Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Greatness of Fantasy Baseball is also Detriment

The Counselor is IN:

Ten years ago, Fantasy Football was only for sports geeks like me. Over the last decade, Fantasy Football has taken the nation by storm. It is no longer just for stat nerds.  I now know a higher percentage of people who participate in Fantasy Football than don’t. There are leagues for all levels of fans including Girls Only Leagues where it is accepted to pick players by the color of their jerseys and tightness of their behind sides.

Fantasy Baseball has not enjoyed the mainstream focus that Fantasy Football has.  Fantasy Baseball is the the father of all fantasy sports.  It was the original.  Yet it is primarily only for stat geeks. Most of the die hard baseball fans I know do not play fantasy baseball.  They only care about the stats of their team and do not desire to be distracted with Fantasy Baseball.

In my opinion, the greatness of Fantasy Baseball is also its detriment when it comes to attracting the mainstream public. This applies to both the traditional Rotisserie and the Head to Head Fantasy Baseball games. I will list four points why I think Fantasy Baseball is a superior game and why it limits the marketability of it.

1) Seven days a week compared one game a week.
There are baseball games every day of the week.  Most MLB position players will play 5-6 games a week. This compared to one game a week with the NFL unless it is their bye week.  

Advantage: One bad game will not kill you when you have several games a week. If your Star power hitting Outfielder strikes out 5 times in one game, he has the chance to come back and hit .400 and 4 homers for the rest of the week. In NFL, if your star Wide Receiver is shut out from catching the ball then you get no points for him.

Disadvantage: Many people don’t desire to keep up with their players every day of the week.  In a Head to Head league, you often change your line up daily.  In a traditional Rotisserie league, you still have to examine injuries, DL stints, and pick up for under performing players.

2) Fantasy Baseball season is longer than Fantasy Football.
Fantasy Baseball season is usually over 20 weeks and then the playoffs. The Fantasy Football season is usually 13-14 weeks and then the playoffs.

Advantage: The longer Baseball season help the cream float to the top. Some teams will start off fast but they have to maintain the pace. It is a marathon instead of the sprint of Fantasy Football.

Disadvantage: We are a fast food generation. We want things quick and fast and get bored with things that take time. Many Fantasy Baseball owners will get bored and stop paying attention after the first month. These owners rarely return next year.

3) Defense is half of your stats in baseball.
Pitching is half of your stats. Fantasy Football rarely uses defensive stats. A small minority use Individual Defensive Players. Even with IDP, the offense stats usually over weigh the IDP stats.

Advantage: Pitching is a key to baseball and is half of the stats of Fantasy Baseball leagues. It allows the owners to find a balance between their offensive and defensive teams. It is a closer representative of owning your own team. Defensive is a huge part of any NFL game but is rarely relevant in Fantasy Football.

Disadvantage: Offense is “sexy”. Chicks dig the long ball. Many fans do not care about defense and do not wan to mess with tracking stats for it.

4) Baseball is more entrenched with stats than football.
Statistics are a for most baseball fans. Football fans are not usually that focused on the stats.  

Advantage: Fantasy sports are based on statistics and comparing to other teams stats.  Fantasy Baseball is tied closely to specific statistics. Many fans can rattle off what the stats of their favorite players. It is a perfect marriage.

Disadvantage: It is difficult to change and tweak the stats used in Fantasy Baseball because of the tradition. It is much easier to change the values of a touchdown, field goal, or 10 yard rush.

 The Counselor is OUT:

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