my phone.1 For those unfamiliar with it, the app gives fantasy football updates pretty much as soon as news is tweeted out. No longer do I have to rely on memory! My magic phone just tells me!

The “breaking” news alerts have a special tone when they pop up, like the buzzing noise in cartoons when someone saws something in half. I have a special relationship with that sound, and it’s this: Drop everything and look at my phone screen in as little time as physically possible because Oh, my god, I just know one of my guys tripped over a sprinkler head and is undergoing leg amputation right now!

Yes, it’s Pavlovian, but I can’t help myself. Recently, I began looking through the options for which alerts are available. Previously I had checked only “breaking” and the “hype/sleeper” options, but I decided to add “minor” and “defense,” too.

Well, this provided a whole new level of anxiety. Ding ! “MINOR: Injury roundup: Patriots RB Rex Burkhead (concussion) sits out Wednesday practice.” Wait, what? Concussion? Since whe— Ding! “MINOR: DeAndre Hopkins (foot) was limited at Wednesday’s practice.” His foot? I don’t understand, what happ—Ding! “MINOR: Aaron Rodgers (knee) wouldn’t commit to playing in Sunday’s game with the Vikings.” OK, this is ridic— Ding! “MINOR: David Johnson was limited in Wednesday’s practice with a back injury.” If this app were a scene from a movie, it would be the one from The Shining where the elevator doors open and a wave of blood envelops the screen.

And that was Wednesday. By Saturday, I figured things would calm down. Typically, the only real news is who’s declared out for Monday night’s game. But early in the day, a follow-up to the news of Joe Mixon’s minor knee surgery was that it would keep him out 2-4 weeks. OK, well, could’ve been worse. Then about an hour later, Josh Gordon was downgraded to out with a sudden and mysterious hamstring injury. Hmm, that’s … weird. Then Devonta Freeman was said to be out 2-3 weeks with a severely bruised knee. Well, that’s a bit surprising. What an eventful day!

Then — Buzzz! — the Sleeper app kindly informed me that the Browns were releasing Josh Gordon. I don’t own Gordon anywhere, but it was pretty shocking news, especially late afternoon on a Saturday. In the high-stakes drafts I participated in, Gordon went in the fourth, fifth and sixth grounds, one of those high-risk, high-reward guys that, unfortunately, now seems destined for the former instead of the latter.

Speaking of high-risk players, while it’s still early to draw major conclusions about the high-stakes season after just two weeks (minus one Monday night game), if you took a chance on Le’Veon Bell and you grabbed James Conner, you’re likely in much better shape than the teams that drafted only Bell. And no matter where you took him, Conner is likely one of the steals of the draft at the moment.

Week 3 – which would mark roughly the first quarter of the FFPC Main Event regular season — should start giving us a better look at where we stand regarding hits and misses in the draft. So if you’re sick of anecdotes about Las Vegas and fantasy football apps, then next week is when we can dig into how some of the high-stakes trends are shaking out.

Assuming I can remember.

  1. It was formerly SleeperBot, but I guess now anything with “bot” in the title is immediately deemed villainous.  (back)

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