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on August 11, 2012
I am usually too busy to do more than one league this year, but for some reason decided to take on the task of doing 3 leagues. I had this feeling that the tired old $8 magazine and cheat sheets weren't going to cut it this year. For the record I have been playing Fantasy Football for 19 years, so I am no rookie and I have won championships and have failed miserably in leagues also. So for a guy who has played for 19 years to walk away from this read revved up and excited to use these strategies is saying something. Its an easy read and Jonathan makes some very compelling arguments as to why what he is saying makes sense and can back it up. The jist of the book is to get you to understand that Fantasy Football is like the stock market, draft players based on value and get them at the right price. It also has you factor in risk in who you are picking and determining if the risk is worth the reward and that all is factored in to when you drafted them. Andre Johnson in the 2nd round? BAD. Andre Johnson in the 5th? GREAT. But the biggest key for me is truly looking at "tiering" your players. See the drop offs, look at projections and to hell with the best player available strategy. The way I see it, you can buy this ebook for $5.99 and his projections sheets on his site using his math but using your scoring system for $2.99 and spend about what you would spend on a dated fantasy football magazine that came out in May that is a bunch of folks no more qualified than I am grasping at straws and telling you the same stuff year after year. Pull the trigger on this now and go into your draft knowing you did the right thing and will have a weekly powerhouse with consistent performance instead of doing the sit em start em strategy. 2 Thumbs way up!
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on August 5, 2013
I've been doing fantasy football since I was in grade school, and for the last few years I've been trying to find someone with a solid, statistical, Bill James type approach to fantasy football. Jonathan Bales gives it to us in How to Dominate Your Draft. It doesn't matter if you are a 'math person' or not; if you enjoy fantasy football, you will love this book. He explains his statistical findings in a way that the average person would be able to understand. He also backs everything up he says with stats and logic. He doesn't just say something like "RB X will have a good year this year because... uh... he's a good RB and stuff" like some 'gurus' do. He backs everything up with hard statistical analysis. I was surprised when I read some of his predictions but I'll believe his predictions over another's any day simply because he backs them up with numbers. There are many other surprises like this one in this book, both about specific players and fantasy football in general. He doesn't go along with what the crowd says; he goes with what the numbers say.

The main reason I love this book though is because he gives you solid, practical advice to help you do well in your draft. He puts a lot of emphasis on position scarcity. In the most basic sense, position scarcity is the idea that a player who is projected to do well at a position that doesn't have a lot of good players is more valuable than player who is projected to do well at a position that has an abundance of talent. He also talks about how to use game theory to help you figure out what the other owners will do so that you can draft accordingly and gain an advantage.

If you're debating on whether or not to buy this book, let me help you out: BUY THIS BOOK!! It's not expensive (I got the Kindle edition for $7 - the paperback edition is less than $13 last time I checked and you can get the e-book on his site for $5) and it's full of AMAZING information. Also, most fantasy football books that I find are super basic: they give you some scoring systems, tell you how it works, and maybe give a couple of general strategies. One of the things I really appreciate about this book is that he skips all the really basic stuff (like telling you how many points a rushing TD is worth) and goes right into the meaty, statistically backed stuff. I almost done reading it for the second time around and I'm still picking up on some stuff. Also, don't be intimidated if you're new to fantasy football. Like I said earlier, he writes in a way that's pretty easy to understand, and if you have questions about the content, he provides his email address so that you can ask him questions.

This guy is as close as you can get to the Bill James of fantasy football. My draft is in about a month and I have never felt so prepared. After the season, I'll post an update to let you all know how well I did.

UPDATE:
In my initial review, I said that I would post an update on how well my season went, so here it is. I purchased both this book and his player rankings that you can buy on his website. I ended up making it to the final four in a twelve team league but then losing. This was partly due to bad luck, since I had started both Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Miller in week 16, and the Dolphins somehow got shut out by Buffalo's defense... anyways, here's the team I drafted:

QB: Aaron Rodgers
RB: Demarco Murray, Darren McFadden, Lamar Miller
WR: Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, Justin Blackmon

I was 6-2 until Rodgers got injured (then 3-5 after), then I just played Ben Roethlisberger/Ryan Tannehill based on weekly matchups. Murray had a great year, McFadden did pretty well until he got hurt, Miller was on and off. Jackson had a great year, Colston had a few good games, Blackmon did really well until he got suspended. I REALLY wanted Josh Gordon in the draft, and I thought I could get him cheap (I'm in an auction league), but I got in a bidding war with a guy who has been doing fantasy football for longer than I've been alive and he ended up going for more than what I was willing to pay for him at the time, but looking back he definitely would have been worth it. Oh well.
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on July 27, 2012
If you saw Money Ball, you saw an example of how this book can help you prepare for a draft using math science and the "real" statistics. It makes total sense and once you grasp the concept, it opens your eyes to things you never really thought about. For example, the concept of Risk and Upside in tangible terms and numbers you can see. Knowing scarcity and how that relates to your choice from round to round in addition to knowing the percentages of how many players at various positions repeat prior year production. The numbers were surprising and you get a different story than all the other websites and pundits. Back to the Money Ball reference... when you hold your draft, everyone else in the room will be old school scouts, and you will be PETE.

It's Bill James for Fantasy Football. Grab this book, do your research, do the math and be ready to get blown away. People I thought were much further down the depth chart or standing out as great pics and you can prove (through math) why. Of course the players still have to play the game, and you can't predict injuries... but wow what an advantage it is when you can wait a round, knowing all the other guys will pass... and then pick up someone more valuable than the guy you drafted the round before. = VALUE.

GET THIS BOOK... unless you are in my league... then move on to the other garbage out there.
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on June 10, 2012
I have been playing in various fantasy leagues for approx. 8 yrs. now and have studied alot of formulas, theories, techniques, etc. I can honestly say many of the concepts in this book were new to me and will definitely help me "up my game". I got the Kindle version and read it cover to cover the first night. I am definitely no math wiz, but with the easy to follow formulas I really believe even those who are math challenged can follow along. Like some of the previous reviews have said, some of these concepts may be a bit much at first for novice players, but definitely I think can be helpful. Veteran players I think will truely appreciate this book as it wraps up concepts, some of which may be new and some of which may be a significan twist to concepts they may know of already, in an easy to understand and very usable way. Great book, I will be reading it again and would recommend it to anyone that is serious about their fantasy football.
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on July 6, 2012
"The more you know 'what' your dealing with the better you know 'how' to deal with it." After a lapse of fifteen years I am again in a fantasy football league. I enjoyed reading this book as it has given me a sound 'thinking' approach to my draft rather than one of reactivity and emotions. I won fifteen years ago with my first attempt. I am hoping for a repeat this year with the use of this sound approach. The reading was enjoyable, short and specific. I would recommend this book to anyone interested or already involved in a fantasy football league. I also emailed Mr. Bales with a question and was very appreciative of his quick response back to me. I am looking forward to his next book. I am planning on writing another review after the football season to report how the strageties in this book worked out for me:)
Feb 17, 2013: I was going to write another review, but apparently I can only write one. So, I was given the opportunity to edit this one. I followed the concepts of Mr. Bale's book during the draft and during the season when I had opportunity to pick up players. I ended up winning our ten teram league and I attribute much of it to staying true to Bale's paradigm. I was also blessed to have aquired: P Manning, Romo, Rice, Lynch,J Jones, D Bryant on offense. There were times during the season I became anxious and wanted to do reactive add drops, but I maintained the path of following Bale's concepts. I am hoping that Bale writes another book for next year which I will aquire without hesitation. Thank you Mr. Bale. I am looking forward to defending my title next fall.
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on May 16, 2013
If you are a fantasy football junkie, i've been playing for almost 20 years, this book takes to the next level. This is not a stale magazine written 6 months before your draft - this book tells you how you should be playing fantasy football and gives you the empirical reasoning to back it up. I'm an equity trader and deal with numbers every day - i buy and sell based on trends and algorithms - hunches and daytraders ALWAYS lose in the long run - doing the math and using game theory USUALLY wins in the long term - this book shows you how to maximize the chances you will win your fantasy leagues, that is, until lady luck rears her ugly head and shreds your RB1's ACL!!!!! Buy this book, and his other two books and enjoy the read - unless of course you are in my leagues then forget everything i wrote here.

Deuce
Usually Team Kozak
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on August 27, 2013
This is my first year playing fantasy football and saw this book referred to in a ff forum so decided to check it out.

It's a well written book that has lots of statistical analysis, graphs and charts that stats nuts and veteran ff players will get into. As a newbie I mostly just glossed over those parts and spent time on the bold items in each paragraph and the summaries that the author includes in each chapter.

In an afternoon I learned more from this book than I would have expected. On each subsequent reading I have spent more and more time on the numbers and graphs and can now actually sound informed.

This is a great book to get new players up to speed. The book is conversational and yet deep enough to support multiple readings and experienced players as well.
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on May 27, 2017
Great ready for fantasy football fans.
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on June 21, 2013
I lost in the finals of my league last year to a guy who read Mr. Bales' book, he drafted Doug Martin, Dez Bryant, Ryan Mathews, CJ Spiller, and Vincent Jackson. I told him not to bother buying the book this year as I have read two of his books which include this one. Very informative with a lot of statistical backtesting. I also recommend going to his site and getting his rankings. It is pretty cheap and he updates it for you. I look forward to winning a few leagues this year!!
thanks,
Sanjay Biswas, Esq.
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on June 22, 2012
There is a lot of information available to help fantasy football players, but most of it is only useful for novices (and some is actually counter-productive). This is the first book I have read that really provides useful information for players who have already mastered the basics of fantasy football and are looking to truly compete in competitive leagues. With that said, Bales does a good job of explaining his concepts in a way that even novice players should be able to understand and take advantage of. Even if you consider yourself very knowledgeable in fantasy football, you will definitely find something in this book that will help up your game.
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