Heads Up With The All In Kid: Jim Day
By Jake Ciely
First off, I know why I handpicked you to be part of this series, but why don’t you tell the readers how and why you became a fantasy football writer?
I started at a site called XpertsSports helping out my friend by doing news items. As is my usual, I jumped in with both feet and became a fanatic about it. Trying to continually post things before other sites did. After a few weeks of doing this, the site owner asked me if I would write some IDP articles for a new style of Fantasy Football. From there I was hooked.
You are easily the most mock-drafting guy I’ve ever met. What are you on Draftmaster 3,000 now? Tell the readers why you do so many (knowledge, entertainment, etc.).
Mock drafting is an excellent tool to learn where others value players and to try out different strategies. By doing many mock drafts you can determine where to wait on players and which players you have to go for a little early if you want them. It also allows you to feel totally comfortable in any draft. I see a lot of people that get baffled when a player they wanted gets drafted just ahead of them. I never have that problem because I always have another player ready to go. Drafts are always unique and fluid so being able to adapt to any change is key to a strong draft. That comes from repetition. Also, it doesn’t hurt that I just love to draft and because the Draftmasters actually get scored all year, so you can see how you did with each draft.
You also play in more leagues than the average, well, expert (I was going to say “person”). Why do you, and doesn’t that lead to some leagues losing your full attention, or how do prevent that?
Last year I did 63 leagues that require full weekly attention and I never missed setting my lineup or waiver wires. It all comes down to how much of a commitment you are willing to make. In reality, I actually go over each and every lineup three times a week. Once on Wednesday, then again on Saturday, then finally Sunday morning at about 6 am. Plus I have every league in a spreadsheet that allows me to find any player if they have that dreaded last minute change in status that we all hate.
It seems PPR leagues are starting to become more prevalent. So, we’ll ask your personal preference: What is your favorite league/scoring type?
I only play in PPR leagues to start off with, but my favorite leagues are ones that are unique in some way. Whether it is the scoring, the starting lineups or just simple rule changes that give it an edge, these are the leagues I gravitate to. I am always trying to develop new leagues that fall into these categories, including my long running Udder Chaos league, and yes I know it should be utter but that is more a play on words, to my brand new Ultimate Experts IDP league due to start this year. If you look at those two leagues, you will see a very unique scoring system, which tries to equalize the scoring over each position, and the roster requirements. Each one tends to take owners out of their comfort zone and make them have to think a little before they draft. Those are the types of leagues that I enjoy the most.
You miss on the big news like the other four (Josh Gordon suspension, Willis McGahee released, Aaron Hernandez, etc.). So, since the biggest news this week is Shane Vereen lining up at WR, I’ll let you decide. You want to share your input on his value or better yet, give us a storyline that you think deserves more attention.
That’s the problem this time of year, writers have so little of actual importance to talk about, except of course for the players that drive drunk, get busted for drugs or even kill someone, that speculation is the only thing that can be reported. In reality, there really isn’t a lot of news to cover until training camps actually start.
I have been saying for a month now that Vereen is the only player currently on the Patriots’ roster who has the skill-set to move around the way Hernandez did and I do expect him to have a big year because of it. His value in PPR leagues is starting to leap up and he will get even more love by the time August rolls around.
A question I’m asking everyone: David Wilson appears to be a polarizing running back when it comes to experts’ rankings this year. Where do you rank him and why?
Wilson will be given every chance to be the every down back for the Giants, but it will simply come down to how well he can protect Eli. If his protection improves at all, he will see plenty of chances because we know what he can do when he gets the ball in his hands. He is currently coming off boards at the middle of the third round, or as the 17th running back off the board. The upside is there if he gets the touches, but there is still some concern. I currently have him as my 18th ranked back, so pretty much right in line with where he is going. Just don’t sleep on Andre Brown. Brown did a good job for the Giants before getting injured last year.
Without giving away all of your secrets, what is your one tactic/strategy of fantasy football that you feel gives you the edge to win?
I don’t think it’s any secret, but absorbing as much info as I can is the best way to stay on top of it. I follow all the beat writers through twitter, I currently follow over 200 writers and read all the local blogs for each team. I will also say one other thing, stats have become a very important part of this game, but people need to remember that stats are things that happened in the past and don’t always reflect the future. Stats are only one part of knowing this game; people who rely solely on them are doing themselves a disservice.
Because everyone always wants to know, who is your favorite underrated (notice I didn’t say “sleeper”) player for 2013?
My favorite underrated player right now is Mike Williams of Tampa Bay. It seems that most people look at his poor 2011 season as the one they want to remember. That season he had only 771 yards and three touchdowns, but the offense as a whole was pretty bad that year. But if you look at his other two seasons, he was a Top 20 player both years averaging 64 receptions, 980 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is currently coming off the board near the end of the eighth round as the 41st receiver taken; this represents major value for me.
Plug time! I could easily just link to your stuff, but I’ll let you do the honors, sharing any specific pieces, etc., that would make the reader a better fantasy owner.
I don’t write much these days simply because there are so many excellent writers out there that I would rather put my time and energy into doing podcasts and Google+ Hangouts. Right now you can catch me every week on the Mike and Taz Google+ hangout or the Fantasy Football Power Hour on BTR and iTunes. Plus I am always on Twitter and will answer all questions posted to me there. You can reach me there @Fantasytaz.
Parting thought (i.e. something you wish I had asked about)?
My parting thought is simple: Listen and read as much as you can, but at the end of the day each decision you make for your team has to be yours. Don’t let others make your decisions for you. Find writers and podcasters you like and that will push your knowledge base, but none of us know what will happen, so don’t take our word for anything, do more research and come to your own conclusions.
Jim Day - everywhere, everyDAY ... the guy is one of the most visible writers in the fantasy industry.