Ask Your Fantasy Football Expert: Christian Hardy of Sportable

"I’m going to put together a MFL10 for my followers. If you want in, let me know."

I like to give the new writers their time in the sun. Some are newer than others. Christian Hardy has been on my timeline for a long time, and he’s already a vet, if he’s still almost half a decade from his first legal beer.

You started fantasy sports at age 6? Is this a typo? That’s actually right, Nardwuar. My dad’s best friend — who runs the league that I first joined — was stationed overseas. That’s when I had the privilege of running my first fantasy football team. He drafted the team, and I won the league. I’m still in the league to this day, and at age 17, I’ve only won that league one other time.

What is Sportable all about and what are you doing with this new site? It’s all about quick reads and reader interaction. The way I see it, it’s a long-form, more slow-paced Twitter. Sal is really bringing a nice staff together with known names in the industry such as Matt Rittle, Charles Kleinheksel from RotoViz, Matt Harmon, Ladd Davies, and a bunch more. For me, on the news side, I want to get the news out there quick, in less than our 550 character limit, including a question that readers can vote on and interact with. It’s going to be my main focus in this summer to deliver news to the site.

I’m not totally sure that you are in love with football, what with your decision to attend the University of Kansas for college. Is Kansas living as fast-paced as they make it seem in the movies? I don’t want to say the pace of Kansas living is the actual worst. But it is the actual worst. I live in the Wichita area, and it can be a goose hunt to find something to do. However, contrary to popular thought, we do drive cars and are civilized, just like the rest of you hooligans! Ultimately I love the people I’m around here in Wichita, especially my family, so I wanted to stay close to the nest. [Zach note: At least you’ll have basketball season.]

Usually I ask what is the day job, but it appears that you’re one of them youngsters. Do you want to be a full-time sportswriter? I think at some point in my life I do. Probably for the beginning of my career out of college. Lately I’ve been realizing that what I want to do is a lot more than just sports. I’m hoping at KU I’m able to broaden my journalism and creative writing horizons to extend my boundaries a bit. Sports just seems so small, and I want what I write to leave an impact long after I’m gone. But, to sum it up without rambling, I do want to be in sports in the short-run, but not forever. [Zach note: Just until his late teens.]

Did you get into daily fantasy all the way in 2013? What did you learn (of course this is football, I can’t even acknowledge other sports here) from the last season to help you make all of the moneyz in 2014? “I understand nothing.” – Michael Scott. That’s how I did in daily fantasy sports in 2013. It’s a really wishy-washy daily fantasy sport, NFL is. It’s very touchdown heavy, so your value guys have to find the promise land to really be valuable most times. I’m just not very good.

Which NFL team do you root for? The Dallas Cowboys. I’m a third generation Cowboys fan. It’s been a tough 17 years, especially with the crap I get thrown at me by Chiefs fans around my home. [Zach note: It has to be bad if Chiefs fans are making fun of you, since the last time they won a playoff game, you were pre-alive.] But it was all worth it to see them win their only playoff game of my lifetime on my birthday, live at Cowboys Stadium, against the Eagles. But I can’t say I haven’t thought about becoming a Jaguars fan, but their beauty is probably just a hoax. Jerry World will last forever.

How do we, as a fantasy football community, persevere and survive this rare silent part of the offseason? I don’t have a good answer. We’re all going to suffer tremendously. ESPN mocks are open now, and you can start putting together your own rankings (which everyone should be doing, by the way). I stumbled through it this year, but then really slacked off when it got to the draft, which was during my graduation weekend. I’m still learning what rookies are on what teams. I’m sorry.

What type of fantasy league do you like the most? Is there one that you want to win the most? I really dig dynasty leagues. The one I mentioned earlier is a salary cap keeper, and that’s great too. That league is the one I want to win the most, because I’m up against nine adults. But a full-on dynasty is where I really get hands on with my team and get to work. That’s fun to me.

This is usually where I’d ask about the spouse and whether she’s OK with your obsession, but you’re not of marrying age yet (maybe in Kansas). Are the ladies impressed with your sports knowledge in general? I can’t say they are. I really don’t know how I have friends. I’m a pretty boring dude outside of sports and my hip-hop knowledge (which is something you probably don’t expect from a white boy from Kansas). I think ladies are way more impressed with my general sense of style. That seems to go a long ways. Oh, and be nice. That helps too. But I don’t know why I’m giving tips, I have been single since my middle school days. [Zach note: But you were a lady’s man in pre-k, am I right?] And I had blonde highlights in middle school. Damn, guy.

This is another question that might be pushing it, but it’s part of the standard questions so here goes. Football or sex, which do you think of more? I’ve had a really protected high school life. I would say sheltered, but it’s mostly been by choice. I’m just one of the nerdy goody two shoes. So I’ll have to go with football. [Zach note: Best to move on.]

What’s your usual Sunday football tradition? My Dad and I usually meet friends at a sports bar. It used to be local bars, and we’d choose a new one every few years, but we switched to Buffalo Wild Wings last year, because it is f a n t a s t i c. I’ve decided that I’m going to try to come back home as much as possible during this next football season to watch football with my Dad. It’s one of my richest childhood traditions: going to the bar with my dad. [Zach note: Can anyone else relate?]

Which football writers are on your must-read list? Every single member of the fantasy football community needs to have a RotoViz subscription. I really believe that. I read them more than anywhere else and their content, staff, and collective ideas are so important and creative. They have done a fantastic job with that site.

Tell me about a hobby/interest outside of football. I mentioned above that I’m really into hip-hop, and Childish Gambino has kind of become his own hobby for me. But more importantly, I’m a writer. I write a lot. Mostly on my own, in journals and what not. It serves as an idea log to me. I also waste a lot of time on Twitter, which I have two of — one for personal stuff (@iamdeadpan) and my @HardyNFL account. I put a lot of ideas and thoughts on my own personal Twitter as well. It’s kind of like my sub-journal.

Is there anything I failed to ask that you’d like to address? Not much. I thought I’d mention, as far as KU football, I do hope to cover them for the student newspaper at KU next year. If I get the beat, it’s going to be half-good, because of the opponents they play, and half-bad because of the consistent beatings we get from said opponents. But it’s a gig I still hope I get as I attempt to broaden my college sports knowledge. I guess this is where I should say thanks for the interview, too. I hope I wasn’t too boring for you or your readers. I’m really bad at being witty like the rest of your interview subjects.

Do you have any sites/projects/podcasts that you’d like to plug? Since Sportable was plugged, I think we’re good. I really do hope you guys check out that site. Sal has done a fantastic job and our horizons are expanding as we enlarge our staff. Definitely follow them, @SportableNFL, to keep up with what’s going on there.

Be a sport and follow Christian on Twitter.

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