Mix humor, insights into Fantasy coverage

Originally published in August 2014

Love this funny, creative lead by the Sporting News’ Ladd Biro on selecting the ideal Fantasy Football team.

In a perfect fantasy world, my starting lineup this season would feature Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, C.J. Spiller, Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green and Jimmy Graham. That would be the same perfect world in which my kids all get full-ride college scholarships, Kate Hudson stalks me, and I lose weight every time I eat Tex-Mex.

Like Biro, I’ll be fortunate to get even one of these players in my 12- and 16-team leagues.

Like you, I’m reading as much as I can to prepare for my drafts. As I do, I appreciate when writers have a strong voice, reveal trends, offer specific details, and slip in self-deprecating or humorous comments – as Biro does in this lead. Conversely, I dislike writers who offer general commentary without detailed support and who are self-aggrandizing.

FYI – Avoid writing (real or fantasy) football predictions columns or features during the season – unless the column is entertaining. Nobody really cares whether you believe Eastern Illinois is going to beat Illinois State or whether you think Mike Williams is a sleeper fantasy football pick unless you can also amuse readers. Find a way to stand out. Read Matthew Berry, who mixes personal stories with solid insights, but don’t try to be him. You should also check out The Sablich Brothers, Mike Clay, the  prolific Mike Wesseling, Brandon Funston, and Mike Tagliere, among others.

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About jgisondi

I covered sports and worked as a sports copy editor for more than 20 years at several newspapers in Florida, including the Fort Myers News-Press, Clearwater Sun, Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. I started writing for a weekly sports publication in Coral Springs, Fla., at age 15. I have been hooked on sports journalism ever since. I was fortunate to have worked with some amazing editors along the way, journalists who took the time to help me even when my copy was not top-notch. Now, I teach journalism at Eastern Illinois University and work as an editor for Landof10.com, a vertical that focuses on Big Ten athletics. A second edition of the "Field Guide To Covering Sports" will be available sometime in February 2017. The book is a practical guide to preparing, observing, interviewing and writing about 20 different sports, from auto racing to wrestling. Chapters also address ways to cover high school sports, fantasy sports, to develop sports blogs. You can also learn how to cover games, to write features and to interview better. Fans can also learn basic rules of these sports, along with ways to better observe the action. New chapters in the second edition will address social media, advanced analytics, fantasy sports coverage and revised, expanded chapters address game coverage, features and columns, among other new sections.
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