"With friends and they don’t know the Hulk theme song
I am a real American
I am so sad"
His legal name is Mike “MFL 10 Addict”. Or is that what he wants you to think. Mike is drafting so much that he has a “share” of every NFL player, past, present, and future. The best part of MFL10s is that you can play them pretty much year-round (no preseason games yet, get on that fantasy gods). Mike’s here to give you the 411 on MFL10s, and how remarkably affordable it can be to (a) get his MFL10 ADP information and advice and (b) make sure he isn’t in your MFL10.
How did you decide that when it was time to “specialize” as a fantasy writer, that you would be the MFL10 guy? I’m mainly a dynasty/keeper guy, with my only redraft being my home league (which I do very well in), so when I really started reading DLF and other sites I realized that I wouldn’t be able to come close to the quality everyone else puts out. I do have some “hot takes” on dynasty from time to time, but I find most of my knowledge that would help others comes in form of the MFL10s. The writing I have done has been around MFL10s that I feel I know a lot about and enjoy writing about them.
Overall I’m not much of a writer, which is funny as I was an IT Market Research Analyst for 4 years that involved a lot of writing. When I first joined twitter 2 years ago and started sharing my thoughts I was approached by a bunch of dynasty league sites to write for them. But having zero aspirations to be a true writer I ended up joining FakePigskin as they are cool if I write a lot or if I write 1 article a year (which is about my pace). [Zach note: That’s my kind of pace.]
Do you remember your first (MFL10)? I actually don’t. I looked it up earlier this year and I did 2 of them in 2013 (I have no memory of this), but granted I have a horrible memory. I do remember my first few last year when I really got into it. Having no idea how I would do I only did 40 of them. In hindsight I wish I did a little more but I hadn’t hit my groove yet. I looked back at a few of them and they weren’t pretty.
Is the day that the first MFL10 goes live (which to my knowledge is right after the Super Bowl) your Christmas?
It is, but not for the reason you think. While I do join a few right away, my favorite part (dork alert) is starting to collect the ADP data! My favorite part of the somewhat early drafts is exploiting that ADP data, with a mix of players way undervalued and other players way overvalued. This is the same after the NFL draft as I sort of reset my ADP data and get to find more trends.
When you have less information, like before NFL free agency or the draft, how do you take advantage of ADP?
There are a few things I have learned and will break it out into pre-free agency and pre-draft.
Pre-free agency the key is to look not just at the free agents but who it will affect. A RB coming into a team could hurt who you think is next up in line to breakout. But even that free agent could land in a bad spot or just suck wherever they land. Last year was a great example, the 2 big free agent RBs were Gerhart and Rashad Jennings. Both landed in what we thought were great spots, but only 1 did something with it. The thing was both had very low ADPs before they signed, so grabbing shares of both paid off for the Jennings and not for Toby, but check out their ADP change. Rashad went from pick 90 to about pick 60 (a decent jump) but Toby went from pick 200 to pick 50 (a crazy jump). I had a bunch of shares of both, so when they jumped I didn’t buy anymore.
Pre-NFL draft I take the spray approach. Guys like Gurley, Gordon, Cooper, and White were expected to be drafted high, so their ADPs were already high, so there was little value to be gained here. RBs for year 1 production are so team dependent that you can get stuck with guys like Seastunk who was big pre-draft last year. [Zach note: Lache’s not quite dead yet unlike certain Game of Thrones characters I could name.] I like to grab just WRs and a variety of them. When you hit on guys like Perriman or Aghalor, you gain a lot of value. Post draft their ADPs rise slowly, so you can still grab them, but be able to cut the cord at a certain point as they will level out or bounce back a lot as well.
The biggest tip to taking advantage of ADP is to let others chase the news (a new report on a player usually causes them to jump a lot) and most times they will fall back, so let others take them early and grab the other guys that get pushed down. This works most of the time.
Do you fade rookies in MFL10s immediately after the draft?
The rookies that climb due to the draft climb somewhat slowly, and you can tell when they are hitting their peak. I have no problem grabbing them after the draft as I know they are going to continue to go up, but at a point they will be overdrafted and need to be faded. Finding that sweet spot can be tricky, but if they get too expensive for you it might be a good time to wait and hope they drop back down. Some of the top rookies like Gurley, Gordon, Cooper, and White didn’t change too much after the draft as they were already going pretty early. The only noticeable one is that Gordon is ahead of Gurley now, but that has more to do with the injury news and not the draft.
As someone who doesn’t play MFL10s, what can you learn from checking the moving ADPs?
If you play redraft the correlation is obvious, but from a dynasty perspective I think it helps for the value of vets. In dynasty ADP vets are obviously really low due to their number of years left, which isn’t an issue in a redraft league. So dynasty players can use this data to see what vets people think are going to do well this year (VJax, Fitz, etc) and you might be able to use that to trade them away (or acquire).
When the last MFL10 draft is over, do you #teamshowercry?
It is a sad day for sure. MFL does (did them last year at least) quickies, where they can squeeze in more drafts with quicker timers before the first week. It’s like one last fix for the year and helps bridge that few week gap before the season starts. I do a lot of dynasty leagues and commish a total of 5 or 6 now, so I am plenty busy at the start and during the season.
How many MFL10s will you do this year?
I did 40 last year and plan on doing 70 this year. I have talked a lot with Matt Rittle and others about the strategy to do all the same level which I agree with. I compare it to playing blackjack, do you randomly increase your bet (doing a MFL25 or MFL50?) or do you keep the bet the same? (Yes I know blackjack as a whole give the house an edge, but you get the point). I would hate to win all my MFL10s and lose all my MFL25/50s and miss out on making money.
When did you get the eureka moment to share your MFL10 knowledge with the “MFL 10 ADP tool”?
Right from the start in 2014 I started making this tool. I am an excel addict and use it for everything, I even make lists in it instead of using Word or other things. So I started to track MFL10 ADP data a little at time, and started to track my completed drafts. I literally spent all season adding and tweaking the file. I was making it 100% for myself as I do with the countless other files I make and use (I did say I have a problem).
I started tweeting out graphs of my data and built up the reputation as the MFL10 guy, so when the fantasy playoffs finished up last year I figured I would focus on this. I had never sold any of my files or projects before so I figured I’d give it a shot. I spruced up the file a bit, added some instructions, and started selling it. I have had nothing but great feedback from everyone that has bought and uses it (huge ego boost!). I keep wanting to add more to it, but have to not clutter it up too much. Overall I’m very pleased how it has all gone and it helps fund my addiction.
Who’d win in an arm-wrestling match, you or Matt Rittle?
Probably Matt, he’s go that mid-west strength thing going and I’m from New England where we just have attitude and such. He’d win and be nice about it all and I would just be a complete Masshole before and after, but we’d have some good beer and have a good time.
Pats fan? If so, do you remember what it was like to be a fan before Brady/Belichick?
Yes, I was born very early 80s and my Dad was just a very casual sports fan, so I didn’t really get into Football until I was about 12 or so with Bledsoe led Pats. The team in the 90s was always a somewhat boring team, with Bledsoe they did well but threw a lot of picks being just an average QB. Being a stupid kid I was also a fan of Favre and the Packers, so in 1997 when those two teams met in the Super Bowl I was covered. Obviously I wanted the Pats to win, but they were 14 pt dogs (and didn’t have Brady yet) and realistically had no shot. It’s hard to complain about sports from Boston in the 21st century, but the 90’s were rough for the most part!
The spouse question: Does your wife have any issues with your football obsession?
I try and find a delicate balance with my wife with it all. She knows I play way too much fantasy football, but I don’t let it interfere with our lives. I tell her it’s a hobby that I enjoy and just happen to be reading articles or tweeting with people instead of collecting stamps or going to a pool hall or countless other hobbies. So all in all she wishes I had a different hobby but is fine with it.
Football or sex: Which do you think of more?
If I had to say pure time wise, probably football. Can only day dream so much at work, got to get on that twitter and do those MFL10s!!!! But sex obviously takes priority.
Which football writers are on your must-read list and/or podcasts that you love to listen to?
My main sites are DLF, RotoViz, and FakePigskin (of course). On DLF it’s more types of articles that are my favorites (Mailbag, team profiles, and strategy articles), and RotoViz is a variety of stuff and their apps.
FakePigskin does every sport, but I only really look at football. [Zach note: As well you should.]
Tell me about a hobby/interest outside of football.
I really don’t have many hobbies per say. But we just bought a house 2 years ago (moved from a condo) so we are doing a ton of work on it. We spent all last year killing the massively overgrown yard (and I mean a lot of stuff) so now this year we are making a lot of gardens and making the yard look great. We (I say we because I am lucky in that my wife is very handy and we do all our projects together) have built and plan to build a lot of things including a very large workbench. We also made 4 cornhole boards (I painted each one for Red Sox, Celtics, Pats, Bruins) and they look awesome, and our next project is to build a bar in our sunporch. Between those projects and football, that takes up most of my time (along with TV/Movies of course)
Is there anything you’d like to ask me?
Having done a lot of these interviews I was going to ask the “What is your strangest answer” type question, but I’ll go this direction.
Have you had an interview response that you had to flat out remove or ask to be re-done, and why?
I think I’ve had one person not answer the most important question of the series (you know what that is). I kind of let people answer the way they want to, and if that includes cursing, well, I know the owner of this site.
Also, what’s the most difficult part of doing these?
I need a slight push to get the momentum going, but other than that it’s pretty good. I don’t have trouble finding people, just scheduling can be tough.
Let me know about any sites/podcasts/contests that you’d like to ‘plug’.
Check out FakePigskin.com it’s a 100% free site. They give a lot of writers a great chance to get their feet wet or just write what they want. Regan is a great guy and is doing a great job of growing the site.
And of course check out my MFL10 ADP Tool, and hit me up with any questions about it.
Thanks again to Mike for being a good sport and sharing his thoughts. Follow him on Twitter.
If you want to read my previous fantasy football interviews, check out The There Is No Off Season Series.